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This review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Nate Foster ruined Alex's life. He is responsible for the car crash that killed her parents and her baby brother, leaving her orphaned to live with her uncle. Alex's life was already complicated before that. She sees emotions. Love, joy, anger, sadness, and every other feeling you can think of. Revenge has been her best friend ever since her parents were killed and now that Nate has been released from prison, her path is clear. Kill the man who killed her parents and take her revenge. And when she is just about ready to make it happen, Forgiveness shows up and completely confuses her. She cannot forgive this man, he took her family from her, but yet, she doesn't know if she can bring herself to end his life either. Given the choice, will she stick with Revenge or cave to Forgiveness?
Alex wasn't a character I enjoyed. Right off the bat, I wavered between finding her dull and being annoyed with her. Her life sucks, understood, but I still didn't get her attitude. Her aunt and uncle do everything they can for her, they offer psychiatric help, and she just brushes it off. I guess I just can't understand that near-suicidal thought process. I was diagnosed with depression in middle school, but I don't know if that was the right diagnosis for me. I don't understand someone who feels so hopeless. I don't understand her down-spiraling mindset. I have never understood how suicide could ever be the answer. I get that changing things is difficult, sometimes impossible, but once you pull that trigger (or down those pills or take the hairdryer into the tub), it's all over. Any shot you had at happiness is gone. I don't believe in any form of life after death, so I don't ever see how that would help. I'm not criticizing or anything, it's just not a mindset I can understand or like to read about. Even though I have taken psychology and I know all about depression and it's effects, I still find the characters with it highly annoying. I just want to shake them out of their trance. I know this is not an acceptable response and I know that they can't help it, but that's is the response it generates in me.
As for the guys, let's just say I didn't care for either of them. Part of what I loved about Some Quiet Place was Fear and how amazing he was. I fell in love with his character. We get small glimpses of him here, but nothing to satisfy that craving I had for him. Compared to him, both Revenge and Forgiveness fall flat. Revenge is a jackass who is only trying to get Alex to make the choice his way, prepping her for that decision. Forgiveness is better, but he just comes off as a bit....um...I don't know? I want to say religious, but that is so far from the right word that it's not funny. I can't put my finger on the right word, but I just didn't particularly like him.
That was a big problem for me, I didn't like any of the cast...except for the scant glimpses of Fear we get. I'm very character driven. I was also a little bored by the whole story. I read the first 50 or so pages in a book and then listened to the rest on audio and there was never a moment when I felt like I had to continue listening, despite any other interruptions. I just wasn't very enthralled by the story or where it was going. I also wasn't crazy about the ending. I like happy endings. I like the girl getting the boy she wants (or, better yet, the one she needs) and knowing that they are going to make it work. That's not how this ends.
Despite my issues, this gets three stars because I think my problems were just that, my problems. I have a hard time relating to a depressed character like Alex, I didn't care for the love interests, and the plot was just mehish to me. Then again, it's hard to care where the plot goes when I don't care how the characters end up. The ending wasn't what I wanted, but it does end on a happy(ish) note, with hope for the future.
Bottom line? If you are reading this looking for something similar to it's predecessor, you won't get it. Alex's story and Elizabeth's is that they can both see emotions. That's it. Starting this, I was so excited and overjoyed because I truly loved Elizabeth's story and I was looking for something else along those lines. This story is completely different. I won't say it's bad, because it's not, I just don't think it was the right story for me. I like that nearly perfect HEA and this isn't that type of story.
****Thank you to Flux for providing me with an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review****Also thank you to Kelsey for gifting me an audible copy****