Series: Heirs of Watson Island #1
Genres: Magic, Paranormal, Young Adult
Release Date: October 28th, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: eARC from Edelweiss
Check out on GOODREADS
Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.
All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lives with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead–a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.
Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family’s twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.
Compulsion is a hard book to review just because I felt so many different things for it. At times, it was definitely a one star read, but at other times, it blew my mind and was exciting enough to be 5 star read. Which leaves me confused as to whether I enjoyed the book or not.However, the fact that I want to read the sequel may be an indicator that I did enjoy it enough to want to know what happens to these characters.
The book has its pros and cons, obviously, but they are almost extremes so they kind of cancel each other out. What works in favor of the book is the atmosphere and the setting and just the general set up of things, the characters on the other hand make the book a lot harder to read.
I personally saw Barrie as a silly girl. She is going through a hard time in her life and that is understandable. Her pain is clear and the author doesn’t undermine it. The problem is that she is so SILLY. For starters, she already likes a guy she just met. She also decides that even though all these people are warning her against hanging out with her dad’s side of the family, they must clearly be wrong because they aren’t willing to give people a chance. That had me rolling my eyes. She was in this completely new place yet she was already taking the side of people she didn’t know. I liked that she wouldn’t let anything stop her from trying to get what she wanted but there is a certain line between stupidity and doing things your way and she crossed it.
Eight, her love interest, on the other hand confused me. I was never really his biggest fan. He was too pushy for my tastes and while he seemed to have Barrie’s best interests at heart, the fact that he was never really straight forward with Barrie bothered me. If he had been more straight forward with her, perhaps she might have made better decisions since she would have had more information at hand. I mean telling someone to stay away won’t really help, you got to give more reasons! And really, he just seemed to be there to move the plot along and play love interest rather than for any other ‘real’ reason.
What also bothered me was the relationship between the two but what also bothered me specifically about their relationship was the fact that I wasn’t too bothered by the insta love. Have I confused you yet? That’s how I feel. I am so confused about their romance and my ability to not be too annoyed by it. I mean there was the L word floating around a couple days after their first meeting so yeah, their romance has insta-love written over it. Their romance definitely has cheesy moments and made me roll my eyes plenty of times yet at the same time, the weird thing was that I kept forgetting they had only met a couple days ago since it seemed like they had known each other for a while. There was a certain chemistry between the two characters that made the romance seem a little more real.
What I liked best about this book was the idea it was built around. I liked the world building and I loved the interesting elements the author weaved in to make her world more interesting to the readers. The characters may not have blown my mind and there was definitely some stereotyping in terms of the fact that this book was set in the south but the way the author weaved in these layers of suspsense made me happy. It made the book fly by and I read it a lot quicker than I thought I would.
I mean we’re talking secret curses, pirates, magical abilities and things that have been lost. Of course this book sounds like it’ll be amazing and while all these little bits did make it amazing and fun to read, the characters and the romance definitely brought the book down for me.
On top of that, while there were all these interesting things going on, a lot of them ended up being brushed under a rug when the author kind of had to choose a specific thing to focus on. I feel like some of these ideas will be better explored in the sequel which is why I am looking forward to reading it.
My advice would be to check this book out if characters aren’t as important to you and you’re up for dealing with a lot of stereotyping and annoyingness for the awesomeness that lays within.
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