Original publish date: 22 May 2014
Loner teen girl with rocking Chuck Taylors meets dark, brooding, memory impaired (teen) guy as he’s saving her life from a paranormal evil force.
This is a formula we’ve all seen before, and some of us might be entirely over this kind of archetype, yet there is an abundance of material of this kind of writing. Perhaps it was going off of the trend that Twilight instigated into the mainstream readership; however, it is kind of played out (and to be a little fair, Stained, by Ella James, was published nearly three years ago, so I’m a little late to this particular party, but what else is new!).
Given the oft-tested story type, the writing and rapid pacing (aka read in one sitting) of the story does leave you on a cliff hanger to read the subsequent book in the series–which is a trend, too. Plenty of sassy comments from Julia throughout as she noodles through her predicament. I quite enjoyed the Twilight reference as the story is oh-so-reminiscent of it, yet she still went with Cayne like Bella went with Edward. Still had plenty of frustrated emotional issues, but at least Julia had a bit more of agency that Bella entirely lacked. Also, let me say: Cayne. Cain. Immediately you know that he is a severely flawed character who has killed before. I’m not religious and even I picked up on that RIGHT AWAY.
There were areas that had grammatical issues that jarred me from the text, but as a whole it was fairly clean. Chapters 10 and 19 are randomly from a different character; yes, it may provide some context to the character of Cayne and Julia, respectively, but it was soooooooooooo disjointed. Not even an indicator of a text break. Would not recommend this as a technique unless it was consistently used throughout–perhaps as alternating chapters, for instance.
Overall, I’d give it 3 out of 5 stars.