Welcome to the blog tour for Compulsion by Martina Boone! I am more than honored to support this amazing author and her fabulous debut! Check out my review below, and enter to win huge prizes!
Compulsion by Martina Boone
Book One of the Heirs of Watson Island series
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: October 28, 2014
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher
Summary (from 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.
What I Liked:
I've had this book for months, and I've put off reading it for quite some time. It's one of those books that everyone recommends to me, that I think I will love, and I just don't want to be disappointed. I love books with a lush history, a gorgeous backdrop, a beautiful romance. It appeared that this book would have a stunning delivery of all three of those elements - and I am happy to say that I wasn't disappointed.
Barrie has just moved to Watson Landing. Her mother is dead, her godfather is sick, and her aunt, Pru, is happy to take her in at the Watson plantation. But things are not as they seem on the plantation. Ghosts haunt the plantation, and Barrie learns of the history of three families, three abilities, three sides of a feud. The Watsons, Beauforts, and Colesworths can't seem to coexist peacefully, and Barrie is stuck in the middle.
The story revolves around Barrie and her slow discovery of the true history of the Watson family and all of their drama. To be honest, some of that was over my head, but if I read the book again, I feel like I would understand all of the intricacies of the history. There are a lot of names and information thrown at readers, which isn't a bad thing, but it's a lot. You really have to follow the history as it is introduced.
The story is pretty fascinating though. Besides the fact that there are a lot of history and secrets between the three families, there is a good deal of plot dealing with Barrie and Eight and Barrie's Colesworth cousin Cassie - basically, teen life as well. We are introduced to many teenagers, most who are wary of Barrie (she's a Watson).
The animosity between the families is palpable - Boone did an excellent job of conveying just how much the Colesworth family did not like the Watson family, or the Beaufort family. The Beaufort and Watson family are on okay terms. Barrie's aunt Pru and Eight's father Seven were a thing, way back when.
It's obvious that Barrie and Eight are attracted to each other on first sight. Eight never leaves Barrie's side, which would be fine except that they argue constantly. Like, Barrie is always bickering, and Eight is always bossing and pushing. It's cute, sometimes. Sometimes I just want to shake Barrie.
But in all seriousness, I really did enjoy the romance, especially after all the teasing ceased. Boone does lead her characters on a merry chase, and then towards the end, Barrie and Eight stop their flirtatious fighting. I'm fine with this type of romance!
The setting and Gothic feel of this book is really well-written. I love how important the history, the Southern setting, the epic romance tales... I love how important all of these things are. The ghosts play a key role in the novel, as do other paranormal... things.
The ending of this book is nice - no cliffhangers, no heartbreaking endings. I'm interested in seeing how Boone is making this a series. Nevertheless, I'll be reading Persuasion for sure!
What I Did Not Like:
I didn't always like Barrie. She's very, very deficient in brain cells, it seems. Sometimes, anyway. Like, she literally makes EVERY single bad decision that a person could possibly make, throughout the entire book. And after she makes those bad decisions, and the decisions blow up in her face, she knows she made a bad decision, but then keeps making bad decisions! WHAT IS THIS?!
But then, it takes the entire book for her to shape up, but I suppose she does. That girl needs a spine though. And a new brain. I didn't always like her, but I didn't hate her either. It helped that this book is written in third person, so I disliked her flaws less. If that makes sense.
I just can't see how she is always THAT dumb, you know? Until the end? You're warned...
Would I Recommend It:
I really enjoyed the story, so I would totally recommend it! I love anything Gothic and romantic, so I'm all about this series. Boone is a very talented writer, and I'm excited to see what she comes up with in Persuasion. Hopefully some "smart" Barrie.
3.5 stars -> rounded up to 4 stars. Fabulous debut, and an excellent start to the series! Waiting so long to read this one was totally worth it.
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About the Author:
Martina Boone writes contemporary fantasy set in the kinds of magical places she would love to visit. She is the founder of YASeriesInsiders.com and AdventuresinYAPublishing.com, a two-time Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers blog. If you like romance steeped in mystery, mayhem, Spanish moss, and a bit of magic, she hopes you'll look forward to meeting Barrie, Eight, Cassie, Pru, Seven and the other characters of Watson Island.
(1) $100 Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Book Depository Gift Card. International.
(10) Prize packs with signed copies of Compulsion. US Only.
(3) Swag packs containing a Compulsion necklace, key bookmark, signed bookplate, and “I have a Compulsion for reading” temporary tattoos. International.
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