Monday, September 8, 2014

Early Review: Compulsion by Martina Boone

by Martina Boone
Read: April 22 - 23, 2014
Published: October 28, 2014 by Simon Pulse
Source: Edelweiss (Thank you, S&S!)
Category: YA, southern gothic, magic

Find: Goodreads | Amazon

Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.

When loss is all you know, how do you find true love?

Beautiful Creatures meets The Body Finder in this spellbinding new trilogy.

All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lived 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.

Isn't that cover and description gorgeous?! Let's take a moment to stare at it. Unfortunately, the more I think about this book, the more I realize how much the content inside of the pretty package didn't meet my expectations. It just wasn't creepy or gothic enough, and Barrie and Eight's romance wasn't as thrilling as I hoped. 

I did love the setting of this story. The decaying decadence of a Southern Plantation. The ancient trees, oppressive summer heat, Spanish moss, brick facade, old money and long held feuds. It made me want to go visit a plantation for myself. But while I enjoyed reading this, it didn’t blow me away. 

First, the thought of waiting for any three book series to release has become quite daunting, and this one didn't give me enough to make that wait worth it. Mostly because I wasn’t sure exactly where it was going, or what it’s focus was going to be. And that, I think is my major complaint with this story. Despite some PNR set-up tropes – isolated girl moves to a new place, she’s klutzy and doesn’t realize how beautiful she is, a pretty much destined romance – what I think this book needed was a little more focus. (Minus the romance, which was very focused and quickly developing between Eight and Barrie).

I wasn’t sure what this story was going to be. It wasn’t as creepy as I wanted it to be or really overly suspenseful. There were a variety of villains in the past and present. Barrie solves some mysteries from the past and learns a bit more about her family. There’s a magical element, but I was hoping that would be explored a bit further than it was. This just wasn’t as…compelling as I’d hoped (sorry! But that’s the right word). It didn't grab me, or excite me enough. I also thought the romance developed very quickly. I don’t mind instant attraction, and I liked Barrie and Eight’s banter and any scene they had together. Plus Eight’s ability to read Barrie only added more tension. But as a whole just wasn't as good as I hoped, and that makes me sad. 

But seriously, look at that cover. If I could live inside that world, I would. 

Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Low/Medium


  1. "First, the thought of waiting for any three book series to release has become quite daunting, and this one didn't give me enough to make that wait worth it." THIS.
    *sigh* I've become to picky when it comes to the books I start now because the idea of waiting years for a story to end and find out some resolution and major plot points is becoming annoying. Unless a series gets me fully invested and I feel like it makes sense for there to be multiple books I'm starting to not read them. Unfotunetly this one sounds like it didn't deliver for you. Sometimes pretty covers promise more than what's inside! Hopefully your next read is more up your alley!

  2. I'm with you and Lily. If a book doesn't blow me away, there's no way I'm making it all the way through a trilogy. Maybe it's unfair because good books deserve a shot, too. I read too many okay books that are part of trilogies (meh) that I'm not going to finish. *sigh* is right.

  3. I think we're all getting exhausted with these series, it's hard to even find a book that isn't the start of a trilogy. So unless you love the book, it's just not worth it. ~Pam

  4. Aw, I'm sorry this book wasn't as good as you wanted it to be Lauren. That is always depressing :( To be honest, I have never wanted to read this book, hah :p And now I will not. Sigh. But I do like the cover, just don't love it, hih :D But anyway! I am glad you enjoyed the book, despite not loving it. <3 Amazing review sweetie :) Thank you for sharing. <3

  5. *sigh* I'm sorry that this wasn't as good as you hoped it would be Lauren! :( It's always a shame when a creepy cover and a well-written blurb reel you in, and the execution of the actual story isn't up to par. Most of the reviews I've read have been saying pretty much the same thing - that it was a mediocre read - so I think I'm going to give this one a miss. Thanks for sharing, and BRILLIANT review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

  6. I haven't heard of this one before--but then again, I feel like I'm living in a bubble ever since I began college. I'm sorry to hear this didn't meet your expectations and that as a whole, the story and characters fell flat for you. I know I'll be steering clear of this one for sure, pretty cover aside. Thanks for this honest review, Lauren--here's hoping your next read is far more satisfactory!

  7. I want to weep that it didn't meet its synopsis and cover expectations. I've never heard of it, but it certainly LOOKS and sounds gorgeous, that's for sure! So to not have it as thrilling or creepy as it promises...disappointing. I could maybe give it a shot still if you decided it's worth it to continue, but I think I'll pass then. Can I just buy the book cover?

  8. Bummer! The cover is SO pretty and I love books set in creepy old mansions. But, you're right, if it's more about romance than mystery/intrigue, forget it. I'm out. Thanks for the heads up!

  9. Sigh. With that cover and synopsis, this is supposed to be amazing. Now I'm nervous to read it. I know Sam wasn't a huge fan of it either.
    We need for love triangle free series to be off the charts, because there just aren't that many of them coming out right now haha.

  10. OH MAN. When I saw that cover and then saw South Carolina, I thought YES! But then I read some of your thoughts and now I just don't know. I'm kind of leaning more toward the waiting-til-the-series-is-completed lately, especially if it doesn't grab me right away. If it was more creepy, perhaps, given the season, but I don't think I will pick this one up just yet. But YES that is super beautiful on the front.

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  12. I can see this in your article. You have a way of writing compelling information that sparks much interest. Thanks For Sharing.

    Joshua Pellicer


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