About this book:
He’s my everything.
I would die without him.
Because he infects me.
He’s inside my mind.
My thoughts are black and bruised.
Twisted and wrong.
A secret that eats me alive, but one I’ll take to my grave.
And then it happens.
He sees inside me.
Understands the darkness.
Loves what he finds.
Now, he’s sick too.
Release Date: 20th June, 2018.
What I think?
Oh ho ho, I’m going to love talking about this book, because if that nasty little blurb didn’t clue you in, I’ll do that-
This is a real sibling romance. Not step-sibling.
Wait a minute, you couldn’t hear that? Let me a little louder and clearer-
This is a real sibling romance.
I. Am. Shitting. You. Not.
This is not half-taboo like Kristi’s book The Wild, which if you haven’t read, is a father/daughter romance, and right up until the end, we’re led to believe that they were biologically related. Oh no, this is not. Riley and Hudson Hale are biological siblings. And I believe, anyone who knows me, knows that the moment I got a sniff of this taboo, I was on it like cat on tuna.
I won’t lie to you, if taboo is your thing, then definitely go for this book. It’s downright disturbing at moments, because I have a younger brother and he’s just plain gross. So, relatable it is going to be not. For most of us at least. And even if it is, then *cough* #NoJudgementHere.
But if we’re going to talk about the plot, and of-fucking-course we are, then there are a few
minor major problems.
But first things first, let’s overview the plot-
Hudson Hale is in love with his girlfriend Amy, and he wants to marry her the moment he’s out of highschool. His mother, being the smart little thing she is, helps him understand the importance of education, and persuades him to go to college. Three years later, he gets a call from his four year younger, annoying little sister- Riley, that their parents are dead. He rushes back home, decides that she’s his, and that he cannot live without Riley and yada yada yada, happily ever after.
And you know exactly what yada yada yada means.
Allow me to begin this review with the good stuff:
First and foremost, let me start by saying that I’m very surprised and kind of not so surprised, and also very proud that she not only wrote this book, but also published it. I’m surprised because incest is a different level of taboo, and yet kind not surprised because this is Kristy, and she always brings something more taboo and daring to the table than the last time. I’m also very proud, because she has a huge readers base, and she had to know that this would possibly be the biggest dramatic book of the year and still she published it, so kudos to you woman.
Secondly, I have to commend the writing- she never disappoints. It doesn’t matter what you’re reading, her writing is bound to keep you hooked up until the last fucking page.
And finally, that cover. It is so GORGEOUS!
But that is kind of about it.. for me, there was nothing more to this book.
So let’s move on, and talk about the screwy things in this book (and I don’t mean the sex, which honestly is kinda screwed up, but who cares?!)-
I want to just begin this by saying that I have absolutely no problem with Hudson and Riley bumping uglies. That was a non-issue. Anything and everything I am going to criticize is going to be from the point-of-view of the plot and its shortcomings.
1. Riley’s apparent Bipolar diagnosis: So right from the beginning, it is highly insinuated that Riley has mental issues, and a few chapters in, we get to know that she has Bipolar disorder. My problem is, she does not show symptoms of bipolar disorder. Not one time in the book does the behave like someone battling that. In fact the psychological affliction that she seems to have is acute depression at worst, and moody teenager with excessive mood swings at best. That is way way far from being a bipolar. While it just highlights the lack of research put into the book, to me, it felt like Kristi was trying to garner sympathy from the reader. Big big let down from someone who wrote one of my favorite books starring a character with major psychological issues- Whispers and the Roars.
2. Hudson’s attraction to Riley: Okay, this is the biggest issue I have with this book. It is portrayed very clearly that Hudson considers his sister as an annoying fucking brat. How it goes from that to fucking the brat until it’s annoying is what I did not understand. One moment he couldn’t stand her, and the next he couldn’t tear himself from her nipples. That was the weirdest escalation of things in the history of weird escalation of things. Like seriously, there was zero build-up. Usually in cases like this the attraction is a gradual process. So their immediate falling into a relationship with each other just felt like they were more like grieving for the loss of half their family by clutching on the the half that’s remaining; which means that theirs was nothing but a misplaced case of lust on Hudson’s side and some mental issue on Riley’s. Instead of making me root for them, it just made me want to start a donation camp to send them off to some good psychologists, because honestly, Riley is fragile, and Hudson does come off as a tad bit molesting-ish
3. The easy resolution of things: When I’d started reading Kristy about two years ago, I was really drawn to her stories because every single one seemed so different from the last one. But after reading about dozens of them at this point, I just feel like she follows a formula, and never deviates from it. That formula being: something taboo concept + broken characters + sex + something bad happens in the last 80% + resolution after 85% + happily ever after
This is annoying right now because for problems that seem so big and looming, they’re resolved like they’re nothing. I mentioned it in my review of El Malo as well, I’ve almost stopped feeling the angst and tension in Kristi’s books. I don’t know if it’s beause her quality is decreasing in the recent books, or if they ere always there and I just never realised it, but her books are becoming lesser and lesser promising as I find more and more repeated flaws in them.
For example, in this book, no one reports Hudson’s and Riley’s relationship after she cuts herself. Add to that the fact that they end up with near perfect children is another added layer to the insult, because seriously, babies born to parents who are blood-relatives is a bad thing because biology fucks them up. It doesn’t matter how much the parents love each other, they’re born weak and usually defective because chances of them having received all the damaged recessive traits are extremely high, and Hudson and Riley getting lucky every time is so unreal, it’s not real! (See what I did there?)
4. The characters: Well this is probably the first time that I don’t like a single character in the book. I understand that Riley has some problems, but she’s a major bitch, and honestly, kind of childish, and the fact that her “issues” become an absolute background noise the moment she starts sleeping with Hudson just highlights how they were never that big of an issue as we were led to believe. Secondly, Hudson. Like I said, he does come off as a tad bit molest-ish because he did kind of take adavantage of his sister when she was weak and vulnerable from having lost half her family. Even if she does say that she wants it. The fact that there were no feelings for her just goes on to show that he was merely reacting to the grief. Doesn’t sound very promising in the long run.
While I definitely feel like Kristi’s books have lost their quality to them, I still enjoyed it because of the bold statements it makes. It just goes on to show that we’re all humans with different flaws and pleasures, and what people do behind closed doors is none of our business as long as all parties concerned are consenting. Individually, maybe I wasn’t in love with either Riley or Hudson, but I quite liked the story they told- as flawed as it was. So I’m giving all the stars for the courage to tell this tale and the impeccable writing. If incestous taboo is your thing, then I don’t think this is a book you should miss.
—Get this book—
About the author:
Her other passions besides writing include reading and graphic design. K can always be found in front of her computer chasing her next idea and taking action. She looks forward to the day when she will see one of her titles on the big screen.