Strength by Carrie Butler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Synopsis from Goodreads:
When college student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to-chest with the campus outcast, her rumor-laced notions are shattered. Handsome, considerate, and seemingly sane, Wallace Blake doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, screaming and banging on the walls of his dorm room. Hell, he doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, period.
Too curious for her own good, Rena vows to uncover the truth behind Wallace’s madman reputation--and how two seconds of contact had left her with bruises. Of course, there are a few setbacks along the way: guilt, admiration, feelings of the warm and fuzzy variety…
Not to mention the unwanted attention of Wallace's powerful, supernaturally-gifted family.
They’re a bloodline divided by opposing ideals, two soon-to-be warring factions that live in secret among us. When Rena ends up caught in their crossfire, Wallace has no choice but to save her by using his powers. Now they’re really in trouble. With war on the horizon and Rena’s life in the balance, he needs to put some distance between them. But Rena won’t let go. If fighting is what it takes to prove her own strength and keep Wallace in her life, then that’s what she’ll do--even if it means risking a whole lot more than her heart.
I really, really enjoyed SO much about this book!
Im pretty sure this is Carrie Butler's debut novel, and i have to give her full praise for the way she writes. The characters really came alive for me, and i could totally 'hear' their voices. The storyline moves quickly, without any slow points, but isnt rushed. I was really hooked on this book from the very first pages. There's nothing groundbreaking about this storyline- ive read much the same thing plenty of times before, but Carrie's writing really made this one a stand out for me.
I'd say for the first 80%, Strength really reads like a contemporary romance novel. A lot of the paranormal elements don't appear until much later in the book. Its mentioned in parts, to set it up, but the main story line follows the budding relationship between Wallace and Rena. I love Rena! She has so much spunk and attitude, and she just plain cracked me up in parts. Some of her lines were so clever and funny that i had to go straight to goodreads to quote her. :) I love that Carrie took so much time in building the relationship between them. Yay for no instalove!
Strength was absolutely headed for a 5 star rating from me, until the ending. It wasn't that it was bad, it just wasn't quite what i was expecting. A lot of (paranormal) information, and some new characters are thrown at you in that last 20% and i found it a bit confusing. The picture in my head went from crystal clear, to a bit fuzzy as i tried to follow what was happening.
Nevertheless, Strength was a great read, and I'll definitely be looking forward to reading the sequel. Be sure to pick up Strength in March when it's released! In the meantime, be sure to Add it on goodreads and to Follow Carrie on Twitter
*Although Strength is classed as New Adult, and is about early 20's characters in college, the language and heat level were both pretty tame, so if that sort of thing offends you about novels, then you'll be fine with this book*
*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not in any way affect my opinion of the book*