Book Title: Hidden Embers
Author: Amanda Perry
Published Date: February 2nd 2018
Number of Pages: 192
Book Rating: 1 Star - DNF
After her mother’s death, Riley is sent to live with a father she’s never met. Her only goal is to play it safe until she turns eighteen and can finally live on her own. But she’s unprepared for a family, who actually wants her there, or the strangers she’s asked to share the home with. Not only does Riley gain a new brother with this family, but she also shares the house with his girlfriend and her brother. Caleb, her step-brother’s best friend, confuses Riley with his overprotectiveness and sweet remarks. Always wary of strangers, why does she feel safe with him when they don’t know each other? What is with the weird connection they seem to share, and why can Riley relax around him more easily than around her own family? When the nightmares that plague Riley every time she falls asleep come into her waking world, Riley will discover that not everything in her new home is as it seems. Magic exists, and Riley might just have abilities she never dreamed possible. With a dark force stalking her, can she learn to trust her new family, or will she run away?
I was excited to read this one but it fell flat to me.
I started off really liking it. The main characters voice was different and I could relate to how she was unsure about herself. I could also relate to her not knowing what others thought and expected from her.
It was very believable especially with a background like the one she had. However, when I got past page 100 and there was very little character development I started to get bored, when I skimmed to the middle of the book and saw the MC was pretty much the same I started to get annoyed.
So I found myself doing something I pretty much never do. I went to the end of the book and read the last 2 chapters. I found I didn't really miss anything in the 100 pages or so I skipped. The MC was just as shy and unsure as before. The problem with this is that at first I get it, by the end of the book though she should have had some more development! She had a rough life but through the whole book I felt like she was a fragile and broken thing which needed coddling, her indecision and second guessing started to really rub me the right way and I wanted to yell at her to wake up and do at least one decision which was because she wanted to and not because she thought it would please her new family.
An example, she is scared of being hit because she had been abused in the past. In one scene her stepbrother gets upset when she tells a bit of how she was abused. She thinks he is upset at her and will hurt her and his girlfriend. So, she leaves the girlfriend there, she runs away, hides behind a dumpster for a few hours and then walks all the way home (which is hours away), instead of, I don't know, asking to use someones phone.
All the way home she torments herself about how she will be punished when she gets back but she doesn't once consider maybe not going back to the place she might be hit or hurt?
She gets back and long story short the entire family are super kind and tell her 10000 times they won't hurt her and that it's ok. Finally she calms down in this guys arms (which she just met like 3 days ago) and does she now believe them when they say they are there for her? No. She says to herself, I believe they wouldn't hurt me... tonight.
Again, I get she has had a very rough past but again and again this family show and tell her they won't hurt her and again and again she chooses to be a victim and not accept their words. I was super OK with how she was at the start but when no progress was made I started just getting too frustrated with the MC to continue.
The entire book is in her internal monologue so unfortunately it wasn't something I could get over.