Published on October 6th 2014 Genres: Contemporary, Dark, Thriller, Young Adult
They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and that’s great . . . as long as you don’t die.
Sixteen-year-old Haley Tremaine had it all: top-notch school, fantastic family, and a bright future, but all of that changed when an accident tore her family apart. Now, an alcoholic father, a bitter younger sister, and a cold headstone bearing her mother’s name are all she has left.
Chris Charming has it all: a powerful CEO for a father, a prestigious school, and a fortune at his fingertips, but none of that matters when he lands a reputation as a troublemaker. Struggling to follow in his father’s footsteps, he reaches out to the one person he believes truly sees him, the one person he wants: Haley.
Little do they know someone’s determined to bring the two together, even if it means murder.
REVIEW – CHARMING by Krystal Wade
I decided to ask to be part of the Charming tour because I was intrigued by the cover, which looked a little bit horror to me, and the fact that it was listed as a YA Thriller. I love thrillers but I have to admit, I have not really read too many that were young adult.
Haley Tremaine is a sixteen year old with big problems. She was once rich, now she’s poor. She was once part of a loving and happy family. Now she’s treated like the maid. Her mother is dead, her father is an alcoholic, and he abuses her.
Talk about having the deck stacked against you. But that’s OK. I like a heroine who can juggle lots of complicated problems.
Haley keeps quiet about the abuse for many reasons. She’s embarrassed. She feels guilty. But mostly, she keeps quiet because of her sister, Jocelyn. Jocelyn is faring much better with the transition—she’s Daddy’s favorite—and in fact, for about half the book, she a little witch to her big sister. Not helping out around the house, taking advantage of her favorite status, and sticking up for her dirt bag father.
There is a lot going on in this book. The mystery builds very slowly in the beginning, but then things start happening quickly and then they just happen boom, boom, boom. One after another all the way until the end.
I liked Chris Charming. In fact, he was almost too likable. I hate to say that since this is a YA book and that’s what I expect in a YA book. But Haley hated him at first. Talking up all his bad deeds. But we never saw Christ being this “bad” character. He was sweet and caring, in fact, for the entire book. There is one moment where he’s a bit of a dick, but honestly, it was warranted.
I found this to be the case in a few different places. Haley’s past pegged her as a rich kid who went to a private school. In fact, her mother was a CEO of a candle company. But I just couldn’t picture that at all. It was so different from the way Haley’s family life was described now, that I never accepted it. I think it would’ve been better to have had a few scenes or flashbacks or something to show the “before” life.
In YA books I hate when kids are at school. I don’t know why, it’s just boring to me. But in this case, I think Haley needed a little more school. There were almost no responsible adults in this story at all. Even Chris Charming’s parents, who are the fantasy family, didn’t take enough interest in Haley to help her before things got out of hand.
So I guess what I’m saying is that this story had some believability issues for me. But I’m an adult and this book was written for young adults. So I imagine they would not have this same problem.
Charming was exciting, well-written, and twisted. With an abundance of plot twists and shady characters in the lineup, you never really knew who was good and who was bad. Four stars for Charming by Krystal Wade.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
About Krystal Wade
Krystal Wade is happily married to the love of her life (don’t gag) and raising three beautiful children in the gorgeous state of Virginia. They live just outside Washington, D.C., and every day she wakes up to find herself stuck in traffic trying to get there.
The horrid commute gives Krystal plenty of time to zone out and think about her characters in full, brilliant details (she’s a safe driver; don’t worry). Stories give her a way to forget about the sometimes smelly strangers sitting next to her on the fifty mile trek into town (she picks up hitchhikers every day. True story. Check out www.slug-lines.com if you don’t believe us).
Krystal has been a part of organized hitchhiking for nearly fifteen years, but that’s just one small aspect of her oh-so-large life. When she’s not working, commuting, or chasing after her three children (four if you count the man), you can usually find Krystal outside talking to her chickens like they’re the cutest things in the world (they are), or training her amazing dogs how to herd said chickens (which they love), or curled up on the sofa with a good book (why can’t that be 100% of the time?).
Website • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads
Love the cover looks very awesome.
I don’t normally read YA books. That being said; between the cover & the synopsis I will definitely be reading this book.
My question for the author is: Do you outline a book or just jump right into writing off the top of your head?
Hi Staci, Each book I write has a little different process. For Charming, I outlined the heck out of it. Seriously, a 20k word outline! All I had to do was go back and fill in all the blanks. I usually send my outline to my editor, as well, and have her look for massive plot issues before I fill in those blanks.
The cover on this book is awesome! I’m not a huge fan of YA but have come across many series’ so far that make me rethink my opinion. I would like to read Charming to see if I can add it to my list of good YA reads.
My question is, what drew/draws you to YA?
What drew me to write ya? Well, that’s actually quite simple: when I was a teenager, I experienced a lot of hardships in life. And I mean A LOT OF HARDSHIPS. Amazingly, I pulled through some of these experiences doing better than those who hadn’t suffered. I was determined, driven, and refused to end up stuck in a rut. So, naturally, I’m drawn to write stories about young people who have to go through hell and back, because you can get back if you try hard enough.
Hi Krystal. Congratulations on the release of Charming.
Where did the idea originate for the premise of CHARMING?
The idea came while I was helping a friend of mine with Fairy Tale Redux plot ideas. She asked what a good story would be, so I mentioned blending Saw and Cinderella. I don’t know where it came from, it just hit me. She quickly told me she doesn’t write horror, to which I responded by telling her how easy it is. A few minutes later, I’d told her how it was done…then quickly begged her to let me have the idea because I was too in love with it to share. To which she, again, responded: I don’t write horror. LOL. There you have it. See, helping people really does pay back!
Wow yeah she does sound like she’s had quite the downward spiral. I’m a sucker for these kinds of stories, though. And I like the mystery aspect in this one, too! Great review, Julie!
Giselle recently posted…Halloween Thrills & Chills: Deleted Scene from Mary: The Summoning
Hi Krystal! Congratulations on the release of Charming!! <3 I'm sorry to read about your hardships earlier in life.. With that, I am hoping that you have found your own HEA!! My question is: Do you enjoy being interviewed? 😉
I love being interviewed. The only issue is that it seems people tend to ask the same questions. I feel like I need to start making stuff up so I’m more interesting and not repeating myself: like, I like to fly kites near the Washington Monument–I WOULD like to, but don’t have time. Or things like I scuba dive in Hawaii–or try to and fail, and it was only ever once, a long time ago, but I’d like to do it. Sometimes I wish interviews could take place in person, because I really enjoy getting to know people, interacting with them face to face. Maybe I should get on the Today Show? 😉
There you go! I, when asked to ask questions, try to come up with something random, because of the same ol’ same ol’ that I see getting asked! 😉
I think that’s why I like video interviews so much too, or Google hangouts. They’re so much more interactive!
Thanks for the giveaway! My question is how do you come up with your characters?
And are they every day people’s?
Wow, Dora, that’s a tough question to answer. I don’t really know how I come up with my characters. When a story idea hits me, the characters are usually the first to show up and wave their hands in front of my imagination. I usually sit and write out character arcs, who they are, what I want to happen in the story for them, what makes them tick. I tend to people watch in malls and crowded areas to see how people act/respond to each other.
Krystal? How in the heck do you get a dog to herd chickens? LOL…that’s crazy lady, but I love it! Wonderful books, thanks for being such a great writer!
love the cover of your book and wow what a great writer you are keep it up xxx