Series: Heirs of Watson Island
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse (October 28, 2014)
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Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.
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.
At a Glance:
From beginning to end, Compulsion pulls you in, keeps you guessing, plays with your emotions and leaves you breathless with anticipation. I loved this book wholly and completely, and I can't wait to push it on everyone I know.
I was really nervous.
I actually met Martina before I knew she was an author, and since we are both YADCers (Young Adult DC), we've become friends. I get SUPER nervous about reading books of people I know personally. I mean, how do you say you don't like your friend's book? I just can't.
But this book is set in South Carolina! Which is my spirit state.
So I had to read it. My solution? I would read it in secret, and if I didn't like it, I would never tell anyone I had read it! Yeah, sneaky, I know!
Luckily, I had nothing to worry about.
THIS BOOK WAS AWESOME!
It was more than awesome. It was glorious!!
The Beautiful Writing:
From the very beginning, Compulsion just clicked for me. I loved the writing so much. Martina did such a phenomenal job crafting every piece of this book. The setting, which is an Island in South Carolina, came to life for me. I lived in SC for five years (and vacationed there every summer since I was 5), and reading this made me feel like I was back there. Spanish moss on the old oaks, beautiful plantations, lowcountry cooking and Southern hospitality fill the pages. It was just perfect!
The Diverse and Interesting Characters:
The characters in Compulsion are so fantastically written. I loved that each of them had such a distinct and fully fleshed out voice. The main character, Barrie, was FREAKIN' AWESOME. I loved her so much. She was so snarky! I just wanted to be bff's with her! Don't even get me started on Eight, Charles Beaufort the 8th. I WANT ONE! Wait, I mean I want EIGHT! I like a lot of book-guys. Don't we all? But there was something about Eight that just pushed him right to the top of my list. He was such a Southern gentleman.
To quote my Goodreads Update:
Eight is twice the man Four is. I'm just sayin'. Simple math.
But it wasn't just the main characters who were awesome. Each character in this book became so real to me. I could actually name people who these characters could've been based on. They were so perfect. From Barrie's Aunt Pru, to her drag-queen "guardian" and even her infuriating relatives, I'm pretty sure I've met them all in real life. All the relationships were complex, constantly changing, growing, or evolving. It was just so well done.
The Cryptic Mysteries:
There are so many elements to this book. The strange gifts that the Watsons and Beauforts have and the Colesworth curse are fascinating. The mysteries surrounding how these things came to be, keep you turning the pages frantically, trying to find the answers. Why Barrie is being drawn to Watson Island? What is calling to her behind the locked doors of Watson Plantation? What is hidden in the Colesworth grounds? The end of this book had my heart racing, and I honestly kept forgetting to breathe. It was SO INTENSE! I had no idea what was going to happen, and let me just say, CLAUSTROPHOBIA!
The Consuming Romance:
I know what you really want to know, though. HOW WAS THE ROMANCE? Let me just say, it was so good I could hardly stand it! I read that it was insta-love, but that's not the case at all. Barrie and Eight are drawn to each other because of the "curse," but Barrie fights against that pull like a prize-fighter. She will not be controlled by anything but her own feelings, which she takes her sweet time figuring out. I mean if Eight was standing there in front of you, being all gorgeous and amazing and Eightish, what do you think you would do? I loved their relationship. I loved the banter between them, and the way that Eight protected and cared for Barrie, but was never afraid to tell her how completely infuriating she was being. Just. So. Good.
It's an All-Time Favorite:
As you have most likely guessed, this book has shot to the top of my all-time favorites list. There's rarely a book that I connect with as fully as I connected with this one. Rarely a book that I want to read over and over. This is that book, and I can't wait to share it with the world! I hope you love it as much as I do.