Friday, July 3, 2015

Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven

Bad Romeo (Starcrossed, #1)Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ms. Rayven I am impressed. When I decided to read this book based on the blurb, I knew it would either be a really good read or a total bore with no middle ground. Once I started reading Bad Romeo, I began to worry that it wasn’t going to work for me. Yes the tension between Cassie and Ethan is palpable from the first chapter and the author gave me just enough that I had to know where things went wrong. What did Ethan do that broke Cassie’s heart? How did he betray her? And then we get to chapter two and it’s presented in a diary-style format. I actually groaned out loud because I rarely enjoy books written like a diary. And yet, it was perfect as Ms. Rayven used Cassie’s diary entries as segues to scenes from Cassie’s past with Ethan.

Because the book is told from Cassie’s point of view, I quickly found myself sucked into her story as the author weaves the telling of the past with the present. Rather than finding her insecurities and conflicting emotions annoying, I was sympathetic to Cassie’s plight. As someone who grew up as a relatively sheltered child, I understood her need to please and fit in with her classmates. I felt her anxieties as she tried to find her place in school, in a new city, in a new state, far, far away from her friends and family. And I totally got being overwhelmed in the face of all the beauty that was Ethan. As much as I was able to relate to Cassie’s character, I also found myself in awe of her acting because I am one of those people that their instructor referenced as being terrified of public speaking. So I was fascinated by their classes, their rehearsals, their rituals as they prepared to take the stage, and especially how Cassie “became” her character because it was easier to be someone else than to be herself (because she didn’t know who she was).

With the manner in which Bad Romeo jumps back and forth between past and present, the emotional rollercoaster takes some rather abrupt turns and drops, but somehow they work in this book – at least they did for me. I loved the chemistry between Cassie and Ethan and how it translated both on stage and in the bedroom. The “supporting cast” of characters were a motley crew of personalities that I found entertaining in their own right. The only thing I didn’t like about Bad Romeo was the ending. Seriously?!?!? I am beyond relieved that I already have Broken Juliet queued up on my Kindle to read next because that was not nice at all Ms. Rayven. I will give you props for hooking me completely, but that was a cruel way to leave your readers hanging. And now on to Act II.

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!

Check out the Starcrossed Series Spotlight! blog post Crystal's Many Reviewers.

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