Book Review: Compulsion by Martina Boone


Compulsion
Heirs of Watson Island #1
Martina Boone
Genre: YA Paranormal, Southern Gothic
Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.

All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lives 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.
Review copy provided by Edelweiss

I couldn't count the amount of forehead slaps I've given myself whenever Barrie did something stupid in the first half of the book. My forehead must have been red by the time I stopped for dinner. Her actions were a result of her personality and how she grew up. It wasn't a nature versus nurture thing. It was a combination of both. That is why it was such a relief for me when, about three quarters in, she stopped being a yes-woman (whether intentional or not), evaluated herself and the people around her and grew some spine. Maybe she had it all along, all it took was some good smack with the in-your-face behavior of her so-called cousin. But I'm glad, I'm glad for the change in her.

The first time I saw the cover of Compulsion, I thought it was really pretty; that gold tinge, the dirt road and the simple typeface. Until I looked closer and saw two people lying in the middle of the road. I know it was supposed to be a moment between two people in love but all I could think about was What the freaking hell are they doing? Was it a throw-you-to-the-road-before-you're-hit-by-a-flying-cow or more of a I'm-tired-let's-lie-here-for-a-while? Don't mind me. I've over-seasoned the chicken for dinner and I'm fighting the effects. 

The two distracting people on the cover aside, Compulsion was a good Southern gothic read - even though it started with me plowing through the all-over-the-place emotions, words and actions of the heroine. You might say, those who have already read this, that I have to cut her some slack given the upheaval that she went through the week before and everything that she discovered when she arrived at a place she never even heard of before. But I think my impatience with her character actually helped me in liking her more in the later parts and believing in her 'baby-steps' transformation. 

Even though one part of the mystery has been solved, there a lot more things for Barrie (and Eight, Pru...) to go through, not only with regards to the secrets of Watson Island but also her character development. It seems I have to wait for a whole year for what's next.
Ayanami Faerudo
P.S.
No, insta-love. Instant attraction but no I love yous were thrown around yet

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