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Sometimes I hate leaving bad reviews even though I am being completely honest in how I feel about a book. I truly feel bad giving this story such a pitiful amount of stars because I really wanted to like this book--but try as I might, I just couldn't get into it.
At first I was totally invested in the story. It starts off engaging and there's enough going on to activate your suspension of disbelief and slide seamlessly into the world that Sarah unveils. The excitement only continues to climb at the rapid turn of events the protagonist has to face and then we get to the part where she opens the forbidden box! Ooh I was so excited for this blossoming opportunity for a hate-to-love romance between Caro and this young mystery man. It was all going along so smoothly until it just fizzled out and died.
As it turns out, the young man in the box turns out to be an utter buffoon who is wet behind the ears and is as clueless as a newborn babe. For someone who has such a big role to play in the story (I don't want to give out any spoilers) and considering his background, you would think he would be a bit more world-wise and intelligent and just have an air of manliness about him--but no, that is so entirely not the case. He constantly has one foot in his mouth, and the other tripping over the ropes. So not attractive in a male hero :( Granted, his circumstances are dire enough that we can excuse some of his ghastly behavior, but it doesn't take away from the overall effect of his bumbling character.
The other thing that left me feeling jarred was the pacing of some of the scenes in the story. Take, for example, said male buffoon-boy trying to kiss Caro literally out of nowhere with no preamble leading up to this scene whatsoever. It was all hate and angst and annoyance (which were actually working in favor of their hate-to-love relationship opportunity) when all of a sudden he just tries to plant one on the heroine and she pulls a knife on him whilst wrapped in a towel. It left me feeling with whiplash because it was so incongruent and unexpected. The author didn't even let them work toward this scene, so there was absolutely no excitement whatsoever, just confusion. You kind of start to hate the boy even though you are technically supposed to feel sorry for him.
Anyway, even after this awkward attempted kissing scene (which happens really early on in the story) I still decided to push through and give it a chance. But around the 35% mark I had to admit defeat as I felt like I was slogging through the story and I dislike when reading starts to feel like a chore. Sorry Sarah :( It was a good premise, but I guess I am just not into awkward man-babies.