Saturday, July 12, 2014

Christie's Review: He Found Me by Whitney Barbetti


Title:He Found Me
Series:He Found Me #1
Author: Whitney Barbetti
Release Date: May 28, 2014
Rating:4.5 stars
When I was seventeen, I disappeared. I walked out the door of my apartment with a backpack and never looked back. I left the life of Cora Mitchell behind, seeking freedom from my real-life nightmare.

But my freedom came with a cost. I lived a fictitious life for the next six years, never letting anyone close enough to see underneath the façade that was Andra Walker.

I was content with my simple little life.

Until I met Julian.

And the moment I started allowing myself to open up, allowing someone to see through the superficial, was the very same moment the Monster from my past would return to find me.

"My life was a series of real-life nightmares. But tonight, I'd leave everything. Leave Cora Mitchell behind in search of freedom."

I love a book with some suspense and angst thrown in. If done right, It adds that extra bit that makes putting a book down that much harder. For me, it must be balanced out with a decent amount of romance-it can't be overpowered by drama. This balancing act is a tricky thing. If you veer too much in one direction, it may leave some readers disappointed. That's why books that seem to be pieced together with multiple things: suspense, sweet romance, angst, a little mystery, and passion-they don't always achieve that book that has a little something for everybody. I was so impressed with this author's ability to equally delve into each category just the right amount while making the characters seem real and genuine. I was honestly blown away by her writing style-it was vividly striking. Beautifully descriptive in just the style that pulls me into the story and allows me to escape into another world.

This is the story of Cora Mitchell (Andra) and her escape from a life that was a pain filled nightmare caused by tragic events. Her life was made up of two parts: the before and the after. Before, she was a happy, well adjusted girl who had love and support from her mother. After, she was lost, abused, lonely, numb, and living a life that seemed to have no escape. One night changes everything though. With the help of an old friend of her mother's, a man she looks at as an older brother, she leaves the hell her life has become and disappears.

She becomes Andra. A complete loner, unable to form attachments or build relationships. It's her protection against her past catching up with her, but also her protection of herself. After all she's been through, she's unable to risk getting hurt anymore. She's holding herself together, but she's still having nightmares several years later and unable to let go of the fear that one day, the monster will find her. If that happens, her life would be over. Would it really be fair to drag someone into her life?

There was a darkness in my soul, abused innocence. My darkness was mine alone to carry; I didn't want to burden anyone else with it.

From page one, I felt the anxiety, unease, and foreboding that comes with walking in Andra's shoes. She goes through a series of events that most people would be defeated from. But she's a survivor and I loved her strength and her lack of wallowing in her circumstances. She's a great match for our hero, Julian. He was sweetly romantic, handsome and persistent, and the type of person that is only challenged by the word no.

There was no doubt I was drawn to him, drawn to the subdued power in his eyes, in his words.

He has an air of mystery about him as well. Something wasn't adding up about him and at some points I just knew there was more there than what was on the surface. She tries pushing him away like all the others that have tried to get close to her, he's not having it. Not in a pushy, alpha way. More in a gentle and tender way. And considering that's not something she's had since she lost her mom, she soaked it up like a sponge and couldn't avoid him for very long.

He seems to understand her effortlessly and naturally and they have a powerful attraction that only grows by the day. The feelings that grow between them is built haltingly but sweetly. I loved their dates and the extra effort he put into making her feel special. I fell for them: their wit and introspection, their fragile and tender bond, and the passion that was entirely evident in all their interactions.

My mouth was insatiable, desperate. I had never needed physical touch so intensely, so frequently. I didn't know what these impulses were from, or why I acted upon them, but in this moment there was no room in my head for anything but Julian.

I knew something bad was going to happen and the whole time I was waiting nervously for that moment. The suspense snowballed-I don't think there was anything that was getting me to put down my Kindle at that point.

Yes, the book does end in a cliffy-but we're left in the last moment with some relief that things will be right in her world again. It was definitely manageable. I was completely pulled into this story and these character's lives. This book is so worth the time invested in it-I can't imagine anyone coming away disappointed. I can't wait for the conclusion!


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