I don’t have a picture of this book, since this is another one I read on kindle! So here’s a picture of one of the trails around my college campus. Learn more about this book here.
Another kindle book (that I actually read over the summer): Hidden Monster, by Amanda Strong. It’s a young adult novel, which I usually shy away from (because of the obscene amounts of romance that tend to characterize this genre), but I thought I’d give it a try.
I give it a 3.9 out of 5 stars. Surprisingly.
Seventeen-year-old Samantha Campbell loves to run, as an escape from her life. At least, until she’s abducted one morning and wakes up bound to a mattress. Her masked captor repeatedly injects her and promises that one day, she’ll love him.
Unexpectedly freed, Samantha returns home, intent on guarding her heart – especially since her captor is still out there. This becomes more difficult when she meets her new neighbor, eighteen-year-old Blake Knightley. When she starts to experience strange changes, she realizes her captor may have left her more damaged than she originally thought. Ending up turning to Blake for help, Samantha must discover who the monster really is and what he’s done to her.
Plot & Characters
As I mentioned earlier in this post, I usually don’t read young adult novels. They tend to have a great deal of romance in them and that’s not something I particularly enjoy. Especially when it feels that everything is about the romance.
This book’s plot
- Definitely had romance,
- Had some unexpected twists, and
- The problem to be resolved was compelling.
So I suppose that was okay. And the romance wasn’t overpowering, which was good.
The characters weren’t bad, either. As a protagonist, Samantha is
- A little too boy-obsessed for my liking (which seems to be how a lot of female teenagers are written), and
- She didn’t really make many dumb mistakes.
So that’s okay, too. It definitely could have been worse. I understand that as a teenager, finding a boyfriend and the thought of a “soul mate” is appealing. I’m not entirely sure how realistic that is, but it’s easy to relate to, and Samantha was generally pretty smart. And she wasn’t always focused on boys.
The writing was pretty good. It flowed pretty well, and I don’t really have complaints about it. Voice was consistent, it wasn’t choppy, and it didn’t make me stop in disgust. (Which I have done before. Not for this book, thank goodness.)
Things to take away
As a writer, I’m always learning from the books I read, whether I realize it or not. Though, admittedly, this first one I knew already.
- Not all young adults want to read books that are romance-heavy. I’m really, really tired of how many young adult books include a ridiculous amount of romance – honestly, teenagers think of other things as well! At least in my experience… which may or may not be relatable to the majority of teens out there, I don’t know.
- Your characters should be easy to relate to. For the intended audience, I suppose Samantha’s interest in her heart can be related to, as can the trauma she experiences with her past and her memories, and navigating social life. However, there are other kinds of relationships other than romantic ones, and those don’t get nearly as much focus.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this book (whether you agree with me or not), and I’m always happy to hear book recommendations.