One of the things I love about reading is the new ways to find books. Sometimes you are browsing the bookstore, sometimes a friend recommends it, or maybe it was a suggestion on a website based on a previous book you read. Whatever the way you choose a book there is always a story behind it. I just wanted to share the story of how I decided I wanted to read Compulsion by Martina Boone real quick.
I don’t know if any of you have heard of the YA Scavenger Hunt but they do it twice a year and basically you bounce from one young adult author’s blog to another finding a number hidden in their post. While you are reading their latest blog post finding the number they are discussing a different author’s book. This is how I came about finding the Heirs of Watson Island series. One of the author’s was discussing the sequel Persuasion and I was instantly intrigued by what I was reading. She even shared a little snippet from the book. So of course I decided that I wanted to read the series. Now this was a couple months back. I had put both Compulsion and Persuasion on my Christmas list but I just got Persuasion so I had to run to the nearest bookstore and get the first one so I could get started reading. Luckily I had also gotten gift cards for books too!
Compulsion follows the story of Barrie Watson who spent the first 17 years of her life in San Francisco where she lived with her mother. Her mother had gotten severely burned in a fire the night Barrie was born so she became a recluse and Barrie was practically raised by her godfather (who happens to be a former drag queen), Mark. When Mark announces he has terminal cancer and will be moving to a hospice, Barrie’s mother Lula has a heart attack and dies. Suddenly Barrie is being shipped off to South Carolina to live with her mother’s twin, Pru, that Barrie had no idea existed. Turns out all of Barrie’s family in South Carolina had no idea she existed either. While she is there Barrie meets a boy named Eight (yes Eight) and her cousin Cassie. The longer she is on Watson Island the more Barrie realizes her life has been surrounded in a magical mystery that she begins to unravel.
This book did not let me down. If you love magical books that take place in a small southern town (because I know this is a little cliche) then you will love this book. There is a mystery through out the book that the author does a great job of giving you clues to without ever making it obvious. Boone does a great job of creating this town and the different settings. I almost felt like I was there following Barrie around. The town she created was a perfect setting for this book. I think that was my favorite part of the book.
The characters are all so complex, each of them dealing with different demons through out the books. The only problems I had with this book was Barrie’s character. Her whole life she has been trapped in a house and at the beginning of the book she was ready to start living and see the world but by the end of the book she has a change of heart. This part kind of annoyed me mostly because she is trying to keep other’s from living their lives when she does it. Now I will say there is a lot more to it but I don’t want to give anything huge away so I am just giving a very, I repeat so no one stresses about spoilers: VERY basic idea of Barrie’s feelings. I just felt like her character did not change for the better by the end of the book. Since it is a series though there is time for her to change so hopefully my opinions of her will change by the second book. Other than that part though this book was really good. I read through it in about a day and it didn’t end with a cliff hanger, which always bugs me about series, but still ended with enough questions that left me ready to read the sequel.