Saturday, 28 June 2014

Review ~ Neon Memories (Memories #1) by Coty Justus

Neon Memories (Memories #1)ebook received from the author in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: May 23rd 2014

Publisher: Self-published

The night her parents were killed in a home invasion, Lydia heard only voices, not enough to bring the killers to justice. Six years later, Lydia, now an up-and-coming Western artist, arrives in Stanton for a short visit, posing a threat to a local resident who knows she can identify him if she ever hears his voice.

Nick took over management of the family ranch after his father broke his back. For eight years, he has waited for an opportunity to win the heart of the only woman he has ever loved. When Lydia inexplicably flees, he comes to grips with the awareness that she will never return his feelings.

Memories wax and wane like the moon as each character seeks meaning within a kaleidoscope of fragmented recollections, some true, some false, some deadly.

My Opinion

Okay, so I'm torn with this book... From the blurb it sounded like a second chance at love novel with a murder mystery elementand the author said it had a paranormal aspect so I was intrigued. There also sounded like there would be action, making this sound like a great read. However, I did have some issues with it.

First of all, I liked the overall idea behind the book. I was thrown straight into Lydia's story in a tense scene as I read about her parents being killed. It shocked me slightly as it was not how I was expecting the book to start and it did catch my attention. It created an air of mystery about who the killers were and what they were after--something which was kept a secret right up until the end--and set up the murder well.

As well as this, I liked Lydia ... I think. The bickering that went on between her and Nick was interesting to read and felt natural. I also liked her independence and how she dealt with everything on her own while wanting to help those around her. Strangely, I was routing for her and Nick to work things out because I love HEAs. I say strangely because Nick wasn't the most likeable male lead. I found him a bit arrogant and domineering when he wouldn't take no for an answer. I could understand his feelings for Lydia and I did sympathise with him because she left, but I think he went about everything the wrong way, which probably links to my reasons for having problems with this book.

The main issue I had with reading this book is that the writing was very choppy and the timeline isn't clear. There are a lot of breaks where the book jumps from character to character and it was hard to keep track of who everyone was (especially when characters change their names and are referred to as something different with no explanation/forewarning) as I was bombarded with a lot of names. When this happened there was also a time shift usually; sometimes it was weeks, others it was years, and it became a little hard to follow and believe in when a narrative jumps six years without warning. You do become used to it as you become aware of the author's style and it does become easier to grasp but I still find myself confused about how long the story spanned. As well as this, there were quite a few strands to this story which also made it hard to follow at times, but this was mostly down to the jumpy nature of the book that flicked from one character to the next.

With regards to the paranormal aspect, it did take a while to arrive and I'm sorry to say that I didn't really buy into it. I wanted to like the paranormal side and I know the reader needs to suspend their beliefs slightly when reading but, for me, this book was too close to the contemporary genre for it to be believable in the small part it played. I felt it was an easy way to resolve everything rather than a necessity for it to be there as it wasn't a constant thread in the story. The explanations given for how it arrived seemed a bit wishy-washy and the fact people jumped straight to a paranormal conclusion as a way of solving everything was slightly unrealistic. I don't think may people would place paranormal goings-on at the top of their list of reasons for why something was happening--especially when there is no reason for them to assume that.

Overall though, Neon memories was an interesting read that had a lot going on in it. Once you get used to the style it becomes easier to follow and it does have some good action and banter between characters. It could have been executed a bit better and I think with a few rounds of content editing it holds promise and would be a good read.


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