Friday, 8 August 2014

Review ~ Before He Was Gone (Starstruck #2) by Becky Wicks

Before He Was Gone (Starstruck, #2)eARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: August 25th 2014


When her rock star boyfriend breaks things off out of the blue, Alyssa applies to hit reality TV show Deserted and to her shock she gets through. Abandoned on a remote island with a bunch of strangers and none of the luxuries she’s become accustomed to, it’s not long before an undeniable attraction to the mysterious Joshua starts complicating things even further.

Joshua's different to everyone she's ever known - a traveller, a man with no plan, a world away from the celebrity life she's left behind. As a series of challenges test their wits and weaknesses, things start heating up in paradise, but in a game designed to break people down, it soon becomes clear that Joshua is hiding a painful secret - one he won’t risk anyone finding out. 

Struggling to know where she belongs, Alyssa will have to choose - a life she once loved that wants her back, or a brand new reality that heartbreakingly may just have its limits.

***Warning: this book contains graphic language, sex, and mature situations. Not intended for young adult readers.***

My Opinion

I think I wanted to like this book more than I did. That's not to say this is a bad read, as I did enjoy this book, but I think my expectations were higher so I came away feeling a little dissatisfied. In general though, I'm glad I requested this book and gave it a chance.

I enjoyed the overall theme of being stranded on an island for reality TV. I've seen it done in real life so I was curious to see how the author translated it into a novel and I think she did a good job. I loved all the characters, they each had a strong individual personality that came across well. I especially loved Shan and his attitude. I think they dealt with the situations they were thrown into realistically and I was surprised at how fast the book moved along. I was glad that the author didn't get hung up on time between every eviction as I thought it would take forever to get down to the final. Things moved along quickly and it flowed well. Also, the challenges they face kept things interesting as the producers toyed with the contestants while a romance developed.

For me the best part of this book was definitely the characters. I didn't guess what was wrong with Joshua (still not keen on the name) until it was revealed and I liked how that was kept hidden until the end. I liked how they bonded and although I would have liked to see someone else win--because they surprised me and grew on me--I can understand why the author needed to do what she did. I did feel it made the ending a bit predictable though.

As well as this the only other little niggle I had was the killing of animals. I don't know why but things like that in books really affect me, even though I know it's happens. I can handle spearfishing but killing goats and chickens ... well I didn't need to read those bit really. It's just not for me.

Overall though, Before He Was Gone was an enjoyable read. It has great characters, an intriguing plot, and I may be checking out the rest of the series.


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