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Saturday, June 8, 2013

From Ashes - Molly McAdams

Release Date - April 2013

Molly McAdams
William Morrow

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

I'm really struggling to describe how to talk about From Ashes. It's Jekyll and Hyde approach was both intriguing and alarming. There were times I wanted to give up, and other moments where I simply couldn't stop reading. Anyway, here goes...

Cassidy Jameson was always her father's princess. He doted on his daughter and promised her the moon. Then on her sixth birthday, a sudden heart attack ended his life. Cassidy's life changed from that moment on. Her mother turned to alcohol, remarried, and with her new husband made Cassidy's life a living hell. Hitting her with fists wasn't enough. They would beat her with empty bottles, mugs, and even the heels from her mother's stilettos. Cassidy refused to tell, however, because that meant taking her away from the only person who mattered - Tyler, her next-door neighbor and caretaker of both her emotional and physical injuries.

When Tyler leaves for college, he asks Cassidy to come with him. She can share the apartment with Tyler and his cousin Gage. They'll live as one happy family, and Cassidy will finally be free from her abusive parents. The minute they arrive, Cassidy takes one look at Gage and falls head over heels, just as Gage does with her, but Tyler has loved Cassidy for far too long to give her up at this point and will say whatever it takes to make sure his cousin backs off.

That's the premise. The thing is there were so many things that simply made no sense to me. The abuse itself. Either Tyler's parents were idiots, or they simply didn't care enough to get involved. That Tyler's father stitched her wounds up instead of taking her to the ER is absurd. He was a doctor, and I know well enough from my own children's injuries that doctors are trained to spot and report abusive situations. I also wondered how she managed to get through school without anyone noticing. The required scoliosis checks done by school nurses should have triggered some alarm.

From Ashes is a young adult book, however, so I figure that some teens might not think of those aspects and I kept reading. Tyler is simply unlikeable. Bottom line for me is that he's lying scum and I really wish Cassidy had seen it earlier. I didn't have too many issues with Gage, other than he needed to stop being so trusting. Cassidy is a wounded bird, obviously given her past, and I liked watching her gain strength as the book continued.

Here is my other reservation. This book starts out as a young adult book, but towards the end, it was very adult to me. I had to question if I was reading an adult romance or not by the end. Many times I was screaming at Gage and Cassidy to simply sit down and talk to each other rather than always going through scummy Tyler.

Bottom line is that I did enjoy the book, but it went on longer than I think it needed to. It also definitely approached a pretty steamy adult romance by the end. I'm certain my own 17 year old would love the beginning of the book, but by the halfway point, I'm thinking she would have started hating the characters and given up.

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