This is my March book for my 2017 Reading Challenge. The theme was #OwnVoices.
The power has been out for weeks, creating a kind of apocalypse. Unsure what’s going on, Arden and her friend John leave their apartment for John’s family home in the wilds outside the city. When they get there, Arden meets John’s brother Gabriel, and the two fall in love while trying to stay safe and figure out what made the power go out.
I don’t usually go for first person narratives, but I’ve enjoyed a few of Alyssa Cole’s books before (Let It Shine and Agnes Moor’s Wild Knight). Plus, it was post-apocalyptic! (Kind of). Who can resist that?
I did enjoy reading this, though the short word count made the beginning of Arden and Gabriel’s relationship focus a bit too much on the lust side of things. Insta-lust doesn’t particularly interest me as a reader.
I liked the ambiguity of what had happened with the blackout (that may be explored in the other two books in the series), and I liked that not everything was wrapped up neatly. Arden’s parents were still in California, with Arden having no clue as to their fate.
I also liked the diversity. Arden is African-American, and Gabriel and John (and the rest of their family) are Korean-American.
And Alyssa Cole is just a really good writer. I like her voice and the attitude she infused into Arden’s inner thoughts, and the vulnerability, too. The sexual tension between Arden and Gabriel was pretty hot as well. However, I did think that when the two of them first had sex, I didn’t quite buy the emotional transition from Arden’s misery (which had been so emotionally devastating a few paragraphs earlier) into sexytimes. I think more of a breather between those two scenes would have helped me get into the right headspace.
All in all, I definitely recommend this book.
Did I learn anything by reading this:
Don’t be afraid to dig deep into your character’s darker emotions. Mine them for all the emotion you can wring from them.
Would I read this genre again:
Definitely! I love post-apocalyptic romance, and I am always on the hunt for more Own Voices and diverse books.
Read if you like diversity, apocalypses, and want a quick, satisfying read.
What Own Voices books did you read this month?