AN UNKIND DEVOTION
The Unkind, Book 1
by Elle Eaves
If your love was the trigger for a trap that would destroy everything you care about, could you cut out your heart before it was too late?
Seventeen-year-old Sophia Harden has spent her life being uprooted. She knows better than to believe her mother when she says this move to small town Grimmell, NY is their last—and at first that’s fine with her. Grimmell doesn’t exactly roll out the welcome mat, and her mother’s calculated attempts to push Sophia on Ethan Warwick, handsome young scion of Grimmell’s first and richest family, leave both Sophia and Ethan doing everything in their power to avoid each other.
But forces neither of them is aware of are working toward a sinister goal—one that could spell ruin for both of them.
For unbeknown to Sophia, she carries within her a dark power: a curse capable of a devastation no one can recover from. And her connection to Ethan is at the core of a wicked plot for revenge that began long before her birth.
Sophia has moved around all her life, and her mother often has been a mom only in word. When her mother lands a job with a rich family on an estate, Sophia's told that this will be more permanent, and she starts finding friends and a life. That is, until her strict mother takes her new found freedom all away again, leaving Sophia with only one friend and tons of dark secrets.
First off, I did enjoy this book quite a bit. Sophia is a girl easy to like with all her bad habits and occasional slight attitudes. It was a little distracting to have her referred to by two names, Sophia and/ or Fee, especially since the reason for this isn't explained (at least, not that I noticed). The characters around Sophia come to life as well as the surroundings, which are wonderfully described and allow the world to open up around as if one was really there. The writing is well done and allows the reader to fall into the story without jerking them out. The plot itself is also grabbing--so much mystery. And the romance is a lovely friendship which blossoms very slowly. In other words, it's the kind of book I could disappear into and get lost in the pages.
The pacing, however, is a little off. During the first half of the book, we get to know Sophia and her new found friends and life very well. It is a lovely read as well, but the mystery and secrets are shoved back too long, unfolding first late in the story. And what secrets they are! As the mystery unfolds, an entire new world with all of its complexity is introduced, and this, on the other hand, comes to light too quickly. It's explained more than explored and leaves several questions and holes in the process. The ending, where the tension left me on the edge of my seat, was also a bit too rushed, again leaving holes in several of the thought processes. Especially the last scene was wrapped up too quickly, letting a very emotional moment get lost in decisions which didn't have enough backing or make complete sense.
Still, despite these hiccups, I loved reading about Sophia and found myself (most of the time) caught up in her world, especially when the real mystery started to come to life. In other words, I'm looking forward to book two.