Monday, May 11, 2015

Review: Unconditional (Always, #1) by Cherie M. Hudson

(Always, #1)
by Cherie M. Hudson 
New Adult 
Asked to Review
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.86
Published by: Momentum 
Published on: February 12, 2015
Pages: 252

Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis from Goodreads:

She has a future she can’t escape. He refuses to let her face it alone.

Twenty-one. The age when adult life begins. In my case, it’s the age I learned my future sucked, big time, and there was nothing I could do about it. Every minute of every day I face the fact my life is only going to get worse. Why? Because I have early-onset Parkinson’s Disease. I’m not going to let it get me down, but I also can’t let anyone close. That’s not fair to them, or to me. Trust me. So that means my heart and my soul, is off-limits.

But then I traveled to Australia on a college scholarship program and life royally screwed me over. Again.

Raphael Jones is an arrogant Australian celebrity, the hottest guy on campus and a pain in my ass. Worst of all, he makes me ache for a life I’ll never be able to have. Especially when he takes me in his arms and does wicked things to my body.

How do I have a hope of surviving ten weeks in Australia when it’s not just the paparazzi who have me in their sights, but Raph as well? Because Raphael Jones is a man who always gets what he wants. And no matter what I say or do, he refuses to accept what I so painfully know: a life and future with me is no life at all.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received an e-galley of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not obligated to write a good review nor did I receive any compensation for writing this review.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I have mixed feelings about this book. In some ways it was a 2 for me and in others it was a 4. I thought the author tackled an interesting topic. Parkinson's disease made for a great backdrop to a book. I have heard a lot about this disease, but don't know much about it. I thought the issues that the author brought up in regards to this disease were interesting and these parts were well written. 

What I didn't like was the characterization of the characters. The relationship between Raphael and Maci felt forced. Also, as I'll discuss in more detail below the writing style didn't quite mesh with me. 

The Characters: Maci is a character I sympathized with. She has Parkinson's and her mom suffered from it and her dad died. I wanted to like her a lot. Instead, I found her behavior to be sort of stupid and frustrating. She didn't communicate a lot. And I felt like she really did let her disease define her. Having said that, I get that she probably has reasons to feel that way and to behave in a stupid manner. This made for a complex character and one that I enjoyed reading about. 

Raphael- hot Australian guy made famous by association. I wanted to know more about him. I thought he was pretty one-dimensional. Whereas, Maci was complex, he seemed flat.

I thought the relationship between them felt forced. While I was rooting for them, I couldn't fully invest in their relationship. 

Major Strengths: Originality and voice. The author did a great job of giving the character a unique voice. The book also was thought-provoking. 

Major Weaknesses: The character talked to the reader. I don't know why but books that do that always irk me. Also, it was an insta-love novel and the relationship between Maci and Raphael didn't quite work for me. 

So why 3 stars? While I enjoyed it and thought the plot was interesting, the fact that the character talked to the readers knocked this down to a 3 for me. 

Warnings/Side-notes: It's for 17+. It's New Adult, meaning there are several sexual references and swearing. It's in the middle as far as new adult goes. I've read much cleaner and much more detailed novels. 

The Wrap-up: It's a book that talks about a deep issue and really made me think; however, certain parts were just cheesy and almost painful. On the whole, and enjoyable book and one I'm glad I read. I would suggest to fans of the genre. However, if insta-romance bugs you, probably pass on this one. 


Danica Page

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