Friday, August 21, 2015

Review ~ Wash Me Away by Wendy Owens

Rating: 3/5 Stars
Author: Wendy Owens
Available Formats: eBook & Paperback
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing 
Publication Date:  04-24-15               Pages:  280
Monsters have a way of following you.

Immersed in a new world at boarding school, Addy Buckley learns she’s not the only one with secrets. While trying to navigate the minefield of painful lies that seem to be rattling around her family’s past, she meets soft on the eyes and heavy on the heart, Napoleon Blake.

When faced with the darkness, Addy must decide to cling to her new life and friends or let the monster carry her away. The choice is hers, sink or swim.

My So-Called Review: 

Wash Me Away by Wendy Owens was a book that I thought I would absolutely love. The book’s cover is stunning in a hauntingly beautiful sort of way and I’m such a sucker for beautiful covers! I have no problem admitting that they play a big part into which books I choose to read. The book’s description gives you just enough information to make you want to read more; I was intrigued to say the least. Unfortunately, this book did not quite live up to my expectations. I so, so wanted to love this one and although I did like it, my feelings throughout the book never moved beyond that. I don’t want to give away any spoilers so I will try to be as vague as possible while trying to explain my thoughts about this book. 

Addy has recently moved to a new town to live with her aunt and uncle after the sudden death of her father. She's been home schooled her entire life so attending the local boarding school will be a huge change but it's a chance for her to feel normal for once. It hasn’t been an easy life for Addy, she struggles with a very dark past that nobody knows about and she wants to keep it that way. She doesn't want anyone to know what life with her father was really like, so she lies. She begins making friends and forming healthy relationships but soon discovers some family secrets that threaten to damage her already fragile existence. Then tragedy strikes Addy and her friends, one that shocks them and forces them to face the true horrors of the real world. Although this story deals with several serious issues its very much a story about overcoming those issues and learning to enjoy life again.

Wash Me Away carries several powerful messages and Owen's writing and characterization is beautiful. I honestly believe that most people will love this book, just look at the reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, there's only a few that are less than 4 stars.  The issue I have is personal, one of the story-lines hits too close to home for me. This made my reading experience an uncomfortable one and I continually struggled to stay connected in the story. The story-line  dealt with teen suicide and although Owens handles it with sensitivity and grace it was just too much for me. Back in May of this year our small little community was devastated when a local teen committed suicide, he happened to be a very close friend of our daughter’s. They’d gone to school together since they were 5, each year having basically the same classes since they were both honor students. He was captain of the varsity basketball team and also played football and baseball. He was an avid hunter and a youth group leader; he was only 15 when he decided to take his own life.

So, had I known a bit more about the subject matter of this book I probably would have passed on reading it, for now. But that’s only because the issue of teen suicide still affects me greatly and when I read I'm looking for a world to escape into and enjoy! I did like that resources were provided in the book should anyone need help. I wish more YA & NA books that tackle issues such as suicide, rape, abuse, depression, etc. would do this.

Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author:
Wendy Owens was born in the small college town, Oxford Ohio. After attending Miami University, Wendy went onto a career in the visual arts. After several years of creating and selling her own artwork she gave her first love, writing, a try. Her first novel flowed from her in only two weeks time. That moment was when she knew she had found her calling as an indie eBook author. Wendy now happily spends her days writing the stories her characters guide her to tell, admitting even she doesn’t always know where that might lead. Check out her New Adult Romance and Young Adult Fantasy books.


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