Monday, September 7, 2015

Review ~ Wildflower by Janine Carbone

Rating: 3/5 Stars
Author: Janine Carbone
Available Formats: eBook, Paperback, Hardcover
Publishers: Kismet Books
Publication Date: 01-01-15              Pages: 200 
Faith desperately tries to hold on and fit into the mold of the "typical" college student, but her life quickly spirals out of control when visions of a dark past consume her.

When these repressed memories begin to resurface, she relives the devastation of dealing with abandonment, death and betrayal. Faith soon realizes she never did escape the dangers of the past, and that her battles are real and present. With a sadistic stalker lurking around campus while she painfully struggles to hold onto her newfound romance, Faith finds herself fighting to survive all over again.

My So-Called Review:
Janine Carbone’s new Adult novel, Wildflower, tells the story of one very tortured soul named Faith. She’s a college student who’s just trying to make it through school after surviving a rough childhood. She doesn’t like to get close to people nor does she let them in past her carefully constructed walls. She shuts herself away from her memories and her emotions, but why? Now in her Junior year of college she has her best friend and roommate, Casey, whom she cares deeply about and she’s begun the possibility of opening herself up to a sweet and sensitive guy named Jason. It’s the strength of these two people that really help Faith begin to overcome some of her issues. Soon, repressed memories and flashbacks from her childhood start to creep up and when she finds out there’s a killer on the loose who knows way too much about her past it threatens to push her beyond her breaking point.

Wildflower is another one of those books that I found really hard to rate and review. There were many things that I liked about it; the mystery was great and the ending had a fantastic twist that I didn’t see coming! Janine Carbone is a fantastic writer, there’s an ease in the way she sets up her story and characters that allows you to be sucked right into their dark world and keeps you wanting to read more. I think my issue is that I really don’t like thrillers that fall in that less than 250 page range; it rarely ever works for me. When it does work it’s because the story is so focused on just the characters and the mystery that it feels fully fleshed out. As beautiful and haunting as Carbone’s story is, she adds in too many elements to a book that is only 200 pages and some parts end up feeling rushed and skimmed over.

Wildflower is a blend of mystery, psychological thriller, coming of age story, romance, mental illness, and even deals with abuse and stalkers. I would have loved it if Carbone expanded on all of these plot points and underlying themes, it would have only added to the story by making it feel richer and more complex. I know this is meant to be a YA novel but it still felt rather easy to read, even under that genre. Don’t get me wrong though, I did really enjoy this book; I guess it’s not too bad when your only complaint is that the story wasn’t long enough ;) I know there are many readers who really enjoy this style of mystery, where you can sit down in one afternoon and read from start to finish. For fans who enjoy this style, Wildflower is a perfect fit and I would definitely recommend it!

Many thanks to author, Janine Carbone and to Xpresso Book Tours for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!

About the Author:
Janine Carbone, a Philadelphia native, put her BA in psychology to good use with the creation of her first New Adult novel, Wildflower. Carbone mixed elements of mystery, romance, and suspense, to create an edgy and intense debut novel peering into the darker side of mental health.

Carbone grew up in a world full of books and knew she wanted to be a writer since an early age. She spends most nights dreaming up new plots, while mornings you can find her with a pen and pad in hand, twisting and weaving words to inspire surprise and delight in her readers.

With a love of cooking and traveling overseas, she can be found in the kitchen experimenting with unusual ingredients, or trekking across grounds unknown. However, she does enjoy spending every moment she can with her family.


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