Compulsion – Review (DNF)

Here it is, my first DNF (did not finish) on this blog, and I’m super disappointed.

It’s been about a month since I bought Compulsion by Martina Boone, and unfortunately, it just didn’t keep me interested. This was a book I thought I was definitely going to like (hello, Southern Gothic) but I find myself unable to finish this book.

Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.

All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lives with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead–a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.

Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family’s twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.

This book seemed so interesting, especially the idea of this family history and a midnight river of fire. There was so much potential in the idea, of the book, but I just didn’t see it happening.

Which was precisely the problem – nothing was happening. I read over 200 pages of this ~450 page book, and I was still wondering when the plot was going to kick in. There was a lot of self-conscious, self-questioning on Barrie’s part. Not that I don’t mind a girl who doesn’t stop to consider a situation seriously, but it seemed like far too much of what Barrie did was think, and contemplate; there was enough action to drive the plot. Everything seemed to be prelude and information to the real plot.

I felt no connection or interest in Barrie or in Eight, and I didn’t feel any real chemistry between them. The only character I really liked was Cassie. I felt like she was fairly nice and interesting, only having the misfortune of growing up in crappy circumstances.

One thing I did love about the book was the setting; Watson’s Island and the area around it was painted beautifully, and I definitely would have visited the tea room at Pru’s house. Another thing I liked about Compulsion was the dynamic and the history between the families.

So I don’t think I’ll be finishing this book, unfortunately – I just wasn’t captivated.



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