Thursday 23 January 2014

Defy The Stars by Sophie McKenzie

Dad woke me in the middle of the night.
I opened my eyes to find the weather-beaten face looming anxiously over mine. The room was dark, though a faint light crept in through the window.
I blinked, bleary-eyed at him. ‘What time is it? What’s wrong?’
Published by Simon and Schuster in January 2014
Pages – 266
Final book in the Flynn Quartet which also includes:
Falling Fast
Burning Bright
Casting Shadows
Book Summary
After months apart, everyone thinks that River is successfully building a future without Flynn. Indeed, she has almost convinced herself that she is moving on. And then, one day, Flynn is back, bringing with him tales of his glamorous new life. River suspects his lucrative new work involves some form of criminal activity, but will she let herself be drawn back into Flynn's world? Or is this, finally, the end of the line for them both?
Seriously? Did this series have to end this way????
My heart is broken, shattered into a million pieces and now stamped into tiny molecules by everyone who has walked past me – that’s how I feel after reaching the end of this series! I loved Flynn and River. I loved their tempestuous, explosive relationship. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve known a Flynn in my past, so this series has always hit home with me. So the ending was a bit of a shock. The epilogue left me in tears.
I know, I shouldn’t be surprised, as the series has always been so closely linked to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. It was laid out for me, right from the start, and an undercurrent has weaved it’s way throughout the series. However, I still wasn’t  prepared for the ending.
This has been one of the best YA contemporary romance series I have ever read. The intensity of the relationship between Flynn and River could be used to support a guide to dealing with teenage romance. These two were meant for each other, no matter how hard they tried to escape from it, destiny always drew them back to each other. Others saw it as destructive, I saw it as undying, eternal love. Sigh.
I want to return to the epilogue which I mentioned above. There was something about it that made me wonder if the author had experienced a relationship similar to this in her past. Perhaps it is the journey that River’s life takes in the following years that gave me the idea. I have always believed that to write about something so passionately, you have to have experienced it to some degree.
I do have a little niggle about this book. The cover. That isn’t Flynn on it! How do I know this? Flynn has dark, longish hair. If you don’t believe me, read on.
His dark hair was slicked back, the ends lost against the collar of the dark suit.
See? It has always been long and dark. That was something I loved about  him. He had that dark, mysterious, traveller feel about him. He didn’t have his head shaved. Sorry to moan about this one. *whines in a school girl voice* But I wanted him to look like the Flynn I had always imagined.
Anyway, enough about the cover. This book was a fitting ending to the series. Not the ending I would have liked and I am not sure I can forgive Sophie McKenzie for that just yet. But I understand why the series ended that way. *grumbles*
I really hope Sophie McKenzie writes more contemporary romance because she is extremely good at it. She writes about real romance, giving it the raw, gritty, honest emotions that actually surround it and doesn’t sugar coat it. A series I will be recommending for years to come.

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