Title: Kissed
Series: The Thorn Chronicles #1
Author: Kimberly Loth
Publisher: Independent (CreateSpace)
Publishing date: May 1st, 2914
ISBN: 9781505452952
Purchase Link:

Synopsis: Trapped in a dark cult, sixteen-year-old Naomi Aren has lived a quiet, albeit unhappy, life nestled deep in the hills of the Ozarks. With uncut hair, denim skirts, and only roses for friends, Naomi seldom questions why her life is different from other kids at school. Until the day her abusive father, who is also the cult’s leader, announces her wedding. Naomi must marry Dwayne Yerdin, a bully who reeks of sweat and manure and is the only one person who scares her worse than her father. Then she meets Kai, the mysterious boy who brings her exotic new roses and stolen midnight kisses.

My Review:
I did have mixed expectations for this book. Whenever a book deals with cult life and takes up the theme of cults in our modern society I am always hesitant to pick up the book. The first few chapters were slow and the world was not properly established,  in a way that imposed Naomi’s confusion on to the reader. It could be a good or a bad thing, and at certain points I was tempted to put the book down.
What kept me reading was the small snippets at the beginning of each chapter. A retrospective Naomi described each following chapter through the use of roses. It was done in a very beautiful and poetic way. They indulged my interest long enough for the plot to dawn and for Naomi to grow on me so that I stuck with the book to the very end.
After reading about 25% of the book, the story starts to make sense, and the red thread is visible leading the reader to pick up the pieces of the puzzle. Sometime’s Naomi is a bit slow to piece things together, but that helps to give her a more humane quality. She makes mistakes.
Through I am not completely sold on the love triangle (personally I do not like love triangles). Her love for Kai seems to be more an overreacting to a damsel in distress scenario, while her compassion for Puck seems more sentience and is much better developed. And honestly, Puck seems to have her best interests in mind too.
Ruth was a character I appreciated, and -SPOILER ALLERT– because of her death I wish that she had a bigger significance. A well-timed death is something I always appreciate, but Ruth’s death seems a bit in vain, it didn’t have enough flare around it. SPOILER DONE.
While reading the book I tried to anticipate the end, and  I thought I had it all figured out, but then plot twist. The small twist towards the end was a pleasant surprise I appreciated very much. In retrospect it gave the whole story a kind of edge it needed. One more thing I appreciated very much; the book did not end on a cliffhanger, it could very well stand as a standalone book: well done! 


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