**Contains sexual content not suitable for younger teens**
(Source: I received a digital ARC of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Flux publishers and Netgalley.)
Okay, so let me just start this review by saying that this book was a bit odd. The writing felt a bit stilted, and author just dived straight into the story with very little world building, characterisation or anything! If this summary sounds a bit odd, I'm afraid that's how the story came across!
16-year-old Brianna is at a party with her best friend Haley. Everybody notices Haley, but nobody notices Brianna, their gaze just slides past her.
The catch on Brianna's bracelet breaks, and then she sees spots and a flash of silver, and suddenly Blake, a boy who has never spoken to her sees her and speaks to her.
Brianna hopes that maybe this will be the start of something good, but the next time Blake sees her he doesn't look at her again, although he does ask her friend for her phone number.
The next time they meet, they have a disastrous first date, but then Blake asks for something unexpected, he asks her to remove her bracelet. Once Brianna eventually gives in, he is able to look at her properly, and the next thing they know they're waking up naked next to each other! Seriously!
Blake drops her off at home, but she gets stomach ache, which seems to get worse the further she is from Blake, and the longer she is away from him.
The next time Brianna sees Blake he tells her a story/fairy tale about a goddess and a man, blah, blah, blah.... Basicallly Blake accuses her of being a seventh generation daughter, descended from this goddess, and tells her that her bracelet is a charm that hides her from view. He says that she is a `Bania', and that she has cast some sort of soul-binding magic on him, and joined them together. He is seriously hacked off over this, and tells her that she has to find a way to break the spell.
The other two men in this book are equally mean. One (Austin) kisses her and her best friend (Haley), and another (Jonas) has oral sex of her other friend (Christie), and then ignores her totally, to then attack Brianna at a later date.
Two girls from school who also claim to be Bania, then retell the fairy tale, only this time it ends with demigods hunting down and killing the descendants of the goddess. Oh, and of course the three boys that have been treating Brianna like dirt? They're the demi-god's descendants.
In summary - Brianna is totally clueless to the fact that she is some kind of goddess' descendent, and all the men in this book treat women like crap.
I found this book quite difficult to read. It just struck me as odd, the storyline, the way there wasn't any introduction to the characters, the way Brianna had no clue what was going on, or what she was, or anything at all really.
At 50% in I really wasn't sure that I could bring myself to finish this book, I actually had to turn it off and read something else then come back to it. Thankfully a little break meant that the second half of the book wasn't quite so bad, but it still wasn't good.
All the men in this book were total poo-heads. Not one of them was nice to Brianna except for Blake right at the end. Thinking about it, Brianna's friends weren't all that nice to her either, and both were a bit stupid. Haley was convinced that Brianna was trying to steal her boyfriend Austin, and wouldn't even listen to what Brianna had to say, and Christy thought that it was acceptable to give a boy oral sex, have him shout at her for his premature happy and a bit of gagging, and then want to go out with him again! I mean seriously! She really needs to think about what she is doing and get some self-respect.
The blurb for this book talks about Brianna `binding her soul to Blakes'. There was some kind of soul-binding going on in this book but it's seriously unlike soul-binding in other books. For a start the last thing you want your `soul-mate' to say is - `take this spell off me', or `I cannot get far enough away from you', or `you're ruining my life!', or `I wish I hadn't saved your life' (not direct quotes but you get the gist.) Blake was just horrible to Brianna and made out like she had purposely tried to trap him somehow, when it actually turned out that Blake should have known better, as he actually knew what he was and what could happen if he mated with a Bania.
Overall; this book was just odd. It just felt wrong and disjointed, and at several points I didn't even want to keep reading. The characters were whiney, and rude, and nasty, and the way that the men treated the women was awful too. I would also suggest that this book is not for younger teens due to the sexual content.
4.5 out of 10.