They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and that’s great… as long as you don’t die. Sixteen-year-old Haley Tremaine had it all: top-notch school, fantastic family, and a bright future, but all of that changed when an accident tore her family apart. Now, an alcoholic father, a bitter younger sister, and a cold headstone bearing her mother’s name are all she has left. Chris Charming has it all: a powerful CEO for a father, a prestigious school, and a fortune at his fingertips, but none of that matters when he lands a reputation as a troublemaker. Struggling to follow in his father’s footsteps, he reaches out to the one person he believes truly sees him, the one person he wants: Haley. Little do they know someone’s determined to bring the two together, even if it means murder.
Review originally written in October 2014:
Every so often it will happen to me that I completely dislike a book that literally has nothing else but positive reviews. It really makes me sit back and wonder if I missed something! Charming was one of those books for me.
This is a Cinderella retelling, I suppose, and the details of that are clear. The girl, Haley, lives in a single parent family with a sibling that is treated like gold while she is abused. Haley even gets to go to a ball, where she has to be home by midnight…and her date is the prince of the town, Chris Charming.
Abuse in a novel is not an easy topic to write on, but when done well it’s compelling. In Charming, while the abuse was sad, the reasons behind it and why Haley figured she couldn’t tell anyone seemed very weak indeed.
Timeline inconsistencies, and several other seemingly small details all came together to bother me enough that I had to quit reading. After 100 pages, I just did not find myself caring what happened to these characters at all. As for the other reviews that call this book, “Cinderella meets Saw”…have you guys even seen Saw?? It took ALMOST 100 pages for any action to happen, and then when it did happen, it wasn’t really heart pounding to me.
This book is definitely closer to NA than YA, so that should be known to those who care about mature content.