Sunday, May 20, 2012

Review: Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia

 Rating (Out of 5): ~4-4.5
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Spoilers?: Minor-ish

Amazon Synopsis:

He counts her smiles every day and night at the train station. And morning and evening, the beautiful commuter acknowledges him-just like she does everyone else on the platform. But Blake Hartt is not like the others . . . he's homeless. Memories of a broken childhood have robbed him of peace and twisted delusions into his soul. He stays secluded from the sun, sure the world would run from him in the harsh light of day. Each day, Livia McHugh smiles politely and acknowledges her fellow commuters as she waits for the train to the city. She dismisses this kindness as nothing special, just like her. She's the same as a million other girls-certainly no one to be cherished. But special or not, she smiles every day, never imagining that someone would rely on the simple gesture as if it were air to breathe. When the moment comes that Livia must do more than smile, without hesitation she steps into the fray to defend the homeless man. And she's surprised to discover an inexplicable connection with her new friend. After danger subsides, their smiles become conversation. Their words usher in a friendship, which awakens something in each of them. But it's not long before their bond must prove its strength. Entanglements from the past challenge both their love and their lives. Blake's heart beats for Livia's, even if her hands have to keep its rhythm. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love never fails. Love never fails, right? In an interwoven tale of unlikely loves and relationships forged by fire, Debra Anastasia takes readers into the darkest corners of human existence, only to show them the radiant power of pure adoration and true sacrifice. Complicated families and confused souls find their way to light in this novel, which manages to be racy, profane, funny, and reverent all at once.


 This book was kind of amazing. Only maybe without the kind of.
I won an e-book of this online a while ago, and after some complications (which kind of sucked, but is okay), I only recently got and read almost immediately. There was a blog tour going on or something, I think, which brought the book to my attention and I thought it sounded good, so I wanted to read it. It’s an adult book, so be warned about that; but, you know, I enjoyed those parts as well.
It’s about Livia, a college student studying psychology, who officially meets Blake, a homeless guy about her age with a bad childhood, who she has seen at her subway station several times. But it’s also about Blake’s brothers, Cole and Beckett, and Livia’s sister, and Eve, and all of their romances.
I really enjoyed all of the characters, although I wanted more of Livia and Blake, the first characters we’re introduced to. I wasn’t expecting the third person to move from person to person, and while I did want more of just Livia and Blake (and was so bothered by the cliffhanger like spots that Anastasia would choose to move to the next person), I did enjoy the others as well. Beckett and Eve were probably my second favorite pair.
I also wasn’t expecting the psychology thing. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that instead of having a supernatural element to the book, but I grew to like it. I was okay with Cole’s church-stuff, but it wasn’t my favorite. And I did enjoy Beckett’s pimp and drug dealer stuff, even if I didn’t agree with all of it and did find some of it a bit brutal and gruesome.
Blake was sweet and gentlemanly, and was frustrating at some points, but I liked him. I liked learning about Eve's broken past and how she turned out because of it. Mouse was so sweet and interesting and I'm so upset about him. I found the story with Chris really interesting, and I hated him, but did enjoy reading the pieces with him (from Livia or Blake's POV, not Chris's in particular). I liked that we got history, a story, from just about anyone in the story; I also found it interesting that the three brothers were in foster care, and how they each turned out because of it. Oh, and the tattoos. Everything was just put together really well and smooth. Although some of the working around the police things seemed to work out too well.
I really liked the romance. I liked Livia and Blake, a lot, and I liked Eve and Beckett; I was mostly okay with Cole and Kyle, although I felt a little iffy about them at first, I grew somewhat used to them, I guess. The smutty scenes and general romance stuff between them all was nice, though. I particularly enjoyed those. They were sweet and romantic, sensual, not blunt, which I enjoyed. I am still a little iffy about them all marrying so quickly, though. They did seem to get together fast, looking back on it, but they all just seemed to fit together so well, so naturally, that I didn’t notice. And maybe it’s just that I’m unsure of marriage or something, and it does make sense for the characters to marry, but so close together, so fast, bothered me.
I am unhappy with the ending between Beckett and Eve. I was expecting more, and want more, and it seemed a bit too open, cliffhanger like, for me, and I am not happy about it. Also, I just want more. More scenes between them all. More of the characters. I’m sad that the book is over; I want a sequel or something.
The book was really easy to read, too. It was mostly frustrating and slowed me down when it would move to a different chapter and a different person, leaving me wanting to know what happens next to the first people. The writing, I thought, was really good and easy to get through. Some of the sentences could have used some rewording, maybe, but nothing big.
I was really surprised by this book, and I’m glad. I really enjoyed it, and am looking forward to reading her other books, one of which I have and hope to start soon.
(Sidenote: I think I remember reading somewhere that this was a fanfiction? Is that true? If so, based off what? I was thinking it might have been published online somewhere before, like fictionpress, but I don’t know if that’s true or not. If it is, please tell me, I would love to know.)

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