Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
Summary: A teenage girl suffering from a family tragedy, Maddie Clevenger is oblivious to the ancient mystery surrounding her. She’s young and incredibly unlucky, in life and in love. She should be enjoying her senior year of high school, but instead she is tormented by a reoccurring nightmare and a very real stalker. But all that changes when Chase Donovan, an Air Force brat with a protective streak, shows up at school. Will Chase be the key to helping her solve her stalker problem? Will he be the key to solving the mystery surrounding her family’s past?
Note: Please note that I received this book for free from the author for the purpose of review. I did not receive monetary compensation for my review and receiving this book in no way affected my opinion or how it was expressed in my review.
Review: Maddie is struggling from day to day as an outcast after moving in with her grandmother due to a haunting family tragedy. Her world gets tipped upside down again when two new students make an appearance on the same day, both of whom can't seem to leave her alone. Chase takes on a role as her knight in shining armor while Dougal gives her the creeps. I don't want to give anything more away because a lot of my enjoyment in reading this book was finding out all of its secrets, but I do want to say that this is a paranormal like none I've read before. You won't be getting vampires, werewolves, or witches in this book. In fact, fantasy romance might be a more appropriate category.
I really enjoyed this read. Once I got started I couldn't seem to put it down. The story and characters' uniqueness is what really sucked me in. If you're a jaded paranormal reader and are tired of reading the same plot line with new characters, give this book a try. I bet you haven't read anything similar.
I think the book was written perfectly for teen enjoyment. I'm a little older than the target audience but I never found this detracting from my own enjoyment. There were no eye-roll moments or frustrating (as an older reader) scenes which are most often my problem with YA books. I found all of the situations and emotions relatable and believable despite the fantasy elements.
I completely adored Chase. It took a while for him to grow on me because I was convinced he couldn't be as wonderful as he seemed in the beginning but Maddie is definitely a lucky lady. Chase was literally my perfect YA hero; protective without being a caveman, caring, chivalrous, handsome, funny etc. I'm so glad the book split the POVs in half between Maddie and him with a few guests thrown in. I loved having a chance at getting into his head.
I only had one issue while reading The Key. The very beginning, first two or three chapters (there are nearly fifty so it's not very much of the book), was rough going for me. I think it's because I was confused and there was a POV change, which was a little too soon for me, or maybe it was because I was simply acclimating to the characters and story and couldn't appreciate the book yet. Either way, I reread that section after finishing the book and found I loved it just as much as the rest. I wanted to mention that though for any future readers who might have the same experience. Stick with it, it's not a very long patch. The book gets wonderful really quickly and you'll come to appreciate the introduction of some great characters.
Thoughts as I Read:
- “He just showed up at school today. He is in all my classes. He always beats me to my next room and sits in my seat. Then he politely offers to move. Then he spends the whole period staring at me.” Hmm... definitely not sure what to think of Dougal yet other than that he's a creep. I'm really glad that Maddie is creeped out too as opposed to thinking, 'omg he's staring at me. he must like me, teehee!'
- When she reached the mirror, her fingers shot to her face in surprise. There was a thin red line running down her cheek. She was bleeding. Oh, creepy! If I wasn't already into the book, that would have hooked me.
- “No! I don't know enough for you to tell her the truth.” He'd grabbed Chase and shook him. “Promise me! Promise me, you'll tell her nothing.” Aww poor Maddie! I was surprised how easily I felt for Maddie in a short chapter. The basic situation was easy to relate to though.
- Maddie cringed at the fierce sound. It was him. He was coming for her. She would die one way or the other, because she couldn't breathe or because the dark one would rip her apart. I think this is the first paranormal I've read with asthma!
Rating: 4½ Bites
Felicia was kind enough to offer an ebook copy of The Key for giveaway! Expect to see a giveaway post tomorrow or Thursday :)