My rating: 4 of 5 stars
ARC kindly provided by GPK Publication LLC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
‘Hickville Confessions’ was a novel I was looking forward to EXTREMELY after reading the first novel, ‘Welcome to Hickville High’, and absolutely LOVING IT! I REALLY wanted this novel to be a continuation of Kelsey’s and Austin’s story but sadly – yet also somehow happily, for me – it was about Ryan, Kelsey’s younger sister, and Justin, a fellow football player of Austin’s.
This novel starts off with a REAL surprise and shocker. A terrible accident happens to Ryan after all she has tried to put in the past behind her, in Chicago. It made me feel for Ryan whom I’ve started to dislike and misjudge in ‘Welcome to Hickville High’. She seemed so stupid, idiotic, vain, helpless and uncaring back then. I DID get to know her a bit better towards the end of the first novel – but I still didn’t like her.
Yet another shocker was the author’s choice to pair up Ryan with Justin, who we previously saw as the bad boy and utter jerk in book one. I really disliked him, too, back then, but after learning about his OWN traumatic past, it really made me feel a connection to him that let me get to know him and as a result, like him. I got to find out about Justin’s life and who he is. I felt so sorry for him and everything he had experienced. If you want to find to why, then you’ll have to read the book. *laughs evilly* I learned more about Ryan. Her story made me turn from apathetic to sympathetic towards her. I actually started to like her for who she was and really started to enjoy reading about her from about a third of the novel. Mind you, I WAS already enjoying the novel, but it got a HELL of a lot better for me as I got further in and more attached.
Ryan and Justin make a great couple together; they were both people who EVERYONE misunderstood. Their past troubles seemed to bond them together. They were misjudged characters who the author grasped in her hands, and made her readers see in a different light that showed their real, true selves. Of course, some of the actions the characters did before we’re not ones I entirely agree with and I wished that they were smarter as I was deeply disappointed I them. (LOL! I sound like an old grandma.)
This novel is a lot sadder than ‘Welcome to Hicvikle High’: it was a real tear-jerker and heart-wrencher. There were so many times I teared up that my eyes got swollen by the end and it looked like I had cryed for real. I’m NOT kidding you. The plot was also pretty simple, yet this didn’t repel me from the story; instead it reeled me in. It was poignant and emotional.
Plus, a whole LOT of mystery was surrounding Mackenzie. She was sad, would tear up all of a sudden, eavesdrop on talks, and run away, sullen and depressed. This whole thing made me so KEEN an EAGER to FIND OUT WHAT WILL HAPPEN! Grrrr! It was SOOOO frustrating. I suspect that the third novel in the series will be about Mackenzie and it makes me want to kidnap the author and sit her in front of my computer so she can just WRITE 24/7 until I can lay my greedy hands on the first manuscript or ARC.
‘Hickville Confessions’ is told in dual POV by Ryan and Justin, each getting an odd chapter. I really liked the style and loved the prose. The author was able to convey the emotions with simplistic language that lost none of its potency. Excellent grammar and spelling and NO typos!
Inexplicably, this was a story I enjoyed heaps less than ‘Welcome to Hickville High’. BOTH novels are super good yet somehow the first novel became a FIVE STAR to me and this second novel became a FOUR STAR. I have NO IDEA why. Maybe it was the constant lingering sadness and the problematic drama. I just didn’t connect with Ryan and Justin as well as I did with Kelsey and Austin.
The ending was an EPIC cliff-hanger! I wish I could read the next novel, ‘Hickville Redemption’! Argh!
Congratulations to Mary Karlik!
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!