Friday, November 10, 2017

"Addicted" by Krys Fenner

(Dark Road Book 1)
by Krys Fenner

Addicted (Dark Road Book 1) by Krys Fenner

Addicted is the first book in the Dark Road series by Krys Fenner. Coming soon: Damaged and Avenged.

Damaged by Krys Fenner

Addicted is currently on tour with Xpresso Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Sixteen-year-old Bella Kynaston has been the victim of a brutal rape, by someone she can only describe as "the scar-faced man". With little recollection of what happened, she must somehow rebuild her life. Being the person she once was proves more difficult than she imagined.
To complicate matters, Bella has just met Jeremiah Detrone, the new guy in school. He’s attractive, funny, and smart. All things she’s ever wanted in a boyfriend. Too bad she’s conflicted over so many unexpected emotions. Without realizing it, she falls down a rabbit hole and begins walking a dangerous line between addiction and self-preservation.
As Bella works together with the police to bring her attackers to justice, will she be able to see it through to the end? And even if she does, will it only bring her more pain and misery? Or will she find an anchor in Jeremiah and figure out how to move forward?

Each small table was draped with a red-white-and-green checked cloth and bore a flickering candle that added to the light from the chandelier. It was the pizza parlor where she had her first date with Miah. And there he was. With a smile, she waved and started for the table. Just as she arrived, Jeremiah stood. Believing he intended to pull her into his arms, Bella moved to hug him, but he turned and disappeared into the crowd. She followed, but after a few steps, lost sight of him in the crowd.
Why would he leave without her? The hairs on the back of her neck stiffened and goosebumps traveled up her body. Despite her sudden terror, she continued to search for Miah. Then, she spotted the back of his head at the door. She would know that cropped hair anywhere. He could protect her. She pushed through the throng of patrons, but when she reached the door, he was gone. She spun in circles looking for him. He must have gone outside.
She stepped out and glanced up and down the sidewalk. Even though she didn’t know which way he’d gone, she started running, calling his name. Her voice echoed as if she was in a dark and empty cavern. Heart racing, she ran until the familiar became unfamiliar, then became familiar again.
She stopped, lungs heaving. Why did it look so familiar? Oh. She was on her own street, the street where she lived. How had she gotten so far? She glanced over her shoulder. A shadow shifted behind her. Swallowing, she walked toward her house.
No police tape across the door. No sign that read, “Do Not Enter.” Nothing to mark the house as a crime scene. Had they finished? Had the house been released? It couldn’t have. Her parents would’ve told her. She checked for anything out of the ordinary. Nothing stood out. Squeezing her hands into fists, she took a deep ragged breath, then stepped onto the pathway and headed up to the front door. She wiggled the knob, and the door opened.
Something was wrong. They never left the door unlocked. Why would the door have opened so easily? Unless … Was she in a dream? “That has to be it. I’m dreaming. I just need to wake up.”
But she didn’t wake up. She remained outside her house … alone. What should she do? Chewing on her bottom lip, she peeked inside.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
"Author Krys Fenner manages to create a sweet and innocent young love story with a thrilling and suspenseful feel. The stories are weaved together in a way that keeps you turning the pages to see what will happen next." ~ Book Quest
"Wow! For a book that started out so slow for me in the beginning - I really ended up loving this book and now can't wait to read the next one in the series." ~ Wall-to-wall books
"I went into this book thinking it was one of those stories where the Author crosses the line, so they have to call it new-adult, but it's not. Because of the nature of the violence and progression, I don't recommend this for YA, unless you have a very mature teenager." ~ JB's Bookworms
"I was captivated from page one to the end. Krys Fenner keeps your attention with every word written." ~ Meghan's Mindless Mutterings

My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.

By Lynda Dickson
Bella is traumatized after being attacked and raped by a scar-faced man. She suffers from nightmares and starts taking too many of her pain pills in order to get some sleep. Even though she has the support of her parents, friends, and new boyfriend, Jeremiah, Bella also has a number of enemies, any one of who could be responsible for her attack. Everybody seems to be keeping secrets, including her parents. Who is Bella's attacker and what are his motivations?
The story is told in the third person from the points-of-view of Gervasio, Bella, Jeremiah, Sheriff Detrone, and Detective Russell. The storyline is extremely hard to follow, with events constantly being hinted at but nothing ever being fully explained. In addition, new characters keep popping up with half-formed background stories, which only leads to further confusion. Timestamps would be helpful as events that appear to happen straight after previous events, don't actually occur until some days later.
On the plus side, this book has one of the most beautiful covers I have seen. Book two follows at a close second. I also enjoyed the song references. Suspense is maintained throughout, as there is so much violence that occurs without any build-up or warning, that you don't know who will get hurt next or when. I was interested to find out how things would be resolved; unfortunately, the book ends abruptly with many unanswered questions. And of the content that is there, so much appears to be irrelevant.
Why the title Addicted? Several addictions (Alex to party drugs, Bella to pain killers) are hinted at but never explored. A plan to supply pain killers to Bella is mentioned briefly, but we never see her abusing them even though she is one of the narrators whose heads we are inside.
Why is Bella's mother Portuguese and her father Chinese, while Gervasio speaks Spanish? This leads to there being speech in Portuguese, Chinese, and Spanish. The languages aren't translated, but the meaning can be deciphered through the text. But why is any of this necessary? It's not relevant to the story. Why don't they just speak English? In addition, Bella's family is very religious and are said to be Baptist. I found this highly unlikely, given her parents' backgrounds. Being Baptist would make sense if they were American. *Spoiler* Bella finds out she has been adopted and has no Chinese blood. How is this not obvious to everyone?
What's with the sickles as section dividers? Their significance becomes apparent about a quarter way through the book. But they are an unnecessary and obtrusive gimmick.
Why does everyone need a nickname? Bella's real name is Maylin, so Bella is already a nickname, but Jeremiah calls her Bell. Bella calls Jeremiah Miah. Alexandra is Alex, Amanda is Mandy, Victor is Vick, Sarresh is Z, not to mention the nicknames of all of Gervasio's accomplices.
Why does Jeremiah have six siblings? None of them but Amanda ever seem to be present in the home, and they serve no purpose. Also, why is his mother pregnant again? It doesn't appear relevant to the plot.
These plotting issues could be explained by the fact that this whole series has been re-written; in its original incarnation, the third book was called Addicted. Or maybe things will become clear in the next installment. But I'm not sure I'll hang around long enough to read it.
Warnings: coarse language, rape (not graphic), graphic violence, ends abruptly with a stack of unanswered questions (luckily, the next book, Damaged, is due for release 20 November).

About the Author
Krys Fenner
Krys Fenner has been infinitely passionate about writing and helping people for as long as she can remember. To date, she has published two books, numerous poems, and is now avidly working on a fantasy series. Krys received an Associate of Arts in Psychology and is currently working on her B.A.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win some great prizes (open internationally). Grand prize: signed copies of Addicted and Damaged, plus books from some of Krys' favorite authors (Colleen Hoover, Jay Asher, and Cheryl Rainfield), plus a t-shirt, an Amazon and B&N gift card, and some of Krys's "addictions". Runners-up: copies of Addicted and Damaged with a $10 Amazon gift card; copies of Addicted and Damaged with a $10 B&N gift card; 3 individual $10 Amazon gift cards; 5 individual paperbacks of Addicted; 5 individual ebooks of Addicted; 3 individual t-shirts.