by Emma Winters
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Nobody knows happiness better than nineteen-year-old Felicity Eastwood. For years now, she’s been ‘gifted’ with the ability to collect and transfer happiness to anyone at will. Well, everyone except herself.
That is until Achilles - renowned criminal mastermind with a face painted like Death and enough charm to cause hormonal riots – crashes into Felicity’s world and makes her feel … something.
Determined not to let such a coveted superpower slip beyond his reach, Achilles kidnaps Felicity, hoping to use her ability to brave his own skeletons. Felicity is only a half-unwilling prisoner though, forgoing escape to learn more of the man behind the mask and pursue the inexplicable spark between them.
As the lines between hero and villain begin to blur, Felicity finds herself wondering if Achilles might be the key to her own happiness at long last. Is it possible to be so happy with someone so dangerous?
But Achilles isn’t the only villain in the town, and the pursuit of happiness can be a deadly hunt…
This book is bipolar. I might as well write two different reviews. Because as the first half wasn’t flawless, the second half made me rage.
✘ Rage because I was in love with the idea of this book rather than this book itself.
✘ Rage because Achilles? I’d take this crazy painted face as a hero over some tattooed douche jerk on any day.
✘ Rage because this story had so much potential I actually felt sick to see how much the NA cliché ruined it.
☠ I’m going to talk about Achilles before starting to point what I didn’t like.
“He killed Carova’s mayor, he murdered people on a daily basis, he was weirdly charismatic, and he knew everything about everyone – or so it seemed.
And now, he was standing right in front of me, clutching his shoulder with one hand and a bloodied nail-gun in the other.
“Christ, girl, you gave me a heart attack!” He jumped back at the sound of my shriek.”
Truth to be told, when my friend Harriet talked to me about him, I was super excited – a SUPER-VILLAIN ? Who paints his face as a mask of death? Who’s sarcastic? Give him to me! Like, yesterday! I read this book because of him and for this reason I don’t regret anything, despite the low rating and the rage moments I came across.
▩ What did I love so much in him?
Well, first of all, the fact that he’s a real villain. No false assassin who never kills anyone, no random bad-boy whose only crime is to be a manwhore, no. A real psychopath, for whom killing someone is a boring routine. How refreshing is this?! See? This is where the story was filled with awesome possibilities. I’m not gonna lie : who doesn’t like a villain falling in love? Okaaaay, maybe there’re some but me?! I’m such a sucker for it. The problem in NA is, usually the main problem to reform in the male-lead is the fact he’s a manwhore. Yikes. Oh, yeah, he has some family issues as well, he’s probably orphan/abused/whatever and icing on the cake, he’s tattooed. Now, I have nothing against tattoos in real life, I actually love them, but the way they’re used in NA to picture the perfect bad-boy? Sick.
While here, we get a real maniac who IS going to fall in love (that’s NA, duh) and yeah, frankly, I can’t say that I’m not adoring this shit. I loved the fact that he never feels the need to find excuses for his murderous behavior, but always takes full responsibility for it. However, there are some reactions I didn’t get, especially toward the end. Maybe that’s just me, and the fact I’ve read The Broken Empire trilogy a few weeks ago, but I struggle to understand his motivation at some point, and the evolution of his believes can appear rather out of character. Oh, and please stop smirking.
Well, now, who cares about that? He’s dangerous and sexy.
“So he lost his hands. Then, because he tried to undermine me by interrogating you himself, I chocked him with them.”
I shuddered. “And the cut throat?”
He shrugged. “To set an example.”
So, yeah. I loved Achilles. Why the 2-stars rating then? Really want to know the truth? I could have given it 1 star, and I’m going to explain why. The only reason I left it at 2 is Achilles.
░ Welcome to my New Adult nightmare! ░
▩ An heroine I can hate.
Yet Flick started well enough : with issues but not so much, an history which isn’t rape (thanks god!), a believing and understanding way to deal with her captor, the super villain Achilles, with whom she shares some funny conversations full of banter. She even offers us some badass moments that pleased me to no end. That’s fair to say that I liked her at first. Yeah, but that, that was before.
➸ Before she starts calling other girls sluts because they wear short dresses and have sex with Achilles (I assume).
➸ Before she starts rambling uncontrollably and just goes round and round in circles. Damn, how annoying she was! Achilles wants my power. Achilles is more complex than he seems. Yeah, but he only wants my power, right? He doesn’t care for me, RIGHT? I can’t be closer to him. I want to be closer to him. But in any case he only wants my power, RIGHT?
Yes, the girl says RIGHT? all. the. freaking. time. Just make up your own mind for Pete’s sake!
➸ Although she managed to fool me in the beginning, it appeared more and more clearly that she owned almost all the personality/physical traits I hate in NA heroines :
✔ She’s a fucking virgin. OF COURSE. She “isn’t like the other girls”, you know, the slutty girls. And we can’t forget this because she talks about how she is different way too often for my sanity.
✔ She is a red-head. Now, I have nothing against red-head, obviously, because I’m one of those but what is it with red-head in NA? I mean, are there some cards authors take, all wondering, “hmm hmm, I need some virgin, let’s take the red-head here”. Enlighten-me, pretty please. Oh, and neither my sisters nor me fucking blushes all the time, thank you very much. Stop the clichés.
✔ She has issues to accept herself and flirts with self-loathing, OF COURSE. Now that I’m talking about it, I must stress that I adored the way Achilles reacted to her childish and unconfident comments – he calls her on her shit, let’s say, and I seriously started to ask myself why in the fucking world he was in love with her.
Damn, you can feel how annoying I think she is, right? RIGHT?
“You’ve foiled my shemes, you meddling kid! Little did you know your innocence was the only thing stopping me from conquering the entire world!”
Did I say that I loved this guy? Yeah?
“Prove it,” he growled, right up in my face. “Come on, prove me wrong. Or are you happy being weak, feeling sorry for yourself?”
You tell her.
That’s fair to say that I hated her in the end. Despite the fact she finally offers us some declaration of badassery (which was pretty cool), it was too late for me and her. We’ll never be BBF. Not by a long shot.
Now, Ladies and gentlemen, let me present you…
▩ The plot-holes
I used to be a very annoying kid who couldn’t help but wonder out loud all day long to understand how things work. Well, I am sorry, but absolutely nothing has changed. Whether I enjoy a book or not, if I don’t understand characters’ motivations, I end frowning more often than not. That was the case here. Although I can’t address you my questions without spoiling the story for you, the only thing I can say is that I didn’t get and buy some reactions.
Now, in the first half, it didn’t prevent me from liking it. I already said what I thought about the second half.
▩ The writing was okay, I guess. Sure, we can’t say it’s poetic and there are some grammar mistakes but then, the way sentences are put together was appropriate for the book in my opinion : fast-paced, short sentences, sarcasm. I’m okay with that.
► To sum-up, this book contains way too much New Adult’s clichés for me to love it, but now, I hate NA, so if you like this genre, and don’t mind what I pointed above, maybe you’ll like it because it does offer us some interesting ideas. What can I say? I just can’t deal with girl hates and annoying rambling anymore. The same book in Achilles’s POV? Now you get my interest. Finally, I’ll look at future books of Emma Winters, because there are some promising ideas in this one, if you get rid of the NA clichés, let’s say.
Oh, and before I leave, I’m totally stealing Achilles’s saying for my voicemail.