Anew by Chelsea Fine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Two years ago, Scarlet awoke in the forest alone, afraid, and unable to remember anything. Lost and confused, her life was a mystery...until she met a boy with a familiar voice.
Gabriel Archer has a voice from her past, and Scarlet's determined to remember why. She immerses herself in his life only to discover he has a brother he's kept hidden from her: Tristan Archer.
Upon meeting Tristan, Scarlet's world becomes even more muddled. While she's instinctively drawn to Gabriel, she's impossibly drawn to Tristan--and confused out of her mind. As she tries to piece together her history Scarlet realizes her past...might just be the death of her.
I seriously hate it when life gets in the way of both reading and reviewing. Unfortunately, this was one of those weeks. Sick with a sinus infection as well as stupid busy at work does not leave a lot of brainspace at the end of the day.
I'm very much hoping that this is not a disturbing trend.
Anyway, on to Anew.
Probably the strangest thing, to me, about this book, was reading one in third person again. So many YA books these days are first person, I kept having to shake myself that the main PoV was Scarlet and not "I." Thankfully, it was a quick transition.
I initially read the Kindle sample months ago (after falling ridiculously in love with Sophie & Carter) but in deference to my sometimes over-visceral reaction to any sort of triangle, I decided to wait until the third book was out (and then, of course, I got sidetracked by new and shiny.
I'll say this. I'm glad I did because when I got to the end of the first book...it was primal scream time.
The story itself is intriguing as hell and I've read my share of the paranormal. I was particularly drawn to the curse that is the center of the story. It's there and stated out clearly (which I like) but there's the element of why. Why would Raven craft such a curse? Then little bits start to come out. Things that make you think there's more to this curse than what Scarlet, and we as readers, have been told. Perfect use of keeping the reader engaged while still leaving questions to keep them wanting more.
There's Gamer Nate, whom I adore to bits, but the silly exterior hides much more, I think, and we get just enough of a hint to intrigue. He's like an iceberg character - so much of him under the surface and totally unseen.
I think I could write paragraphs about my love for Tristan, my frequent desire to smack the crap out of Gabriel, and how much I love Scarlet and how she copes with her world being upended. She gets angry, yes, but she doesn't hole up. She confronts both men, she finds ways to try and keep her life normal in spite of her amnesia and then learning her real story, her real past.
I doubt it will be any real secret based on my first line which camp I'm in, and I'm excited to see if my theories are correct, but not just that, I want to know all the whys that are being hinted at - why the curse, what happened leading up to it, and what's got Nate so serious sometimes.