Friday, 15 May 2015

Review: Hooked - Allen Wolf

I received a free copy of Hooked by Allen Wolf from by Independent Book Publisher Association (IBPA) in exchange for an honest review.  


Wow. This book turned out to be something completely different than I expected it to be. It mostly appealed to me because of the cover, but I do not regret reading this book. At all. It was heartfelt, honest and real. I maybe even shed a tear. Or two.

Shawn and his brother Collin have been raised by their grandparents because their actual parents couldn’t deal with Shawn’s autism. Now, Shawn is looking for the love of his life who can take care of him when his grandmother dies. This proves to be quite hard, until he meets the dazzling Violet. Shawn thinks he’s found a potential wife, but Violet turns out to be a prostitute. Because of Shawn’s autism, he doesn’t see that lovely Violet’s auditions actually are hook-ups with clients. And she sure as hell isn’t the one to tell him.

Hooked is an adaptation from Allen Wolf’s screenplay of the same name. I can see how it would work as a screenplay. The book was quite short and fast-paced. Maybe sometimes too fast-paced. At parts, it all felt a bit hurried to me. Violet is still a mystery to me while I got to know Shawn really well. It’s almost impossible to ship two people when all you really know about one of the characters is that she had a rough past and is a lying prostitute. I really did feel for Shawn though and thought that he deserved a nice relationship. 

That being said, I do have a problem with Shawn’s outlook on marriage. He was utterly obsessed with marriage and was constantly talking about finding someone who could take care of him. Honestly, that is not how I look at marriage at all and I had a hard time relating to it. The way he went scouting for someone to marry (with his brother and grandmother pushing him) annoyed me. 

The first time I cried during this book was because of something Shawn said and I feel like I have to quote this. 

‘”He doesn’t see you the way I do,” Shawn told her. 
“How do you see me?” 
He looked into her eyes. “You’re a different wavelength.”  
Violet motioned for him to say more. “There are colors we can’t see. Beauty that’s outside our visible spectrum. There’s a lot about you that’s not visible to me yet. But I can tell it’s going to be beautiful.”’

 I feel tears welling up again while writing this out. This is a perfect example of raw emotion, coming from someone who has problems with expressing himself. I found it to be very beautiful. 

There also were moments that made me laugh out loud.

‘Colin finished wiping off the table but couldn’t hide his agitation. “You’re too trusting. That’s how you get hurt.”
“Are you talking about Amanda?”
“You carried her picture around for years.” Shawn reached into his pocket and pulled out a picture of Amanda.
Colin shook his head in disbelief. “You still do.”’

Religion was a huge aspect of this book. Shawn is a Christian and it isn’t uncommon for him to pray or go to church during the story. Even though I’m not religious, I thought it was lovely that it was a recurring theme. 

There also were a few surprises in this book. I don’t want to call them plot twists, because they weren’t huge revelations but these little surprises definitely kept me interested. They made me want to read more about this unlikely pairing. 

The relationship between Colin and Shawn didn’t do much for me at first, but I did warm up to their brotherly bond when the story progressed. This book isn’t only about Shawn and Violet. The side characters all have their own lives and goals. You don’t get to see much of it, but you do get some glimpses. I love it when a story doesn’t only revolve about the main character. Everyone has their own ambitions and that’s the way it should also be in books. Not everyone is there to serve the main character.

Shawn’s grandmother, Ruth, had some serious character development through these two hundred pages. I really didn’t like her at the beginning of the book, because she treated Shawn like he was a little kid. She did grow on me, but I felt like her character development was a 360 degree rotation. It lacked a bit in the believability. I do believe in change, but not so suddenly. 

A badass moment at the end of the book rounded it all up nicely for me. I do think it all wrapped up a bit too neatly. Though overall, it was satisfying. 

✰ ✰ ✰ 

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