Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Deceptive Cadence - Katie Hamstead

Rating: 3 stars
Published: June 2015
Ebook provided via YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Cadence Anderson has the perfect definition of happily ever after . . .

Until she doesn't. A freak earthquake shatters her life as surely as her home, taking away everything she holds dear. She wakes in a hospital to find that her beloved husband and infant daughter have been killed, crushed by the earthquake's wrath. Disoriented, injured, and alone, Cadence refuses to accept the loss. So when a man claiming to be her guardian angel appears and offers her a chance to go back in time to save her family, she doesn't need to give it a second thought. She accepts.

Thrust back eleven years, she now faces the ordeal of high school all over again. But this time, she's armed with all the knowledge of her adult life and the determination to do everything better, from preventing the loss of her best friend to avoiding her original, drama-inducing boyfriends. She's focused solely on Austin, her future husband, and is content to bide her time until she meets him again.

But then James Gordon crosses her path. Cadence wants to remain single, but James has his sights set. He is determined to win her over, and he's very hard to resist. As Cadence starts to develop unwanted feelings for him, she realizes he threatens to disrupt everything, changing the future and distracting her from her original goal. Now, Cadence must choose: deny the unpredictable and exciting path James offers her, or stay true to the life she had and is trying desperately to resurrect. Second chances are more complicated than they seem.

Deceptive Cadence combines the soaring emotion of a heartfelt romance with the innovative storytelling of magical realism, crafting a uniquely moving, intricate tale about love and loss that asks: what would you do if given the chance to right all your wrongs?

Deceptive Cadence falls more into the Young Adult genre, however the concept, the age in which Cadence truly is, is all new adult. Time travel takes Cadence back to age 14, giving her an opportunity to relive her life, and save the life of her future husband and child, both lost to a terrifying accident. Cadence flits between being a young twenty year old to being the 14 year old that she has agreed to live in again. With 10 years of her life to relive, she redoes a lot of things, causing changes that are both positive and negative to the future. However, the changes cause her old life and new life to intersect and she must choose what she wants her reality, her new reality, to really be.

I really enjoyed Cadence as a character, I loved that she took the chance to redo life and did things completely differently. It would be so easy to write a book about a girl who only changes a few things and her life ends like it should, but Katie Hamstead allows Cadence to still think like her adult self, living as a 14 year old, and making far more mature decisions when she would before. Was she still into boys, a little gossipy, and judgmental? Yes. But her life progressed in such a new way and she was such a different character than we first met. I couldn't imagine finding happiness in a new life, then having to choose between two different paths, both happy, both full of love. The concept, though not entirely unique, was different than other time travel novels and I liked the thought of the unknown. I liked that events, like 9/11, had to happen, that the system was worked to skip time that couldn't be changed. It made it more realistic.

While I loved Cadence, and the time travel concept, the general story was a bit young for me. Reliving high school, even as an adult, comes with a lot of immaturity and the characters were certainly that. I couldn't connect to the secondary characters or how easily things blew over. I remember emotions being high in high school, but it was hard to connect to in this story. On top of that, while I liked Cadence, I didn't understand her draw. Every boy wanted her, but it wasn't a tangible want, no real chemistry. I liked when the relationship with James came into play, because it brought a lot more to the story.

There are some twists in this book and the end definitely leaves you wanting. I will be reading the sequel, Diverging Cadence, as soon as possible, because I'd like to know what happens, both to Cadence and her true future life and to Cadence and James. This is a well executed story that can easily be read by fans of YA and NA genres.

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