Church. by Stylo Fantome

Friends – I know I’ve been MIA for SO LONG.

To be honest, I’ve been feeling a little blah about a fair amount of stuff lately.  Apparently beautiful summer weather makes me cranky?  Not sure.  I’ve even read stuff I never ended up putting on my GoodReads page.  I’ve been so weird about living in my hole that it felt wrong to let anyone in.

I picked up Church. on Saturday, and could hardly put it down.  It’s the story of Emma who moves in with her mother and stepfather to run into her new stepbrother home on break from college.  He hardly speaks, but says plenty.  And she becomes completely obsessed with his world and learns exactly what she’s capable of if it means she can stay in the dark with Church.

I thought this would be another love story, but this is a disturbing tale.  I feel like I have a little bit of an understanding on how women can be manipulated into crimes against other women now.  Like women that help their “man” lure women to get murdered?  I feel like this kind of outlines how that’s possible.  Maybe I’m just in a weird place so this spoke to me or maybe I’m just weird in general, but I was fascinated.

Onto my usual… Some things I didn’t love

  • This is a series, so I think this will end up being “another love story.”  I’m not sure we’ll get there by any typical means, so maybe it’s unfair of me to judge so soon, but I’m worried already that they’re going with the two broken halves make a whole.  This feels like not something to perpetuate with a tale this wonderfully disturbing.
  • My biggest complaint is that this book felt a little bit like a mindfuck.  The fact that I enjoyed it felt wrong, but not enough to not like it.  That’s totally unfair to put on the book, so I shouldn’t, but it’s written so I’m leaving it.
  • Editing… there’s not a ton of editing issues, but some wrong words or misspellings do deter a little bit from the overall story.

Some things I did love…

  • I felt uncomfortable.  For what I thought would be an “easy” romance to ready, it was a shocking thing to feel, but I relished in it.
  • It feels believable.  I think broken people do think that together they make a whole.  It rarely creates a healthy bond, but this story isn’t about a healthy bond, so it feels legit in that way.
  • The series of events that unfold, because the characters are so broken, also feel believable.  Terrible decisions are made, but they feel like they should be made, even as you recoil from the thought that your brain accepts these as within the realm of expectation.

Basically, this book drew me out of my whole enough to write a blog post about it (and actually finish my post about Bella Forrest’s final installment of The Girl Who Dared to Think series), so I highly recommend picking up this book.  I seriously hope the next book doesn’t disappoint.

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