Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Review of Carnival by K.B. Nelson

*I received a free copy of this from the author in exchange for an honest review.
*Slight spoilers! Nothing too bad.

I don't read many books about carnivals or circuses and the people who work in them. But I was really intrigued for this story after reading the synopsis. I liked Carnival enough, but I didn't care for the direction the story went in. 

Rating: 3 Sweet Stars!
I loved the main character, until I didn't. In the beginning, she was snarky, fun, and looking for thrills in places she probably shouldn't have. It leads her to the carnival and to Blue. And it takes her down a road that she can never go back from, which is ultimately why I stopped caring what she did. Charlie gave up everything for a guy. Literally, everything. The only home she's ever known, a mother who loves her, and friends who need her. She leaves them all behind for a guy she's known for, like, a month. That's just so uncool. I liked her snarkiness and love of thrills, her daring nature and need for self-discovery. But I don't think she had much character development. She didn't figure out who she was or what she wanted. She only figured out who she wanted. And in the end, she gets the love of her life. But the cost of that is high.

Blue was an okay character for me. He's a carnie who has spent his life in the business. Not only is it a job, but he has a family there. However, he wants to branch out on his own, to settle down and find his home. He didn't expect to fall in love with a local girl, someone who matched him thrill for thrill and who never asked for more than he could give. But we still don't find out that much about him. He's just a guy who wants out of the carnie life and who used to be a drug dealer for his dad. And in the end, he's right back where he didn't want to be.

Their relationship was sweet, but it almost felt like insta-love. I'd have liked a bit more development where they were concerned. It was hard for me to believe that they had a love strong enough where they would give up everything for each other.

The secondary characters each had their own personalities, but once Charlie starts dating Blue, they kind of drop off in the story. I was hoping for more interactions with all of them, but pretty much all they did was drink and party together. It was kind of boring.

I liked the plot in the first half of the book, but once that tragedy happens, I was not as invested. I didn't think it was necessary, and I didn't see how it added to the shaky development of Charlie's character. Also, wasn't totally in love with the drama surrounding Blue's past and the fact that it caught up to him. In the end, the two of them wound up together but in a life they hadn't been expecting. 

I liked the author's writing style, and there were many laugh out loud moments. I'd definitely read another one of her books! This is actually a series, but I'm unsure whether it's with the same characters or not. If it is, I'm a little wary. However, I don't *think* it's with Blue and Charlie. Their lives felt resolved in the end of this book. If it is with the secondary characters, I'm definitely interested!

Carnival was a sweet NA romance about two characters who loved the roller coaster of life and each other.