Monday, March 14, 2016

Book Review: Between Dreams (Pendant Series #1) by Cynthia Austin

Sidney Sinclair was living the dream of any eighteen year-old girl…

A handsome rock star boyfriend, a closet full of designer clothes, a limousine service at her beck and call, and a mansion in the hills of Los Angeles.

Even with all that glamour and excitement at her fingertips, she still feels as if she’s been missing something in her life so she decides to leave.

While trying her best to put her dysfunctional romantic relationship aside and tend to her beloved Granny, Sidney unexpectedly stumbles upon an intriguing emerald pendant boxed away in her grandmother’s closet.

Soon she learns it once belonged to her long-lost mother who committed suicide when she was just a baby. Suddenly feeling emotionally connected to the woman who had birthed her, Sidney begins to wear the necklace.

This sends her on a whirlwind journey that alternates between fantasy and reality…

Almost immediately, she starts having dreams linked to the mysterious pendant. As danger begins to seep into her life, Sidney refuses to remove the necklace and instead documents each dream to help her further understand them. However, she soon begins to wonder if they are dreams meant to bond her to a mother whom she never knew?

Or a subconscious warning that threatens her very life?


Ms. Cynthia Austin contacted me a few weeks ago about a read request for this book and while I almost always say no thank you to fantasy novels, this one piqued my interest because the blurb was interesting and it was highly rated by quite a few people. So I just had to get my hands on it to see what all of the fuss was about. Nothing worse than being left out, right?!?

I actually have quite a few thoughts on this one and I'm not totally sure where to start off. I think talking about Sidney first is a good start... here's the deal ... the girl is a doormat. And let's be honest, I just love a flawed character and her being a doormat kind of appealed to me. I was very interested to see where she would go from that first page because surely there would be some growth involved. Unfortunately, Sid didn't change much from the beginning. She is taken advantage of in multiple different ways and it was a little hard to read after a while. I just wanted to take her by the shoulders and shake some sense into this crazy woman. It almost became painful with each page turn because I wanted her to stand up for herself but it never happened. 

The reason that there wasn't much character growth is probably because this book is pretty short and it's part of a series. There was a feeling of escalation from the very beginning and I won't lie, I was uber-irritated when it ended on a cliffhanger. I HATE cliffhangers with a fiery passion. I just hate being left in the lurch. If you don't like cliffhangers, you'll want to wait to pick this one up until the next in the series is out because the bear trap of an ending just snaps shut right in the middle of a scene basically. 

And finally ... the thing that I've been perplexed by since I finished the book. There's a religious aspect that I definitely was not expecting. It took me by surprise, actually. At times, it felt a tad bit preachy and then there were religious debates almost that ... I don't know ... it just didn't do it for me. Don't get me wrong, it's an interesting concept within the book about Adam and Eve and the events surrounding that and what if there was another man for Eve but the almost bible-bashing by Sid and then the preachy moments ... I was ultimately just turned off, I guess. I'm not totally for sure why ... I'm not one of those crazy-religious people, so it didn't offend me at all. I think that at the crux of it my unrest is the fact that it felt like two totally different books being mashed together ... the stuff with Sid and her d-bag rocker and then Sid and her dreams. Maybe the next book in the series is going to tie both of these worlds together and it will be all good. It just didn't feel all good with this one. Too disjointed. I think that I'll need to put this one aside for now and then maybe read it again sometime later. Perhaps a second reading will bring up some different feelings. 

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

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