Title: Gods & Monsters
Author: Saffron A. Kent
Genre: Contemporary/New Adult Romance
Release Date: 22nd February, 2018
Cover Design: RDA Designs
He was an artist. She was his muse.
To everyone in town, Abel Adams was the devil’s spawn, a boy who never should have been born. A monster.
To twelve year-old Evie Hart, he was just a boy with golden hair, soft t-shirts and a camera. A boy who loved taking her picture and sneaking her chocolates before dinner. A boy who made her feel special.
Despite her family’s warnings, she loved him in secret for six years. They met in empty classrooms and kissed in darkened church closets. Until they couldn’t.
Until the time came to choose between love and family, and Evie chose Abel.
Because their love was worth the risk. Their love was the stuff of legend.
But the thing about legends is that they are cautionary tales. They are made of choices and mistakes. And for Abel and Evie, the artist and the muse, those mistakes come in the form of lights, camera, sex.
NOTE: This is NOT a paranormal or a priest romance.
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★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Reviewed by Emma-Louise on behalf of KFF
Abel and Evie almost sounds like Adam and Eve, doesn’t it? And I don’t presume to believe that was accidental either. Evie has lived her entire life in Prophetstown Iowa, a supposedly quaint little town that lives, eats and breathes the church. Enter Abel Adams. An angry young teenager forced to live with his uncle after the death of his parents. Very few in the town like him, some are openly venomous towards him.
‘Abel Adams was the devil’s spawn, a boy who never should have been born. A monster.’
Evie and Abel become united against the township and their vileness. Unlikely friends who help each other battle through the harsh and cold darkness of life. Almost from the beginning of this book, I formed the opinion that the sins of the parents were being passed to their child. Some sins were in the open for all to see and some were hidden behind closed doors for a single person to bear. The relationship between Abel and Evie develops slowly. Seeing as both are young when the book starts, it takes Evie a while to realise how she feels.
‘I realise this is the big bang. This is how boys with golden hair and angry expressions crash into your life. This is how stars collide and worlds are made. This is how all the love stories start.’
Abel is labelled as a monster and the devil even before he comes to Prophetstown, he never really stood a chance. I kept asking myself whether or not Abel would have made the mistakes he makes if the towns people hadn’t treated him like the devil. The one question I asked myself repeatedly throughout this read was if he was truly destined to go down the road he travelled, or if more people had treated like a person and not a pariah would any of what was in this book have ever happened?
‘Maybe he’s always been a monster who looks like a god. Because only monsters love this way: crazily, insanely, madly. Like there’s no tomorrow. Like the world is ending. Like they would burst with all the painful love they feel inside that tiny organ. We’re both monsters, then.’
This author doesn’t create safe books. She spins tales that do not play safe and never takes the easy safe route to the end. She stays true to the tale and the characters. Specifically their histories, personalities and their traumas. I’ve read books such as Gods & Monsters before and oftentimes the author backs up and takes an easier, less traumatic way of reaching the climax, this is not the case with this book. No! It deals with some truly realistic scenarios and taboos, and how these events plus how other people interrupt them can damage others thoughtlessly. At times it wasn’t even without thought, certain characters went out of their way to hurt others and almost got gleeful if they managed to draw blood.
‘When two people fall in love, the other seven million don’t matter. It’s not the world that tears them apart, it’s them. Only they have the power.’
Gods and Monsters focuses on how people deal with their emotions, rightly or wrongly. How depending on the time, people can be the best or worst for each other. How anger and hatred can twist and distort someone’s views of others and the world around them. This isn’t a flowers and candy sort of romance. This is grit, determination and hearts openly bleeding for the entire world to see romance.
‘Isn’t it funny how the brain works? It protects. It blocks out things. It rejects the possibility that something must be wrong. That the person you love the most might also be the person who’s hurting you.’
The emotions are real and tangible and even now, days after reaching “The End”, the story is still whirling through my mind. These characters will always be a work in progress, but I know that’s what make them so truly lifelike.
‘Why is it so easy for people to hate but not to understand? Why is it so easy to judge and conclude but not to take a second to listen? Probably because they are afraid of realising how similar they are to the things they hate. How similar they are to the monsters they are so afraid of.’
My only advice is this…go into this book with an open mind. Gods and Monsters is a guilty pleasure, the kind of book you can splurge on like chocolate cake at four in the morning. But remember to bring Kleenex!