Friday, May 1, 2015

Kane's Hell by Elizabeth Finn - ARC Review

Kane’s Hell by Elizabeth Finn 5 of 5 Stars

Kane and Helene have been best friends since childhood. As teenagers, Kane grew to be the popular bad boy and Helene the scholarly nerd. However, nothing like social status in school could keep these two apart, their friendship was just as strong as ever, maybe even on the verge of something more than friendship. Their lives were all about tests and homecoming dances until one day a nightmare neither one of them could have ever predicted shattered their innocence and destroyed any hopes they had of a future together tearing their promising romance at the seams. Eleven years pass and separate them their lives going in very different directions as they both try to bury the demons that haunt them. Until Kane comes home and everything changes, passion ignites and secrets unravel. Can this couple once inseparable as young people finally put their dark past behind them and have a future together or will their shared ugly past continue to haunt them.

My Review:

When we met Kane and Helene its eleven years ago when they are teenager’s working at the local gas station in town. They live in small town where everyone pretty much knows everyone. Kane has always been a bit of a bad boy and Helene very much a nerd. Their attraction started innocently enough as young children living in an area where not many other children lived they developed a strong friendship that sustained through the years to adolescences.  They both have feelings for the other beyond friendship and share a flirtatious relationship, neither brave enough just yet to express how they really feel. These characters literally gripped me from the first chapter I was enthralled. This is my first book from Elizabeth Finn and it definitely will not be the last. She writes the most amazing well-developed characters I have read in a long time. Kane’s Hell is unique and sometimes scary sometimes beautiful. The trauma these two young people share is difficult to imagine, but not necessarily something, that couldn’t happen outside a novel. There are darker parts of this book for sure, that had me cringing but they were so well written I could not put the book down. I am not one to give away spoilers, so I won’t give away too much of the plot except to say this is a tremulously deep story that will have you crying and gasping.

"You will never be less than everything to me." 

Kane is a broken man, shattered by the events of the past, he feels he is responsible for and can’t forgive himself or break free of the self-destructive prison he created in his life. Helene is a woman who has tried to push her past behind her and move forward, going to college and becoming a psychology professor. She has been holding together her broken heart mourning the life she could have had with the boy she loved before he disappeared from her life when she needed him the most.  

"She'd warmed me in the cold, she'd comforted me in the pain, she'd loved me in the nightmare."

When they come together, again eleven years later, it’s a struggle for both of them, but they try to forge a new relationship. They wonder if they could really have a future together, will the past stop them from having a normal life? Did their shared nightmare change them too much? They soon realize the one thing that never changed was their love for each other. I read every chapter of this book with a lump in my throat the story pulled and tugged at my emotions at every turn. Kane was a male character like no other I have read he was strong yet extremely vulnerable at the same time especially when it came to Helene. She was his world and he showed her when they made love and sometimes just by looking at her. Helene was a female character I felt I could be friends with she was smart and a bit sassy. She’s been broken by tragedy, yet she pulled herself together and made a life for herself only missing one thing, the love of the only man she ever wanted in her life.

"I am not good at much in this world, but I am good at loving you." 

I loved how the author intertwined the psychology parts in the book, she didn’t just throw them in as filler she made them an important part of the story. As I read, I kept thinking how the author could finish this book without rushing it, without making it seem unreal. Elizabeth surprised the hell out of me because she did it; she managed to end this book exactly the way it needed to end staying true to the characters she built from the beginning.  I couldn’t wait to find out the end yet I was sad to let these characters go, it is a wonderful feeling to me when character’s touch me so much I feel like I am living their lives with them. A great read I highly recommend this book, it has a warning because yes, there are some dark parts and issues of extreme violence so if those are triggers for you this is not the book for you. If you want to read a story about flawed people with real problems and obstacles to overcome in order to get to a possible, happily ever after this is the book for you. Great job Elizabeth looking forward to reading more of your work.


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