Saturday, July 27, 2013

ARC Review: The Redemption of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen


The dark secret Kayden has kept hidden for years is out. Worse, he's facing charges for battery. The only way he stands a chance against the charges is if Callie speaks up, something he'll never ask her to do.

Callie knows Kayden is going back to his dark place and desperately wants to save him. But saving him means admitting her secrets aloud. Callie and Kayden are stronger than they think, especially when they're together. Together they move forward, face their demons, and finally start to heal from their traumatic pasts.

Release Date: August 6, 2013

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The Redemption of Callie and Kayden isn’t your typical love story where boy meets girl, they fall in love and, after overcoming a minor conflict, they live happily ever after. The lives of the two protagonists are supremely screwed up, which is no surprise, considering the amount of pain and sorrow they have endured. I’ve never been more anxious for a book’s sequel than I was after reading the shocking and unexpected cliffhanger that closed The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden. In this follow-up novel, Jessica Sorensen continues to explore the darker side of the New Adult genre, drawing readers even further into the desolate world of Callie and Kayden – two abuse victims whose lives have been irrevocably altered by unimaginable tragedy.
Any relief I felt upon learning the fate of a particular character quickly dissipated amidst the overwhelming clouds of hopelessness and helplessness that hovers over the opening chapters. The Redemption of Callie and Kayden brings the couple back to square one, except this time Kayden is the one in need of Callie’s support on the road to recovery – a journey which is heartbreakingly difficult to read at times. Sorensen spares no detail of the horrors these characters experience, which is necessary to understand the mindset of the characters as well as their resulting actions, even if the descriptions made me want to cringe.
The Redemption of Callie and Kayden is not an easy read. It’s a powerful and emotional story compiled of sentences that are profoundly impactful, often making me stop to contemplate their meanings. The book is full of characters that are broken in some way, so that even at a young age, they carry around a heavy weight. I appreciated having the chance to learn more about Seth and Luke, especially knowing that Luke’s secrets would be revealed in a future novel. All characters, major and minor, are key elements, each with a specific purpose in the progression of the story.
Sorensen faces a challenge with guiding Callie and Kayden away from their current destructive paths and I think she does an amazing job being informative and believable while staying true to the love story at the heart of the series. The transition from utter misery to cautious optimism is gradual, yet the entire mood of the story shifts with even the slightest sign of hope. I knew how I wanted to story to end but I had no clue as to how Sorensen would deliver the Happily Ever After that the characters desperately deserved. I was satisfied with the ending of The Redemption of Callie and Kayden, but of course, Jessica Sorensen has to throw one last punch with a final revelation that sets up Luke’s story and had me covering my mouth in complete astonishment.  
 Rating: 5 Stars

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