30 April 2014

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

"The dark secret Kayden has kept hidden for years is finally out. Worse, he's facing charges for battery. The only way to clear his name is for Callie to speak up - something he'll never ask her to do. Instead, he'll do whatever he must to protect her, even if it means letting go of the only girl he's ever loved.

Callie knows Kayden is going back to his dark place and desperately wants to save him. But that means admitting her own painful secrets aloud. The thought of breaking her silence terrifies her - but not as much as the thought of losing Kayden forever. Can she convince him they can make a fresh start together - or is she already too late?"

Rating: 4/5

You can buy The Redemption of Callie and Kayden as a paperback or an eBook now.

I am a huge fan of Jessica Sorensen, and the books that she has written within the genre of New Adult novels. In fact, Jessica's were probably the first book I read of this genre at all, so it's thanks to her that I have started to broaden my reading to another genre other than chick lit. This book is the second in her Callie and Kayden series. The first book, The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden was an amazingly powerful novel that really touched me, of love between two damaged young people, against the odds. That book left us with a pretty shocking cliff-hanger so I was excited to finally read this and find out exactly what happened next.

Kayden's secret is finally out, but he's worried it's now destroyed everything he had finally created with Callie. He is looking like he is going to face charges for battery, and the only way he can clear his name is for Callie to speak out and reveal her own secret, something he doesn't want to force her to do. He's determined to protect Callie, but she equally wants to help Kayden out of his own personal hell. Neither of them wants to give in, but Callie is unsure whether she can finally admit what happened to her, and why Kayden truly lost it that night. Will either of them be able to face up to their painful pasts and look towards a brighter future?

What I love about these books is the characters of Callie and Kayden. Both are in their late teens, and are just so believable and realistic. Yes, they have both been through a lot of traumatic events in their relatively short lives, but the way Sorensen writes them, you can see how much it has affected them, in terms of self-esteem, socially, and personally with their relationships with their own families. You can see why they are drawn to each other, and although this book very much starts with the pair apart, and wanting to start getting closer and building up trust again, you can feel the love the pair have for each other, and can understand why they are reluctant to hurt each other in terms of revealing past secrets to protect Kayden's name.

This book does deal with some quite gritty issues, and there are parts of it which are quite tough to read. We are told a lot more about Kayden's past in this book, and some of it is horrid to read, you really feel for him and what he went through as a young child. It actually made me quite angry to think that there are children who really have to go through this, because it's just so disgustingly wrong. Callie, too, has to face some of her own demons with the help of her friends, and I enjoyed reading about her with people aside from Kayden, I felt that we saw a bit of a lighter side to her which was nice.

The pace of this book was just right, with lots going on but at a believable rate. I found myself racing through the chapters just to get to the end and find out what was going to happen for Callie and Kayden, to see if they would get their happy-ever-after that they deserved. This is a brilliant second outing for these characters, and I'm thrilled to see that there is also going to be a third book too, I'm curious to find out where that is going to go. I love the characters of Callie and Kayden - yes they're a bit broken and damaged as people, but that's what is so likeable about them, you want them to finally be happy. Sorensen's writing is brilliant to read, really evoking the emotion of the characters, their pain and sorrow, as well as their hope and passion for each other too. I loved this book, and can't wait for the third in the series.

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