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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

ARC Review: Save Me by Eliza Freed

It almost kills me to write this review. I absolutely loved the first book in the Lost Souls series by Eliza Freed, and even though the second book wasn't my favorite, I had hope for Save Me. I have to say though that I am so disappointed in this book and ultimately this series, and this book actually destroyed me. I was so hopeful going into this book, and I will admit that I have always been solidly team Jason even after everything. Had this book just been a matter of a love triangle and a team chosen, I would have been fine with the outcome even if it wasn't the one I wanted. But the way this series was ended just kills me. Not only was it nothing like I had hoped for, it also wasn't as well written as what I have come to expect from Eliza Freed after reading the first two books. Her writing has always been great even if it wasn't what I hoped for. But in Save Me, time jumps around with little to no transitions, leaving the reader struggling to figure out where and when we are. Events are referenced after the fact with no signs of them actually having taken place when they supposedly occurred, even after going back to reread those portions of the story just to make sure that I hadn't missed anything. There are also numerous times when things are left vague and ambiguous leaving the reader struggling to figure out what is actually going on or happened.

Save Me does pick up after the events of Redeem Me, and these books absolutely have to be read in order. At the beginning of Save Me, Charlotte and Noble are engaged and have been for some time. Though she is happy with Noble and likes where they are, she still thinks of Jason and the connection they have always shared. Jason is still unwilling to accept that Charlotte doesn't want to be with him and is determined to win her back. But will Charlotte leave the love and stable relationship that she has found with Noble in order to have a second chance with the man that broke her?

I really can't go into too much about this story or these characters in this book without giving too much away. What I can say though is that Noble is pretty much a saint. He has a few questionable actions, but on the whole he is a genuine good guy. I have never believed that Noble and Charlotte were meant to be a couple, and that didn't change in this book. While I absolutely adore Noble, I have always felt that Charlotte didn't deserve him and that Noble deserved far better. Charlotte was for the most part happy in this book. She truly did care for Noble, and that was clear all along. I still saw more friendship between the two of them than the explosive chemistry like she had with Jason. While I liked that Charlotte was more stable in this book, I did feel as though she was still pining for Jason. Everything for her always came back to him, and I hated that she put Noble in the position to just accept her being in love with Jason. She didn't want to hurt Noble, but I don't know how she thought what she was doing wouldn't hurt him either. Jason I felt got the short end of the stick. Yes he screwed up, but everything comes back to what happened with him and Charlotte. She was partially to blame for the situation they were in, and he also was completely out of it when he cheated on her with Stephanie. I felt like he was beyond harshly punished for the worst mistake of his life, and I don't feel as though he ever really got the forgiveness or second chance that he deserved. Charlotte still pined for him and loved him, and yet she refused to really hear him out or give him another chance. I felt that it was unrealistic, and that she would have been able to at least be rational when it came to him if she truly loved him like she said she did.

Overall, I was really disappointed with this book as well as the last one. I feel as though all the things I enjoyed about the first book were slowly destroyed as the series continued. I did see some growth and change in the characters over the course of this series, but I am not sure that it was all for the better. Charlotte and Jason were both damaged characters, and they were able to relate so well because they were broken. They healed one another, and a connection like they shared was one of a kind. I thought that they were perfect for one another, and that they would be the ones to heal each other. But what I saw as the story continued was that they were torn apart and never given a chance to put things right. I also thought that Charlotte changed who Noble was and I didn't like that at all. I didn't believe that he would be as okay with everything as the author made him out to be, and that is part of what killed this series for me. While I do like the way things ended on a positive note after everything, I don't like that it had to end the way it did because of the events leading up to it. Vague I know, but I really don't want to spoil what happens for those that haven't already finished this series. To say that I am unhappy with how things played out is an understatement, and I truly wish that I hadn't read the first book and become invested in these characters. If I had known how things would end, I wouldn't have started this series. I know it isn't always true to life, but when I read romance I want a happy ending. That is just the way that I am built. For me even though this series ended on a good note, it wasn't a happy ending. This book tore my heart out and stomped on it, and it left me with nothing but sadness.

**ARC Provided by Forever (Grand Central Publishing)**

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