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Friday, January 2, 2015

ARC Review: The Charlotte Chronicles by Jen Frederick

The Charlotte Chronicles is the first book in the Jackson Boys series by Jen Frederick. This book is a spin-off from her Woodlands series with the main characters being the offspring of characters from the Woodlands books. While I enjoyed the books in the Woodlands series, I have to say that I was more intrigued by this story and I couldn't wait to get to know these characters. I loved the idea of these being the children of Grace and Noah and Bo and AM. While I did have a few issues with this story, I really loved it. These characters are still on my mind long after having finished their story, and I could not put this one down.

Charlotte and Nathan were always meant for one another. Since Charlotte was born, Nate knew that she was his. Their families were a unit, with their parents being best friends and their children following in their footsteps. Charlotte and Nick were always close, but it was always Charlotte and Nathan that had forever. Then an illness and a decision tore them apart. Although they always thought that they would end up together, the years and distance between them start to weigh on both of them. Just when Charlotte finally begins to move on, a chance encounter changes everything. Can Charlotte and Nathan find their way back to one another and have the forever that they always knew was in store for them?

I liked Charlotte and Nathan a lot. Charlotte was strong and positive after everything that she had been through. She showed so much grace and strength in the face of heartbreaking events at such a young age. I loved how she didn't give up on Nate for so long and that she was always loyal to him. She did everything that she could to show him that she would always be there for him, and I loved her character for how she handled everything. Nathan was made for Charlotte just as much as she was made for him. He was her protector and lover, and he was exactly who she needed by her side. That being said, he made some real bonehead moves when it came to her that I just flat out didn't understand. His actions didn't make sense to me, and I thought that they seemed to be sort of unreasonable. Even with his explanations I just never really felt like he had a good enough reason for doing what he did. I did like that he was as faithful to Charlotte as she had been to him though, even if it was unbelievable. I have a hard time believing that things would happen the same way in real life, but as far as the story goes I really loved it. Charlotte and Nate were great and I thought that they had it all when it came to their relationship. They had the history and emotional connection, the chemistry and steam, but above all they had support and love to see them through all the tough times. 

I will say that beyond Nate's actions being ridiculous, I also felt like it was a bit out of character for both him and Charlotte both to have let things go for nine years. It just didn't ring true for me, and I felt like with both of the being loyal and feeling as they still did about one another that one or both of them would have tried harder over the nine years to fix things. I didn't really buy into their re-connection because of a chance encounter. I thought that was unrealistic, and didn't care for how that played out. I also felt as though with everything they had been through as teenagers as well as the long time apart, that the drama at the end was over the top and unnecessary. It seemed a bit overkill to me, and I honestly don't know why it was needed. They had enough obstacles to overcome, and it all felt rushed to me. It just didn't seem to fit with everything else, and I thought that it would have been a better story without that happening. I did enjoy the story despite my complaints though, and I can honestly say that even though it seems like I had a lot of criticisms that I still thought this was a great book. Charlotte and Nathan's story just really got to me, and they are characters that I will never forget. I loved seeing more of their parents and how things turned out for them, but I am really fascinated with their children. I absolutely cannot wait to read more about the Jackson boys and get to know Nick better. I loved his friendship with Charlotte and that he was like a brother to her. While I think that fans of the Woodlands series will enjoy seeing old favorites as well as new faces, I think that NA fans should read this one regardless of having any experience with the Woodlands or not. This book is easily read as a standalone and does not require knowing the characters from those books to understand what is going on. I would recommend reading those books though because I think that it gives a much better history and complete story if you see how Charlotte and Nathan as well as Nick came into existence. I am definitely looking forward to more from Jen Frederick in the future.

**ARC Provided by All Night Reads**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N |


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