ARC Review: Golden by Melinda Michaels

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High school senior Hanna Loch just suffered a blackout in front of her entire homeroom class. She hasn’t had one in over ten years, and she’s terrified—the last time she blacked out, she woke up with no memory of her life before. To make matters worse, no one can explain why it happens. For Hanna, bad things tend to come in threes.

And that doesn’t even begin to cover it . . .

When she learns she could be a descendant of someone who lived /once upon a time/, Hanna must put her trust in William Vann, a descendant of one of the most hated villains ever known. Their histories are intertwined in more ways than she expected, and he has answers about her past, answers even her family won’t share.

But is it safe to put her trust in someone who appears to be danger reincarnate, while trying to escape the darkness that tried to kill her ten years ago?

A loose fairytale retelling, GOLDEN is a story that’s /just right/, weaving together lost secrets, vengeful enemies, and what happens when fiction becomes reality.

Review:

I received a digital copy of the book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

It’s been awhile since I have revisited the childhood stories that used to make my sleeping time so much more better 😀

It was the blurb for this book that made me say yes to the author’s request for reviewing the book. I had also thought that I wouldn’t exactly be able to get to it before the Mid of June and yet here we are – cause this one was quite interesting to say the least.

“Once upon a time, a weird girl kept passing out.”

The story starts with Hanna blacking out in the class – an occurrence that hasn’t happened since he was 8 years old. Another peculiar thing about Hanna – she doesn’t remember anything prior to 8 years of age – a form of amnesia that she has accepted and lived with. But of course the blackout does mean that everything in her life is about turn topsy turvy.

“You’re not a weirdo. You’re just living in a fairytale.”

She meets William Vane – a mysterious guy who intrigues her. Her friends and even her family, warn her against him believing him to be the villain of the story. Hanna finally starts to question why her memory has failed, why she doesn’t remember anything of her early life.

This leads her to a journey of understanding who or rather what she is – a descendent of the old characters of what are now considered fairytales. This is a journey that shows the world around in a new light. She understands the people in her life better – a lot of her assumptions are disavowed and she finally realises that she has a lot of growing up to do.

“She was a bit brave, a bit naive to follow him, but he saw the strangeness in her eyes. A mixture of strength and pain and mystery that he had never witnessed before. He found it comforting to witness her in such a light – a bit of villain in the good.”

When the blurb says – A loose fairytale retelling – it is said literally. It is only at the almost end that you understand which fairytale characters are involved – and even then it’s only a single dialogue here or there.

This was actually an interesting story to read. Because even though there were hints all over the story yet it took me a while to understand which fairytale was the author based Golden on, not that it was detracting. Oh, far from it, it was actually fun trying to guess which fairy tale were all the characters from – and let me tell you they did intertwine from a few different ones.

The writing is simple, yet brilliant. The story also moves from a single POV to a dual POV (for which I love you, Ms. Michaels) and the story moves at a steady pace that neither lags nor stretches without a rhyme or reason – which is quite an achievement in my book!
The only thing I did not like was the instant love between Hanna and William – well at least the realization of love by Hanna so soon – especially since she was still conflicted about a lot of things in her life, yet even that was a minor irritant, only because Ms. Michaels made sure that Hanna didn’t turn into a whining teenager whose only focus was her love life.

Lastly, I really wish that Ms. Michaels makes this one a series or maybe even a duology because I really really really need Owen’s story – ’cause he deserves his own happy ending ❤

Rating:

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Recommendation:

If you have ever spent even a part of your childhood reading fairy tales, you’ll like this one. It is a little edgy, a lot more sinister, yet it is quite interesting on its own. Give it a try. You just might like it!

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