Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Review- My Heart Be Damned by Chanelle Gray

My Heart Be Damned

by Chanelle Gray
Available September 15
ARC provided by author
Amazon available for preorder
Goodreads Summary:
If you're a Hunter, there are only three things you must know about the Damned. The Damned can't lie, can't live without a body, and can't leave you alone.

Amerie Carter has the blood of a Hunter, unfortunately. She is one of a rare line of women who, upon her sixteenth birthday, will come into extraordinary powers used to hunt the Damned; escaped souls from Hell who take up residence in human bodies. It's supposed to be her sweet sixteen, but Amerie has never dreaded a day more, and her worst fears are confirmed as the celebration turns tragic when her mother is killed.

Grief-stricken, Amerie vows to never hunt a day in her life. She's determined to hide behind normalcy, attending school, hanging out with her friends and working an after-school job at The Hut. All Amerie wants is to be left alone. But try telling the Damned that. The harder Amerie tries to ignore her powers, the more the Damned come looking for her.

When an attack leaves one of Amerie's friends in the hospital, and endangers the lives of her fellow students, she knows she has no choice: Hunt or Be Hunted. Thankfully, the gorgeous, secretive, and so-off-limits Marshall offers to train Amerie to take out her supernatural enemies. But training with Marshall means lying to her friends, her family, and confronting the mysterious circumstances surrounding her mother’s death.

Amerie soon discovers she’s not the only one with something to hide, Marshall's secrets might kill her before the Damned get the chance

I had no preconceived ideas going into this novel. I knew it was a debut and I've been reading a lot lately so I was hoping for something good. I was into about the first twenty pages and although I liked the secondary characters, I wasn't quite liking the MC, Amerie. Then she's standing by the bathroom and Mr. Tall Dark and Sexy says, "It must be my lucky night. Looks like I found myself my very own angel. What did you do to fall from heaven?" And she doesn't get all blushed and gushy, not my heroine Amerie. Nope, she snorts at him! Yep and says, "That was the shi**iest pick-up line I've ever heard." You tell him Amerie! And she does she tells everyone whenever she feels the need throughout the book and you really can't not like a girl like that. From there on I was glued! I spent Father's day reading it (sorry honey)! It's completely addictive reading.

Amerie has a sad story, her mom died the day before her 16th birthday, killed by one of the Damned. And Amerie refuses to be a Hunter of them. But the Damned didn't get the memo and they're hunting her.   Thanks to her father, they have lost their house, their possessions and the lifestyle she was accustomed to, but she keeps going. And even though her life has done a 180, she doesn't wallow in self pity. She is very much like Buffy except Buffy never seemed to enjoy life to me. Amerie does. She's got friends she really loves and who love her, Mercy and Chuck.  And they are truly great friends. I loved both of them right away. There's a third one that the jury is still out on, Sam. He's the new guy. Now, this is not a retelling of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, just so you know. But there are some familiar elements and if you liked Buffy, you'll like this. She even likes the show Supernatural!

But the pages absolutely sizzle when Amerie and Marshall are together. More than an action story, more than a paranormal story, this was a romance. And I thought I'd read some swoon worthy material in YA, but this rates really high on the angst and swoon worthy scale. There is a drop of a hint at what is going on why the romance blows hot and cold between the two of them, but it's only in the last few pages that we understand what's really going on. 

I was just as unbalanced as Amerie when it came to why Marshall seemed to go back and forth with her. I had no idea what his deal was, but as I got to understand his character, I thought I knew who he was. I couldn't have been more wrong. The only person I was right about in this whole novel was Amerie. I could count on her for a snarky comeback and for punching someone in the face. and sneaking out of her room at night by climbing down a tree. Thanks for being so solid Amerie!

Marshall, you will hate in the beginning of the book if you are anything like me. He is a pig, a chauvinist, a sexist, and all those other names that go with those terms. He is so over the top, he's unbelievable. In one of their first conversations Amerie is trying to take his order at The Hut, her first day of work, her first customer. Here is part of the coversation.  
Amerie- He liked seeing me squirm. What kind of a**hole did that?
Amerie -"At the risk of being fired...you're an a**." (Oh, forgot to say she just finds out, he's the boss' son. Perfect right?)  
Marshall- "And speaking of a**es..." 
Amerie- He peered around to stare at mine. "Hey! You're disgusting, Marshall. I'm definitely going now."
Marshall-"So you've said, and yet you're still standing here."
He constantly talks to Amerie like this  but believe me, she dishes it right back at him. And she punches him in the face. So there is that.

I laughed, I yelled, I cringed at some of the fights, and I was very caught up in the story. The mythology, in the beginning, is very simple to understand, but at the end, something more complicated is thrown in, setting up the next book. The first story is finished, but with some new stories already begun, not cliffhangers, but troubling never the less. Still, I felt satisfied especially with the last page.

As I have often noted, the more I like a book, the worse my review is. So if you find this review horrible, you'll know how much I really loved this book. At the rate of reading one book a day, to have one set itself apart so much from the others in the paranormal world, speaks, if you'll forgive me-VOLUMES.

I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review. No monetary compensation was received for this review.

Just so you know- There is some language and a lot of sexual innuendo in the book. As always, use your best judgement as far as age goes.


  1. I'm still laughing at your last sentence, "So if you find this review horrible, you'll know how much I really loved this book." That's cute!!!! Plus, your review was not horrible, it was "you" :))

    1. Thanks Danny! I knew you would be the first to comment because of the time difference! This book you will love! I was thinking of you while I was reading it. I kept thinking I know Danny will love this. Too bad you have to wait until Sept.

  2. Hahahah I'm the same way Heather! The more I love a book, the harder I find it to write the review and then I usually end up with a rambling series of paragraphs that don't at all get across what I was trying to say:) I loved this review though, and I think I'm more than a little in love with Amerie, especially the fact that she snorted in the face of that angel line. My kind of girl:) Haven't heard of this one before, thanks so much for the review!

    1. Oh you will love Amerie! She snorts in his face more than once! And the banter back and forth, again, this is one if you read in public, people will look at you and think something is wrong with you when you laugh out loud. My family thought I was nuts. I had to share some of the lines with them, they were just so funny!

  3. I'm glad she snored at that pick-up line. It was horrible and terribly overused! I'm all for a strong female heroine and the fact that you couldn't pin down Marshall's character gives me hope that I might end up liking him. Haven't heard of this book or author before, so thanks for bringing it up to my attention.

    1. Nope, this is a debut that comes out in September! But it reads like a well seasoned author's novel. I really think you'll enjoy it. And nope, I don't think you'll be able to get Michael's character. There weren't any stereotypes in here,amazingly. It was refreshing to see.

  4. Wow - You loved this hey Heather. It sounds like my kind of YA too... not too young or nice. :) Isn't it great when something you're asked to read turns out to be so special. I mostly read sos-sos's or 'yeah, nice!' books. But when I get thrown a curve ball and something magical happens, it's like rediscovering the pleasure of reading all over again. X

  5. PS: Could you change the name of my blog on your blogroll please. It's now Shah Wharton's WordsinSync - I know, like you have the time for such trivialities right? When you have time will doodle-doo. :)

  6. That's great this book was such a winner for you! I tend to be wary of paranormals as lately so many have fallen flat. But I will remember this review when this comes out and maybe I'll give it a try. The banter between the two sounds like something I would enjoy.

  7. Oh I haven't heard of this one, but it looks like I really want to know it personally. I loved your review of this one and the way you loved the book. I love the sound of this heroine! :D


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