Wednesday, January 18, 2017

ARC Review: Soulmated

Soulmated by Shaila Patel
Publisher: Month9Books
Release Date: January 24th, 2017
Format: Egalley
Source: copy provided by publisher for review
My Rating: ★★

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
Two souls. One Fate. 

Eighteen-year-old Liam Whelan, an Irish royal empath, has been searching for his elusive soulmate. The rare union will cement his family's standing in empath politics and afford the couple legendary powers, while also making them targets of those seeking to oust them.

Laxshmi Kapadia, an Indian-American high school student from a traditional family, faces her mother's ultimatum: Graduate early and go to medical school, or commit to an arranged marriage. 

When Liam moves next door to Laxshmi, he’s immediately and inexplicably drawn to her. In Liam, Laxshmi envisions a future with the freedom to follow her heart. 

Liam's father isn't convinced Laxshmi is "The One" and Laxshmi's mother won't even let her talk to their handsome new neighbor. Will Liam and Laxshmi defy expectations and embrace a shared destiny? Or is the risk of choosing one's own fate too great a price for the soulmated?
This was a hard book for me to get through. It was one of those books that I wanted to like way more than I did. There were parts of this book that I thought worked really well, and parts that just missed the mark for me. I find sometimes I just can't get over things that don't work for me and it ends up souring the rest of the book for me. Soulmated unfortunately was a book that was okay, but I just didn't totally love.

So what I think worked the best in this novel was Laxshmi. This book was about an Indian-American girl written by an Indian-American woman, and that was pretty clear. Which means it was awesome! This was an Own Voices novel, and I was really glad I was able to read accurately about a culture that was not my own. With Laxshmi's point of views I really got a feel for her struggles with identity and her strained relationship with her mother. This part of the novel felt so real, and I loved reading about the story in her point of view. I was actually more interesting in learning how the conflict between her and her mother was going to be resolved. I was kind of disappointed we don't see a resolution in this novel, but I believe this is going to be a series so I am assuming this will be addressed later. 

I initially was intrigued by this novel because it was Urban Fantasy, and I would like to read more books from this subgenre. The plot of the novel is that Liam (an Irish Royal Empath) is looking for his soulmate. The concept of him searching for her was interesting, so there is definitely instalove in this novel. Since this is pretty much the point of the plot I didn't mind that at all. What I did mind was that I still have no idea what an Empath is or how this ability that Liam has is really about. I felt very lost when there was talk about Liam being a "threat" because I didn't really understand how this hidden society works. I felt very lost with all this, and it made it harder for me to enjoy this book. 

Another thing that just didn't click with me was Liam's voice. I loved reading from Laxshmi's point of view, I really got a feel for who she was and she felt real to me, but I could never really feel that from Liam. They way his viewpoint was written felt awkward to me and the aggressive use of Irish slang was a little distracting. The dialogue from him felt very two-dimensional and it was almost as is the order of words were mixed up. It was too distracting for me to really care about his side of the story. I recommend this book? I would.  There is definitely a market for this novel and I know there are other readers that will swoon over the love story between Laxshami and Liam. I think readers will enjoy the soulmate concept in this novel and be intrigued by the empath society.

Have you read this book yet? What did you think? Did you struggle with Liam's point of view like I did?

Happy Reads Everyone!