Tuesday, 17 January 2017

FREEKS - by Amanda Hocking

Freeks - Amanda Hocking
Year Published: 2016 - by St. Martin's Griffin.
Genres: Young adult / paranormal / romance
Pages: 400.
Source: Thank you to St. Martin's Press for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review!


In a world of magical visions and pyrokinesis, Mara just wants to have a normal life. But is that possible? Mara has become used to the extraordinary. Roaming from place to place with Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Carnival, she longs for an ordinary life where no one has the ability to levitate or predict the future. She gets her chance when the struggling sideshow sets up camp in the small town of Caudry and she meets a gorgeous local guy named Gabe. But before long, Mara realizes there’s a dark presence lurking in the town that’s threatening the lives of her friends. She has seven days to take control of a power she didn’t know she had in order to save everyone she cares about—and change the future forever.

When you pick up an Amanda Hocking book, you know you're in for action, romance, and an utterly fun ride.
While this book had its faults, I still enjoyed it :)


The atmosphere was fantastic! Dark, creepy, and deliciously hypnotic, the world of Freeks captivated me.
The mystery aspect of the story kept me guessing right up to about the last quarter of the book, when Gabe's secret became very obvious.  It was constantly gripping and I found it almost impossible to put the book down. I just had to keep reading; it wasn't boring at all. It was exciting, easy-to-read, frightening, and beautifully creepy.
The characters were brilliantly diverse, and such a refresher from the "all white" casts we so often read about in YA. Mara's world had characters from all different backgrounds and cultures and it was such a delight to read about them. I particularly like the character of Roxy; she was my favourite character. She was probably the most three-dimensional character in the book, and she lit up every scene she was in.
Mara was a wonderfully strong, feisty heroine. I adore, adore this particular quote:



YEAH! Girl power! Mara was a wonderfully strong heroine :)
The only thing I didn't like about her was that she was obviously the kind of girl who slept around a lot and had been through a ton of boys. That wasn't cool, and I couldn't respect her for that.


What I Didn't Like So Much:

- The romance between Gabe and Mara was very "insta-love". It was very, very insta; on page 32 they were already kissing! I just couldn't ship the romance in this book :(   
- The dialogue wasn't great, and when the characters talked they didn't sound all that different from one another; with perhaps the exception of Roxy.
- Hocking's writing is rather clumsy. She has an amazing way of carrying you into her story, but her actual writing isn't mind-blowing.
- Personally, I didn't like all the dark occult stuff and spell casting. As a Christian, that just didn't sit well with me, and so I didn't like it.
- The ending was very rushed. Mara was awesome and the action was good, but it was over too quickly.



Freeks was a deliciously atmospheric, hypnotic YA fantasy packed with diverse characters and rippling with dark, forbidden undercurrents. The dialogue and romance weren't great, but it was still an exciting read. 
Do I recommend it? Yes. 
If you like fun, gripping stories and refreshingly diverse characters, Freeks is for you. 



31 comments:

  1. Instant Love is such a turn off in books! Why? Why do authors do it!? And dialogue - thats pretty important for me and if it doesn't flow well, I end up putting the book down. With that in mind, don't think this is a book for me. Sad really, as I've read some of Amanda Hocking's earlier books and enjoyed them. Nice review, thanks for sharing!

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    1. I KNOW RIGHT?! Yeah, it's definitely a turn off; sorry that this isn't the book for you :(
      Thank you :) Hope you're having a lovely week!

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  2. ohhh you had me at "The atmosphere was fantastic! Dark, creepy, and deliciously hypnotic" and diverse characters but then you lost me at "freaks" LOL! I ALMOST wanted to read this book. You make it sound so good. But I really have a severe allergy to circus books especially if they have freaky stuff. and if the writing wasn't that good I'll probably pass. Thanks for the great review Amy! I was very curious about his book and you really covered ALL.

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    1. Ah I lost you! I'm so sorry!
      But yeah, circuses also kind of freek (SEE WHAT I DID THERE) me out :( Especially clowns! Oooh don't get me started....clowns are terrifying ;)
      Thanks for the comment!

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  3. I'm so glad you liked it. I really loved Mara, and that quote was one of my favourites too. I totally agree with you on the rushed ending. Her writing was good, but not that good in this book.
    I still enjoyed it nevertheless :) Great Review.

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    1. Thanks, me too! Yeah Mara was great, and that quote was awesome :)
      I personally thought this was one of her better books - in terms of writing quality. But that ending was definitely rushed.
      Yay I'm so glad :) And thanks!

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  4. Oh I can't wait for this, I have a giveaway copy on its way to me and when I get it I'll be reading it stat! I love the dark mysterious vibe although it sounds like the things you didn't like I probably won't either, especially the insta- love and the darker elements.

    I love that quote!

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    1. I hope you LOVE it! Ooh that's so awesome, hope it arrives soon!
      That's great :) Yeah, those things were very disappointing, but overall it was a really good book.

      I know right?! It's so awesome!

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  5. I've read a few Amanda Hocking books and I think she creates wonderfully dark atmospheres in her books but I do struggle quite a bit with her writing. I might give this a go though as I loved her Watersong series!

    Great review!

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    1. She does, but yeah, her writing isn't the best. I love her stories more than her actual writing.
      Yes you should, I think you'll like it! And I loved Watersong too :)

      Thanks! <3

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  6. I'm not really a fan of Amanda Hocking..I never get used to her writing style and they way she develops her characters...But I so wanted to read Freeks! But the insta-love is turning me off! Kissing at page 32?? TOO insta :P Might pick up the book later maybe...nice review Amy! :)

    Uma@Books.Bags.Burgers.

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    1. I can see what you're saying. Personally, I thought this book was one of her better ones. But I do think you'll like Freeks!
      Yeah that was a bummer :( I KNOW RIGHT?! It's ridiculous.
      Thanks Uma!

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  7. I've read a couple Amanda Hocking books and disliked them, but this book sounds better :) Glad you enjoyed it! Awesome review :D

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

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    1. Sorry to hear that :( I didn't like her Trylle Trilogy, but the Watersong series was good. Thanks Brittany!

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  8. I read the Trylle Trilogy and enjoyed it. I'll defintely need to check this one out. The only thing that makes me unsure is th insta-love. I am not a fan of them either. Great review, Amy. :)

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    1. Glad you did! Unfortunately I didn't, but I really liked her Watersong series.
      Yeah that was a real disappointment :( But I'd still recommend the book, it's so exciting!
      Thanks Jess :)

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  9. We're not too fond of Amanda Hocking. We tried Switched and we didn't like it. This seems like a better book, but the instal-love is really off-putting. Page THIRTY TWO is way too instant. Great review! <3
    ~ Pendragons 

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    1. I thought the Trylle trilogy was the worst of her books, to be honest. I didn't like it either. But Freeks is definitely a better book, although the insta love was awful. I KNOW, it's crazy!

      Thank you :)

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  10. Oh wow, I actually heard about this book the other day. Although after reading your review I am sceptical whether I am going to like it or not I have read Switched (which was a very long time ago, 5 years ago maybe?) and I did love the writing style. Great review! :)

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    1. Glad you liked the writing style :) I hope you'll decide to read Freeks, it's such a fun and gripping book :)
      Thank you!

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    2. Funny you say that I actually got a copy today so I am going to give it a go! Thanks again! :)

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    3. YAY! Hope you love it! <3

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  11. I LOVED this book so much! Usually I'm really not such a fan of insta-love either, but I can see where it would be necessary for Mara because she's only in the same place for like a week at a time! I personally loved Gabe and Mara together for some reason! I didn't really love the dark magic stuff either. It felt odd to me, but I guess in the story it can't be much more odd than what some of the performers can do! Great review! Mine is coming out sometime this month, I don't remember when I scheduled it for!

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    1. YAY I'M SO GLAD!! Yeah I did kinda understand why Hocking did it; a pity though, because I found it so hard to buy into :(
      Yay I'm glad you loved them!
      Lol, you're right :)
      Thanks! Ah YAY I'll look out for it then! Lol ;)

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  12. I totally agree with the rushed ending!!! It was just too much in one go, it could have been developed along the story..Great review :P
    Kariny @ kariny's boox frenzy

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    1. I know right, it was over so quickly! *high five* That's a good point, so true.
      Thanks :)

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  13. Again, another book we've both read, that we have a spot on rating for! I mean, I rated three stars because I don't do half stars but I complained about wanting half stars because this one deserved it. ARE WE THE SAME PEOPLE OR NOT? <3 Anyway, I did like this one and it was hooking with it all being suspenseful and dark. I loved the fact that they all had their own paranormal powers as well. But I felt like the pacing was very slow... and that the ending was rushed in comparison. And even though I found the romance okay, it was super fast and not very intriguing to me.

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    1. Haha awesome! High five! WE ARE DEFINITELY THE SAME PEOPLE <3 ;)
      Yeah I totally agree, I loved all the individual powers, etc. But yeah the ending was rushed, although I didn't have a problem with the overall pacing.
      Yes totally. I hate insta-love ;)
      Thanks for the comment! Have a lovely rest of the week :)

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  14. Ok, I know I said I'll go and read it, but I decided when I started that I'll go and read the book and come back few days later. I am afraid I'll spoil myelf, it happened many times before.
    Please don't get offended, I am not saying you wrote spoilers, I just say I'm afraid of them.
    Btw, your copy looks really noce with that cover. :)

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    1. Haha I totally understand that :)
      Totally understand!! No offense AT ALL!!
      I really do like the cover :)

      Delete

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