Review: From Ashes by Molly McAdams


From Ashes by Molly McAdams
Mature YA
William Morrow Paperbacks (December 11, 2012)

Rating: C
Heat: Warm

Heroine: Cassidy Jameson – Abused, Starting Over
Hero: Gage Carson – College Student, Roommate
Setting: Texas, USA



Cassidy Jameson takes the phrase ‘a life of hard knocks’ and turns it into a backstory that is, quite simply, horrifying. Her life started out as the apple of her parents eye, the princess who never went without... and then, on her sixth birthday, that changes completely with the death of her father. Her mother... let’s just say she takes a flying leap off the deep end. And Cassi pays the price.

Having spent the last twelve years of her life suffering constant abuse, Cassi is quiet and reserved. Down trodden and afraid. But she still has spirit and she’s trying to move on with her life. Which is how she ends up moving from California to Texas with her best friend, Tyler. And how she meets Gage Carson, Tyler’s cousin.

Gage Carson is consumed by Cassi from the moment she steps out of his cousin’s truck. And is also warned to back off just as quickly. Cassi is Tyler’s girl, or so Gage is told. But it doesn’t stop him from wanting her. And it doesn’t stop him from trying to protect her and be Cassi’s knight in shining armor.

Because, truthfully, someone needs to watch out for her. And while Tyler might have been her saving grace for the last twelve years, he’s also perpetuates the problem and doesn’t let her grow. And he’s also manipulative and a total liar. A... crafty little spider, spinning constant webs of lies.

Lies that almost drove me up a wall and is one of my main problems with this story. How could Cassi and Gage live together and NEVER talk? Love each other but never share their feelings? Why would they simply take Tyler’s word about each other without ever asking the actual person if it’s true? I almost had to suspend reality on this point. All the drama and angst would’ve been non-existent if they simply talked.

Which they don’t do till nearly 75% in. It still makes my eye twitch. Talk, people! Argh. If I could completely ignore that issue, I would give this story a higher rating. But honestly, I can’t ignore it. It is a giant plot thread and is responsible for 95% of the issues Cassi and Gage face.

Other than that, I enjoyed the evolution of Cassi and Gage’s relationship. The progress they make throughout. Seeing every step forward and back, seeing their friendship and romance from beginning to end. I like being there for it all.

And Miz McAdams did a wonderful job engaging my emotions. Making me care for Cassi and for Gage. (And completely NOT care for Tyler.) I like that she gave Cassi real issues and made her struggle to overcome them and, essentially, herself. And Gage was a very understanding and supportive partner. I was rooting for them the entire time.

From Ashes has a frenzy of emotions and turmoil and passion within its pages. It is full of characters that are dealing with serious matters and have a lot to overcome. If you love a story with a heroine who starts out broken and pieces herself together, a hero who will fight for her—even if it means he’s fighting himself, and a plot that is dramatic as well as tragic, then From Ashes is definitely for you.

Favorite Quote:

She nodded against me. “Do you need me to do anything?”
I didn’t need a thing from her, but I wanted everything. I wanted her to leave Tyler, to love me, to want to live here with me for the rest of our lives. I wanted so damn much.
”Just go back to sleep, then enjoy the rest of the day with the girls. I’ll be back tonight.”
”I’ll be waiting her for you.”
Closing my eyes, I took a deep breath in and held it. if only she knew what she did to me.


Thoughts While Reading:

3.0% - "Poor Cassi. That's a rough back story."
13.0% - "Tyler is such a... spider. Spinning webs."
43.0% - "Lots of drama and angst. On the fence about it."


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