Book Review: Riot House by Callie Hart
“You are going to be mine, Elodie Stillwater. Of all my sins and misdeeds, making you fall in love with me will be the very worst of them all.”
This book took me by surprise in more ways that one. It's a pretty long book and every minute was worth it (except maybe for the long unnecessary inner monologues.) Usually in romance novels, specially dark ones, you read them for the romance and the characters. The plot is usually subpar, but in this book OMG the plot was so fast paced and interesting. The mystery of Mara and the added "in the dark" chapters kept me wondering if they were intertwined or not and when you finally discover all the truths you are left truly heartbroken.
Riot House is the first book in the Crooked Sinners book, it can be read as a standalone as the other books follow the other boys in this Riot House. The Riot House is a fancy mansion that houses 3 of the richest Wolf Hall Academy boys. Wren (who we focus on this book), Pax and Dash. Wren is the darkest of the 3 (apparently). He is moody and broody and he has never allowed his heart to open up for anyone. That is until Elodie comes along and takes him into a world he didn't know he could participate in. Elodie has a very dark past as she was (TW) sexually assaulted by her FATHER (!!!) after he kills his mother. She is locked in a box for 5 days and all at the age of 14. Not only that but because her father is a high ranking military officer she actually has to stay with him. For her, Wolf Hall Academy is actually a salvation from her abusive father and dark past. When she meets Wren it is obvious why they start a relationship.
The things that I enjoyed the most included the storyline of the characters and the plot. Apart from the romance that brews between Elodie and Wren, there is also a mystery disappearance that happened a year ago. Mara was actually close to Wren so many assume that he was the one to blame for her death or dissapearence. The big reveal at the end was a bit obvious for me because there simply wasn't another character introduced to the story who could have been the one behind her death. However it was still a shocking scene and it was developed in a really enticing way, where you just really want to devour the book in one sitting.
The only thing I didn't enjoy (hence the rating) was the inner monologue Elodie and Wren sometimes had. It was long and uncalled for. Elodie hates Wren at the beginning and distrusts him for no reason at all, he really wasn't that evil. Yet, I felt liek in these monologues we learn how messed up they both are and hence why they don't seem to trust each other. However, at times they did feel a little long and unnecessary. Maybe more scenes together rather than just monologue and monologue and monologue would have been a better way to show the readers of their connections and thoughts rather than just telling us.
“Maybe,” he agrees. “Or maybe you’ll see that I am a monster. And maybe you’ll fall in love with me anyway.”
Overall rating: 4 stars