Heard by Suzanne Jefferies Book Review
Author: Suzanne Jefferies
Rating: ★★ (2/5)
Description: Skye Callaghan doesn't expect to be swept off her feet by a man like Chase Rogan, not since the accident that left her blind turned her world upside-down. But Chase isn't entirely unfamiliar. He's everything about her past she's trying to escape from-a military man. Trapped in a life she doesn't want, Chase may be the only man who can help her see in the dark.
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Heard by Suzanne Jefferies is a romance novel I received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. It follows the life of the blind narrator, Skye, as she falls in love with Chase, a military man. Upfront it is a short and easy read. It's a casual book that doesn't feel like a massive commitment.
The book does throw you off the deep end into the story with very little necessary establishment of what is happening. There's absolutely no buildup at all. The author drops things with the subtlety of a sludge hammer. It almost seems like the reader is placed right into the middle of the story and they've somehow missed the first half.
All of the world, even as a usually easy contemporary, seems very vague with no truly distinct details given. I wish the writing was more consistent in regards to cementing the world around the love story. It's like none of the small details matter about Skye and Chase's environment and the people meant to be important them.
Characters don't actually have any personality, their only thoughts seem to revolve around attraction to another person. Skye's emotions are hot and cold, going from one extreme to the next, and never finding that perfect middle ground. There's no nuance to her at all. Chase, the assumed love interest, feels a bit like a brick wall the author hoped to spruce up and make welcoming but never actually took the time to do so. He's the stereotypical guy in every romance novel with no defining characteristics.
Maybe it's the gay in me, but at the beginning of the book, there's a lot of immediate fawning over a man Skye has exchanged three collective words with. Despite the author's attempts to portray Skye as a strong character, she becomes a limp noodle at the first man she meets on the page. I'm not comprehending it.
All of the relationships in the book are rushed. The immediate obsession of the characters toward one another is creepy, to say the least. Every single interaction between Skye and Chase feels hastened and incomplete. None of what you want in a romance is expanded upon or taken time to be considered.
There's also too much of an abled person savior complex when it comes to the male love interest, Chase, who is portrayed as a lifesaver for the blind narrator, Skye. Skye's self-doubt and hatred aren't addressed as the main character finding her inner peace but rather a man is supplied as the only obvious solution.
The main romantic relationship between Skye and Chase is shown to be the ultimate end goal to free the main character from her constraints. No self-discovery required. Skye does eventually go on a little bit of a quest for independence which I appreciate but it doesn't arrive organically and is forced in the reader's face with no actual journey to get there.
The author's attempts at low-key sexiness are downright comical - though she does a bit better with the actual sex scenes. The writing juvenilizes a lot of the aspects of sex which doesn't suit the genre well. In isolation, the sex scenes are fine enough, I think maybe all the moments are in a way, but together they don't seem to form a coherent story.
The pacing of the entire book is just plain wacky. There's no consistency or much needed development to certain scenes. The author simply slaps the scenes on the page with no forethought. There are cutely written moments, sure, but the issue lies in pacing. Once the timeline is established the pace does even out some but it's still in no shape solid.
The drama and conflict arrive later, with really none through the majority of the book, but by then you kind of don't care. The author doesn't include any other conflict besides minor romantics travails until well past the 70% mark. But even then the conflict present toward the end doesn't hold up.
I had high hopes for this book - sadly they weren't delivered upon. As someone who suffers a disability, I wanted to go into this book to see a real world and accurate depiction of what it's like to have a disability that isn't displayed as us being "broken". Instead, I felt like this book portrayed disability, particularly in women, as something a partner is magically meant to cure or fix.
Official Purchase Links for Heard: Book Depository
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