Book Review: Carnival by K.B. Nelson


Carnival (Carnival #1)
K.B. Nelson
NA, Romance, Contemporary
Copy from Netgalley
See on: Goodreads

Buy from:Amazon
 Charlie should be packing her bags for college, but the life ahead of her isn’t one she’s certain she wants. Maybe that’s what led her to sleep with a perfect stranger at the county fair. Finding out he was a carnie was like winning the bonus round of the world’s worst game.

Blue grew up in the carnival, never staying anywhere long enough to call home. He never thought of himself as the type to seduce a local, let alone fall in love with one, but his impulsiveness got the better of him this time. He should go where the carnival takes him, but for the first time he’s not sure if he wants to follow.

When he makes the decision to stick around, Charlie eagerly follows him down the rabbit hole; into a world with no regard for consequences or regret. Most of all, he shows her that home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling they can create and share. For a price. Because the higher the roller coaster goes, the faster it all comes crashing down.

Carnival is one of those books that I have to stomach through reading just to get to the end.
But first, I applaud and at the same time curse the author for her way with words. I truly felt like I was at the carnival. The sound of laughter, the carnies calling out to see the performances, the engines of the rides and the laughters and shouts of the people. I can even smell the greasy goodness of the treats as well the sickly sweet scent of candy. It was that good that I felt like I stepped into one without having to leave my reading spot.

Too bad the story does not compensate enough for the realistic detailing.

Ever since I was a teenager (til now), I've been drilled with always, always choosing the right guy. The right guy entails being secured, family-centered and a God-fearing man. I want a man that believes and supports one's personal growth because by learning to love yourself first can you only love other people.

That is why I have a hard time reading this book. Because the characters just gave in to themselves. They gave in to their desires and despite placing the other into trouble, they still acted impulsively.

With the proliferation of NA books, it's hard to distinguish the good ones from the bad. That is why, NA books work for me either when (a) the characters are strong-willed people with a good set of morals or (b) they display selfless love (i.e. letting the person go in order for him/her to discover themselves).

True enough, others can argue that the characters are teenagers and yet, as a debate has the possibility to go on, people would then describe them as adults responsible for their lives. So, what are they really?

Bottomline, we can never justify the actions a person does by basing it on age. The lines are blurred between the acts teens and adults can do. The book may reflect modern society but I've always believed in the escape that a book can bring as well as the lessons it can teach its readers. 

That is why these questions come to mind: What is this book really promoting? Sex with a total stranger? Taking drugs from said stranger and enjoying it? Dropping everything off just to be with said stranger?Aaand, falling in love with this stranger?

Hopefully the following books show the development of the characters' maturity as they deal with their problems as responsible people.

I grew up on a farm in Ohio, but that's not very interesting, is it? When I'm not writing you can find me doing one of two things; getting lost on highways or getting lost in the lives of fictional characters. If my heart had two feet, one foot would be in romance and the other solidly in geekdom. I hope you'll all follow me on my journey through this carnival they call life.I promise there will be a happy ending. 

Author links: Website .. Twitter .. Goodreads

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