Author: Shelly Crane
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy, Contemporary
Rating: 3 Stars
In the fourth and final installment, Maggie and Caleb must tie up all the loose ends of their lives and make a way to be together completely on their own. With everything that happened with Bish and Maggie’s father, she’s almost reluctant to move on and move out. And now she must figure out all of this…stuff…with Haddock. But of course, nothing can stay simple for the Jacobsons. Enemies who were thought to be dissolved have decided to not go down so easily. And old flames come calling for more than just Maggie. Caleb is torn between leading his family and personal wants. Maggie is torn between Caleb and being the leader of their people. But neither will let what they need most to be pushed to the wayside. They are determined to make it all work, design a plan toward destiny, and make everything right again for themselves and their family.
And then there’s a wedding…
WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW
Meh. That about sums up my feelings about Independence by Shelly Crane. I adored the previous three books in the series—absolutely loved them. So, going into Independence, I was certain that I was going to love this book equally as well. I didn’t. In fact, I’m not even sure I liked it (hence the meh.)
This book took me weeks to finish. For someone who reads 1-2 books a day, that’s a little crazy. I just couldn’t get into it. The format had changed from the previous books. Instead of one POV (Maggie’s), the book was written in a strange back and forth of Maggie/Caleb, that in my opinion, didn’t work. Caleb’s POV chapters were boring, and his voice was honestly a little irritating. Maggie’s were okay, but the narrative seemed to skim. A lot. Events were barely touched upon, and conversations that should have been delved into, were peeked at and set aside. The whole thing seemed incredibly rushed, and it made it very hard to follow.
By the time I was half way into the book, I was over it—but I pushed on. By 80%, I was done. I wanted desperately to set the book aside (and did, for three weeks), but I kept thinking “I’m almost done. You can do this.” I pushed on. Honestly, I can barely remember what the book was about at this point. Nothing seemed to happen. The tension and mystery of the previous books was sadly lacking from this one, and the narrative was overly sappy and lovey-dovey throughout. There were two epilogues (2 1/2 and 5 years after the story), neither of which added anything new to the story except the typical “and they lived happily ever after with children” ending that is so stereotypical of the romance genre.
Am I glad I read this book? Yes, because it was the last book in the series, it wrapped things up in a nice, neat little bow, and I was genuinely curious to see what was going to happen to the characters from the previous three books in the series. Did I like it? Not really. I don’t know what happened between the last book and this one. The previous three books were so good… but this one just…. lacked. It lacked engagement, tension, an in-depth plot… If this hadn’t been the last book in the series, I probably wouldn’t have gone on to read the next after this one. It just didn’t resonate with me.