Book Review: Penance

Penance. (Böhme #1) by Sarah Buhl: Demons of past mistakes haunt her. Mistakes of past demons haunt him.

Strangers cross paths every day. Moments are shared with a smile — the opening of a door, a nod of hello, or help with directions. Most don’t listen to that quiet intuition telling them that something different can be found in this stranger. There is connection and understanding in their eyes. There is truth in their smile. There is an entire life waiting to live. What happens if that intuition isn’t ignored and strangers begin to listen?

It happens every day, someone, somewhere, chooses to listen, and love begins.

This is the story of two strangers who made that choice.

Haunted by the passing of her sister and believing she was the catalyst to cause it, Hannah Anderson lives a walking death. Afraid to embrace life and burdened by guilt, she refuses to accept more than just getting through every day. She believes she doesn't deserve happiness.

Consumed by anxieties and self-depreciation from childhood, Wynn Hawthorne shelters himself from the world. Content to live behind his camera and within the quotes that comfort him, he avoids people. He holds himself back from experiences because people always disappoint.

Together they learn that their pasts do not define them and that forgiveness is the hardest thing in the world to accept.

TeriLyn's Thoughts: **Penance generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.**

When you sit down to read Penance prepare for an emotional journey through the intersecting lives of Wynn and Hannah. Told from alternating points of view, the melancholy ache hanging over the pages makes you desperate for a happily ever after. Wynn and Hannah present as two different characters than a lot of other New Adult main characters, especially Wynn. The author built their characters slowly which at times especially in the beginning of the book I really had to push through some the inner dialogue in order to finish. But the development was worth sticking with it.

Wynn and Hannah both cloaked themselves in darkness in order to hide the deep pain they both endured in their pasts. Without giving away the plot I’ll just say there are stories where two people who have been dealt really bad hands in life, come together to feel something – anything. What Wynn and Hannah find in each other is salvation and freedom. Wynn surely wasn’t the typical male lead character I’m used to reading. His aloofness, while justified, was disconcerting compared to other male lead characters. However, he gave a lot to the reader; he had a natural hope inside of him that I thought the author really worked to this characters advantage. Hannah’s brokenness made her enticing. These two are intriguing characters, well developed and likeable. Having had some trouble connecting with either of them, I still found them to be characters for whom I wanted to see find their light.

Penance provided an intriguing read. I had trouble getting into it in the beginning, like I said, but once I got past the first parts I found the characters more enjoyable. The author has a unique way with words helping to keep focus on the story. The inner dialogues present by both Wynn and Hannah at times seemed too lengthy and drawn out to where I found myself skimming through. But the meat of the story really intrigued me and held together with interesting characters. This is a title I probably wouldn’t re-read but do recommend to New Adult readers who like refreshingly different characters and honest prose.

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Lori L. Clark

She Reads New Adult Admin: Lori L. Clark

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