I always tend to shy away from reviews when someone writes “Author’s name has done it again!”, because it doesn’t really tell you much about the book:
But here I am starting my review with “Raines has cleaned house”
The third book in the series, (which can be read as a standalone, making it a true series), we follow Hayley and her spiral from the devastating event that left this close-knit group (of now 6 friends) torn apart. In one fateful night, they lost their friend Matt, their friend Claire was raped, and Hayley was forced to watch with a knife held to her face, in which the man doing it also left her marked.
While appearing unnoticeable to most, it becomes so much more to Hayley, having to hide from her reflection in an effort to stop the horror of that night from coming back to her. Yet it still haunts her dreams and Hayley goes through Post Traumatic Stress, causing her to push away her friends in fear. Hayley, losing the control she so desperately needs in her life, turns to Olivia; friend and mentor to a group of people who have their own body issues. It is with Olivia and this group that Hayley finds her solace.
But then Matt’s brother Del steps in, the newest member of the group, refusing to let Hayley push him away like the others. He knows that behind the bitchy facade is someone who is hurting. He remembers the Hayley that blew him away when he met her so many years ago and wants to help her find some of that girl again. While Hayley is resistant to Del, perhaps underneath the sappy love she has watched Claire and Kit go through isn’t all that sappy after all.
Raines has written an amazing story in Control, bringing real life issues such as body dysmorphic disorder, a touch of obsessive compulsiveness, and post-traumatic stress into a storyline that raises awareness in a relatable storyline. As in Loved and Strength, the characters are so well written that you feel a part of their group, and you feel the emotions that each of them is experiencing. Raines gives us the perfect mix of hilarity, pain, heartache, love and even a bit of mystery. In “Control” she has raised this series to a whole new level. By far my favorite book in this series and I am anxious to continue this journey with them.
Want to purchase Control? Grab it HERE for $2.99 or Free on KU.