Review of The Convincing Hour by Ann Roberts
A very good YA read. This book was unexpected, but I mean that in the best way possible. I have read quite a few books by Roberts, I think I’m up to 14 by now, so there is obviously something there I enjoy. But what is odd is how mixed up my relationship is with her writing. I love her Ari Adams Mystery series, and if a new book came out today I would drop everything to read it. They are super fun, there is lots of soap opera-type angst, and the mysteries are good. On the other hand, I have not done well with Robert’s standalone books, which are mostly romances, and I just can’t seem to connect with them. For instance, after four years I’m still disappointed in what Roberts did in her book, Vagabond Heart, which started so well but then she tanked the ending by committing a romance cardinal sin. It still makes me angry when I think back on it but I do remember the book to this day, so I have to give her credit for that. Anyway, while I saw some very good early reviews for this book, I still was cautious coming into this because this wasn’t an Ari book. Would I finally connect or would it be the same as in the past? So to say that this book was unexpected is almost downplaying things, so what I can really say is that out of all Roberts’ books I have read, this is the best standalone book that she’s written.
It’s funny but when I saw the cover my first thought was that this might be paranormal or maybe a mystery/crime book. I really like it, don’t get me wrong but I wasn’t really feeling YA from it. Now that I’ve read the book, that cover is absolutely perfect for the story and I have to just take a minute to give the designer some well-deserved credit.
I’m a big fan of YA and this book in particular is very well written. This is the kind of YA that a teenager would like but this is absolutely a story for adults too. You hear authors always saying ‘write what you know’, and that is exactly what Robert’s did here which makes sense as to why this was such a well-done book. The prologue is a bit of a wow that hits you in the gut and after that, you can’t put this book down. I was having trouble sleeping so I picked this book up at one or two in the morning and just figured maybe I’ll read a chapter or two. Big mistake! All of a sudden I was at the end of the book and the sky was starting to lighten as the sunrise was on its way. There was just no way that I could put this book down. And it is not like it was an exciting read, but it was griping and you just need to know what happens to the character of Story Black, who you grow to care about so damn much.
This is not an easy book to describe. The premise is about a young girl who purposely goes to jail because she has heard of a secret school, for gifted students, which will give kids that chance to succeed. Story is so scared of continuing the cycle of drugs and poverty so that she’ll turn into her drug-addicted, but brilliant, mother one day. This is not a light topic, but it’s so well done and Story’s character has so much heart, that as a reader you have to take this journey to see if she can somehow succeed.
This is an easy one for me to recommend to YA fans. This book is very well written and I believe it is Robert’s best written standalone book and it might even be her best-written book period. 4.50 Stars.
An ARC was given to me for an honest review.