Want it by Tuesday, September 25
Order now and choose Expedited Shipping during checkout.
Same Day shipping in Manhattan. See Details
Beautiful Creatures meets The Body Finder in Compulsion, the first novel in a spellbinding new trilogy.
All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lived with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead—a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.
Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family’s twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.
About the Author
Martina Boone was born in Prague and spoke several languages before learning English. She fell in love with words and never stopped delighting in them. She’s the author of the Heirs of Watson Island series, and the founder of both AdventuresinYAPublishing.com, a Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers site, and YASeriesInsiders.com, a Tumblr site devoted to news, giveaways, and insider secrets of much-loved and up-and-coming YA series.
From her home in Virginia, where she lives with her husband, children, and Auggie the wonder dog, she enjoys writing contemporary fantasy set in the kinds of magical places she’d love to visit. When she isn’t writing, she’s addicted to travel, horses, skiing, chocolate flavored tea, and anything with Nutella on it.
Read an Excerpt
The heat that crept into the airport baggage area whenever the door opened should have told Barrie Watson that she had arrived in hell. But it wasn’t the Charleston weather, or the fact that her mother’s sister, who she’d never even heard of before the funeral, was three hours late picking her up. Neither of those things kept Barrie’s butt glued on top of her suitcase and her eyes on the door.
It was hope that kept her stuck, that stole her breath and made her eyes smart every time some likely looking woman rushed in and scanned the nearly empty area around the luggage carousels. Barrie hated hope. Too often, it was a Go Directly to Jail card that led to disappointment.
The latest candidate through the door did seem promising, though. Blond. Midthirties. The mile-high heels of Barrie’s purple sandals left fresh dents in her suitcase as she leaned forward to search for some tug of recognition or family connection. But the woman ignored her and ran to embrace a man in madras shorts at carousel number two.
Around Barrie, the walls tunneled in. The whole day, the whole week, had been hell, and now her chest was tight and her heart was racing. She sucked in a deep, calming breath. Then she wiped her palms on the thighs of her capris and got ready to redial the number the lawyer had given her for Watson’s Landing. Yet again. She nearly dropped the phone when it suddenly vibrated in her hand.
For an instant, she couldn’t help but hope. The screen showed her godfather’s number, though. And now what? Mark would worry himself sick—sicker—if she told him Aunt Pru hadn’t come. Barrie couldn’t add to his worries. She had to be cheerful.
She was going to be cheerful.
“Hi, Mark!” she chirped.
Great. Now she sounded like a demented cheerleader.
“Don’t you ‘Hi, Mark’ me, Miss Thing. Do you know how long it’s been since your plane landed? Since when don’t you call when you’re supposed to?”
Barrie’s eyes closed at the love in his voice. That rich timbre with its hint of a lisp was at the heart of her every memory: Mark making her laugh, soothing her, teasing her out of being afraid. With her eyes closed she could keep him closer, see him in the size-fourteen pumps and yellow dress he had worn to drop her at the airport that morning, see the strain in his red-lipstick smile and in the pallor of his dark brown skin as he’d pulled her in for one last hug. As he’d fussed over her. Waved to her. Sent her away.
No. She wasn’t going to cry. Barrie was through with tears.
Cradling the phone against her shoulder, she laid both palms flat against the suitcase and told him the literal truth: “I just this minute put my hands on my luggage.” Her voice cracked, but she pulled herself together. “How are you feeling? You’re not overdoing it, are you? Yelling at the movers? Flirting with them?”
“No more than they deserve.” Mark’s smile was audible. “Now tell me everything, baby girl. Were you okay on the flight? No panic attacks? How’s your aunt Pru? Is she anything like Lula? Are you going to like her, do you think?”
“You aren’t supposed to be worrying about me—”
“Of course I’m going to worry. Now, what’s wrong? You don’t like it there. I can tell—”
“You can’t tell a thing.” Barrie sat up indignantly. “I haven’t even seen the place. But I’ve got to go. Aunt Pru just got back with the car. I’ll have to call you later.”
It was only a little lie. It slipped out without Barrie’s permission, but the weight of it settled around her shoulders when they’d said their good-byes. What if her aunt never came? Barrie couldn’t call Mark back and tell him she had lied. She refused to let that be one of the last conversations they ever got to have.
All right. Fine. She would find the place by herself, and once she got there . . . No, she wouldn’t think of that just yet. Aunt Pru had to let her stay long enough to finish high school. That was all there was to it. There were no other relatives to take her in.
The thought finally pushed Barrie to her feet. She wobbled briefly on the skyscraper sandals Mark had talked her into wearing that morning for extra confidence. Towing her luggage behind her, she stepped through the exit door into a curtain of humidity that made her long yet again for San Francisco.
A dispatcher materialized beside her. “Cab, miss?”
“Yes, please.” Barrie blew a wilting strand of blond curls from her eyes.
The dispatcher waved a taxi to the curb. Barrie slid into the back while the driver loped around to stow her suitcases. The trunk slammed closed. The cab shook, and rocked again when the driver wedged himself behind the wheel.
“So, where we goin’?” he asked, studying her in the rear-view mirror.
“That’s a good hour, dependin’ on traffic.” His gaze slid from the three diamond-encrusted keys on Barrie’s necklace to the oversize gold watch Mark had slipped onto her wrist that morning. Once he had finally decided she was good for the fare, the driver nodded. “You have an address?” he asked.
“Watson’s Landing Plantation.” Barrie hated the heat that crawled up her cheeks. “Just go to the island. I can find it.”
That was one thing Barrie could always count on. Finding things was the Watson gift. Barrie could find anything—had to find it, really—and the pressure that built in her head whenever she was near something lost had seemed stronger since her mother’s death. Even now, an object on the floor of the taxi tugged at her attention, squeezing her temples in a rapidly increasing ache.
The driver lurched out into traffic. Barrie bent and groped under his seat until she freed something small and round from beneath the rails. A wedding ring. The gold was cool against her fingers and scratched thin from years of wear.
“Excuse me.” She tapped the driver on his shoulder. “Is this yours?”
He turned and a grin split his face. “I thought I’d never see that again. Lord, thank you. Thank you.”
Barrie dropped the ring into his palm and sighed at the familiar click in her head, like a puzzle piece snapping into place. The pressure vanished.
The cab gathered speed. Barrie rested her cheek against the window. Miles of sky and saltwater marsh sped past, interrupted by stands of pines swathed in palmetto skirts, and houses buffered by masses of pink and yellow flowers. Even in June, San Francisco cloaked itself in cool, protective layers of fog, but here the landscape overwhelmed her like the crowds at the airport. It was all too open, too bright, too much. She distracted herself from her nerves by imagining how she would paint the scenery—in bold, broad strokes with lots of white—and that made the time pass faster. Almost before she knew it, before she was ready, the cab drove over the bridge to Watson Island.
“Can’t be long now,” the driver said. “There’s a signpost for the plantation there.”
According to the arrows, the town of Watson’s Point was to the left and Watson’s Landing was to the right. The driver nosed the cab onto a road shadowed on both sides by trees dripping Spanish moss. They drove a few miles before crossing a shallow creek via a smaller, wooden bridge, and immediately a historical marker stood at the edge of a tall brick wall. About all Barrie caught was the word “Watson” before the cab moved past.
“Wait. Stop!” The command came out louder than she’d intended, and her cheeks went warm again as the driver slammed on the brakes. “I’m sorry,” she said. “Could you please back up?”
The driver gave her a long-suffering look, but he backed the cab to the marker.
Watson’s Landing Plantation was established in 1692 by a grant to Thomas Watson, captain of the privateer vessel Loyal Jamaica, and has remained in the Watson family without interruption. It is one of the oldest rice plantations on the Santisto River, and the original house, constructed of locally made brick, remains intact.
Privateers and rice plantations. Wonderful. More details Lula had never bothered to share about their family. Barrie tucked her hands beneath her thighs to keep from rubbing Mark’s watch as if it were Aladdin’s lamp.
The brick wall, too tall to see over, continued alongside the road as the cab drove on. Above it, expanses of sky alternated with oak and cypress woods until, after what must have been several miles, bursts of camellias and roses appeared, climbing over the top of the bricks as if trying to escape.
The driver swung the cab into a driveway. A gold W hung in the center of the scrollwork above a closed black iron gate, and a plaque embedded in one of the brick end posts read:
Private property. No trespassing.
Gardens and Tearoom
Open 1:00 p.m.– 6:00 p.m., Thurs to Sun
Open. As in, to the public.
The idea brought a slick of moisture to Barrie’s palms. Strangers walking around, peering in the windows . . . How could anyone live like that?
“You sure this is where you want to go?” the driver asked.
“Yes,” Barrie lied.
The driver continued to watch her expectantly, as if there were something she was missing. Finally he said, “It’s closed Wednesdays.”
Barrie stared at him another moment before realizing he meant that the gardens and tearoom were closed. What if there was no one to let her in?
“I’ll go buzz the intercom,” she said with an inward sigh.
She forced herself out of the cab and picked her way across the crushed oyster shells and gravel. Beyond the gate, a sunken lane ran between two rows of live oaks so old, their branches mingled overhead. Claws of light tore through the leaves and drapes of Spanish moss, creating mottled patches of shade on the ground. No house was visible. Barrie pressed the antiquated buzzer and steadied herself against the gatepost.
The moment her skin made contact with the bricks, the Watson gift gave its familiar returning click, and she felt an easing of pressure, as if a headache she hadn’t even been aware of had suddenly released its grip. Yet she hadn’t returned anything. Nothing except herself, and she hadn’t been lost. She wasn’t even staying unless someone answered the stupid intercom.
All right. Stay calm. Barrie gulped in another breath. She reached for the buzzer again, then paused. The gate was open half an inch. Had it been like that before? She gave it an experimental shove, and it slid across the driveway with a metallic screech. After waving the driver through, she closed the gate behind him and climbed back into the cab. Foot jiggling with nerves, she peered ahead while they crawled down the lane.
The house emerged slowly from behind the violet-shadowed trees. Where at first there was only an impression of whitewashed bricks, fluted columns, and gabled roofs, once the taxi neared the end of the lane, the branches pulled back to reveal a beautifully proportioned mansion framed by blooming gardens. The lawn stretched to meet the woods and sloped gently toward a river where the sun reflected on tar-dark water.
Barrie gasped. Not at the size, not at the age, not even at the fact of the plantation. What struck her most was how much the house reminded her of Lula’s house in San Francisco.
“This is where my mother grew up,” she whispered, surprising herself. She’d never called Lula “mother,” not out loud. Lula had hated the word. But then, Lula had never told Barrie about Pru or Watson’s Landing, or anything at all, really, so to hell with what Lula’d wanted.
“My mother died last week,” Barrie said, testing the sound of those words too.
“I’m sorry.” The driver’s eyes met hers in the rearview mirror.
Barrie nodded and looked away. The cab pulled up to the house and rolled to a stop behind an ancient Mercedes with a live albino peacock perched on the hood like some bizarre kind of ornament. The bird shrieked, flew down, and landed beside a woman seated on the steps. Purse clutched on her knees in a white-knuckle grip, the woman stared at Barrie.
This had to be Lula’s sister. Lula’s twin. The woman resembled Barrie enough to make that clear. Unlike Barrie’s mother, though, she had no burn scars to hide behind a wig and veil. She wasn’t stooped in pain. She was pretty. Beautiful, almost.
Was this what Lula would have looked like if fate had been kinder all those years ago? Barrie studied her aunt’s full cheeks, her neat triangular chin, the liquid play of emotions across her face. Slowly, she climbed out of the cab.
“Aunt Pru?” Barrie asked.
The woman struggled to her feet, scrubbing at eyes as gray as Barrie’s, as pale as Lula’s. She smoothed back her blond curls, and with her gaze locked on Barrie, she took a shaky step. That was as far as she got, as if she didn’t have the strength to descend the remaining stairs.
“Barrie?” she asked. “Is that you?”
Barrie ran a few steps, then stopped. A handshake seemed too formal, but she had never hugged anyone except for Mark, and a hug felt awkward when she and her aunt had never met. She clasped her hands behind her and licked her lips. “I kept trying to call you, but no one answered.”
“I was on my way to get you.” Her aunt’s words trickled out like they weren’t in a hurry, a syllable at a time. “I—I was going to the airport. I just sat down a moment to catch my breath. . . .”
Barrie glanced at her watch. “It’s four fifteen—”
“Four fifteen?” Pru checked her own watch. “Oh, goodness. It is.” She sank back down on the step, wrapping her arms around herself as though she felt cold despite the afternoon heat. “You must have thought I’d abandoned you—”
“No. It was fine,” Barrie cut in before her aunt could burst into tears.
Of course it wasn’t fine. The problem wasn’t only that Pru hadn’t come for her. Something about her aunt, and the whole situation, was off. Pru’s clothes seemed more like what a teenage girl might have worn years ago, instead of a woman of thirty-six. The sundress was ironed stiff, as if Pru had taken trouble with it, but the pattern was so faded, Barrie couldn’t tell if the fruit on it had begun as apples or apricots. And Pru’s scuffed, old-fashioned Mary Janes would have made Mark groan. Overall the look was more can’t-afford-anything-new than vintage chic.
In that, Barrie’s aunt matched the house. A shutter hung drunkenly on a nearby window like it was going to crash down at any moment. Paint peeled from one of the tall columns, and mortar had crumbled from between the bricks.
Unlike the manicured gardens around it, the house looked neglected, as if no one cared enough to maintain it. The opposite of Lula’s obsession to have every room and knickknack perfect.
The driver handed Barrie the charge slip to sign. “You sure you’re goin’ to be all right here, child?” He nodded his chin in her aunt’s direction and added softly, “I can still take you back. No trouble.”
Barrie shook her head. Now that she was here, she couldn’t leave. Her aunt was undeniably strange, but Pru’s features added up to familiarity, to family. And the house, while run-down, was magnificent. It was Watson’s Landing. Lula’s history. Barrie’s own history.
“I’m going to be fine here,” she said, as if determination could make that true.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the best book I’ve ever read. *drops mic and walks away* Every human (and literate alien, just to be fair) NEEDS to read this book. You might think, that doesn’t seem like something I would like, but it is; I would like to think that I'm trustworthy considering I typically only read standalone contemporaries and this is a Southern Gothic series. So please just trust me and get your hands on this book ASAP. I am honestly impressed that there is a synopsis for this book because if you were to ask me, I wouldn't know what to say because this book is about EVERYTHING. All of the things. There are so many different aspects to this book but they are beautifully crafted together into the most compelling story. First off, the writing in this book is AMAZING. Like AMAZING. It's written in third person (love) and it's about a culture that I am completely unfamiliar with (South Carolina plantation life) but I legitimately feel like I've taken a trip there. This is a beautifully crafted masterpiece. Just try to put this bad boy down; it is nearly impossible because this book sucks you in at the very beginning! The foundation was beautifully laid and it just kept getting better and better. Things we are shown at the beginning come back for a starring role later in the novel and all of the intricacies are so IMPRESSIVE. Compulsion has stuck with me; the lessons that it teaches are simple but truthful. Since Barrie, our main character, has had an emotionally absent mother for all of these years, we get to see her yearn for a family. Her definition of family changes throughout the book and it is a beautiful journey to be on. Aside from family, this book also teaches about love and not closing off your heart; Barrie has a history of shutting people out and as the story progresses, she faces the struggles of actually letting others in. Speaking of Barrie, she is one of my favorite main characters ever; she is smart, always ready for a fight, funny, and deeply flawed. Basically, SHE IS AWESOME! I LOVED reading through her POV; I can't even put it into words how much I love Barrie. This book is all about the history of Watson Island and the three founding families which means there is a lot to learn; I loved how the history was introduced to us through Barrie who just entered the world at the same time we did, we got to learn right alongside her. I don't usually enjoy history but I was RIVETED throughout this entire book; it was like a drug, I wanted more and more of it. Since there is history, there is also mystery (hehe, it rhymes). Barrie has so many questions and I was wholly captivated by every. single. one. of them. It just impresses me how well this book is written but more than that, how well the story is weaved together into the most beautiful of stories. There are three founding families on Watson Island: the Watsons (naturally) who have the gift of finding things that are lost, the Beauforts who know what people want, and there are the Colesworth who are blinded by their jealousy. Just to make things interesting, the Watsons and the Beauforts have a tendency of falling in love. Which brings us to Eight. Oh Eight. Charles Beaufort the eighth. Barrie felt a click sensation when she found something that was lost, a happy surge that went through her, and that is how I feel about Eight. He just clicked. He's right. He fits. I LOVED him as a character. The phrase "and Eight growled" was used SO MANY TIMES because he is a fighter; he instantly wants to protect the people he cares about and it made him endearing as a character. Barrie was often the cause of his growls but she would then try to save the situation. They worked so well together. I have never used the phrase OTP before but here I go: Eight and Barrie are my one true pair (in books, obviously Pacey and Joey will forever be my OTP in television). They teach each other so much and they can handle the other one; I could fill up pages and pages of their imperfect perfection but you should just go ahead and trust me. This story is SO COMPELLING. You could reread it over and over again (which I'm obviously going to do) and always find something new and wonderful within the Martina's words. I had the thought while reading (please keep in mind that reading Valerie has weird thoughts) that I want to carry this book with me everywhere I go; I could be like Captain Hook (I had recently watched Once Upon a Time) but Captain Compulsion (working title). I just LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH! Please read it.
I love this cover. It is so gorgeous. I really do try to not base wanting to read a book based on the cover, but after seeing the cover for COMPULSION, it just made me even more excited to read the book! The Story: A fascinating story about a girl whose life has been turned upside down due to the loss of her mother and being sent to live across the country with an aunt she has never met. Not only does Barrie have to get used to living somewhere new, she discovers and tries to get to the bottom of some old family secrets. The author creates a southern setting that is realistic and beautiful. The type of world that readers will want to visit. I found this to be a wonderfully written story that balances the paranormal, mystery, and romance. This was so hard for me to put down. I was quickly drawn into this world. I love the interactions between the characters. I love the supernatural things that are happening on the island. And I really love the mystery that surrounds it all. And even though I think the book ends with some closure. I was left wanting more. I wanted to know more about Watson Island. Especially the past history. I am really interested in finding out more about Barrie's parents and what else happened in their pasts on Watson Island. And I am really looking forward to finding out what else is going to happen to Barrie, Eight and Cassie. The Characters: I really love these characters. I think that the characters were all well-written. I wanted to get to know them and was very interested in finding out more about their lives and what would happen. Barrie: She is full of curiosity. Especially curiosity regarding her gift, which just added to my own. I also like that she is curious about her roots and her mother's past. After the loss of her mother, her life changed and part of what she has to discover deals with things that she never knew about her own mother. I love that she is a strong character. She looks for answers and doesn't really rely on others figuring things out for her. And I just absolutely loved the relationship between her and Mark. I love their phone conversations. I love that even though there are not a lot of scenes of them together, I still get the understanding of how important they are to one another. It is a very special bond and relationship. Eight: He is so strong and dependable. He wants to try and protect Barrie, even if she doesn't let him. I loved finding out more about his character as the story went along. He is caring and trustworthy. I enjoyed watching the conflict between him and Barrie. I really like his gift and how it affects his character and his interactions with other people. Cassie: I found her to be one of those characters you think you aren't going to like much, but yet you are drawn to them and want to know more. She is a complex character. I felt like I wasn't sure how to see her and how her relationship would be with Barrie. And even after finishing the story, I am not sure exactly how to view Cassie. I find her character interesting and there are a lot of times that I feel bad for what she is going through. But there were also times where I did not like the decisions that she was making. But I found that she not only adds some conflict to the story, but she also left me wondering what would happen next to not only her but with the relationship between her and Barrie. I really love all the other characters in the story too. Like Barrie's Aunt Pru. She is a very intriguing character. I feel like she has so much weighing on her and she tries so hard to keep everything together. And I loved watching her relationship with Barrie bloom. Also, Eight's dad, Seven. I love the mystery surrounding his past and the connection to Barrie's family. My Recommendation: I love this book and can't wait to dive into the next book. The story is unique and has mystery, romance, tension, and a fascinating supernatural element. I highly recommend reading this one!***I received an e-galley of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review***
The Good The setting. The setting is what originally sold me on Compulsion. I have a long standing love affair with the Carolina coastline, especially anywhere around Charleston. Martina Boone nailed it with her portrayal of the area. Her descriptions were so beautiful that I was swept up in the story in a heartbeat. I felt like I was back in the midst of Charleston (just without the awful humidity). From the small town drama to the southern twangs, Compulsion was everything great about the lower states! The characters. Yes, yes, and yes. I'll talk about Barrie and Eight in a moment. Right now I want to rave about the secondary characters in Compulsion. Mark was everything perfection. The way that Martina Boone showcased his relationship with Barrie made my heartache. He was her mother, father, and confidant. I loved him. Aunt Pru was also great! The author did an excellent job at showing the adjustment she's going through with all of the changes. Martina Boone did not ignore any detail in this book and for that, I'm so thankful! Barrie and Eight. Eight and Barrie. Beight. Errie. Whatever we're calling them, I love them. Eight was a bucket full of swoon. Seriously. I very rarely swoon over a character in a book. I've never got behind the whole book boyfriend craze. But Eight Beaufort? Sign me right up, y'all! The way that the relationship between Barrie and Eight develops is perfect. It's a slow burn with not even a little hint of insta-love. REJOICE, y'all. Barrie. Jeez. I loved this girl. She was put into an impossible situation, and I admired her so much. Her curiosity and resolve really sold me on her. She isn't fainting onto a couch. But she isn't charging into battle all willy nilly either. She was so authentic. Thank you for that, Martina! Everything. Seriously. Compulsion was amazing. The thought and plot development in this book is incredible. Martina Boone is above all else, a story teller. And Compulsion was a story that I'm so glad that I got to read. All of the elements in this book come together in such a cohesive way. I don't know how anyone could pass up Compulsion. It's the perfect YA book for fall! The Bad Nothing! The In-between Na-da! **I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review with no compensation.
Barrie Watson's life in San Francisco was never normal. Not with her mother a shut-in after the fire that left her scarred and in constant pain. Not when so many people failed to appreciate her godfather Mark and his distinct drag style. But now Barrie's mother is dead and she has to leave Mark and San Francisco behind. Traveling to South Carolina to live with an aunt she's never met is not Barrie's idea of a good time. But maybe life on Watson Island can be different--a chance to be someone braver and stronger, a chance to really put her collection of glamorous shoes to good use. Watson's Landing is nothing like Barrie expected. The plantation is decrepit and filled with an overpowering sense of loss despite its neglected grandeur and the pedigree that comes with belonging to one of the island's founding families. Everyone on the plantation and on the island beyond seems to know more about Barrie and her family than Barrie herself--especially Eight Beaufort, the gorgeous and infuriating neighbor who seems to know what Barrie wants before she knows herself. With decades-old secrets and a generations-old family feud coloring everything she learns about her new surroundings, Barrie will have to unearth the truth about the island and its three founding families before she can ever call the plantation home in Compulsion (2014) by Martina Boone. Compulsion is Boone's first novel. It is also the first book in her trilogy The Heirs of Watson Island which will continue with Persuasion out in October 2015. Boone delivers evocative settings and pitch perfect dialog in this Southern Gothic mystery with just a touch of paranormal romance. Barrie Watson is a sassy, astute heroine who is never afraid to speak her mind. With a gift for finding lost things and a pile of secrets about her past, Barrie's exploration of her new home is immediately engrossing. Eight Beaufort serves as an interesting counterpoint to Barrie throughout the story as he helps Barrie begin to separate her own wants and desires from that which she thinks she ought to want. The dynamic between these two vacillates a bit too abruptly from fighting to thoughts of kissing at points but it also highlights real caring and understanding as they work together to unearth some long-buried secrets about the island. In addition to page-turning action and lots of humor, Compulsion is filled with some genuinely scary moments as the story builds to its surprising conclusion. Compulsion is a strong debut on its own while also hinting at things to come later in The Heirs of Watson Island trilogy. Recommended for readers who like their romance a little spooky or paranormal as well as for Southern Gothic enthusiasts. Possible Pairings: Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins, Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan, Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker, Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shephard, The Dolls by Kiki Sullivan, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke
If you love lush writing paired with superb storytelling, then Compulsion by Martina Boone is for you. You will live and breathe this story with Barrie and Eight. Martina creates atmosphere both spooky and vivid as she weaves Native folklore with African myths, as is true of the Lowcountry setting, that you'll start searching for your own Yunwi and staying up late to watch the Fire Carrier set the river on fire. As a Southerner, this story reminded me a lot of the spooky tales my grandfather used to tell my dad and my dad told me, of strange lights that rose from a Native American gravemound and floated over the peanut field beside my great-grandfather's old farm house. Or of the voices speaking to my great-grandfather from natural springs and hollow logs, the "little spirits" telling him where to find old family treasure buried during the Civil War era. (Which I'm still looking for!) But Martina Boone spices her traditional rural Southern setting with a very modern cast of young people..all wrapped up with a compelling romance. Who couldn't love a guy who knows what you want without asking? Now, that's a fantasy!
"Barrie shook her head. Now that she was here, she couldn't leave. Her aunt was undeniably strange,but Pru's features added up to familiarity, to family. And the house, while rundown was magnificent. It was Watson's landing. Lulu's history. Barrie's own history." OK...Seriously...this book is I N C R E D I B L E. I saw reviews about this book on Goodreads and could not wait to get my hands on it. I literally read this book in three days and it took my breath away. Compulsion is a compelling, emotional debut YA novel set in a Southern Gothic atmosphere and revolves around a young girl whose mother passes away and she is sent to live with her only surviving relative, her mother's sister Lulu in South Carolina. Barrie knows that her mother ran away years ago from her family home but does not know the reason why. Barrie arrives at the plantation that is also known as Watson's Landing and immediately feels drawn to it. Watson's Landing is one of the first pieces of this amazing story that grabbed me immediately. I am from Alabama so I could immediately imagine the scenery and feel what Barrie was feeling when she first experiences the plantation. I could imagine the trees covered in moss and the river gurgling that surrounds the home. I felt as though I was right there with Barrie as she experienced Watson's Landing for the first time. Barrie moves to South Carolina with little information about her history and her family so she immediately begins to investigate and learn about her family. She has heard the stories about Watson's Landing that say it is cursed but doesn't know the details surrounding the myth. She searches the plantation to see if she can uncover any truth to the stories and find out the real reason why her mother left so many years ago and never came back. Barrie meets a young man named Eight and learns that he is also a part of the curse that surrounds Watson's Landing. Barrie has always known that she is gifted. She has a gift for finding things that are "lost". She feels drawn to items and is compelled to find the lost items. Little does Barrie know but Eight is also gifted and always seems to know what Barrie is thinking before she even speaks. Barrie and Eight begin to realize that they connected in a supernatural way and that the must work together to uncover the mystery that surrounds their families. I love Eight's character and his immediate need to protect Barrie and care for her. He always seems to be there just when she needs someone. So when Barrie first experiences the ancient spirit that cursed her family and lights the river on fire each night she is scared but also curious. She knows that somehow this spirit holds the key to the answers she is looking for. Barrie begins to ask questions and her questions draws the attention of enemies that want to harm both Eight and Barrie. This begins an incredible journey for Barrie and Eight and I was completely absorbed in each and every twist and turn... "Not only was it strange to have anything lost at Watson's Landing, but also there was something strange about how and where things were lost. Why was the locked drawer the only pull of loss in the library?" I just cannot explain how intense this book is. I literally could not put the book down. Each chapter had a new unexpected surprise. The characters are so wonderfully written and just grab you and take hold. Compulsion took me on an intense and emotional roller coaster ride. The southern charm and atmosphere of the book was the perfect setting to go along with the mysteries surrounding Watson's Landing. I literally CANNOT wait to read the next book in the series! Fans of YA novels, swoony-worthy romance, and spell-binding mystery are absolutely going to fall in love with Compulsion. Martina Boone is a phenomenal writer and Compulsion has been the first book in a while that when I was through reading it....I was literally IN AWE...I wanted more...I wanted more of the amazing characters, the setting, and the mystery. I cannot wait to see what the future has in hold for Barrie and Eight and what other dangers they are going to face in the future.....
It's totally immersive from a setting and culture standpoint. It's dripping in Southern Charm. The prose is engaging and evocative. The characters leap off the page like few other books I've read. When I finished reading, I immediately wanted to read it again. AND, I wanted so badly to go somewhere and just hang out with the characters. And finally, it crescendos to an edge-of-your-seat climax. Can't love this book enough.
COMPULSION is one of the best books I have ever read. The setting and atmosphere are just gorgeous. And the characters leap off the page. The relationship between Barrie and Eight is so real and compelling. You can't help but fall in love.
This book is much more than a paranormal or a romance or a fantasy. I started thinking it would be a fast-paced creepy read with some great romance, but there's a reason for everything in this book and nothing is what you think. Compulsion is one of my favorite books of all time. It appeals to both my love of contemporary books and my love of fantasies. Even the parts that seem too-big the first time you encounter them end up being fantastic and necessary. Barrie's mother, her father, her name, the fast attraction between Barrie and Eight (whose name is another thing that I loved figuring out), every bit of it weaves together and connects. Watson Island becomes a place I want to go and live. I only wish Eight had a brother!
The best book!!! Written beautifully!!! Barrie and 8 are my favorite book couple. 8 is high up on my list of book boyfriends! This story will blow you away with a nice balance of good fantasy (folklore) and romance. It doesn't sound like another sappy fairy tale love story. You must read this book and fall in love yourself, because you will!! Prepare to be BFFs with Barrie, crush hard on 8, and think of what you want offer the yuwni in return for favors! Swoon away. Compulsively!
Wow, Compulsion, I was originally drawn in by the gorgeous cover and the title, and let me tell I'm glad I found it. It is a must read, well suited for readers of most ages and reading taste. This book has a bit of something for everyone, mystery, drama, romance and plenty of southern charm. The setting couldn't be more perfect and the characters are so intriguing, I did not put this book down start to finish. It instantly made top self in my personal library and I couldn't wait to introduce it to one of my book groups. Martina Boone has done an incredible job creating this world that is Watson Island and I cannot wait for the rest of the series.
Well, let me state the obvious, the cover is beautiful. That's what originally made me buy the book. I read the blurb really fast in the bookstore and made the decision to buy it. Now, the book took me a few days to get through, abd sometimes it felt like it was dragging. That being said, though, it never really lost my interest. I just don't think it was my type of book. Plus, i didn't really feel a connection to Eight. All in all, if you liked books like Beautiful Creatures, this book is SPOT ON for you. There's mystery, romance, and adventure. I don't regret reading it.
When I first read the synopsis for Compulsion, I thought it sounded rather interesting. When I got the book in the mail, I began to feel iffy about reading it. Compulsion sounded like a good book, but I worried it would be too cheesey, too cliche, and I would spend most of it rolling my eyes. And dear reader . . . It. Is. Amazing. We start the story with Barrie waiting at the airport for her aunt, whom she has never met and only recently found out existed, to pick her up. Barrie's mother recently died and her godfather, Mark, is on death's door. Aunt Pru is the only family she has left and is moving from California to South Carolina in her senior year of high school. Rough. Compulsion is full of mystery and intrigue. Barrie's family has a gift of finding lost things, anything from paper clips to wedding rings and when Barrie shows up at Watson Island she stumbles into a history that she grew up knowing nothing of and soon finds herself up to her elbows in questions. Watson Island belongs to the three founding families: the Wastons of Watson's Landing, the Beauforts of Beaufort Hall, and the Cloesworths of Colesworth Place. There is such an intriguing history behind these three families and while we are introduced to all three, there are so many questions I have about their history and the truth behind them. Martina answers a few of these questions, but I am beyond intrigued and desperate to know more. Let's just say there is enough mystery in Compulsion to satisfy Nancy Drew. I'm beyond thrilled that this novel is not a standalone, which I had thought it was when I started reading it. The ending is great because it ends like a standalone, but teases of things to come. There are unanswered questions, but Martina wraps things up in a non-cliffhanger format. A huge sigh of relief for any lover of series. Compulsion is beautifully written. I could see myself in Watson's Landing, on Eight's Boat Away, standing in front of the ruins of Colesworth Place, and wandering around the picturesque Watson Island. Martina brings this story alive with a thrilling mystery, gripping suspense, descriptive writing, and the perfect amount of a sweet romance. This is not a series you're going to want to pass up.
The Deep South, paranormal plotlines, and mysteries go together like chocolate and cake in this book! Martina Boone’s Compulsion is an entertaining and easy-to-read new addition to the supernatural world. We start off by meeting the main character, Barrie Watson, after she’s just traveled from California to South Carolina after her mom passed away. But what Barrie doesn’t know is that there are secrets upon secrets spilling out of Watson Island, Barrie’s ancestral home. And of course, the two other families involved in these secrets—the cute boy-next-door, Eight, and Barrie’s cousin, Cassie—are making matters complicated in their own ways as well. It doesn’t help that Barrie has her own secrets, too. She finds lost items; they call to her. At first, this book will make you feel very lost, confused (the family lineage was difficult to wrap my head around, even with a visual aid), and perhaps even bored when you start reading. Don’t give up! It’s not as shallow as it first appears. Barrie’s odd characterization, from her tall purple heels to her tendency to over-explain the details, will all grow on you. And, even though the third-person point of view seems to limit how much you really get to know her, the narration style works out in the end. I wasn’t even that interested in Eight at first, which is one reason why the book started out so slow for me. If I can’t find myself enjoying the love interest, I tend to want to shut the book, but he grew on me, just like Barrie. After you’ve gotten past the first 70 pages or so, the pace of the story will start evening its way out. You may not get sucked in, but you’ll have a reminder in the back of your head when you’re not reading that you still haven’t found out what the heck is going on on Watson Island yet. Additionally, the tone of the story matches up to what someone from the Midwest (like myself) would imagine small Deep Southern islands to feel like. There’s the sense of traveling back into the past; what, with the small-town gossip, tearooms, and gothic-esque structures, and all. It would have been nice if the book had more southern dialects though, because, well… accents are fun. In the end, this read will sneak up on you. Its plot isn’t fantastic, it’s characters aren’t wholly original, and it’s a little boring at first, but it is a good read for those who are looking for a light paranormal book—light as in it has no vampires, werewolves, and other dark and menacing creatures, not light as in it’s a small book. Also, it’s a great read for fans of Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s Beautiful Creatures or even Lauren Kate’s Fallen. 3.5/5 stars P.S. The cover for this book and the inside of it, as in the naked book’s spine, are beautiful—except for the couple on the road. I’m not sure who they’re supposed to be because that is NOT how I pictured Eight. *Note: I received a copy of this book to review from Book Review Board of Missouri. This in no way altered my opinion/review.
Hold on to your hats and get ready for a fantastic story! Compulsion is the perfect mix of folk-lore, mystery, and magic. Written in a style to appeal to both teen and adult audiences, this story takes place in one of the most beautiful areas of the Unites States. The characters are perfectly crafted and easy to fall in love with or despise all together. Each chapter keeps you begging for more, wanting to uncover the questions in Barrie's mind. The language used was perfect, the descriptions or persons and places rendering just the right amount of detail. I've fallen in love with the land of the Watsons, and I'm certain you will too! Five stars for a wonderfully crafted story. I cannot wait for Fall 2015 to read the second installment of this series!
Really interesting book about a girl who has her life turned upside down but finds that she needed the change to make her stronger. Cannot wait for the next book.
Such a great book and the cover is beautiful!
OMG! I LOVED THIS BOOK! I have been waiting for a while for this book to come out so I could finally read it. Boy was the wait worth it! As a Southern gal, reading a book set in the Deep South was just wonderful. And for it to be a YA and Gothic? Superb. Paranormal, with some romance too? AWESOME! What more could you ask for, esp when you have such a good storyteller as Martina Boone. The mystery and suspense in this story is very compelling. I could not put this thing down until it was done, because it had me so wrapped up in it's web! Now I just have a year until the next installment comes out, lol!
I was absolutely ecstatic when I got the chance to read it early-on. I've heard so many people liking it and hearing about it since BEA 2014. I really wanted to read it so I was really jumpy when Simon and Schuster accepted my request on Edelweiss. Barrie Watson is sent to live with her aunt at the Watson's Landing after her mother passes away. It gives her the perfect opportunity to explore her family's history since her mother never made her aware of the reason why she ran away. She'd knew that she would find answers since finding lost things is the Watson's family gift. The things she finds are unexpected and dangerous. She hears about how Watson's Landing is cursed and the three family plantations. She meets a man named Eight and learns that he's part of the curse. She finds it odd that he always seems to know what she's about to say and what she wants. It's a part of the reason why they always seem to be bickering. I think Eight is my favorite out of the whole story. He just draws me in and made me love him completely. Things started off rocky and slow but after the romance started picking up, I was completely immersed in it. I was more drawn to the story surrounding the three founding families and the island. Of course though, I did fall head over hills heels for sun-kissed Eight. I thought the plot of the story was done very nicely. Although not much happened until the ending but it was just building it all up for it. There were plenty of revelations before the end. The pacing was just right especially for the romance. The way they are linked by the gifts is quite beautiful. My only little complaint was that Cassie felt like a round character while Barrie and Eight felt like flat characters to me. It's probably because Barrie and Eight kept fighting throughout the novel as if they had know each other their whole lives. It felt awkward and weird to me. Also the fact that Barrie kept believing that Cassie kept wanting to be her friend made it annoying. She just wouldn't believe Eight all those times he warned her. Cassie was so annoying. I just wanted to jump into the book and slap her. I hated how she was trying to be like Barrie in a way. She wanted everything that Barrie had including Eight. But just towards the ending, I finally saw some character development which makes me so excited for the next book. I really wish it didn't end the way it did. I loved it but it was sort of a cliffhanger and that means I have to wait to find out what will happen. What's going to happen between Barrie and Eight? Because he's planning to go to school in Los Angeles. That's also where Cassie plans on going. Nooo!! Overall, the story was well written and a good pace. I will admit that it was a different kind of read for me. But that just made the story so unique for me because I've never read anything like Compulsion before. The ending leaves you wanting for more. The mystery behind the gifts and the curse was so good. I think the readers are really going to be excited for this; especially with the plot and twists.
'Compulsion' is a book I thoroughly enjoyed, even though it took me a while to get through it. It follows the character of Barrie Watson after the loss of her mother and the imminent loss of her godfather as she goes to live with the family that she didn't even know existed until her mother's death. Add to that with the natural Watson gift of finding lost things, a Beaufort boy that seems to always know what she wants, and a family feud that reaches a head with her cousin Coleworth cousin Cassie, and you've got one great adventure. Along with the relational and family drama, there is the supernatural element of the Fire Watcher, the yunwi spirits, and other ghostly figures that pop up around her new home. Barrie has a lot to deal with, both physically and emotionally, and it is a great tale of finding self-worth and the power of choice. This book was an excellent read, and I think anybody who enjoys mystery and a tad of supernatural intervention will enjoy the first book in the Heirs of Watson Island series.
Very good book will read again!
To be honest, I started this book because of the Beautiful Creatures vibe, by which I mean it is a Southern gothic romance novel. After the death of her mother, Barrie is going to her mother’s ancestral home to live with her aunt. The move, the complicated relationship she had with her mother and the one she has with her caretaker until now, all that as well as the newness of a community that knows her but of which she knows nothing about - all these are slowly explored in the course of the novel. Watson Island is built on its long history and the secrets it keeps, as well as the curse that binds three of its founding families. What surprised me about the book that while it downplays the urban fantasy nature of the novel and keeps the romance level higher, I still loved it overall. It is different, and unpredictable at most times. The curse, too, presented a range of characterization in the three heirs of the respective families, and how it shapes them. Barrie is always the one who is returning things, and she has also had to grow up and mature much earlier due to her mother’s reclusiveness. She is a people pleaser but here she finds Eight, who is even a bigger people pleaser than her, although he has to work hard at not being it. And then comes her cousin, who she wants to forge a relationship with and yet the curse and its implications on her upbringing. Barrie finds a family here on the island, but she has to decide what parts of it and its heritage she wants to claim. The romance, meanwhile, I am not completely sold on. Eight and hers instant connection, as well as the fact that she feels a ‘returning click’ (not explained yet) when she touches him are quite close to insta-love without being insta-love. I can’t decide if it’s slow burn or a foregone conclusion that is playing out here - and them hardly knowing each other for like a week before they are pretty much in love isn’t helping with the former. Also, that boi has mood-swings like whaaaat? Seriously, he is mad at her one second and then grinning at her the next. I don’t know what is the curse and what is the author’s attempts to make him come across as closed-off-yet-charming. The mystery aspect fared better, in my opinion, even though it wasn’t as unpredictable as the rest of the plot. On the whole, it is an interesting and captivating start to the series.
Cute couple, great characters
This book just drew me in and wouldn't let go. Compelling characters, a lush setting, loads of lovely romance, and a bunch of family secrets. On to the sequel!