Golden by Melinda Michaels

Golden by Melinda Michaels
Golden by Melinda Michaels
Publisher: Reuts Publications
Length: Full (314 pgs)
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action/Adventure, Contemporary
Age Recommendation: 14+
Rated: ​3 stars
Review by Lupine

High school senior Hanna Loch just suffered a blackout in front of her entire homeroom class. She hasn’t had one in over ten years, and she’s terrified—the last time she blacked out, she woke up with no memory of her life before. To make matters worse, no one can explain why it happens. For Hanna, bad things tend to come in threes.

And that doesn’t even begin to cover it . . .

When she learns she could be a descendant of someone who lived /once upon a time/, Hanna must put her trust in William Vann, a descendant of one of the most hated villains ever known. Their histories are intertwined in more ways than she expected, and he has answers about her past, answers even her family won’t share.

But is it safe to put her trust in someone who appears to be danger reincarnate, while trying to escape the darkness that tried to kill her ten years ago?

A loose fairytale retelling, GOLDEN is a story that’s /just right/, weaving together lost secrets, vengeful enemies, and what happens when fiction becomes reality.

Golden is a unique retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I went into this book expecting the usual modern day twist I see in most of these types of books, where the author will take the idea of the story and mash into the 21st century. This book was different in the way that Hannah, the heroine, was descended from the people in the stories, and that all the stories are real and much darker than you would ever guess. Which, in my opinion, is terrifying because fairy tales are already at the creepy level with kids cooking witches alive and wives being murdered and kept in the basement of the guy with the beard.

I really enjoyed the difference in this book and was really ready to dive right in, however there were things that tripped me up when I was reading it. Huge, unneeded paragraphs of description distracted from the plot and weren’t really important, such as Hannah fixing her hair and contemplating how much she hates it…for almost a whole page. There’s a more fluid, invisible way to integrate details into writing that wouldn’t have pulled me out of the story. Also, for a book that is not an ARC, there are a ton of typos. I noted frequent excess spaces, misspelled words, and punctuation errors. I was rather disappointed–not in the author for these problems–but for the faulty editing job.

I was also frustrated that the love interest was a bit of a cliché. He’s stunningly handsome, with a tortured past and struggles with his inner “instalove” for the protagonist. Though I found his background interesting, he’s just a little too perfect, and a few more flaws would have portrayed him a bit more realistically. I also didn’t understand why Hannah, who barely knows him, is willing to defend him tooth and nail because “she knows him better than anyone” and no one can seem to understand that he was a good man. But then, I’m not a fan of the “instalove” trope.

However, I can’t fault the core plot. I was very intrigued with the blackouts that Hannah has, and I think that her memories being taken from her, then given back as shattered remnants was amazing. I really liked the plot twist at the end, and think that it was well tied up within the last few pages.

The solid mystery in this story really had me hooked, and I hope the next book is better edited, because I can’t wait to read the next twisty tale.

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