The Mason List by SD Hendrickson

The Mason List
The Mason List by SD Hendrickson
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Length: Full Length (478 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Age Recommendation: 14+
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Quince

An epic love. An epic hate. An epic story that would last a lifetime.

Today, 8:15 p.m.

I hurt. I hurt so deeply, I felt the pain searing in my bones and jabbing like a hot poker into my heart. I knew nothing would make it better as the memories pulled from the crevices of my mind, detailing the bad and the ugly, filling my thoughts with regret as I slipped into the darkness. . .

When I was eight, my mother was dying of cancer, my father lost his job, and the bank kicked us out of our house. I was forced to move to the strange town of Arlis, Texas where my father and I slept in our car in the hospital parking lot. Desperate and hopeless, we lived on fumes of our former life.

Then one night, everything changed forever. A knock on the car window brought a family into my life that I only wanted to shut out. I hated charity and I hated the Masons. Well, except one. He made it impossible to hate him.

Jess Mason had the biggest blue eyes and ornery smile of any boy I had ever seen. He was a ray of sunshine in my dark world. A boy full of adventure, dragging me across the meadow of Sprayberry Ranch; a beautiful Texas paradise full of horses and tree houses that got us into more trouble than anyone ever imagined.

Jess was my everything as a kid until we grew up and the rules changed. Instead of living happily ever after with a boy full of love. . . I destroyed it.
– Alex Tanner

Reading The Mason List was a bit like riding an emotional roller-coaster.

Drama is constant in this story. Each chapter contains either some action, or emotional turmoil – mostly Alex’s or both. Every once in a while I had to put the book aside because there was really too much drama for me. S.D. Hendrickson built the whole story on Alex’s internal conflict with Mason. So there are places of the story where I just got a bit bored of Alex’s issues with Mason and where I wished that she just accept a situation and move on. When I finished reading the story I disliked Alex and I thought that she just one of the most confused characters that I had met recently. But soon I realized that she is actually such a complex character and that her hate toward Mason is caused by not having a control over her own life, and that she is fighting to regain that control. Some of her ways were not the cleverest but in the end she made it and I was so happy for her.

I haven’t read a saga type of book in a long time, so when I realized that The Mason List can be categorized as a saga-like book and that the story goes from present to past, I was a bit reluctant. On the other hand I love rich boy–poor girl love stories so, in the end, I decided to give it a try. It took me some time to finish this 478 pages long book and I had very mixed feelings about it.

The writing is amazing. This is S.D. Hendrickson’s debut novel and she manages to keep the story in place all of the time. The author establishes a clear sense of time and location and it was really easy to picture the setting and time frame. The story is consistent, without illogicality. All characters are well written and fully developed. What I enjoyed the most was how the love between Alexandra (Alex) Tanner and Jess Mason developed, and how love scenes between them are written. There is no explicit sex here but the scenes are so sensual and full of tenderness.

The Mason List is good debut novel. The story stirred a lot of emotions in me, I cried and I laughed, I fell in love while reading it. I also come to some pretty interesting conclusions about giving a helping hand to fellow human being that is in dire situation. I highly recommend it.

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