• tomefries

Chosen Path Series by L.B. Simmons

Updated: Feb 14, 2020

Summary: This series features three characters who are on a path of self-discovery. Each has a tragic past they must overcome on their way to love.

{Free book(s) alert! I received these three copies in return for an honest review.}

Review: Since I received them as a series, I wanted to review them all together. So I stuck out the three months it took me to read all of them. Normally, it should have taken a lot less time to get through three small-ish books, but I took on an additional evening position teaching dance classes and immediately suffered an injury. Plus, as you can probably guess by the stars above, I didn't enjoy the series.

Normally, I love a good coming-of-age story. Self-discovery is such a critical part of our growth into adulthood and something most of us have experienced. However, this series was less about discovering yourself, but having a man discovering it for you.

It starts with Into The Light, featuring Aubrey "Raven" Miller who embodies the goth look because she believes if she gets close to anyone they will die. As she goes off to college, her roommate and hunky childhood friend, whom she hasn't seen in years, remind her who she is and convince her to shed the tough look.

First of all, as someone who has had the goth look (minus cat-eye contacts, which I totally would have gotten if I could), it's not always to push people away. Sometimes people get piercings and dye their hair because they like it. The stereotypes get to be a bit much and were over-used in this book. Not just with Aubrey, but her overly peppy, pink-loving roommate who was just trying to cover up her body dysmorphic disorder.

There were also many other issues, but I'll get to those as they are radiated throughout the other books.

While there were definitely a lot of problems with this book, it did hit on some tough topics like anorexia and suicide. There were tear-jerking moments that made you think of the impact that the beliefs of others can have on our lives. Of the three books, this one was the best.

Next came Under the Influence. This one goes back and forth between the views of Dalton Greer and Spencer Locke. Both come from troubled pasts, but Dalton uses his as a reason to be dark and brooding. He also ends up being a child working for a drug cartel. Meanwhile, Spencer is hopeful and naive with the idea that she can save Dalton. Once again, it's less about loving yourself than it is about creepy, obsessive "love."

The second book also had its heart-wrenching moments, but overall it was more sappy and overcooked. The dialogue was not believable. Trust me, I dated a guy very similar to Dalton and he was much more likely to go out and shoot someone than actually say what was on his mind.

Not to mention that stalking was played up as romantic. Please, authors, stop! Stalking is a felony, not romantic. (Oh you've been following me around, watching me with another guy? How sweet!)

Finally, there is Out of Focus, which features Cassie Cooper, Spencer Locke's best friend. Much of what happens in the third book overlaps with the second. I will fully admit that I skimmed this book. I skimmed it and still managed to know exactly what was happening and highly doubt I missed any deep meaning. Cassie's "secret" trauma was obvious during the first chapter, as well as what was going to happen with her relationship with Grady (and not just because most of it was in Under the Influence, which should come with a spoiler notice). The only thing I didn't see coming was the reappearance of Aubrey Miller toward the end (which until then I had wondered how the first book-related).

Overall, the writing throughout each book was unbearably repetitive. Eyes and hair were described with the same words (bright blue, sapphire, dark) over and over again as though you had amnesia the first, second, and eleventh time. Plus the same points were beaten into you. ("I love him," "I'm not worthy," "Poor me," "Blah, blah, blah...")

And, while the characters' personalities varied in stereotype, they all had similar bodies. It was as though these books were written in an Aryan fantasy land where all the men are magically ripped and everyone has the brightest irises you've ever seen. There didn't seem to be an average person anywhere along the Chosen Paths.

Romance is probably one of my least favorite genres, but when they are well done I do enjoy them. As for the Chosen Paths, I almost wish I had chosen not to read them. They reminded me of Twilight, sans the sparkly vampires (I mean Dalton was basically a still-living Edward). Although, Simmons clearly understands plot development, unlike Meyers.

However, if you value codependency and believe that you can't be whole without a lover, then this might be the series for you.


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