Cover Image: Gaslight

Gaslight

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Member Reviews

Wow, how good is this book! This story follows Maddie as she navigates life and learns how to deal with broken relationships and shattered dreams. Her character growth throughout the story as she learns how to be there for herself is inspiring. She is also incredibly selfless, always having her mum at the front of her mind. I’m sure if anyone were unsure about what the term gaslighting meant after reading this story, it would be clear. It was heartbreaking to read how the effects of gaslighting changed Maddie’s mum and slowly broke her and how it affected Maddie. It is not something you would ever want anyone to experience, genuinely devastating. Highly Recommend. Thank you, WattPad Books and NetGalley, for providing me with this eArc.
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This one is labelled as a YA, however, due to some of the content I would say it's upper YA teetering on new adult. Since our FMC, Maddison, is 18 and things get steamy.

I loved the growth in this book, especially Maddison. But her mother also did a lot of painful growing as well. While the story mostly focuses on how Maddison feels, she also thinks about her mothers feelings often. Selflessly. That was probably one of my favorite things in this book. The fact that this teenager had to uproot her life, not only for her mothers safety but also her own, and still thought about her mothers feelings above her own, was heart warming.

Hayden and Maddison's relationship is another strong point in the book that I loved, the natural progression of their flirting was believable, and evenly paced. I loved that they both had healing to do and helped each other through it. I also really appreciated that the author gave them their own space, and while they had a few hiccups, they were normal things that most teenagers go through.

This author does a spectacular job building characters and relationships. It was well written, and easy to follow. I had a few issues with some scene changes, and abrupt endings. But over all it was a good read! I'm curious if the author plans to revisit this couple, and Maddison's parents, since some things weren't entirely wrapped up.

Thank you WattPad Books and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of Gaslight. This review is being left voluntarily, all opinions are my own.
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Really enjoyed this book, had a nice pace to it, however I wish it was a tad slower and drawn out so I had longer to enjoy the story. 
Loved the Characters in the book, Hayden and Maddie are so cute and I loved all the gym guys. The writing is very good as well, I look forward to reading more stories by this author.

Overall this book was a lovely read, just wish there was more to read. I would rate it 3.5/4 stars. 

Would 100% recommend it to friends and also purchase it to add to my collection once its released.

Thank you for giving me the chance to read this book, in exchange for my honest review!
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This is a strong book for young females and I will definitely recommend it to my middle-grade female students. I feel like most people that leave a toxic relationship need some activity to pour their energy into and help distract them from the bad scene they just vacated. This book shows readers that there are strong females out there that they can relate to and look up to. Some young adults have such a toxic home life and they feel like there is nothing out there to help them feel better and this book shows them that there are available activities to help make them feel strong again. I love that this book has such a strong family vibe to it. It shows us all how family can be there to lean on during times of crisis. Great message for our female readers!!!
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In the opening of this book, Maddie and her mother leave her father and move across the country to stay with her aunt and her family. Her father was manipulative, cruel, and controlling in some subtle and some not-so-subtle ways, known as “gaslighting”. When Maddie is reluctantly dragged by her cousins to a boxing match, she sees the boxers on the stage gaining a control over their lives that she covets. She decides to train at the local gym for a charity boxing match. The cute bad boy Hayden from her school becomes her trainer, and Maddie finally starts to learn how to live her life. 

The author has done a fabulous job of showing, not telling, what it’s like to suffer from gaslighting. Throughout the entire novel, Maddie questions herself. We’re given dozens of little anecdotes throughout the narrative, stories and memories that she has of her father and her mother. Some are good. Some are… not so good. In every instance, she questions herself, questions her memories, and questions her father’s intentions. Her perpetual confusion and distrust of herself is woven so intricately into the narrative, and as a reader, I genuinely felt these emotions alongside her. 

Maddie’s interactions with her mother are heartbreaking. As shown through the flashbacks, her mother has borne the brunt of her father’s manipulations. Her mother is merely a shell of who she was before she met him. While the book is told in first person solely from Maddie’s point of view, it’s interesting to see a similar character arc going on peripherally, in the background of Maddie’s story. Her mother is gradually regaining her strength and her happiness. 

Maddie’s interactions with those she meets in California are all coloured by her experiences. She has a subtle distrust of those she meets, including her new family members and classmates. When she meets Hayden, she’s warned that he’s a “bad boy” type and that she should stay away from him. Even once she gets to know the real him, she doubts both her judgment and her feelings. Her mother was so easily fooled by her father, so who’s to say that she’s any different? I loved how gradual her personal growth is; there’s no flip switched upon which she’s “cured” of the abuse she endured. It’s hard work and takes time, with some regressions along the way. This book has content that can be hard to read at times, but it has important themes of strength and hope threaded throughout the storyline. 

And of course, just because Maddie and her mother moved across the country to escape her father, doesn’t mean that the rest of the story will be sunshine and rainbows. They have a lot to overcome, and, as you can imagine, her father won’t give them up so easily…

What happens next? Read the book to find out! 

I recommend this story to those who love an angsty, yet heartwarming young adult read. 

*This review will be live on November 30, 2021 on https://powerlibrarian.wordpress.com/2021/11/30/gaslight/ and will be posted later to Goodreads and Amazon.ca
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5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
I would definitely be recommending this book to readers on my Instagram bookstagram account.
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GASLIGHT follows eighteen-year-old Maddie on her journey of discovery, strength, and healing.

While it was an interesting read with lots of impactful themes and featured amazing family/friend relationships, I found myself disliking this book because of the extremely heavy romance. I know this book is technically in the romance genre, but in my opinion, it really distracted from the plot and wasn't clean at all.

I also disagreed strongly with the major theme of GASLIGHT, which is "you are your own savior." While it is true to an extent—I'm all for people finding the courage to stand up against evil, or in Maddie's case, emotional abuse—but as a Christian and believer that only God can be our true saviors, I just couldn't get behind the overall message. Which is totally okay, since this book wasn't my thing anyway.
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