Author: Monique O'Connor James
Genre: Realistic Adult Paranormal; Romance; Mystery
Published: July 9, 2012
Blurb: Jolie Bourque is trying to finish her thesis and get on with her life. She wanders into Folette, Louisiana, a place plagued by ghost sightings, convinced the residents are all crazy. No one wants to help her, no one except, Hutch Landry and his brother, Tucker.
Will she find the monster that is preying on the town's children? Can she stay sane surrounded by madness? What are her ties to the small town? How will she choose between the brothers?
This is the nightmare that is her life and all just a part of Becoming Jolie.
You know when you read a book and it really just sings? I mean actually sings to you - this lovely siren-like melody beckoning you to skip meals, sleep, and work to delve back under the cover? Well, Becoming Jolie was exactly that and more. Ms. James did an incredible job creating her world and characters...she simply drowned me in awesome(sauce). It was so moving and exceptional - I just fell in love with this story. Even the editing-monster, aka Bug, that lives in my brain took a back seat to the minor mistakes in this ARC copy.
I am normally confident when placing a book into it's genre, but I had a tough time with this one. Becoming Jolie is not a typical paranormal novel. It isn't about mythical creatures or what goes bump in the night but a truly realistic and heartfelt journey of the lovely Jolie.
Becoming Jolie begins with a city girl, Jolie, coming to a country town to explore what she expects is mass hysteria for her psychology thesis. In a town who trusts no one, a shunned Jolie finds some answers from a reluctant but sexy townie, Hutch, who seems lost in his town's troubles.
As she continues to explore the "ghosts" in this town, Jolie finds herself drawn to the sadness, anger, and desperation oozing from Hutch but she never expects to begin seeing the horrors haunting him in her dreams. She is almost compelled by the bizarreness surrounding Folette to find what the police, FBI, and town people have yet to discover: what kind of evil is destroying this town?
Jolie's journey through this book is much more than a paranormal one. Actually, it takes a backseat to the real-life drama unfolding. As an adopted child, Jolie has never tried to find her biological family, knowing the pain that it would cause her parents, but while meeting Hutch and seeing his sadness and longing for a relationship with his only brother, Tucker, she discovers that even with the inevitable pain, she must find where she came from.
This story intertwines what is lost in Folette with Jolie's personal tribulations, allowing her to free a town, and herself, from sleepless nights and dreary days. Exceptionally written and seductively structured, readers will grow with Jolie's self-discovery and uncover how, in a devastatingly imperfect world, beauty remains.
Most definitely add this to your "to-read" pile. It was delightful!
*Special thank you to Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing for sending this ARC in return for an honest review.*