Unseen Messages by Pepper Winters

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

“I should’ve listened, should’ve paid attention. The messages were there. Warning me. But I didn’t see and I paid the price…”

I’m so sorry, but I’m going to have to preface this review with a rant:
> When you arrive at the airport to check in, the airline informs you that your ticket was cancelled.
> You feel like this is a sign not to get on the plane.
> Customs stops you and delays you by patting you down completely.
>You feel like this is a sign not to get on the plane.
> Then there is a problem with your fingerprints, and you once again feel like you might not be able to make this flight.
> You feel like this is a sign not to get on the plane.
> While boarding the plane, attendants tell you that that there is a visa problem
> You feel like this is a sign not to get on the plane, again, but do not want people to think you’re crazy, or seen one too many Final Destinations, so you board anyway.

Now, up until this point I can still salvage the believability. It’s a stretch, but I still can find some sort of resemblance of believability, because maybe our main protagonist really wants to get home that badly and would ignore her nagging intuition.

>When on the plane you still feel uneasy.
>Terrible turbulence starts to happen.
>Oxygen masks drop, lights flicker, and screens go static.
>You feel the plane actually descending and start preparing for a crash.
> Thank your luck; you have an amazing pilot who ends up being able to land the plane safely at the airport.
>You’re notified that, unfortunately, all connecting flights are delayed until morning, you know, because there is a freakin’ hurricane out there that almost caused your plane to crash.
> You then decided not to wait the night out and go home the next day safely, but you realize that you want to take a shady ass helicopter, during the middle of this storm, to a random resort with even more random strangers (oh, but one is swoon worthy), so that you can have a creative outlet.

^This. That last point. That is when I realized that if I was going to get any enjoyment out of this book I was going to have to pretend the circumstances of her getting on this deserted island happened very differently. Because that shit wouldn’t happen. Not in a million freakin’ years would that shit happen. /rant

Okay, now that that is off my chest we can move on. This is a survival story about two young adults and two children stuck on a deserted island in Fiji. Estelle is 25 and a singer/songwriter, Galloway is a 28 year old contractor that is harboring a secret from his past, Conner is 13 and Pippa is almost 8 and they are both struggling with the fact that they just lost their parents.

Sounds pretty terrible, huh? This book tells you everything about their time on the island, and I do mean everything – like 600 pages of everything. I felt like this book dragged and dragged, and started feeling pretty painful to read. But that’s the thing – I couldn’t stop reading it. As unbelievable and boring as it would get, I kept reading because I became obsessed with knowing if they get off the island. So, kudos for Pepper Winters for that, even though I think this is the worst book she’s written. I was literally obsessed with Indebted and Monsters in the Dark by her, so this was a huge letdown for me.

I know this review sounds really angry and negative, and I’m sorry for that. I was just really disappointed, because I’ve come to trust Pepper Winters and her stories that always end up being my guilty pleasures. I always feel so much for her characters and their stories, and she has written some of the most passionate and sexy scenes I’ve ever read in my life. I just expected more, a lot more, and I’ve never read a story or characters like this from her and, more importantly, I’ve never been disappointed with anything from her before.

This all being said, and as I started before, this book was very addicting and it was impossible for me to DNF it even though I felt like I should at 20% in. I had to keep reading, I had to know the outcome, and I completely think that attests to Pepper Winters ability to write and write very well. This survival story was just not for me, but I truly hope it will be for you.

I’m still going to buy and read the next thing Pepper Winters writes, she is just not on as high of a pedestal as she was before.

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