When I first picked up Consequences back in April I didn't really know what to expect. I didn't read the synopsis. I believe I found it on a Listopia list of “mindfucks”. I read some reviews, but all I really gleaned from them was that it was going to screw with my mind. I actually didn't really believe that it would, after all, it was just a book.
It was NOT just a book.
While reading it I found myself “compartmentalizing” right along with Claire. I had to periodically stop reading just to absorb what was going on. I just could not wrap my brain around it. In the beginning, I was devastated for Claire and I loathed Tony. Then I found myself wondering why Claire stuck around given everything that had happened. I still loathed Tony and wanted to kill him myself. Thinking back on it, I still wonder sometimes about some of the things Claire did, but I can see where being put in a situation like that and “compartmentalizing” everything away could skew her perspective. It also didn't help that Tony flip-flopped with his horrendous behavior and not so horrendous behavior (I couldn't find the right adjective; tender, sweet and romantic just don't fit). By the end I was proud of Claire for standing up for herself and not going along with the insanity plea. I was hopeful at that point, even being where she was, Claire would be able to “out” Tony.
At this point I was invested. Claire and Tony were in my head. I was constantly thinking about them and trying to find some kind of peace for myself. It didn't happen. Reading Truth was a given, I couldn't not read it.
I forged on and delved into Truth. I met Harry. I loved Harry. I wanted Claire to be with Harry forever. I still wanted Tony to die! Phillip Roach, I met him too. I thought he was a little creepy, but eh. Claire was free and she got herself a plan. She was strong and trying to be as independent as she could. I was so, so proud of her. She was taking charge. She was finding out information. She was finding witnesses to things. She was taking on Tony. It was liberating. It was also dangerous.
Enter Tony. Manipulative bastard. Claire tried, she really did but she crumbled. He trumped her and she crumbled. He took advantage of her. But she started seeing changes in Tony and he was trying to be better. Tony was also doing some other activities that I was unsure about. By the end, we find Claire and Tony back together in Iowa. Harry is crushed and broken-hearted. Everyone else is thinking Claire is the stupidest person on the planet.
Oh, but wait! Strange things are happening in Iowa. Threats and such. Sweet, motherly Catherine (that bitch) wants to help Claire keep herself safe. She shows Claire something. Claire runs with Roach.
I am floored. I am upset. I was beginning to start to maybe like Tony a little bit, now I don't know what I think. I'm still unsure about Roach.
My mind, again, is in turmoil and I need time to process. I need someone to talk to about this. I think I am obsessed with this. I find a friend and convince her she MUST read these books. I need to know that someone else is as screwed up over this as I am.
She reads them. I re-read them. We are both a little messed up, me more so. She hates Tony, doesn't like him at all, not even a little. We talk and we talk and we talk. I see a release date somewhere for Convicted. I immediately call her. She is excited too. Then I find Chapter 1 on a Goodreads group. I read it and call her. She will not read it. So I share. We are distraught by this chapter. It hurts. We don't understand. Then I see Chapter 2 on this same Goodreads group. (I can't figure out if Aleatha likes to gift her readers or tease them) Again, total confusion. Why are Roach and Claire acting so married in private? Its too much. I can't take it. I think I may be losing it. I call my friend. She talks my insane ass down.
Now I wait. I'm counting down to October 8. I'm thinking of taking that day as a vacation day. The closer it gets the more excited I get. I can't wait. BAM! My computer at work dies, guess who is not taking a vacation day. My plans are ruined.
Date: October 7 Time: around 9 pm Event: A twitter post with a link to CONVICTED on Amazon. I immediately buy it.
Now, just for reference, I DO NOT SQUEE, AND I DO NOT FANGIRL, I ALSO DO NOT DO .GIFS.
I did the first two, and strongly considered the third. Not only did I squee and fangirl at home, I went to work the next day and did it some more and I was still doing it the day after that.
I have finished Convicted and I am still squeeing and fangirling all over the place. Anyhow, just wanted to give you an idea of my excitement level.
Now, onto Convicted and back to ClaireAndTonyLand.
WARNING: The following may or may not be a jumbled and confused mass of statements and questions. It may or may not make any sense at all. I may or may not have gotten a total of 6 hours of sleep in the past 48 hours because I was busy READING THIS BOOK! I also may or may not have taken a yellow hornet caffeine pill today. My brain is also still processing everything I read.
Harry... Harry... Harry... That hurts. I loved you, Harry! How could you do this? And then to find out your history. Its kind of sad. I'm pissed at you Harry, but I think I may still love you. But this Liz chick, I'm not so sure about her. I am suspicious.
Tony, I am completely convinced that you love Claire more than anything and that she loves you too. But there is a whole lot of shit between the two of you and it keeps getting deeper.
Oh! And I think I may be in love with Roach too. Why did I not realize he is ex-special ops?
Meredith Banks, girlfriend, you have redeemed yourself!
Emily, I understand why you do what you do, but it just ain't right.
Sophia & Derek, I have no words.
Now that I've gotten that out of the way. I am sad to see this series end, but I know that it has to. All of these characters feel like a part of me and all I did was read the damn books.
Reading this last one you realize that things are not always the way they appear, even to yourself. No matter who you are, what you do, how much money you have or how in control you are, there is always someone who can trump that and they can do it without you even knowing. I will say, I did enjoy seeing Tony's transformation and seeing him admit to the power that Claire has over him. And he let go of the control... sometimes.
For most of the book I was just waiting nervously for the scene where Tony dies. I know, I know... I said earlier that he needed to die, but I changed my mind. I really didn't want him to.
Honestly, I'm not really sure what I wanted. When I got to towards the end of this, it was tearing me apart. Every page I turned sent me in another direction, I felt like a yo-yo. I'm still mulling over the ending, trying to figure out exactly how I feel about it. It feels good, but at the same time I still feel a sense of loss.
This series was a long, hard, emotional journey. There were highs and there were lows. There was great elation and there was great despair. Not only for the characters in the books, but also for me, and you as readers, and I'm sure for Aleatha as the author. I don't think I've ever read anything that has made me feel like this series has. It was amazing... and now I'm getting weepy.
To sum it up in Claire's words, “I've lived this story...”
And I do feel like I did live it right along with Claire.
Amazon Links: Consequences | Truth | Convicted | Aleatha Romig
GoodReads Links: Consequences | Truth | Convicted | Aleatha Romig