I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
When I decided to read Rouge, I had no idea what I was getting into. I’ve made a habit out of only skimming the synopsis for books recently. I just get a feel for the story so I can be surprised while I read. When I got about 20% into this book I realized something that made me a very happy girl. This book is about a freaking superhero!
17-year-old Hunter is the heroine of our story, and the word heroine has never suited any character better. The girl does have superpowers after all. She has the ability to control and create fire, but I have the feeling that her powers will continue to develop as the series progresses and we will find out more about what she is capable of in later books. Hunter isn’t just a human with a few extraordinary abilities, she is literally made of fire. When she gets upset, scared, sad, or even aroused the fire inside her burns hotter and needs to be released whether she wants it to or not. Naturally, this causes quite a few problems for her while she navigates the normal issues that befall a teenage girl.
I’m going to have to be honest, Hunter was not my favorite character for most of the book. She was too impulsive and defiant for me to connect with her. She kept snapping at everyone, and that really annoyed me, and the way she treated her guardian Joshua was really irked me . He was awkward and strange, but I never understood why she refused to listen to him when he asked her not to do something even after he was proven to be right. When the story begins, everything is new to her so he asks her not to go to school or see her boyfriend for a while until she learns how to control her powers. She doesn’t listen and ends up in some very dangerous situations because of it. By the end of the book,her distrust of Joshua makes more sense, but I didn’t have this information for most of the story so she just seemed ungrateful to me. I’m not saying that Hunter was a bad person, but I just didn’t get in her corner until the final pages.
The reason why I gave this book four stars even though the main character frustrated me is because despite that fact, I still really liked the book! If you can like a book even when the main character gets on your nerves, then that book deserves 4 stars! I don’t even know if I was meant to like Hunter in this book. I believe that the author allowed her to be imperfect on purpose in order to allow her to grow later in the series. Hunter is a scared emotional young with an incredibly dangerous power coursing through her and she doesn’t know what to do or who to trust so of course she makes bad choices and lashes out. I don’t need to like her or agree with her choices in order to sympathize with and care about her. More authors should take that chance and let their characters be less likeable and more human sometimes! Towards the end of Rouge, I was cheering Hunter on, but I was cheering for her to make the right decision not just to win. That caused me to be more invested, and I can’t wait to read more so that I can watch her grow further. I have the feeling that Hunter is going to become and amazing person because I saw bits and pieces of an incredible heroine the entire time I was reading. The development of her character is being done very well.
Like other superhero stories, The romance in Rouge was there, but took a backseat to the real storyline. Eli was sweet,but I never understood why Huinter’s feelings for him were so intense. They meet at a party, watch a movie together, have a few conversations about life, and then KA POW! They’re in love. (Get it? I said KA POW because the book is about a superhero.)
I actually liked Eli’s friend Jack a lot more because he felt more like a leading man to me. I looked like we might be headed towards the dreaded love triangle, but that never really developes. There is a slight attraction, but Hunter is all about Eli and Jack knows it. I have a I think that things will become more complicated in the next book though.
There are a lot of twist and turns in Rouge. I thought I had one major twist figured out, and I did, but be sure to read the epilogue because it reveals something that will change your opinion of one major character and have you itching to read the next book! I know that I am!
I would recommend this book for ages 12 and up because of language and slight sexual content.