Monday, September 4, 2017

Warped by Erica Chilson

Willow Prynne

I need to buy a vehicle before a house.
I need to graduate college before I run a business.
I need to learn to be a girlfriend before I’m a wife.
I need to get married before I have a baby.
I need to learn how to be a daughter before I can be a mother.
I need to finish being a girl before I can become a woman.

Essie Prynne

I was that girl, ya know?
The girl.
The girl who developed early. The one every boy with testosterone firing in their veins wanted. The one every girl wanted to be– the one they hated out of pure jealousy.
I was that girl, but she wasn’t me.

Kieren Mason

I’ve seen things I can’t unsee, things that ruined me. I’ve taken on the role of my father’s wife, my siblings’ mother, and my brother’s enabler, because the guilt is suffocating. As those roles are stripped from me as my family moves on, I’m left behind without a purpose.

Devon Mason

I’m just like my mother– bipolar and abusive, but I’m also a drug addict. Being manic is a high without a drug, to the point I have to take drugs to dampen my high. Imagine your mind is a heavy metal song, but all the instruments are giving conflicting sounds, and you’re doing all you can do to make sure the bass doesn’t overpower the guitar, and the drummer is pounding out a wicked solo, drawing the song in a new direction.

I’ve yet to find anything to properly represent the depression aspect. Perhaps death is the only way to describe the low of depression. You just feel dead in a sea of hopelessness, without the ability to move as all life has to offer flies by in waves of fast-forward and rewind. Everything you once loved, no longer sparks any interest. Ever. The only thing the inflicted seeks is relief. Something to make you high again. Anything to make you feel alive for only a few seconds. A reprieve in an endless expanse of shadowy nothingness.

Add to Goodreads –

Book 5
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Mary Jo☆☆☆☆☆
I don't know where to start. This book follows intimately the lives of Willow, her cousin Essie and two of the Mason boys: Kieren and Devon.

Willow had the typical upbringing, mom, dad, older sister, and brother with her being the "oops" late in life child. Essie is an only child who longed for what Willow had even if she didn't/can't verbalize it: siblings. Devon and Kieren Mason are the oldest sons of a police officer father and a stay at home bipolar mother and long for the stability of a "normal" family.

Each person has their own crosses to bear and insecurities, with each one being explored in depth – all but Willow's. Willow, I think, we will learn more about her journey in another book. Here we learn a lot about Essie and her insecurities and what makes her the way she is.

Devon's demons are both internal and external. Life happened to him and happened at a very young age. He's fought demons, both real and imagined since he was a child and nothing, nothing he does in his silent screams for help is enough for his family to see that he is drowning in the darkness of his mind. Kieren, the one who knows him best, does what any enabler does: covers for Devon, helps him function, and keeps going like this is normal.

Kieren doesn't do the things he does for Devon out of anger or outrage, but out of desperation. He knows that there is something wrong with Devon, but he can't – won't – admit that he's scared that Devon is like Camille, their mom. Camille wouldn't take her meds, would lash out at Devon, physically and verbally. He knows their mother was willfully noncompliant with her meds and doesn't believe he can face it if Devon is the same way. Willfully hurting those who love him best.

Devon can't verbalize his problems or his needs. He doesn't want to disappoint his father by being like his mother. Self-medicating by using drugs is the only way he knows how to pull himself out of the darkness, only he soon realizes that his behavior has hurt Essie and Willow in ways that are not easily forgiven.

This is a realistic view of how mental illness not only affects the individual, but those around them. The entire family and support system suffers when no one knows enough to take action or the sufferer hides the symptoms by outlandish behavior.

I know there are several more books planned and I can't wait to see how these characters continue to grow and evolve.

Warped, the fifth book in the Blended Series, was truly an emotional joining of four characters that we thought we knew. Having already been introduced to Devon, Essie, Kieren, and Willow, I wasn't sure how this book would keep my interest – silly me!

Essie was the least known character, and really only mentioned through other's stories. Not what I was expecting at all, Essie may be my second favorite character (LOVE Clover). She had a lot on her plate, not many people to support her, a ton of big changes in her life, and yet she was able to tackle everything that was thrown at her.

Devon – jeez I don't even know where to start with him. We know the situation he's in, the people he's offended/pushed away. There is so much more to his story. I found the first half of this book a bit repetitive, but it was necessary to totally connect with Devon – to FEEL his chaos.

Willow, I thought she was just a young, selfish girl... WRONG. So wrong, on all accounts.

Kieren is the selfless martyr, or is he?

How Erica Chilson can twist my mind, always proving what "I know" of characters to be totally wrong, completely blows me away EVERY. SINGLE. TIME!

Watching these four people blend into life together was excruciating, heartfelt, comedic, and at times, sexy. Book five is my favorite [so far] in this series.

Warped is book #5 in the Blended series. This series should be read in order as each book intertwines with the last.

Warped has points of view from Devon, Essie, Willow, and Kieren. Devon's point of view is heartbreaking. The pain, darkness, and loneliness he lives with day-to-day, not to mention the hate and anger he feels toward his mother. He takes most of that anger out on the ones he loves. In his mind, he's doing it for them. So they don't get close and they won't have to deal with all the versions of himself. His mental illness plays a huge part in this story.

Don't let the size of Warped intimidate you. It is a fast read. You get so invested in the story you can't walk away.

I loved Warped and didn't want it to end. I wanted more. Woven can't come fast enough! I need it now.

Also Available in the Blended Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~  Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

For reviews & more info, check out our Good Girl post.

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~  Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

For reviews & more info, check out our Wildly Wedded Wife post.

Book 3
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~  Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

For reviews & more info, check out our Widow post.

Book 4
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~  Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

For reviews & more info, check out our Wanton post.

Erica Chilson does not write in the 3rd person, wanting her readers to be her characters. Therefore, writing a bio about herself, is uncomfortable in the extreme.

Born, raised, and here to stay, the Wicked Writer is a stump-jumper, a ridge-runner. Hailing from North Central Pennsylvania, directly on the New York State border; she loves the changes in seasons, the humid air, all the mountainous forest, and the gloomy atmosphere.

Introverted, but not socially awkward, Erica prides herself on thinking first and filtering her speech. There are days she doesn’t speak at all. If it wasn’t for the fact that she lives with her parents, giving her a sense of reality, she would be a hermit, where the delivery man finds her months after expiration.

Reading was an escape, a way to leave a not-so pleasant reality behind. Reading lent Erica the courage she gathered from the characters between the pages to long for a different life. Writing was an instrument of change, evolving Erica into the woman she is today- a better, more mature, more at peace thinker.

Erica has a wicked mind, one she pours out into her creations. Her filter doesn’t allow all of it to erupt, much to her relief. Sarcastic, with a very dark, perverse sense of humor, Erica puts a bit of herself into every character she writes.

Connect with Erica

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Warped (Blended #5) by Erica Chilson to read and review.

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