Review by Katinka C.
TITLE: Want Me
AUTHOR: Rowan McBride
PUBLISHER: Loose Id
SUMMARY: Joel Beckett is blessed. He’s popular with the ladies, a star on the football field, and worshiped by everyone on campus.
Including Walker Cain.
Only Walker’s worship has crossed the line, driving him to invoke ancient magic that binds them together in an inescapable downward spiral. Now reality is shifting, and with each new life Joel is forced to watch Walker steal away another of the blessings he’d always taken for granted.
It’s never enough. Cursed blood runs hot, and with every turn of the spiral, Walker breathes the seductive words that Joel can’t resist. The words that could drag them both into hell.
REVIEW: “It’s very…unique.”
There seems to be some consensus among those who have read Want Me. And I wholeheartedly agree. This book IS unique. It’s also crazily weird, hilarious, creepy, and as the story unfolds, it becomes an intense psychological experiment that may bring tears to your eyes.
So what on earth should you expect?
Firstly, meet the jock “I am God” Joel. You know the type. He’s the star of the football team. He indulges in his own muscle-mass and his height alone is his free ticket into the pants of all the pretty ladies. There’s, basically, really no need for him to bother with things like trying to be witty, understanding or just brainy in general. Everyone either wants to be Joel, or wants to be with Joel.
Which is also why his roommate Walker’s lustful, secret glances hardly register with him. It’s only to be expected of the scrawny, freaky kid, right? What Joel doesn’t know, is that his geeky roommate is not only completely and obsessively in love with him, he has as a trick up his sleeve as well. Or actually; a spell. One that makes Joel want him. Regardless of the fact that Joel’s straight. And regardless of potential serious side effects to the spell. For instance, maybe it will throw both guys into an inescapable downward spiral, in which one alternate reality is swapped for an even more extreme one. It’s hardly a spoiler that all goes terribly wrong. The spell creates some kind of transference between them and allows Walker to – unwillingly? – parasite on Joel, every time they have spell-invoked sex.
“Bastard!” I struggled against him, and his arms barely flexed as he kept my wrists in place. “You’re getting off on this. Watching me get smaller, lose my life, bit by bit. And all the time, you suck it all inside you!”
While Walker seems to revel in his new powerful body, Joel weakens and shrinks. No longer the biggest shark in the sea, life now dares to sucker punch him. His enemies crawl out of their hiding places and his former conquests now fuck his friends. Surprisingly enough, Joel turns out to be more resilient than you’d expect of a self-centered prick. It’s touching to read how he desperately tries to adapt and cling onto shreds and pieces of happiness. At the same time, Walker’s ambition never wavers. He wants Joel, unconditionally. And seemingly despite the consequences.
“I’m my own man.” A low, husky chuckle swirled around me. “No, you’re not. You’re mine.” My eyes snapped open, and I glanced up, trembling so hard that my teeth chattered. “W-Walker.”
“You’re so strong, Joel. This spell is more potent every time I invoke it. I can feel the power growing inside me.” he smiled as he walked closer. “Yet here you are, sitting out in the freezing cold, resisting.”
“Stay away from me.”
“I can’t.” He straddled the bench beside me, then grasped my knees to turn my body and hook my legs over his thighs. “You should know that by now.”
But ultimately, as the downward spiral mercilessly spurs them on, their lives are at stake. How can they break the spell? What has redemption to do with anything? And will Joel ever be his own man again? Or will he cease to exist altogether….
Think you’ve read it all by now?
Do you crave something different, a creative, slightly creepy read perhaps? Then you might want to give Want Me a go!
After a somewhat bumpy start – I personally didn’t know whether I should let the crazy wash over me and just have fun or be disturbed by the scary concept – the book captivated me around the 1/3 mark. Rowan McBride is a true storyteller: the prose is effective rather than beautiful, making Want Me a fast read. I must admit that I had braced myself for horror. No wonder, with a blurb like this! But although the atmosphere was plenty creepy, this book was a lot less dark than I had anticipated. For example, McBride glosses over the more appalling aspects of the growing and shrinking process (the sex folks! I’ve never been this relieved about sex scenes fading to black!). Instead, Want Me may leave you pondering about the impact of the cards you’re dealt in life, and the choices you make based on them.
Finally, a note for the HEA lovers out there: the revised version of Want Me was published only last month. It includes not only an extra chapter, but a bonus in the form of an alternative HEA ending (McBride really is into alternatives, be it lives or endings, ha!). The original version didn’t come with a HEA ending. I would’ve been perfectly fine with it staying that way, since I think it contrasts with the story as a whole. However, McBride’s beta readers got their sweet, sweet way. So this revised version now has two(!) HEA’s to chose from.
I told you not to let the book’s dark appearance scare you away!
Katinka C. is one of the official reviewers of The Blog of Sid Love
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