*I was given a copy of The Cherished in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to HarperCollins and Patricia Ward*
Disclaimer: I did not finish this book due to insensitive content such as racism and poor mental health representation.
Jo never expected to be placed in her absent grandmother’s will—let alone be left her house, her land, and a letter with mysterious demands.
Upon arriving at the inherited property, things are even more strange.
The tenants mentioned in the letter are odd, just slightly…off. Jo feels something dark and decrepit in the old shack behind the house. And the things that her father used to talk about, his delusions… Why is Jo starting to believe they might be real?
But what Jo fears most is the letter from her grandmother. Because if it’s true, then Jo belongs here, in this strange place. And she has no choice but to stay.
Let’s start on a lighter note and talk about the writing style. The Cherished feels very juvenile despite its very adult themes. Everything feels very clunky and almost like the entire page is just one long rambling thought.
From the get go the author includes multiple racially insensitive or even out right racist comments. This one about Jo’s dad: “He was dark-skinned, Hispanic looking. He could be from anywhere” was said in the first chapter and the very beginning of the second chapter said “Nana likes throwing Mexican-themed parties. When Jo informed Nana that actually, the caterers aren’t from Mexico, she shrugged and said what did that matter”. I just don’t get what the point of this is? I’m aware that they are fictional characters but I’m pretty sure someone didn’t have a gun to the author’s head and threatened to kill them if they didn’t include racism in their book. At no time are comments like these necessary, especially when they do absolutely nothing for the plot.
These characters are absolutely awful, every single one of them. Even Jo our main character has extremely problematic thoughts. The fact that she’s calling her own dad a “schizo” is horrific. The representation of this mental illness is absolutely appalling. Who let this book get past the first draft?
The premise of The Cherished sounds very promising, I love books about changelings, but it was not executed well. Maybe if it wasn’t for all of the racist and insensitive content I could have enjoyed this.
Check out Young Creative Press on all socials
You can also check out my StoryGraph here
Like this post? Why not read this one too: Games That Should Have Adaptations #3