The Mason List by S.D. Hendrickson
Publisher: S.D. Hendrickson, self-published
Publication Date: January 10, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 448
Format: kindle book
Source: Library

2015 Goodreads Choice Award Semi-Finalist: Best Debut Author for The Mason List

An epic love. An epic hate. An epic story that would last a lifetime.

Today, 8:15 p.m. I hurt. I hurt so deeply, I felt the pain searing in my bones and jabbing like a hot poker into my heart. I knew nothing would make it better as the memories pulled from the crevices of my mind, detailing the bad and the ugly, filling my thoughts with regret as I slipped into the darkness. . .

When I was eight, my mother was dying of cancer, my father lost his job, and the bank kicked us out of our house. I was forced to move to the strange town of Arlis, Texas where my father and I slept in our car in the hospital parking lot. Desperate and hopeless, we lived on fumes of our former life.

Then one night, everything changed forever. A knock on the car window brought a family into my life that I only wanted to shut out. I hated charity and I hated the Masons. Well, except one. He made it impossible to hate him.

Jess Mason had the biggest blue eyes and ornery smile of any boy I had ever seen. He was a ray of sunshine in my dark world. A boy full of adventure, dragging me across the meadow of Sprayberry Ranch; a beautiful Texas paradise full of horses and tree houses that got us into more trouble than anyone ever imagined.

Jess was my everything as a kid until we grew up and the rules changed. Instead of living happily ever after with a boy full of love. . . I destroyed it.- Alex Tanner

Author Note: The Mason List is a coming-of-age story that follows the life of Alex Tanner from the age of six to twenty-six. The novel crosses the genres of Young Adult and New Adult. The Mason List is a standalone, 118,940 word, full-length novel.

This book took me ages to get through and the beginning was weird. I assume the author doesn’t have children because the flashbacks were not told in a way an 8 year old would ever think. Ever. It didn’t ring true for me from the get go. I also thought my heart was going to go through the ringer, but instead it just was teased by the heroine. I forged ahead though, because there were enough 5 star ratings that told me something good and amazing must happen. Well, nothing good or amazing happened. le sigh.

I did like Jess Mason, but for the life of me I don’t know why he loved Alexandra. She had been dealt a rough hand, that is undeniable, but for the love of god, she was nasty and carried a chip on her shoulder the rest of her life. She never saw the good in anyone and was so ungrateful towards kind hearts….basically she frustrated me to no end. She was also so mean to Jess and hurt him deeply. To top it off I also couldn’t connect with her because she was such a tomboy, no girly bone in her body that made me want to be her.

But Jess, he was kind and wild and good. He was almost too forgiving. So he lost a few man points with me there. I have no idea why he liked Alexandra. He may have been hot, but his pining after Alexandra got a little pathetic after a while.

Sexy times. Oh man, they were snooze-ville. Even after all that waiting it was flat.

The ending, I figured that out at about 75%. I also didn’t like how it went from 15 years of Alexandra denying Jess her love, but one moment later she was all about it. It all happened quickly and it just didn’t work for me.

Would I rec this? No. The plot was thin and the characters were weak. Simple plots can still be rich but this one just didn’t follow through for me and I couldn’t’ connect with the storyline.

Good luck if you try it!

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