By Lori Ann Gerlisky
Despite being a big fan of TV shows like Supernatural and The Walking Dead, I haven’t read many supernatural romances. I tend to prefer straight contemporary; I can’t explain why.
But I signed up to review The Exchange in Goodreads’ New Adult Book Club because it sounded really interesting (Here is where I should mention that I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review).
The premise of the novel is that Desiree wins a scholarship to be an Australian exchange student. When she gets Down Under she meets the Graafs, a family that hosted an American Exchange student, Dana Lyn, two years ago. While staying with the Graafs, Dana Lyn died under mysterious circumstances.
The story starts off well. Initially, Desiree finds herself attracted to Brett Graaf, one half of the very handsome Graaf twins. But as she spends more time with Justin Graaf, she feels oddly drawn to him, strangely connected to the late Dana Lyn, and completely uncertain whether one of the Graafs had something to do with Dana Lyn’s death.
I was fully invested for the first three- fifths of the book, when Justin was dark and brooding. But Gerlisky started to lose me when he started conversing more. He was always providing too much information. It felt like he was lying and providing too much information as a cover. But I think it was just Gerlisky trying to speed up some exposition instead of having the conversation flow naturally. The entire last fifth of the book felt very rushed to me. First there was nothing going on and then EVERYTHING was going on, both romantically and thematically.
This was the same complaint I had in the last Gerlisky book I read. I’d like to see her work more on developing reasoning behind her pairings.
That said, I thoroughly enjoyed the premise of the story. I liked the mystery. It even piqued my interest in reading some more paranormal fiction! With a little fine tuning The Exchange could seriously be a five star read. But as is, I’m giving it about 3.5. A solid effort that needs a little more work.