Monday, November 13, 2023

Series Review: "WITSEC" by Ashley N. Rostek

Series: WITSEC
Author: Ashley N. Rostek 
Reading Order & Individual Ratings:
  1. Find Me - 3.5 // 5 stars
  2. Save Me - 3 // 5 stars
  3. Love Me -  3 // 5 stars
  4. Free Me - 3 // 5 stars
Overall Rating: 3 // 5 stars

I first heard of this series on TikTok when people were talking about why choose romances that they loved. Everything about the idea of this series appealed to me: why choose, a heroine on the run, badass characters, etc. However, despite the surface level enjoyment I had in these books, I think overall they were disappointing to me. 

I'll preface this by saying that these books are addicting as hell. I read all four of them in 24 hours and couldn't put them down. The nature of these books means there's a certain thriller element where you're always wondering if the next hit is about to come. 

The first book was the most enjoyable to me, I think. It was a good start to the series, if not a bit insta-lovey. I thought we got a good idea of our characters and the situation with some pretty good pacing. I do prefer a more slow-burn romance, especially for my why-choose books, but I could overlook it because I was enjoying it nonetheless. The second book upped the suspense quite a bit. I didn't like it as much as the first as we went right into a full blown love scenario whereas I would have preferred a bit more development. 

The third and fourth books were I think where my disappointment in this series really came out. For starters, I could no longer tell the love interests apart. One of my minimum requirements for a why choose series to become an all-time favorite is good character distinction for the love interests. Basically, I don't want the love interests to be a copy-paste of each other simply for the novelty of having multiple love interests. 

For me, a good way to test this is to ask myself the following question: "If you were to take a page of dialogue and actions and remove any names or nicknames, could I tell you which love interest it is?" My favorite why choose romances, I can do that. This is not one of those cases. In the first book, it was that way. But once the romance developed, the love interests became exactly the same in how they acted and talked. And since we didn't get much background information on them besides a few sentences here and there, I felt very disconnected. 

I also think that while I liked the main character, as the series went on she became very annoying to me. I understand she's been through incredible trauma and she's not healed nor has she gotten any help dealing with it. I understand that. At the same time, I found the constant outbursts, tantrums, and blaming others to be excessive. These are men she's supposed to love, yet there was a point where every chapter was either smut or her yelling at them and storming off. If we needed these angsty moments, we also needed the soft moments that show the relationship that aren't smut scenes. 

This brings me to my next issue with the last few books. The amount of smut in these books was too much. If you are reading for smut, you'll probably like that. I don't read for smut. Smut can add to my reading experience if it's done in moderation and doesn't overtake the plot or development. But there was a point it seemed every single chapter had a smut scene. There were times we had more smut than anything else (plot, character development, romance) combined. I began skimming over them and completely skipping those scenes. 

That may put me in the minority, though. I just am indifferent to smut in books. I grew up reading fanfiction and on the early-2010s internet so I feel like I've been well desensitized to explicit content by now. Smut just for the sake of smut doesn't do it for me in books anymore because I'd much prefer other romantic moments, plot development, etc over that. 

Overall, did I read this series in less than 24 hours and was it incredibly addicting? Yes. Was it an objectively good series? No. I think the rate at which I read them and how addicting they were are the only reason I was able to give it 3 stars as otherwise I think these aren't offering that much to the why choose genre. Incredible concept, poor execution is what I think I'll leave this review with. 

Thanks for reading!

You can follow my bookstagram here for more bookish content!

To get more awesome posts like this post, click the follow button to the right!

No comments:

Post a Comment