“Compulsion” by Martina Boone

I stayed up all night to read Compulsion by Martina Boone. The result? A very scary nightmare where I was trapped in a Southern Gothic mansion! Yeah, this book left an impression.

Compulsion tells the story of a teenage orphan named Barrie who ships off to an island in South Carolina unprepared to discover her family is majorly important in Watson Island history. Not only that, but the two other prominent families in the area have strong opinions about Barrie’s return. The only thing Barrie can count on is her supernatural ability to discover lost things. The creepy mansion she moves into is full of unacknowledged loss, and the house seems hell-bent on destroying itself. Barrie better figure out what she wants–rather than what she thinks she should want–and solve her family issues, before she trips on one more staircase.

Compulsion has great writing, a strong plot, and killer description. The only think I didn’t particularly care for was the way that Barrie and her boyfriend Eight constantly fought. Hopefully teen readers don’t think that’s a model for a healthy relationship. Still, I will definitely be reading more Watson Island books in the future.

I was also highly impressed by the word choice in  Compulsion, which is especially noteworthy since English isn’t Ms. Boone’s first language. You’d never know that by reading this novel. –Side note, I married into a Czech family. Shout out to the Bubenikis! —

Ms. Boone is the founder of Adventures in YA Publishing which offers a ton of industry tips. Hopefully someday she’ll consider changing her policy regarding authors from smaller houses. 😉

For more info about Compulsion, check out the trailer.