3-Star · Book Reviews

Magnetic by Carissa Miller | Blog Tour & Spoiler-Free ARC Review

36252646Title: Magnetic
Author: Carissa Miller
Publisher: CC & Mike, LLC
Publication Date: September 17, 2017
Genre(s): Young Adult, Mystery
Source: YA Bound Book Tours
Pages: 294
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When Elle Christiansen’s rebellion leads to her father’s expulsion from a parsonage in small-town Ohio, the forlorn pair is forced to move to Oklahoma to live with an aunt neither of them has ever met. Here she encounters her aunt’s neighbor—Maverick Mason, the quietly confident son of a wealthy oil tycoon who infuriates her as much as he inexplicably draws her in…
Maverick slowly gains Elle’s trust and coaxes her out from the seemingly impenetrable walls of self-protection she erected around her heart when her mother was murdered. He convinces Elle to confide the secrets of her tortured past: that she saw her mother’s murder before it took place, and she was the one who found her, bleeding to death at the end of a lonely dirt road. Together the unlikely pair begins to unlock the secrets of not only Elle’s sordid past, but her mother’s and grandmother’s as well, to uncover decades of greed, corporate corruption, lies, and murder. Quickly, the sobering realization hits: if they do not solve her mother’s murder, Elle will undoubtedly suffer the same fate. As she continues her journey toward truth alongside the boy she is magnetically drawn to in a way both frightening and uncontrollable, Elle finds the road she is most afraid of going down—that one lane dirt road where her mother was murdered—just might be the only place she can truly find redemption.  

Magnetic tells of the enduring pain of living with unsolved violent crime. Inspired by debut author Carissa Miller’s true-life events, it’s a haunting account of a young girl’s struggle in the aftermath of shattering loss. With an unraveling love story, puzzling mystery, unexpected twists and turns, and a gripping pace that will keep you turning pages, our heroine takes you on her journey as she learns one of life’s great lessons: facing your fears instead of running from them, is the only way to truly find freedom.



Magnetic is one of those books that will make a fun beachside read. While the main mystery is dark and gritty, the main focus of the story is on a romance and seventeen-year-old coming to grips with the loss of her mom and finally learning how to open up. This book was a fast read and one that though I had a lot of emotions about, ended up liking by the end.

The most compelling part of this book was the main mystery surrounding the main character. After moving from Ohio to Oklahoma, Elle begins to learn more and more about her mom’s mysterious past and the events leading up to her unsolved murder. The reader learns these events as Elle does and was definitely the strength of this story.

Another part of the story many readers will love is the relationship between Elle and Maverick. Just a heads up, this was a super insta-lovey story. This trope is both adored and detested in the ya book community. It’s not one of my favorite tropes, but I don’t mind seeing it now and again. If you do love this trope though, you will really love this book. As the book develops, I do like their relationship more. There were times one of them said or did something that had me internally screaming, but just a few paragraphs later they made up for it or actually verbally discussed why they didn’t like what the other one did. This kind of communication isn’t always seen, so I did like that it was included.

In my opinion, the weakest aspect of this book was the writing style. There were times where Elle thought something then proceeded to verbally say a similar version of the thought or times where her thoughts were used as pure exposition (most notably towards the end). This kind of took me out of the story. I felt like I was being told the events that transpired instead of being sucked into the story.

Elle herself wasn’t a character I liked at all for the first half of the book and that also made it a bit hard to connect with the story. There were several times I was annoyed by her thoughts or actions, but as the book went on she became much more likable. Part of this was due to her actually communicating with the characters, but I do understand that she was overcoming a traumatic situation. It’s not giving her a pass for her actions, but I do see where her actions were coming from.

There is a lot to enjoy about this book and some things to nitpick. It isn’t a book that all readers will enjoy, but there are certainly several that will be captivated and obsessed. I personally think fans of Stephanie Perkins will adore this book. This is a book where you know what to expect from the synopsis and if it seems like one you’ll enjoy, I think that you should pick it up!


Final Thoughts

Overall, I thought this was an enjoyable mystery. This isn’t going to be a book for everyone, but I think there are a lot of people that will like it. People who love mysteries routed in unsolved crimes and family secrets will probably enjoy this book. Lovers of romance, especially the insta-love trope, will really enjoy this one as well.

For a debut novel, I think that Carissa Miller did produce a fun read. While the writing does have room for improvement, the story itself was captivating. Elle grew as a character, from one that was a bit unlikeable to a sympathetic character readers were rooting for. Maverick is a classic book boyfriend that many readers will enjoy. Ultimately, Magnetic is a story that lives up to its name and is one that will definitely draw readers in.


⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ – 3.5/5 Stars


Author Spotlight:

KB5A1406-4.jpegCarissa Miller writes a lifestyle and design blog called CC and Mike, where she and her husband blog about their experiences designing, building, and flipping houses in the Midwest. She was inspired to write her debut novel–Magnetic—because of her firsthand experience living with the trauma of an unsolved violent crime, her mother’s attempted murder. When she’s not writing, blogging, or designing, Carissa loves Oklahoma summers on the lake with her husband and three children, going to Oklahoma State sporting events and cheering on the Cowboys, and traveling cross-country with her family in the RV she and her husband renovated. Carissa laughs loudly, loves with her whole heart, tells it how it is to a fault, and enjoys living life to the fullest, every moment of every day.

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