Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Tutor by K. Larsen

I cracked open K. Larsen's The Tutor last night, and then spent the better part of today finishing it. I'm a sucker for a gripping, dark tale, and while this one is dark, I wasn't so gripped.

My Rating: 2 out 5 stars
From a grammatical standpoint, the book is well-written and the story flows well with the exception of a couple of chapters. It's in first person, multiple POV. Yes, that multiple is in bold for a reason. Off the top of my head, there are seven different perspectives, with the epilogue told in yet, one more. Every site I've checked has this one listed under Romance, and the thing that drew me to it was "Dark Romantic Thriller." It is dark and it is a thriller, but I found no romance - a matter that I will discuss in a bit. There is sex, although, under the circumstances, I wouldn't consider it steamy, but that combined with the story and situations would certainly put this one in the 18+ category. There are also lots of triggers in this one and they run the gamut. 

I do have to give props to the cover designer, Cover Me Darling. It's a beautiful, haunting design that certainly added to my interest in reading the book. 

I won't go into details about story itself. I don't want to give spoilers and any details would be spoilers for this one. My biggest issues lay more with how the story is told than the actual story anyway.

As I've said before, if a book is advertised as something, that's what I expect. This one being under romance is way off the mark. The advertisement that drew me in said "Dark Romantic Thriller," and yes, it is dark and it is a thriller. The things that happen to these characters are horrendous. But, I found absolutely nothing romantic in this story. Obsession is not romantic. Stockholm syndrome is not romantic. A young, innocent girl being subjected to the whims of a madman is not romantic. There is sex, but I didn't get any warm and fuzzy feeling about those intimate moments. Don't get me wrong, I'm not easily offended and I've read much darker than this one, but don't bill it as romantic if it's not. If it's a dark thriller, fine, say so and I won't have a problem with that. 

I realize that some people are turned off by the multiple POVs, but that in itself doesn't bother me. Some of perspectives seemed a bit unnecessary to the story and with so much back and forth, they did become somewhat cumbersome to keep up with. But, I'm a big girl and could keep up if not for the continuous jump in tense, from past to present and back again. I'm not talking about the jumps from past to present in time - the story does that too - I'm talking about actual tense. One person tells the story in present tense, while the next tells it in past, and a couple of times, the same person jumped back and forth. I realize that may have been meant to set the characters apart from one another, but for me, it just became a distraction. 

Even with all of that, I was hoping to salvage something for this story. The blurb was so good and it had such promise, but I was never able to connect with the characters or the story. I think the word "tell" in the last paragraph sums it up. I felt like I was being told a story in the abstract, leaving me outside, looking in. I love a good, dark and twisted tale that I can immerse myself in and I want to be made to feel things. These characters endured such horrors - even the twisted Holden - but it's just too easy to not feel their pain when you're disconnected. 

There are quite the number of positive reviews for The Tutor, so maybe it's just me. Take a gander at it and if it looks like something you'd be interested in, by all means, support the author and grab a copy. I'm including some links here for your convenience. 

Thanks for joining me!


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