Tuesday, October 28, 2014

ARC Review: Heroes Are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: August 26, 2014
Publisher: William Morrow
384 Pages

The dead of winter.
An isolated island off the coast of Maine.
A man.
A woman.
A sinister house looming over the sea . . .

He's a reclusive writer whose macabre imagination creates chilling horror novels. She's a down-on-her-luck actress reduced to staging kids' puppet shows. He knows a dozen ways to kill with his bare hands. She knows a dozen ways to kill with laughs.

But she's not laughing now. When she was a teenager, he terrified her. Now they're trapped together on a snowy island off the coast of Maine. Is he the villain she remembers or has he changed? Her head says no. Her heart says yes. It's going to be a long, hot winter.

There is nothing I enjoy more than getting so absorbed in a novel that I read it in one sitting, staying awake all night just to come to the end and close the book (or application) with a satisfied smile on my face. I started Heroes Are My Weakness just before bed hoping to calm my brain down for some sleep, and ended up finishing the book while my mother snored across the room. This was a fantastic introduction to Susan Elizabeth Phillips's work!

Annie has no choice but to return to her deceased mother's cabin on Peregrine Island. It's the only place she has left since she put herself in debt trying to give her mother all she wanted in the little time she had left on earth. The island is nothing but a reminder of the torment she was put through as a teenager. Theo is staying the Harp House trying to focus on writing his next novel. Annie's return forces him to remember his awful past. When eery things start happening around the cabin Annie is staying at, Theo find himself pulled into solving the mystery of who is out to get her. The two must let go of their pasts to work together, and maybe find a little more between them along the way.

I loved how the main characters, Annie and Theo, had so much depth to their personalities. They had dark pasts that showed how horrible life can be, but the were well-rounded, and recognized the good in people. It was so easy to fall in love with them both. Annie was quirky, kind-hearted, and sharp as a tack. I aspire to be like her. The inclusion of her ventriloquism was a unique talent that made me like Annie all the more. I also liked the direction she took with said talent. Annie had my sense of humor, and an intelligence that showed through her biting comments to Theo. Theo is introduced as an anti-hero, and one that as a reader, I wasn't sure that I immediately liked. He is a mysterious, and tragic character that over time stole my heart. His past is heart-wrenching, but the development of his character as the book progressed was very well done.

The romance… Oh geez. Don't even get me started. I adored the relationship between these two. What started out as bitter and fearful, turned sarcastic and teasing, and then became sizzling and sweet. I was hooked reading as their love progressed. I found their chemistry undeniable. I rooted from these two from their first interaction. Their dialogue really is what made the story for me! I also liked the role that the island community played in the story, and in their relationship. The minor characters like Livia, Jaycie, and even Annie's puppets played a large role in the story as well, and were excellently included--the story would not have been the same without them.

Heroes Are My Weakness is not a fast-paced novel; it moves at an unhurried rate. That being said, the pace fits the content. I was never bored, nor did I feel like the plot was too stretched. The hint of mystery made the novel all the more addicting. I didn't want to put the book down because I just had to know what came next! And though I am now so tired that I can barely keep my eyes open, I am happy to have given the book a chance. It did not disappoint!

I wasn't expecting this to address such heavy topics as murder, suicide, or mental illness. While I did take issue with the way a few things were handled, I liked that the author included them in this book. They are pertinent to life today, and something that we as a society struggle with on a daily basis. I just didn't appreciate the way that Annie sometimes spoke about the women featured that had obvious mental problems. She was a bit too callous, and unfeeling about what those women struggled through. This is why my rating isn't a full five stars.

You can bet your buns that I will be reading more of Susan Elizabeth Phillips's work. I was extremely impressed by how quickly I fell in love with this story, and how I found it impossible to put it down for any reason but to pee. I can only hope that her other novels are as captivating as Heroes Are My Weakness was. 
I received an e-copy of this novel from the publisher for my honest opinion and review via Edelweiss.


  1. Wow, Emily, this sounds like a much deeper novel that I imagined it would be. But it sounds like my kind of read
    GReat review, deary
    Your reader,
    Soma R.

    1. It's a fantastic book! I definitely recommend it.

      Thanks for visiting! :)


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