Review: 23:27 by H.L. Roberts

10:30 PM

23:27 by H.L. Roberts | Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5--probably will change to a 4.)

As a note, a review copy of this novel was provided in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way. Thank you!

WOW. Just, wow. Now, I know that my 3.5 may throw you off when it comes to my 'wow'--I have to say that I did enjoy this novel quite a lot. That isn't to mean it didn't have flaws. It just so happened the flaws are pretty mundane in comparison to the emotional punch that the rest of 23:27 was and that listing the flaws would be, well, pointless. Because if there's one thing that I loved most about Roberts' novel it was how captivated it was when it came to how it makes readers feel. Hint: it's a lot. You feel a lot, kids.

I guess now that that is out of the way, we can get down to business. What made the novel as compelling as it was, besides the seriously powerful prose that H.L. Roberts possesses, was the characters. Take Lilith, for instance. Lilith is by far my favourite part of this whole book. Characters like Lilith (that is to say utterly stunning in all their complexities) are what make literature a treat to read. Lilith, ultimately, makes 23:27 and takes it to a whole other level.

That being said--I actually genuinely cared and was invested in the other characters, too. Roberts writes a set of characters that are easy to feel drawn to for various reasons--a trait that is very, very necessary to creating anything.

Her characters become captivating in the most emotional way possible, not unlike that of Krista and Becca Ritchie's characters. You feel for them. You just do. There's literally no way out of it and you kind of want to talk to them.

Okay, that sounded a little weird when I put my thoughts to words but I feel like that's one of the most intense feelings in literature. When you just feel them coming to life and want to talk to them. Explain things. Shake sense into them. Hug them. Whatever--the post is, Roberts' characters have that essence of life that makes storytelling more than important and less than fiction.

I also appreciated the way the novel unfolded. It got better and more tense as you read it. I felt a great deal about it by its end and that's what makes it so brilliant. A true writer knows how to develop and capture the reader when they least expect it. Roberts does so gracefully and leaves you feeling every-thing, including a sort of gutted exasperation at times that nearly reduces you to tears.

Overall, this was a very compelling novel and not at all what I was expecting. I loved the pacing and how it tripped me up on several occasions. Frustrating and warming me. Kind of like getting punched, kind of like getting kissed. I can't explain it better than that.

Something about it is echoing in my mind.

Basically, if you're looking for something that tangles emotions and music in your next read--do yourself a massive favor and pick up 23:27. You won't regret it.

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