5/02/2013

Book Review: Tainted Love by Eva Márquez

Tainted Love (Sweetest Taboo #2)
by Eva Márquez
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Published: March 5th 2013 by Terra-Mia Press
Format Acquired: Ebook in exchange for an honest review
Purchase: Amazon

“My name is Isabel Cruz, and I’m nineteen years old, almost twenty. I go to Lincoln University where I’m majoring in English. I’m a straight-A student, and I know what I’m doing with my life, but things weren’t always that way. Or rather, I’ve always known what I wanted, and it just hasn’t always gone along with society’s views. In high school, I had an affair with my swim coach. I wanted him, and I took what I wanted. We were together until I graduated, but he had a wife and kids, and I left him behind to come here. I left everything behind to come here. At least that’s what I thought.”

Isabel was never like the other girls at her school in the sleepy town of Hillside, California. At sixteen she fell in love with Tom, a married swim coach at Royal Oaks High School; their exhilarating and sultry affair continuing in secret for several years. Finally, Isabel realized that her own future had to come first, but even after relocating to Washington, D.C. to study at Lincoln University, she finds herself still wracked by guilt over jeopardizing the happiness and security of Tom’s young family. Now almost in her twenties and desperate to start a new chapter in her life, free from past controversies, Isabel will once again find that her beauty and precociousness will captivate another older man, this time a professor at her university. Confronted by this burgeoning affair, Isabel realizes just how deeply she still loves Tom and, in spite of the disapproval of her hometown community, her feelings become too strong to deny.

When Isabel returns to Hillside, reunited with Tom, she feels herself falling for him all over again, only this time with the tantalizing promise that things could really work out for them, especially since she is no longer the naive teen she used to be. But all is not as it seems; Isabel begins to hear rumors about Tom’s involvement with other girls at Royal Oaks High. Quickly this salacious gossip leaks to the local media and the authorities begin to investigate the claims. Only then does the true gravity of Isabel’s misguided choices begin to profoundly affect those around her and threaten to derail her life completely.

Tainted Love is the thrilling follow up to Sweetest Taboo by Eva Marquez, and rejoins Isabel Cruz as she tries to put her complex and forbidden romance with Tom behind her. Written from the perspectives of both Isabel and Tom, the irrational and desperate love they share is brought to vivid life by Marquez. Inspired by the conviction of one of her former high school teachers for sexual misconduct with a minor, it addresses a poignant modern taboo, one that is becoming increasingly common in the US, with unnerving insight and precision. Tainted Love is a must read for young adults, their parents and all fans of romantic fiction.



Long ass synopsis there. 

After reading Sweetest Taboo I was somewhat eager to get started with Tainted Love. Not because I liked the previous book a great deal but because I was curious how the story would continue. So there I was, expecting Isabel and Tom to engage in a slightly forbidden relationship the second time around. I say "slightly" because circumstances have changed but they still couldn't get their relationship out in the open. Isabel wasn't a minor anymore and was already in college and Tom was divorced and yet there were still things that hindered them from becoming happy in each others arms

Cheeseballs. I said something cheesy because that's what the romance in book two is - CHEESE.

I absolutely did not like how the romance (or lack thereof) went on in this book. Tom was on cloud nine seeing Isabel again and being able to spend two uninterrupted weeks with her at a B&B. He kept telling her how much he loves her and how painful it was when she left and how excited he is to be with her again yada yada yada yada. A boyfriend that bares it all... sweet, right? Unfortunately no matter how loving (and heavy) Tom's words were there was simply no warmth to it. There were so many parts and paragraphs where Tom would express his feelings to Isabel and her doing the same but I just didn't get the feels you know? Maybe it's just me and my petty appreciation of romance but I just couldn't feel anything for the both of them.

To make matters worse, it's like the book went two steps back instead of moving forward. I really wanted to see how their relationship would work without the limits that hindered them in the first book (apart from the rumors and judgment that is) but SPOILER ALERT - there was no relationship in this book. They may have had their moment in the beginning but all throughout the book they spent it apart without any real communication. I was so disappointed at how incredibly immature Isabel was in this book. She's supposed to know better now. I understand though that her exposure to different people in college changed her outlook greatly but I think she could've handled certain situations better, like an adult. Not that adults are completely rational and responsible all the time. I'm just saying, she was acting immature and it made everything worse than they were when she was 16. 

It also frustrated me how Isabel would constantly question Tom's loyalty and wonder whether or not the rumors are true. What a hypocrite! She's the one who's been having an affair with yet another teacher (or professor) and she has the nerve to judge Tom? When she wasn't even making an effort to speak to him? It's all moving backwards!

Tainted Love was a bit different than the first book because some parts were written in Tom's perspective as well as Isabel's brother Tony (although not a lot). The book presented perspectives of a person who's obviously moved on, a person stuck in the past and a person looking from the outside. 

I appreciate that the readers are finally given a look into Tom's life. It was so hard feeling compassionate for Tom in the first one because we knew nothing about him and that his character felt so dry. But in this one, we're finally given some insight about his marriage and his feelings for Isabel. Given how poorly Isabel handled their relationship issues, I kind of feel bad for Tom now. It's almost like I don't want them ending up together because Isabel didn't deserve him.

My biggest complaint in Sweetest Taboo was still very much present here - the writing. Except I think it got worse. Telling and not showing yet again. There were pages inner monologues that quite frankly went overboard. Isabel kept over thinking her situation - not that she's not supposed to think about it. It is a big deal after all. But if you have repetitive paragraphs that are basically saying the same thing, it gets really tiring. In fact I felt so tired of it that I had to skip a lot of pages. And guess what? I didn't miss much.

The story ended with a sort of cliffhanger but honestly it didn't excite me anymore. There were too many things that went wrong with the second book that I couldn't see myself getting interested enough to find out how they fix their "relationship" and actually be happy for real. I still couldn't bring myself to appreciate the romance, the story line, even the taboo aspect of it all. I'm sorry. Maybe it's your cup of tea and not mine

My Rating:
(Refer to rating system)

About the author
Eva Márquez

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, daughter of European immigrants, Eva Márquez has spent most of her life outside of her home country. At the age of five, Eva accompanied her parents to the United States, where the family settled permanently. After graduating from university, she went on to complete graduate studies in International Relations in Spain. Eva received her Master of International Studies degree from the University of Sydney and went on to work in the global health field in Sub Saharan Africa and South East Asia. Eva currently resides in Southern Africa.
CONTACT INFORMATION

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this.This is awesome!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The synopsis is more like a prologue! Sad to hear it's a disappointment.

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  3. Love to read honest reviews! Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete