Book Review: Unlimited Themes in Koush Hollow by Leigh Goff

The message in this book was about loving yourself for who you are and not getting carried away with appearances. I think I got too carried away with the gorgeous book cover to fully grasp it. As I write this review for Koush Hollow, I’m still uncertain what rating I should give it.

After her father’s untimely death, Jenna Ashby moves to Koush Hollow, a bayou town outside of New Orleans, dreading life with her wealthy mother. As the sixteen-year-old eco-warrior is introduced to the Diamonds & Pearls, her mother’s exclusive social club, she comes to the troubling realization that secrets are a way of life in Koush Hollow: How do the Diamonds & Pearls look so young, where does their money come from, and why is life along the bayou disappearing? As Jenna is drawn into their seductive world, her curiosity and concerns beg her to uncover the truth. However, in this town where mysticism abounds and secrets are deadly, the truth is not what Jenna could have ever imagined.

Thank you to The Parliament Press House who sent me an eARC in exchange for a review. In no way of how I get this book, influence my opinion. If you’re curious about their other wonderful books, click here:

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I wouldn’t say I had high expectations for Koush Hollow because I definitely liked it at the start. Goff got right into the story and gave readers enough information to absorb the first few chapters. As the book continued however, the writing became repetitive as if the author thought we’d forget these minor details and had to remind us every page. Some sentences could’ve been left out to shorten the book as I did, half way found it to be dragging. Yet I liked the concept Goff attempted to build throughout the story. It seemed there were too many things going on at once to establish what’s important at the moment.

Characters play a vital role in this story, as it’s all about the Diamonds and Pearls and loving yourself for who you are. I understood what Goff tried to achieve when Jennifer was transforming into a Pearl and losing her authentic self, but it could’ve been executed better. That part seemed rushed as it only lasted a chapter and a half, I think? Jennifer as a character was likable in the beginning, but as the story went on, it seemed all her smartness went out the window. All the signs were there, she couldn’t have been that oblivious? Also, her reactions towards most things were melodramatic. For me, she ended up being a very cheesy heroic character.

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Apart from Abigail, Lauren and Parker, the rest of the characters were confusing. I actually liked those three, even if they were hooked on wealth, privilege and beauty. They played their parts right and never slipped from character. Unlike Hayden and Jennifer’s mother (Rayna) who I couldn’t connect with. They often slipped from their character as in—one minute they’re down Jennifer’s throat, then the next they showing affection or humor. I couldn’t quite place them in the right box, so they’re on the fence for me.

There were touches of romance in this novel, which I liked. It didn’t overthrow the important themes shown. Yet what irked me was what triggered Jennifer to fully transform into a Pearl. Like? That part came out of nowhere. Nonetheless, it bloomed another romance which I’m still wry about. Goff touched on multiple times throughout the book how we can easily lose ourselves with so many influences. I guess, Jennifer herself irked me because she took a while to realize what she had done to herself.

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It describes Jennifer as an ‘eco-warrior’ which I mentioned earlier. Readers have to be reminded of so many times. Rayna is a Marine Biologist, so it’s interesting to see how Goff included magic in the mix. We get chunks of Science here and there but more or less toward the end in one big heap by one of Jennifer’s dad’s friends. I’m no science nerd, but it could’ve been presented better and not all at once.

On multiple accounts, the Marais women warned Jennifer, but they could’ve been helpful and not be so mysterious. That would’ve moved the book along. I enjoyed incorporating Fantasy into this book to go further in-depth of the Diamonds and Pearls. It really gave a sense of mysticism to it.

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Sadly, after writing this and remembering scenes from the book, I have to rate this two out of five stars. I thought I’d enjoy it, but not as much. It wasn’t for me, but it could be for you if you’re wanting to start Fantasy. I’d recommend this and if you’re looking for something that teaches a pretty damn good lesson.

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Perth WA 6000, Australia