- File Size: 1159 KB
- Print Length: 615 pages
- Publication Date: December 30, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01MZ5FZ1Z
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,146,656 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Love's Intensity Kindle Edition
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Showing 1-5 of 11 reviews
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There is a lot to like about this book that explores the dynamics of an inter-cultural romance between two teens, Brad and Kressa. Brad is an American high school student who has recently lost his mother and struggling to come to terms with his father's remarriage. Kressa is from Mexico and comes to the US, along with her family, to work for the Natalis.
To the consternation of both families, not to mention Brad's friends, Brad and Kressa begin a relationship. Despite the conflict and tension, the relationship begins to flourish, revealing familial secrets that neither Brad, nor Kressa are aware of.
"Love's Intensity" touches on the themes of racism, classicism, bullying, social exclusion, teenage pregnancy, sexual assault as well as parental and spousal abuse. It is a coming of age story that is told from multiple points of view, including the parents of Brad and Kressa who have a subplot of their own.
There are a number of subplots and themes in this work, some that are explained in detail, and others that are left open. At 600 pages, this is a large text and there are some themes that are alluded to in the work, but are left under-developed. Some foreshadowing of the events that unfold would have been welcome and added greater impact to the storyline.
"Love's Intensity" does not have a cliffhanger, but there is plenty of room for a continuation of the story and further examination of matters unresolved. This work is a `clean' romance and recommended for people in their teens, and a Christian audience.
When the reader meets Brad Natali, he is in full-blown rebellion. He misses his deceased mother, hates his step-mother and resents his father. He also doesn't have the time for Kressa Morales and her family, who move into his home as domestics. Even worse, he has to associate with her at school, which causes complications with his friends.
Kressa is unhappy at having to pull up roots and move to the United States because of her mother's job. Her father also has issues with the family's move and doesn't understand the relationship between his wife and her employer.
Both families experience conflict partly because of the attraction between Kressa and Brad. Neither teenager understands the love/hate nature of their relationship, but over time they are drawn to each other.
The story thrives on conflict and several themes run through the book, including bullying, friendship, spousal and parent/child relationships. There is a paranormal angle to the story which makes things interesting. However, I feel the substance of the story could have been conveyed in a lot less pages. I also wasn't sold on the ninja aspect of the storyline. Teenage readers may enjoy the range of emotions that the main characters feel as the relationship develops between Brad and Kressa.
The novel is open-ended, hinting that the story will continue.
Although there are things to admire in this story, there are also a few too many contrived moments. Kressa is targeted twice in the novel, at length, by vicious bullies who hassle, abuse and attempt to rape her. I didn't feel that I got to know or understand either of these characters. Brad's stepmother is also cruel and vindictive without clear motivation. I had more sympathy for Kressa's father, a more fully-realized character who is uncomfortable about being uprooted from his life in Mexico and disturbed by his daughter's adoption of American customs and values.
The novel does a good job at exploring the concerns and emotions of teenagers as they are making the difficult transition to adulthood. It ends in a manner that suggests a continuation of the story, leaving some plot threads unresolved. Recommended for those who enjoy clean teenage romance.
The characters are enjoyable. They are faced against tough situations, mostly caused by prejudice and misunderstanding even within the families themselves. These problems appeared realistic and the reactions natural.
Unlike most books, this one starts with a monologue of both main characters. Although I'm not a fan of such introductions (I like to get to know my characters during the story), this offers the reader an immediate understanding of what the characters will be feeling and why they react to the situations as they do. And at over 600 pages, the reader has plenty of time to dive into this story at its fullest. I personally would have liked it a bit shorter and don't think it would have hurt the story in any way. But this way, the reader doesn't have to leave the characters quite as quickly either.
The romance was sweet, growing slowly with tons of uncertainty - like a real teenage romance does. I enjoyed the natural way this was dealt with and the unexpected problems that can arise in a cross-cultural relationship.