Review: The Mason List by S.D. Hendrickson

 
(Goodreads rating: 4.25/5)
Before you start to read this book you have to know that more than a romantic story, this is a tragic story… is an important distinction since the mood that I’ve been since I finish this book is not lovely but sad and reflexive.

Also, is important to clarify that this fact doesn’t make it less of a great book, on the contrary – this book is a novelty in a sea of romance literature.

“The Mason List”, 2015 Goodreads Choice Award Semi-Finalist: Best Debut Author, not only tells us Alex Tanner and Jess Mason story but also gives us something to think about and this fact makes is an awesome book to read.

Like I said, I’ve been a little depressed since I finished, but at the same time happy for the outcome of the characters and for ending a great story – is the same feeling I got when I finished books like Jane Eyre, so congrats S.D. Hendrickson for the accomplishment. I really felt the story, was kind of like if I was living it – I felt in love with Jess (kind of hard not to) and truly was moved by everything that happened at Sprayberry.

The story goes like this:

Alex Tanner and his family lost everything – even her mother. They were homeless, moneyless and familyless until a knock in their car, where they’ve been living for a couple of weeks, changes everything. In that moment, the Masons enter their lives – Alex hated them instantly, she hated their money and their charity. All except one.

With blue eyes and charming personality, Jess Mason was a hard boy to say no to. Every adventure and crazy plan returned Alex to the land of the living. So time passed and thing got different – Alex and Jess were no longer kids, but struggling adults with decisions to make and scars from the past. Alex couldn’t forget her debt, even if that made her lost the boy with the blue eyes.

(SPOILERS from this on…)

Ok, after telling you the plot from my point of view, I have to say that I really really enjoy every word of this book… But the most interesting part was the way it was written. Leaving me hanging in every chapter, the book goes back and forth from the present, where you can tell something has happened but you can’t understand what, to the past – starting when Alex was 6 years old and a happy child with both of her parents alive.

This really picks out my curiosity and the wanting to know what happens next all the time. Also, it helps to grow with the characters, understanding where they come from and why they do what they do in the following chapters.

This is why, although I really wanted to hate Alex for putting Jess in so much pain, I couldn’t. I totally got where she was coming from and why she though she couldn’t be with him. For a happy child who once upon a time had everything, it was really difficult to accept charity, specially if her father didn’t bother to pay one penny of what they got (and I have to say that at the end this bothered me too!! Why didn’t he at least work at Sprayberry????)

She was totally in love with Jess but couldn’t accept the fact that being with him, she kind of took more of the Mason belongings to herself. And she did some stupid things to get rid of her feelings, like in the camping with the trashcan of Dutch. But taking that part away, she was faithful to her feelings for him most of the time, even when she though she couldn’t be with him.

Jess, on the other hand, was amazing! I cannot even describe how in love of this character I am at the moment. He was sweet since he was eight. And even when he was crazy doing shenanigans all the time, he always took care of Alex.

When he grew up, he was plain irresistible (and it doesn’t help that he was totally dark-hair-blue-eyes kind of guy, which means totally my style).

Only one things I don’t believe from this part of the story – being a teen and then a twenty something guy, how could he be “single” (meaning not having sex with anyone) for so long? I understand the romantic side of “I will wait for you forever” but really, this is like a lie in the real world. I’d have liked to see him with other girls, living his life while he wait for Alex to change her mind – that would have made him less unreal in this aspect of his life. But apart from this, he is absolutely perfect!

I kinda like the fact that is not a happy ending perfect story… At some point I even though the author was going to kill Jess, but leaving him injured makes this book a really human one. And I think it also teaches us that we cannot take things for granted. If we have something as amazing as what Jess and Alex had, we have to embrace because we don’t know what would happen in the future!

Leaving this philosophic side aside, I truly enjoy this book. Did you?? Tell me what you think in the comments below…

Hope you liked my review and, as always, see you between the pages!

Trish