After reading the synopsis for Number Thirteen, I was definitely intrigued and anxious to read it. It seemed like it would be a dark read, maybe disturbing at times and probably a little difficult to read. But I was too curious about this story to pass it up. The prologue definitely evoked emotion! I was heartbroken for the little boy who endured that horrible treatment. It turned my stomach sour to imagine it and just solidified my expectation that this book would be hard to stomach at times.
Our main character finds herself abducted and drugged, only to wake up in a room that quickly fills with other girls, all with numbers from one through thirteen tattooed on their hands. She's Number Thirteen. She's frightened and confused, understandably and tries her best to make sense of the situation and try to recall the memories she seems to have lost. All of the girls are to be slaves/servants to William-- cooking, cleaning, maintaining the estate, and tending to their new "master" are some of the things expected of them. She continues to be unable to remember anything from her former life. Even her own name eludes her.
As the story progressed, I found myself having many questions. Why was Number Thirteen so different/special to William? Why was he keeping all of these girls in the first place? Why thirteen? All questions that Number Thirteen herself was asking as well. Surely what happened to him as a child was awful, but to enslave seemingly innocent girls because of it? I was anxious to get answers. I developed my own theory very early on and was a bit impatient to see if I was correct.
Eventually, Number Thirteen realizes that William is just as broken as her. And he finds something in her that he's never had before... Someone that finally stands up for him. This "weak" girl is strong enough to stand up to his father for him and help him through his own issues. There was a bit of a role reversal there, it seemed. Once the girls' stories were revealed, my heart definitely went out to them. And as the story continues, William and the girls come to mean more to each other than any of them thought possible.
Somewhere along the line, this story takes a very surprising turn. Although some things were absolutely still hard to swallow, it turned out to be a fascinating and unique story. I did have a few issues with the feasibility of a lot of the events and certain aspects of the story, along with several inconsistencies, but the story held my interest all the same. I went into this expecting a dark romance, but it ended up being much more than that. The ending was very sweet and I enjoyed William and Number Thirteen's story. If you're looking for something different that will definitely surprise you, then this one's for you.
Bella Jewel is an Aussie girl through and through. She spent her life in Western Australia, growing up in many different areas of the state. She now currently lives in Perth with her husband, children and mass amounts of pets. She's crazy, fun, outgoing and friendly. Writing is her passion, she started at the young age of 18 but finally got the courage up to publish, and her first novel Hell's Knights was released in August 2013.
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