Review: Masquerade by Cambria Hebert

Masquerade (Heven and Hell #1) by Cambria Hebert
Young Adult Paranormal
ebook also availabe in paperback, 360 pgs.
Published Dec. 2011 by Otherworld Publications
Source: Author *for Review*
Before. Everything was so much better Before. I wasn’t haunted by nightmares, my place at school was secure and my face was flawless. Now, I’m a freak and everything has changed. The worst part is that I can’t remember the night I was sentenced to the shadows. The memory has been stolen from me and I just can’t shake the feeling that someone, something is out there -watching.

Just when I think I have my life handled, Sam, with his intimidating golden stare and shiver inducing voice, makes me realize that I don’t know anything. He makes me see that my scars don’t matter. That they never mattered. I can’t help but fall for him, completely unknowing that he knows exactly how I got this way. Not knowing he was involved.


Heven has no idea how closely death stalks her. She has no idea what I have done to keep her alive. I fear the day she learns my secrets, finds out what I really am. But even then I cannot stop, I vow to make things right. Finally her hunter will be hunted, Heaven and Hell, faith and sin will battle, and we will be victorious. But first, Heven must learn to be what she never imagined. I know her strength is there – I feel it. If we are to overcome all odds, she must push past her flaws – her frailties – to become much more.

Okay so I tend to be hesitant in reading self published and small press releases but I’m happy to give them a try on recommendation.  And this book was definitely in the good category though I did have a few issues.  The editing was pretty good though I found a few mistakes but it wasn’t anything that took away from the story, it was easy to overlook.  

The author definitely created a unique story line.  I loved all the twists and turns and was super eager for answers and loved when even when I thought that that was it, there weren’t any more surprises, then BAM, MAJOR surprise and twist in the story.  That was great!  You honestly have no clue what could really happen when you start reading this one.  Oh, you might think you know- but I promise you, you don’t!

I loved the whole thing with Heven having such a low self esteem because of a horrible scar and finding her self worth wasn’t in her beauty.  I think I felt that sometimes she was being a bit overboard with thinking she’s so ugly, but I’m not a teenager anymore and so I think that all emotions are just more as a teen and so maybe it’s not really so far fetched that it was so hard for her.

Heven is a good character.  I liked her for the most part.  I loved that as obstacles were thrown in her path she found strength to be able to overcome them.  She has some major issues with her mother and I love how she found the strength to stand up to her.    I also liked Sam.  I thought he was a nice guy and a perfect boyfriend. 

My issues didn’t come so much from the characters, but more from the romance itself.  It happened too fast for me and so I think I just never really felt that initial vibe between them.  Because of this I felt slight annoyance at all their lovey dovey stuff and just wasn’t loving all that.  Edit: I do know that as a teen when you fall in love it’s incredibly intense and sometimes all you have to do is see someone to feel that intense feeling.  I’m definitely not putting down the author for this, it was just hard for me as an adult to connect with that.
Overall I really did enjoy reading the book.  Maybe it didn’t completely wow me, but I did love all the awesome surprises and twists.  I love not really knowing what’s coming next.  And I will definitely continue the series as I really want to know what comes next!
I recommend this one to older YA readers and adults.  There’s no sex but lots of heavy kissing and some cursing.  It’s not very bad content, but it just feels like an older read to me.  

3.5/5 stars
Disclosure:  I received this book for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.

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  1. Hm…. I’m not sure I’m up for this.. specially if you say you didn’t catch the romance. I’m a big romance fan! Although when I see how super excited so many blogger are I should not take it completely of my list1 Thanks Candace!

  2. I get that teens have volatile emotions and fall in and out of love at the drop of a hat. But can’t we call it lust instead of love? Or serious like? Because it’s not love. Insta-love is an overplayed trope, IMO.

    Like you, I don’t generally read self-pubs because not many have physical copies I can share with my students. But this one sounds intriguing!

  3. Gawd. I feel so bad for being a complete failure with the read-along. I had every intention of doing it, but time just slipped by. I think my main issue, was I just lost focus while reading the story. Some of the passages were too rhythmic for me it caused my interest to wan. But I will revisit it soon, I hope.

  4. Well to be fair, this isn’t self pubbed it is pubbed by a very small publishing house called Otherworld. I know insta love for us adults is hard to comprehend but as you reminded me awhile back Candace we fall in love super easily at sixteen and so I think as adults we are put off but it because we realize that insta love is rare, but tell that to a teenager, right? I loved all the big suprises in this book, like you said you can’t even guess. I am looking forward to Charade. Thanks for all your help on the read along. Looking forward to the weekend and getting outside instead of spending it in bed like last weekend. Feeling like myself today! Yeah!

  5. Heidi,
    I did say self published and small press.
    I also added a little bit saying how I know that those teenage feelings are incredibly intense and I remember even just seeing a person can spark that feeling. But just me, as an adult, I wasn’t feeling it so much. It’s not anything wrong with the book, it’s just my personal taste as an adult. Now if I was a teenager I would probably feel different.

    So glad you’re feeling so much better!

  6. Cnadace I agree wholeheartedly with your critique, I think as adults we don’t feel the insta love anymore because we have become jaded.

  7. Well you had me until you said the romance went too fast. I just can’t deal with romance happening fast anymore it is a huge pet peeve at this point and not something I can easily look past at this point.

    I’m glad this one did have some surprising moments and that you did like aspects of it though.

    Thanks for the awesome review!

  8. I know exactly what you mean, Canadace! Overall, I totally and completely adored this book but the romance was a little bit of an insta-love thing, so it took away from the story just a bit :) But it was still a fun book to read, and I’m glad you enjoyed it despite a few issues! Sam really WAS the perfect boyfriend type, wasn’t her? LOL! I adored him too! x)

    Awesome honest review, Candace! <3 I love not knowing what was next too, and it’s safe to say that this book was perfect for that! :)

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