BOOK REVIEW ~ NOCTE BY COURTNEY COLE

My name is Calla Price. I’m eighteen years old, and I’m one half of a whole.
My other half– my twin brother, my Finn– is crazy.

I love him. More than life, more than anything. And even though I’m terrified he’ll suck me down with him, no one can save him but me.

I’m doing all I can to stay afloat in a sea of insanity, but I’m drowning more and more each day. So I reach out for a lifeline.

Dare DuBray.

He’s my savior and my anti-Christ. His arms are where I feel safe, where I’m afraid, where I belong, where I’m lost. He will heal me, break me, love me and hate me.

He has the power to destroy me.

Maybe that’s ok. Because I can’t seem to save Finn and love Dare without everyone getting hurt.

Why? Because of a secret.
A secret I’m so busy trying to figure out, that I never see it coming.

You won’t either.

Buy NOCTE (Kindle)

4 stars!
When it comes to luring me to read a book, I really do have simple standards. A gorgeous cover will usually do the trick but in this case, Nocte not only has a eye-catching cover but an enticing blurb too good to resist and an author letter that gave me CHILLS so whaddya know? This is a book that no matter what I had to read the second it was available to buy. And now that I’ve finished I can say that the author definitely delivered on her promise in her letter. I was repeatedly warned about how surprising the big twist would be and how unconventional the ending was but nothing could really prepare me because when I got to those parts, I actually flinched at how chilling the words and the mood of the story was, and just like the characters, I, too, fell into despair over the big reveal and the fact that the ending answers one question but dangles an even bigger one in front.
This is the story of Calla Price, a girl who’s surrounded by death and morbidity. Her father is a mortician, her mother died in a horrifying car accident, and her twin brother is mentally crazy. The poor girl just can’t get a break! But despite all the ugly in her life, she remains positive and is confident that her twin bond with Finn will ultimately save him from his sick mental health. They always say that twins have an extra special connection and so for Calla, nothing and no one is more important to her than her brother and his well-being.
On a day just like any other, Calla drops off Finn at one of his therapy sessions and meets this guy Dare. Her connection with him isn’t so much as insta-love as it is soul recognition but there is just something about Dare that makes Calla hyperaware of him and him of her.
They bond over similar past ordeals and Calla finds that the more time she spends with Dare, the more she feels free from all of her worries. It’s clear, however, that Dare is hiding some pretty important things from her and she from him, so as much as they come to like and love each other, there is an unspoken agreement to avoid confrontation about their secrets. But the truth can’t be hidden forever and soon enough, both of their pasts – especially Calla’s – catches up with them and when it is revealed, it is absolutely shocking and devastating to both the main characters and everyone around them. Nevertheless, it doesn’t change Calla and Dare’s relationship a bit; if anything, their rocky relationship only motivates them more into making things work.
Up until the big twist, I was a little bored with the book in terms of not really knowing what direction the story was going in. It’s written in alternate Finn and Calla POVs, and many of the Calla scenes bored me with mundane descriptions of daily life activities. Finn’s POVs, however, really captivated me with his dark, edgy ferocity, and the author really captured his sick mental health and channeled it into his POV, projecting a very unstable individual who’s both fascinating and frightening. So when that big reveal came, I was shocked speechless. I finished the book in a daze and sat in my chair for half an hour staring at nothing and contemplating everything I read. Books like these where the enjoyment level is mainly contingent on one huge turning point in the book I’m always wary of reviewing because I may let the shock override my true feelings. I’ve let the shock wear off and I have to say that while the actual twist itself is original, imaginative, and unique in the context of this book, the fallout is huge and the wake left behind presented several plot holes that made me scratch my head. This is the main reason why I can’t give 5 stars because I am a very logical, factual reader and even if I get emotionally overwhelmed and let my feelings dictate my review, the facts also must align in order for me to give a high rating.
I think it’s no secret that the ending is a cliffhanger, and might I add it is one MASSIVE cliffy that has the power to cripple you, force you on your knees and beg the author to release the next book at once. However, I knew it was this kind of ending and still decided to read it because I was just SO curious about the book, you know? And so even though I wished the book didn’t end the way it did here, even though I admit it would’ve made me heart feel a lot better if I read this when at least book 2 released, I don’t regret reading this book one bit. In my opinion, the shock, agony, and pure torture of not having the next book available is worth experiencing.
Nocte is the first book in the Nocte trilogy and not a standalone. The story will continue on in book 2 Verum which will be released in February.