So, here’s what hooked me about Masked. First, it was the cover. It pleased the YA book lover inside me. I love the bright bold colors, the poses. I love how it’s not like all other YA covers out there. (Except for the tagline. “No one ever said that being a superhero was easy” would sound much better without the word ‘that’. Shhh, I’m not nitpicking!) I also admit to being sucked in by how it’s obviously about Superheroes. I’m a sucker for Supers. Finally, the blurb on Netgalley with the warning this wasn’t for the young YA reader. There’s foul language, violence, and sexual content. I’m in my 30’s, sometimes I like my YA to push the boundaries.
Masked was definitely for the mature reader. These 18 year old’s were fast and sexual. I almost felt uncomfortable reading it, and I read romance! No, actually, what made me uncomfortable was how borderline abusive these characters were. Clearly the villains are supposed to be bad, and that’s reflected in their relationships (look at Harley and Joker), but in this book even the heroes were a-holes. Vada treated Orion like garbage, and as far as I could tell there was no logical reason for it. She just decided she hated him from the moment she laid eyes on him. And Orion, he thought the way to win her over was through unwelcome advances (which happened after she decided she disliked him). Not really the smartest way to prove to someone their snap judgment about you was wrong.
Even worse, the more crappy Vada treated Orion the more he liked her. And the more Orion hit on Vada the more he won her over! I hate when YA glorifies unhealthy romance. It’s not what we should be teaching teenagers. Respect and kindness, people!
The overall plot was decent. I’ve read better, but I’ve also read a lot worse. The writing style was at the same level. The ending wasn’t a cliffhanger, but it definitely didn’t feel like a standalone. I may or may not continue reading this series, it depends on how I feel when the sequel comes out. If it was presented to me now, I’d probably pass.
Thank you to Limitless Publishing for providing a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.