Book Review: From Ashes by Molly McAdams

Title: From Ashes
Author: Molly McAdams
Genre: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Chick Lit 
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (an imprint of HarperCollins)
Publication Date: December 2012
Pages: 416
Rating: 1 star

Synopsis (goodreads):

Aside from her dad, who passed away when she was six, Cassidy Jameson has only ever trusted one man: her best friend, Tyler. So of course she follows him to Texas when he leaves for college. She just didn’t expect to be so drawn to their new roommate, Gage, a gorgeous guy with a husky Southern drawl. The only problem? He’s Tyler’s cousin.

Gage Carson was excited to share an apartment off campus with his cousin. He didn’t mind that Tyler was bringing the mysterious friend he’d heard about since they were kids . . . until the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen jumps out of his cousin’s Jeep. There’s something about Cassi that makes Gage want to give her everything. Too bad Tyler has warned him that she’s strictly off-limits.

Despite everything keeping them apart, Cassi and Gage dance dangerously close to the touch they’ve both been craving. But when disaster sends her running into Tyler’s arms, Cassi will have to decide whether to face the demons of her past . . . or to burn her chance at a future with Gage.

My Review:

This isn’t a bad book. You might think that it’s strange that I say that when I’ve given it such a low rating but I don’t think it’s a bad story. In fact there are many friends of mine who I imagine would really enjoy From Ashes. The thing is this book manages to contain every single one of my pet peeves; instant love, miscommunication, misinformation, a heroine whom every man falls in love with instantly and a happily ever after that didn’t quite make sense to me.

Cassidy Jameson was the apple of her father’s eye and his princess up until her sixth birthday when he passed away suddenly. Since then Cassi live a nightmare every day with her drunken mother and abusive step father. Her neighbour and best friend, Tyler, did all he could to help her survive. And somehow between the two of them, Cassi managed to make it to her teenage years. And then on the day Tyler left for college he packed her up and dragged her along just to get her out of the disaster that was her life.

It’s there that Cassi meets Gage. Gorgeous, smart, cowboy that from the moment she first lays eyes on him she knows that he’s something else. Gage feels the sparks instantly and wants to know the beautiful mysterious girl more intimately. Only problem is that Tyler has been in love with Cassi for over a decade and he’s not going to let anyone interlope on his turf- not even the cousin that he feels is more like a brother from another mother. Uh oh…

I have a few issues with stories where most of the drama arises from lack of communication. I understand that it’s somewhat realistic because people are notoriously bad at getting their feelings across especially when true emotions are involved BUT this story just kept going around and around in circles. Cassi and Gage would have a moment then Tyler would come in and ruin things. So then there’s some standoffishness between our leading couple only to have more beautiful and tender scenes between them only to be ripped apart again. Tyler convinces Gage that he and Cassi are together – as in more than just friends. He even goes as far as to describe their bedroom antics in a less than classy way. And just in case that doesn’t change Gage’s intentions towards Cassi – Ty also makes sure to tell Cassi that Gage finds her attention revolting. He’s such a stand up guy that Ty (and that’s not even counting some of his other classy moments). It just frustrated me.

There’s also the matter of how attractive and just palin amazing the male characters found Cassi. I swear – no less than 4 guys thought Cassi walked on water and they needed her in their lives. To make matters worse, I couldn’t quite work out why they found her so fascinating and incredible. I admired her for her ability to survive her childhood (although considering how brutal they said it was I’m a little incredulous to believe that she could have survived and no one but Tyler noticed the decade long abuse). But I found Cassi to be a little flat. She had no motivation to do anything and despite her spunky attitude towards the blonde in chapter one, she’s a little boring. Gage had some anger management issues and I can’t believe Tyler would be able to act the way he did for so long towards two people that he claimed to love.

I could go on and on about this book but I won’t.

It’s great to see a novel where everything is nicely tied up in one instalment – no unnecessary sequels and there’s a piece of happiness for all the characters I grew attached to whilst reading From Ashes. Despite my issues with the story and characters, at its heart this is a love story about someone having to overcome a great darkness. I think this book would appeal to fans of other new adult novels such as  Beautiful Disaster. 

Amazon / Book Depository 


  1. This sounds like I book I wouldn’t enjoy reading! I know you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, but I actually hates covers like this one. Theres so many of them and it just promotes cheating on someone who cares about you. I feel strongly about this. (calming down….)
    Great review!
    Star xx

    • You’re right. This same author has another book (Taking Chances) and the cover is practically identical! Thanks for commenting. Now all I can think of is all the books I’ve seen that have similar covers!

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