Our nose would be very happy to live in this book.
Addie Bates leaves for college in California to be with her former kidnapper and current boyfriend, Charlie Hays. She's really happy to finally be with Charlie with some semblance of normalcy, but all the half truths are starting to weigh her down, and Charlie's suspicions and jealousy over her friendship with FBI Agent Adam Harpsten aren't helping. Everything starts unraveling when a violent competitor of Ben Walden's hijacks one of their airport runs. When the final straw breaks and Charlie is arrested, Addie has to choose whether she will try to move on from him, or try to figure out a way to keep Charlie in her life.
CONVICTION has some themes from Shakespeare's Othello in that we have Addie and Charlie who have a secret relationship (from everyone but their group), and someone working behind the scenes to split them up, not to mention the attack from the rival group that could be compared to the Turks attack in Othello. There are more comparisons I could make, but then I'd give away a lot of the story, so I'll leave it at that. It was also cool how Addie's roommate, who is a theater major, was acting in the college's production of Othello.
In Wanted, where they were in a secluded environment, we were shown a lot of the positive traits of Addie and Charlie, but in CONVICTION, we see more of the negative traits. While on the Diyu in Wanted, the feel of the story was more...um...dreamlike? or fantastical? in that they are, mostly, alone and they are able to just be and enjoy their time together. But then in CONVICTION reality sets in, and everything becomes complicated.
The Guy: He loves Addie very deeply, but doesn't feel like he deserves her love in return. He's easily jealous, and his temper can be explosive. Addie seems to be the only thing that can calm him down. He has a driving need to protect her from everything that his job could do to her, so he keeps her out of the loop about anything concerning what he does on his jobs.
The Girl: Addie has gotten pretty good at lying in order to protect Charlie and their relationship. But all the half truths are getting bunched up and she starts making little slips. Her friendship with FBI Agent Adam Harpsten is the main source for Charlie's jealousy, but she won't let him dictate who she can be friends with. But when Adam starts poking around again, she begins resenting Adam and his friendship. Addie also starts to question her future with Charlie, when she realizes that they may never be able to have a normal relationship, may never be able to get married, or have children.
Addie and Charlie have a lot more complications in CONVICTION than they did in Wanted. Lies and half truths are thrown out like candy at a parade. Addie has to lie to her family about her relationship with Charlie and her real reasons for moving so close to where she was found in California. She has to lie to the FBI to protect Charlie and her friends. And she has to lie to her new roommate to keep her from learning too much about Charlie and possibly getting him caught.
But the real problems begin when they both start lying to each other. Charlie is keeping things from her about what he's doing for his job, in order to protect her in case something goes wrong, giving her plausible deniability, but that only makes her more anxious and paranoid. Addie is keeping her friendship with Adam a secret from Charlie and the interactions between them that he does know about cause extreme jealousy and rage in him. So all of this combined is crumbling their trust and security in each other, inviting in the whispers of those who want them separated for good.
But in the end, their devotion to each other wins out and their relationship is stronger than ever. But that may not be enough to keep them together if something happens to take them away from each other permanently.
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