Monday, October 7, 2013

The Preservationist (Review)

*Readers, today is my review tour stop for The Preservationist! Read my thoughts on this exciting thriller below!*

Hosted by: Partners in Crime Tours!* 

The Preservationist

Published: October 1st, 2013
Genre(s): Adult Psychological Thriller

My Review: (3.5/5 stars*)

The Preservationist is an unusual psychological thriller suffused with intrigue. It opens with the central character Julia Stilwell's POV and from there takes off in a dark direction. At a moderate pace it introduces three characters alternating perspectives and twines their lives together. It's unexpectedly engrossing and suspenseful. It engaged me from the first few chapters, curiosity will promptly incite readers forward.

All of the characters revolve around Julia, they gravitate and fixate on her. I wanted to be able to connect with her but it just didn't happen. As a reader I couldn't see what made Julia so unique, and I didn't feel any of her or the other character's emotions. That was the most disappointing aspect of The Preservationist—I felt disconnected—but oddly still drawn into the story. What it lacks in character development it makes up for in storytelling. It tells a chilling tale of obsession and shows the lengths unstable individuals are willing to go to. It's for the most part predictable although some little things may surprise you. There are a few unanswered questions that should have been resolved but unfortunately weren't.

Julia Stilwell is an eighteen year-old freshman in college trying to overcome a tragedy from her past. Sam Blount is nearly 40, serves food on a college campus, and feels lonely and lost until he meets Julia. He sees something in her that is special and he compulsively lies in order to win her over. Julia loves how Sam looks at her and how she can be herself around him. He's the only person she feels who truly understands what she's going through. Marcus Broley—Julia's ex—is obsessed with winning her back and exposing Sam for who he thinks he really is but Marcus is harboring secrets himself. As Julia and Sam take their relationship further terrible crimes are being committed on campus, Sam is being threatened, and lies are getting exposed. Julia begins to fear for her life and she doesn't know who she can turn to or who to trust anymore.

Even though The Preservationist is missing a lot of elements that could have made it better, it's still an impressive thriller. Kramon's writing is pinpoint in prime detail. The writing and how the story is told is what pulls you in. The conclusion is twisted and satisfying. The Preservationist is presented as a classic psychological thriller but departs from it with a fresh approach. All in all I loved the level of deception from the characters, their veiled pasts, and the creepy undertone of the story. It's a captivating novel well worth reading!


To Sam Blount, meeting Julia is the best thing that has ever happened to him.

Working at the local college and unsuccessful in his previous relationships, he'd been feeling troubled about his approaching fortieth birthday, "a great beast of a birthday," as he sees it, but being with Julia makes him feel young and hopeful. Julia Stilwell, a freshman trying to come to terms with a recent tragedy that has stripped her of her greatest talent, is flattered by Sam's attention. But their relationship is tested by a shy young man with a secret, Marcus Broley, who is also infatuated with Julia.

Told in alternating points of view, The Preservationist is the riveting tale of Julia and Sam's relationship, which begins to unravel as the threat of violence approaches and Julia becomes less and less sure whom she can trust.



  1. Did the really big age gap bother you while reading this? A college freshman and a 40 year old?

  2. Great question Kay! When I was writing my review I was actually going to address that. It did a little but I also think that was part of the twisted nature of the book. It was meant to creep you out and the age difference certainly lent to that. My problem wasn't so much the age difference as it was that Julia had no reason to fall for him or get involved. In reality there shouldn't have been a connection between the two. That was why I didn't enjoy the story as much as I could have, you didn't feel any genuine emotions. Aside from that the story was decent, and really did hold my attention.



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