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Deceptive Cadence by Katie Hamstead | Deceptively Amazing

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 Geraldine 0 Comments

The Breakdown

General Info:
     Title: Deceptive Cadence
     Author: Katie Hamstead
     Genre: Contemporary
     Publisher: REUTS Publications
     Publishing Date: June 2015

          - Character development with Harper, Dusty and Melanie
          - Realistic father figure
          -  Plot was pure contemporary, with fantasy/science-fiction elements subtly woven in
          - Easy to read, visualise and non-explicit

    Things that could have been better:
         - Characters being more realistic - I'm looking at you, Cadence and James! 

Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads | Amazon

Initial Thoughts

This book piqued my interest, when I saw it on the YA Bound Books site, with the author, Katie Hamstead, offering it up for review. Hooked by the premise - a guardian angel offering a second chance- I leapt at the chance to review it. It sounded sweet, a cute contemporary novel with hints of fantasy. I wasn't disappointed either - Deceptive Cadence was AMAZING. 

Cadence Anderson has the perfect definition of happily ever after . . .

Until she doesn't. A freak earthquake shatters her life as surely as her home, taking away everything she holds dear. She wakes in a hospital to find that her beloved husband and infant daughter have been killed, crushed by the earthquake's wrath. Disoriented, injured, and alone, Cadence refuses to accept the loss. So when a man claiming to be her guardian angel appears and offers her a chance to go back in time to save her family, she doesn't need to give it a second thought. She accepts.

Thrust back eleven years, she now faces the ordeal of high school all over again. But this time, she's armed with all the knowledge of her adult life and the determination to do everything better, from preventing the loss of her best friend to avoiding her original, drama-inducing boyfriends. She's focused solely on Austin, her future husband, and is content to bide her time until she meets him again.

But then James Gordon crosses her path. Cadence wants to remain single, but James has his sights set. He is determined to win her over, and he's very hard to resist. As Cadence starts to develop unwanted feelings for him, she realizes he threatens to disrupt everything, changing the future and distracting her from her original goal. Now, Cadence must choose: deny the unpredictable and exciting path James offers her, or stay true to the life she had and is trying desperately to resurrect. Second chances are more complicated than they seem.

Deceptive Cadence combines the soaring emotion of a heartfelt romance with the innovative storytelling of magical realism, crafting a uniquely moving, intricate tale about love and loss that asks: what would you do if given the chance to right all your wrongs?



Cadence was a character that I was a bit uneasy about. She seemed too perfect, and I totally understood when Melanie pointed out that she was Miss Perfect, and that everyone seemed to just love her. Cadence was a very Mary-Sue-ish character, so I couldn't relate too well with her. 

I also had problems with her, as her views contrasted mine. Particularly when this happened:
"I wanted to keep my virtue intact for him"
I dunno, for me, I don't see virginity as a really important thing? It's good to have your first time with someone you care about, but yeah to "keep [your] virtue intact" for someone you haven't met yet...I dunno, that just sounds weird to me.


James was definitely one of the more unrealistic characters in Deceptive Cadence. We see him at the start of his tenth grade, and he changes so much in the span of a year, just to gain Cadence's attention and her love. For me - that was unrealistic. Call me cynical, but I don't believe that any guy in tenth grade is in love with a girl that much to change for her in a year. Still, regardless of my cynicism, James really grew on me. His easy going nature, banter, intensity...everything that he was, I liked

James and Cadence

They were actually a perfect pair. I had hesitations about them at the start, especially with how James was smoking and doing all sorts of bad things, but in the end, I just accepted how awesome they were. This was a huge 360 turn for me - I was rooting for Austin at the very start of the novel, and I ended up falling in love with how easy, cute, casual and fun James and Cadence's relationship was, and how much they had gone through together. 

Characters in General

The other characters were more realistic. Some people may complain that Cadence's father was overly protective of her, and not at all realistic of life...but for me, I found that Hamstead perfectly portrayed fatherly love. At times, Geri and Cadence were too childish for me. 
"Geri squirted me with water. “Ha ha! Happy birthday, Cay-Cay!”
“Oh! I’m gonna kick your butt!”"1
To me, that sounded more like something that fifth graders do, not ninth graders.
With Harper and Dusty though, Cadence's siblings, I felt like there was some real character development, and I loved how they were portrayed throughout the book.  

Melanie really did annoy me throughout this book. She was just so intolerant, it got on my nerves. But thankfully, there is some character development...which was great to read about. 


I picked this book up because of its premise, and it really didn't let me down! There was very little of the fantasy aspect to this book - it was integrated in, and there weren't any info-dumps. I loved how it was just a contemporary novel, with fantasy elements inserted in, with the angel. 
Actually, some of my favourite scenes were the ones with the angel at the start of every year. That was really where more of the fantasy/science-fictioney elements came out. I loved comparing Cadence's original timeline to her current timeline, and seeing how everything changed. 

Writing Style

The writing style is actually phenomenal. Well...not phenomenal. But I liked it. It was nothing special, but it was so easy to read, easy to visualise, and there were just some awesome scenes, really cute, fluffy writing. Like this excerpt below, just evoked so many feels!

"He grasped the back of my head and pulled me in for a long, deep kiss.

I ended up missing my bus."

Any scenes with sexual content, it was tastefully done as well - it wasn't explicit at all, which I was really grateful for. 

Entertainment Value

*get ready for intense feels*
Well.. what do I say?? This is honestly the most entertaining book I have read in AGES. I was so invested in this book, I stayed up till 3am reading it, even though I'm trying to get to a sleep schedule where I get up at 4am (work and uni is coming up!). It was so engrossing. I think the moment it first captured me was when I found out that this was a book set in Australia. Being an Australian, there's just so much pride. I loved how there were all these university terms slung around as well, because I'm at that phase in my life, and I knew what UTS and UWA meant (University of Technology Sydney and University of Western Australia). 

Honestly, I just related to this book so much. Like seriously, you know this Tumblr textpost?
Taken from

I feel like if that were true - I would have been thinking about my life when I was looking at that psychic paper. There were just so many parallels, from the Australian thing, to one of my ex boyfriends (who's name is COINCIDENTALLY THE SAME), and some of the dates mentioned o_O Plus, let's not forget, my name was in this book!!! The best friend is Geraldine Turner. GERALDINE GUYS! *lets out an inhuman squeal*

Deceptive Cadence is chock-filled with drama. From the drama of deciding to go out with James, to having to deal with James's ex-friends, and the actual relationship with James (how many times can I say James in a sentence...? xD ), there was just a LOT of drama. It did get annoying at times, (i.e. Cadence going out with James for a DAY and then threatening to end it, come on), but at other times, it was fun to read! It gave me fanfictioney feels, and I just started whispering in the middle of the night, saying "NO, just BE TOGETHER" and "WHY ARE YOU RUNNING FROM HIM??". There were just all kinds of feels - not always good, but still FEELS

Honestly - I haven't fangirled over a book like this IN SO LONG. I think you can tell, from the massive paragraphs I just wrote ^^ 

Final Thoughts

Cute, fluffy, with a bit of science-fiction/fantasy, Deceptive Cadence is the perfect YA contemporary read for someone looking for a little romance, wishful thinking and just feels in general. It's gets 4.75 stars from me (which is pretty much 5 stars let's be for real), and I just leapt into the second book, Diverging Cadence, right after reading this.Keep turned for my review on Diverging Cadence next Tuesday! :)


Thoughts Summed Up In A Phrase


Keep reading and loving books!

I received a copy of this book from YA Bound in exchange for a review, which is my 100% honest opinion. 

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