Review Crushed: Cool Concept, Ruined by Romance And Homophobia

Genre: Ya | fantasy | romance
Series: The Witch-Game #1 (though all three books are separate stories)
Goodreads rating: 3.63
My rating:  ★


The Noah girls have beauty, powers, and brains.
They use all three to play their games.
They blow the dust,
the boys are crushed,
and no one is ever the same. 

Each year the Noah girls play a secret game— Crushed. The rules are simple.

1. Use wisdom to pick your target. The boy can’t be too weak or too strong-willed.
2. Blow the enchanted dust into your target’s face to enchant (Crush) him.
3. Give verbal commands and assign them tasks to perform throughout the year. The more tasks completed, the stronger the witch’s power grows.
4. At the end of the year, the witch with the most power wins cold, hard cash.

As if being a witch in high school isn’t complicated enough, Kristen picks the wrong boy to Crush. Zach is tall, handsome, and a little scary. Her Crush spell isn’t working on him like it has with the others. In fact, he is behaving the opposite of every other boy she’s Crushed, hating her instead of adoring her. Something is definitely wrong. After someone attempts to kill her, Kristen realizes there is more at risk than a few hundred dollars. She may be betting with her life.


I was originally going to include my review for Crushed in a mini reviews post, but it really ‘deserves’ a post of its own. I was also originally going for two stars, but it really deserved no stars at all actually. But we’ll get to that.

So I thought the idea of the game Kristen and her sisters play was interesting, though of course morally questionable, but I figured they would realise enslaving people was wrong (they do, but it was very anti-climatic). Also sisters! And they’re witches! Yay! The writing wasn’t too terrible either, really, but the romance really ruined the story for me. It happened way too fast and was quite dramatic. It didn’t make any sense. At all. And it focused so much on Kristen and Zach’s romance. At times it felt like I was just reading a romance novel.

Besides that the villain was just… badly written. She was just evil and I’m not sure what her motives were? It was all just very confusing.

Now let’s get to the homophobia. Kristen and one of her sisters are talking about ‘crushing’ people, and Kristen blatantly states that a girl can’t ‘crush’ (so put a love spell) on another girl. Um??? Spoiler, turns out it IS possible (frickin’ DUH?), and this is turned into a joke. The girls tease the girl who is ‘crushing’ on another girl and laugh at her. At that moment I knew this book didn’t deserve more than one star. So I hereby ask all of you to boycott this book even if it’s still free on Amazon. Honestly I was and still am so disgusted. I usually forget my one-star free Amazon e-books reads, but this one is going to stay with me and not for good reasons.

I also want to talk about the ending, but that’s a spoiler, so in white:

At the end of the novel Kristen decides to give up her powers for Zach. I don’t remember why anymore, but it was outrageous and sexist. HE IS THE FIRST BOY YOU’VE EVER HAD A CRUSH ON (I refuse to say that she’s ‘in love’ with him) DON’T GIVE UP SOMETHING YOU LOVE, SOMETHING THAT IS A PART OF YOU, FOR SOME BOY YOU JUST MET. IN FRICKIN’ HIGH SCHOOL. THIS RELATIONSHIP IS NOT GOING TO LAST?? AND YOU JUST GAVE UP YOUR MAGIC, WHEN DURING THE ENTIRE FRICKIN’ NOVEL YOU’VE BEEN AFRAID OF LOSING THEM? WHAT EVEN. Rant over

Have you read this one? Or read any homophobic books that I’ll want to stay away from? Let me know in the comments!


21 thoughts on “Review Crushed: Cool Concept, Ruined by Romance And Homophobia

  1. Oh wow, that book sounds terrible :/ That’s too bad, with an idea like that, it could have been a great book, but with that romance and that, wow, kind of homophobic side of the story…that’s SO weird, I’m not into it, AT ALL. Thank you for reviewing this book, Michelle, and I hope your next read will be better!

    • Yep it was :/ In the hands of an another author I feel like this could’ve been an interesting story, but alas. Even if it had been though, I’m not sure if I’d give it more than one star because of the blatant homophobia… My reads after that were definitely better! Not all of them of course haha, but most of them definitely!

  2. I’ve never even heard of it, but to be honest even the plot doesn’t really appeal to me that much :/ it’s disappointing to hear about the homophobic side to it too!

  3. Ew that’s awful. I was on the fence about this one, but the concept itself sounded reprehensible. I’m happy they figured out it was wrong, but the homophobia would ruin that for me, too.

    The only blatantly homophobic books I can think of is the fairly dated (not that it makes it better) Sword of Truth series. Goodkind’s homophobia and misogyny is so disgusting I barely finished the third book and had to stop reading the fourth. When your main character tells one of his female bodyguards that her love for another woman is sick and deranged, I’m throwing in the towel. Add to this overt and constant graphic violence towards women and I’m done. The first book Wizard’s First Rule was fantastic; Stone of Tears, the second wasn’t awful, but I could’ve done without Blood of the Fold, and Temple of Winds lost me after the fore mentioned point not even five chapters in.

  4. Er…wow. It really seems a shame because that was such a cool concept. Who was it who said ideas are a dime a dozen? Damn, I hate it when authors wreck potential.

  5. *scowls* NOPE NOPE NOPE. Not okay. The premise doesn’t sound bad but no way to the homophobia. :/ I recently read a book which sounds a little similar called The Graces by Laure Eve — I mean, I didn’t find it fantastic but it did have witches and some queer romance if you felt like trying it? (Even if the main romance bored me a little haha.)

    • The premise had potential to be interesting, if executed right. But even if that had been done well, I wouldn’t have given it more than 1 star because of the blatant homophobia :/
      Haha I’ll look into it!

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  8. Oh, wow. I am 100% going to stay away from this. I hate it when homophobia (and queerphobia in general) occurs in an LGBTQIA+ book to an LGBTQIA+ character. But when the actual main character of a book is being homophobic? I cannot stand it, and will stay a very long and far way from it at all costs. Quite frankly, I’m sorry you had to read it because it sounds quite horrible.

    Which is a shame because the premise seems pretty interesting, and morally grey. *sigh*

    I have read A LOT of books with homophobic elements in them, but it is always HAPPENING to the main character because they’re gay, rather than the main character actually participating in it. I do not want to come across the latter.

    I hope you find an amazing book to read soon, Michelle!

    • Yep definitely wouldn’t recommend this one :/ I really want everyone to boy cot it (even if it’s still up for free on Amazon). It was definitely horrible. I had to read it again to make sure I read it right.
      Thanks! No worries it’s been a while since I read this, so I read some amazing books in the meantime :)

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