Release Date: January 13th, 2013
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Pages: 384 pages
Source: ARC provided via Netgalley
A string of suspicious deaths near a small Michigan town ends with a fall that claims the life of Emma Gentry's boyfriend, Daniel. Emma is broken, a hollow shell mechanically moving through her days. She and Daniel had been made for each other, complete only when they were together. Now she restlessly wanders the town in the late Fall gloom, haunting the cemetery and its white-marbled tombs, feeling Daniel everywhere, his spectre in the moonlight and the fog.
When she encounters newcomer Alex Franks, only son of a renowned widowed surgeon, she's intrigued despite herself. He's an enigma, melting into shadows, preferring to keep to himself. But he is as drawn to her as she is to him. He is strangely... familiar. From the way he knows how to open her locker when it sticks, to the nickname she shared only with Daniel, even his hazel eyes with brown flecks are just like Daniel's.
The closer they become, though, the more something inside her screams there's something very wrong with Alex Franks. And when Emma stumbles across a grotesque and terrifying menagerie of mangled but living animals within the walls of the Franks' estate, creatures she surely knows must have died from their injuries, she knows
A good idea that was executed horribly. While I can understand every author has a vision of how they want their story to be told, there's still some things that just don't work. In this book's case, the writing was just all over the place with its tone. Sometimes it would delve into a darker gloomy prose and I'd think okay we're finally getting somewhere, but mostly it was just all shallow word vomit, complete with slut-shaming, subtle sexism, and awkwardly phrased ~*teen talk*~. Now I know the argument to that is always, "but that's realistic though because that's how teens actually are!!!!!!!!!!" Yeah, I'm aware of this, I was a teenager once upon a time, and I know that young people are capable of this type of behavior, but that doesn't mean EVERY teenager is like that. I think there are many other ways for an author to convey HEY! MY BOOK IS ABOUT TEENS! Sometimes playing the every character is vapid card can work, if the author is a talented enough writer to make the reader connect with non sympathetic characters. The writing in this book is not on that level. I found it nearly impossible to care about Emma whatsoever. Yes she's a young girl going through a painful time but her characterization was shite. If the writing had been on point then her horrid personality would have been interesting and even relatable, but it wasn't, so she was just an annoying brat.
Now, as for the plot, like I said before...good idea, bad execution. The meat of the book is basically just Emma having random cliche interactions with Alex and mooning/brooding over how much he reminds her of her dead boyfriend, Daniel. Aside from that nothing really happens. The romance was actually embarrassing to read.
And I quote:
“It does fracture the illusion.” His velvet tenor sends chills racing over my skin.
Alex’s grip tightens, hugging me to him, squeezing the air from between us. When I look up, I see his eyes smoldering behind his mask. He leans closer, the ties of his shirt brushing my bare skin when he whispers, “That you’re a dream come to life.”
I giggle. What else can I do after a compliment like that?
THIS IS AFTER DAYS OF THEM KNOWING EACHOTHER.
Next, I click on Alex’s text: Why can’t I get you out of my head? You’re my dream, Emma, and I don’t ever want to wake up.
You've got to be fucking kidding me.
There were odd, vague mentionings of Daniel's death a few times that aren't expanded upon until about the last third of the book, but it didn't really build mystery or suspense the way it was written, it just confuses the reader. The "mystery" surrounding Alex was obvious from the first page he entered the story. With lackluster characters and a dull, painfully predictable plot there was just nothing about this book that made me want to keep reading. I stuck with it just in case the ending would somehow wow me but no. The end was overly dramatic and unbelievable. I just think there was so much about this book that could have been good but the writing was just. so. bad.
There's not much else to say. I'm very disappointed as this book was toted as being a "modern spin on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein". Yeah, as someone who knows Frankenstein like the back of their hand, no no no no no it is not. It barely has anything to do with it at all. There are a few half-assed allusions to it and there's the obvious aspect of bringing the dead back to life, but other than that this book is just another poorly written, dull, teen "romance".
1 out of 5 coffee cups
Review also appears on goodreads
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