Well, I have been busy hollowing out a book and making it into an e-reader case for my mom. As of last night, the final night of cutting out pages, I officially put my blood, sweat, and tears into this thing. (Who thought handing me a razor blade with a handle was a good idea? I mean, really? Okay, I asked for it, but still. My poor finger. lol) I just now did some finishing touches. Spray sealing it is the last step. I'm quite proud of this freaking thing, so I'll have to post a picture some time.
Anyways, on to the book that I read and didn't tear up: Jeckel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey.
Goodreads summary: "Jill Jekel has always obeyed her parents rules; especially the one about never opening the mysterious, old box in her father's office. But when her dad is murdered, and her college savings disappear, she's tempted to peek inside, as the contents might be the key to a lucrative chemistry scholarship.
To improve her odds, Jill enlists the help of gorgeous, brooding Tristen Hyde, who has his own dark secrets locked away. As the team of Jekel and Hyde, they recreate experiments based on the classic novel, hoping not only to win a prize, but to save Tristen's sanity. Maybe his life. But Jill's accidental taste of a formula unleashes her darkest nature and compels her to risk everything, even Tristen's love just for the thrill of being . . . bad."
Sounds intriguing, right? Jekyll and Hyde re-imagined! How could that possibly go wrong? I have no clue, but it definitely did.
I had such high hopes. The prologue was intriguing, being set at a funeral for Jill's father. See, I figured it was set later, or maybe was a foundation for something big. Oh, and that the seasons and such would be used later to establish some kind of timeline, sense of time. I was proven wrong quickly.
There is no timeline set in the book. You have no clue when the prologue happened, nor how much time has happened in-between that and the first chapter. Near the close of the book, the date of her father's death is revealed, and so you get a sense of time, but it's too late. And the author seems to ignore the time between. See, there had to be casual contact between Jill and Tristen before chapter one, and after the funeral, but it is given a line or two, dismissed. I wanted to scream at the book, but withheld. After all, it'll get better, right?... Right???
Please don't get me wrong. The idea of this plot is great! I love the plot, and I love the idea of the characters. However, they weren't well-rounded people. They were quickly categorized as completely good or completely bad. Jill was a *gag* Mary Sue character. The story was quite predictable, and the author ensured so with very obvious signs, such as a character suspiciously being overly-eager about something. The annoying part is that the characters all stayed blissfully ignorant of every single thing that was going on around them, and even involving them. If it truly had happened, the characters would be quite a bit more intelligent, and many of the situations they get stuck in wouldn't happen.
Okay, this is my last point of anger with this book, I swear. There is no true back story ever given. How close were Jill and her father? What was Tristen's life before this period? Was it hell or tolerable? What were Tristen and Jill's interpersonal relationship like before any of this happened? Any home lives would be awesome. Feelings, too. But the further to the end you get, the more you realize that you're not going to be getting any information.
Overall, the book feels like you're suddenly thrust into a random person's life, and then you're yanked back out again before you actually get to know anybody at all, including yourself.
The plot is awesome though, which is what kills me.
Rating:A tad over two entire gingerbread men, because a re-imagining of Jekyll and Hyde was a great idea... just poorly executed.
Suggestion: Read for the thrill of the idea, and then just head back to the original Jekyll and Hyde if you really want to. If you want a quick read that's thrilling, head over to a ghost story or paranormal site and read something that's more convincing. If you really want to be scared, look up Ed and Lorraine Warren and see what they did (she still does) for a living. Looking for paranormal romance? A ton are getting released, some already so. Download/find "Winter Escapes," a sampler of over a dozen authors and their works, and then pick from there.