Author: Beth Fantaskey
Publisher: Harcourt Press
Read Time: 2 days
Rating (1-5): 3.5
Tag Words: ABC Challenge (J), 50 States Book Challenge (Pennsylvania), true love, supernatural, paranormal, classic literature, beasts, bad girls, alter-egos, science class, murder, Valentine’s Event
Jill Jekel and Tristan Hyde are total opposites, in more ways than one, but a single formula unlocks the door to both alter-egos. Now, in a race against time and death who will come out victorious, and most importantly who will come out next...?
I had read Fantaskey’s Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side before this. In fact, it was one of the first books I ever reviewed, and I liked it, but I didn’t keep it because I really don’t like having paranormal books sitting around. I much preferred the first story to the sophomore book, Jekel Loves Hyde, but found the formula (forgive the pun) was very similar. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had been here before, but I’ve heard many bloggers say that about the genre in general. Luckily Beth will be here tomorrow to defend her genre and perhaps change my opinion, but for now, the review.
Neither character personally appealed to me; I know why Fantaskey wrote them the way they are for a point and purpose, so I really don’t want to linger here. It’s not that the character’s were poorly developed; I just felt they were that couple I never wanted to hang out with because each one was a predictable set of polar qualities. No middle ground for either character.
I’m also not a big fan of the ending. At all. No action. It’s just...over, suddenly. After dragging the reader through all the angst and drama of these two’s tumulus and afflicted romance suddenly it’s just done. Boom. Done. Ergak! (Sorry about that, but it was the noise I made on page 277)
It is a very quick read, if a tad predictable. Good paranormal romance without a bunch of icky demonic sordidness, which I did appreciate.
Notes on the Names: Tristen was a good choice for the character because it means ‘riot’ or ‘tumult.’ Jill means ‘youthful,’ also a great fit for the character. My only problem with the names is that the resident “bad girl” of the high school ended up with the name Darcy Gray. Really? After all the evil Tris and Jillie face this is the character who merits the name that means- “Black Gray?” That bothered me.
Thoughts on the Cover: When I first saw the cover my first thought was how much I loved that the girl looked “real.” You can tell she has curves and a skeletal system that doesn’t include bones the size of toothpicks, however, Jill in the book is exactly that girl. AKA the model is all wrong! Rats!
And finally, I give you Jill Jekel and Tristen Hyde
Parental Book Review *spoilers*
Tristen is referred to as “expierienced” throughout the novel.
Becca, Jill’s friend, makes up a story that Tristen and she had meaningless sex, which later turned into a rape of sorts. The story isn’t true, Becca only says this to mess with Jill’s head.
Jill and Tristen make out in his bed and Jill feels that things are about to go further when the phone rings.
When Jill and Tristen share a kiss in the science lab Tristen transforms into his alter-ego and pins Jill against a lab table. Jill begs him to stop and effectively brings Tristen back to himself.
Jill’s alter-ego has a discussion about a quarter-backs manhood vs. Tristen’s.
Tristen is always cursing, using a myriad of words, some British, which Jill is always quick to chastise him for.
The book begins with the knowledge that Jill’s father has been murdered in his car.
Tristen has very vivid dreams about relishing in the kill of a faceless girl, who later turns out to be Jill.
Tristen transforms many times, provoking such violence as to break a quarter-backs arm and as it is later revealed, he killed his own grandfather who wanted to die.
Tristen’s father is completely taken over by the monster who breaks Tristen’s wrist and cuts his face.
Both Tristen and Jill, along with a lab rat, all ingest the formula which is poisonous and has a painful side affect.
At the confrontation with Tristen’s dad, the beast tries to force Jill’s mother into drinking cleaning fluid as leverage to make Tristen revert the formula.
Jill’s alter-ego steals an outfit and a lingerie set. The alter-ego also crudely pierces Jill’s ears.