Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Book Review: Dangerous Boy

Goodreads summary:

A modern-day retelling of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with a chilling twist

Harper has never been worried about falling in love, something she is skeptical even exists. But everything changes when Logan moves to town, and to Harper's shock, the two tumble into an intense romance. It's everything she never thought she wanted.

Then she meets Logan's twin brother, Caleb, who was expelled from his last school. True, he's a bad boy, but Harper can't shake the feeling that there's something deeply sinister about him--something dangerous. When Logan starts pulling away, Harper is convinced that Caleb's shadowy past is the wedge being driven between them. But by the time she uncovers the truth, it may be too late.

The author of Prada & Prejudice, You Wish, and Ripple delivers a modern-day retelling of a famously gothic tale, full of suspense, lies, and romance.

My review:

Normally, this isn't the type of book that would catch my eye.  I haven't even ever read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which this book is a modern retelling of.  But I'd enjoyed Mandy Hubbard's books Ripple and Prada & Prejudice, so I thought I might like this one.  Unfortunately, I felt quite let-down.

Oh, the main character.  I could not connect with Harper at all.  She ignores the obvious - the fact that Logan is, as the title suggests, a dangerous boy - and keeps forgiving him whenever he puts her in danger or gets angry at her.  She repeatedly puts herself in harm's way, and doesn't listen when her friends say she should go to the police.  I just wanted to yell at the poor girl and shake some sense into her.

And the story?  Completely predictable.  I easily figured out what was happening and just wanted the story to hurry up and finish.  I kept guessing what would happen.  The only good thing in Hubbard's writing is that it was pretty creepy at times.  But the suspense factor would have so much better if the story hadn't been predictable.

There were a couple other things in the writing that bothered me.  They're not major problems, but they got on my nerves.  First: "'You really okay?" Allie says, her voice low.  "That was really scary."' (pg. 161.)  Why does the author use the word "really" twice in that paragraph?  It doesn't make sense to have two of the same words so close together.  A similar instance occured earlier in the story, when the author used the phrase "fair enough" twice within a few pages.  Again, these aren't huge issues, but they stuck out to me.

Also, I have to mention one last quote.  "As far as I know, he has no friends in Enumclaw.  How would he make them when he's homeschooled?" (pg. 180.)  *sigh* Why does everyone assume that homeschoolers have no social life?  This is the farthest thing from the truth.  It really annoys me how homeschoolers are always represented in such a sterotypical way in most books. 

I feel bad because this review has been so negative.  But I think there are other readers who will probably enjoy the creepy atmosphere of this book and end up liking it.  Sadly, it just wasn't for me.  However, I'm still interested to see what Mandy Hubbard writes in the future.

My rating:  4 out of 10 (2 stars)

~ The Bookworm

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