Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey (May 3rd 2010—Harcourt)
Grade: 3 stars out of 5
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 key to a lucrative chemistry scholarship.
To better 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.”
Review: If you love Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted, don’t bother to read this review because you should just PREORDER THIS BOOK NOW. If you hated it, well, I’m sorry you wasted your time. Anyhow I had received an ARC of this upcoming book and to say I was excited is an understatement. I dropped whatever I reading, literally when I saw the package in the mail I jumped high and hard enough for the book to fall off my hand, and with a somewhat psychotic grin began to read. And read, and read, and read I did.
My overall reaction was a bit on the disappointed side. My expectations on my end were too high. Coming off of Jessica’s Guide to Dating of the Dark Side I had hoped Fantaskey topped herself and instead I had a lukewarm response. There was hardly any of that humor I loved in her debut novel.
The chemistry between Jill and Tristen while sizzling failed to give any sense of a deep connection. The same issues I had with Crazy Beautiful were present here: a hard time grasping either character in such a short book. The novel alternates POV which may demonstrate an author’s flexibility but can result in losing something more important.
The best part of the novel was the plot. The plot attracted me the most and it was because of the plot I just had to keep reading. I needed to know the end—will it be a happy ending? a sad ending? a satisfying ending at least? It was both creative and ingenious and like my brother said, it is the selling point to the book.
I half hate/half love the epilogue. I won’t give it except that it left me frustrated and slightly annoyed.
FTC: review copy as provided by the publisher in exchange for this review