Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Dangerous Boy by Mandy Hubbard (Review)

Young Adult, Retelling, Mystery, Thriller, Paranormal
Publication.Date  September 4th 2012
Published By:  Razorbill
WebsiteMandy Hubbard 

Dangerous Boy on Goodreads
My review copy:Review copy borrowed from the library
Where to get:

A modern-day retelling of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hydewith 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.

He stares straight at me with that intense smile of his, and my heart lodges in my throat. “Your time is nearly up, Harper.” 
I blush. How can he call me beautiful when he’s dressed like that and I’m in torn blue jeans and an old Darigold T-shirt? When my nickname is DQ and his might as well be GQ? 
I’m about to toss it into a nearby garbage can when I see the ribbon tied around the stem in a little bow, a small scrap of paper slipped underneath. Roses Are red / Violets are blue / I bet you didn’t know / I’ve been watching you
I stare at the handprint for a long moment. It’s a darker shade of red, sort of brownish, more like brick than a fire engine. I take a deep breath and lean in to smell it, jerking back upright a moment later... The handprint on my car is made of blood.

     It started out so good. And turned around just as quickly. 

     We immediately start off with Harper running from "him," whoever "him" is. I'm a big fan of when novels start out this way. It really sucks me in and gets me wanted to figure out who the mystery man is, how our main character ended up in the situation, and how they are going to get out of it. 

     Jump backward a month. Harper, her friends, and new boyfriend, Logan, are eating at a pizza restaurant discussing... I can't remember. Things teenagers discuss. Logan is new in town, having moved in with his uncle after his parents died, and pretty much immediately began dating Harper. 

     Harper lives on a dairy farm with her father, her mother having died. Due to her mother's death Harper has a list of fears: things her mother did that scare her. Four wheeling, speaking in public, riding quads, driving on the freeway, etc. Now I haven't lost anybody close to me in a tragic accident, but I think this list is dumb. Driving on the freeway? Speaking in public? Probably not going to get far in life with those fears. 

     The biggest issue I had with this list is that Harper's friends have been attempting to get her to do things on this list for years. Logan has been around for a month, prods a little bit, and she's knocking things off her list left and right. Really? I can't blame her friends when they gave her grief for this. I would have, too. 

     Harper was pretty hard, internally, on Allie. She would comment that Allie wasn't around ever since she started dating Harper's cousin Adam. Allie was around a lot. She was there for Harper when things got weird and rough with Logan at every turn. And Harper never said anything to Allie about it, not a word. Awesome friendship if you can't talk to your best friend about things you're upset about. 

     Which leads me to my second biggest issue: Harper. What. An. Idiot. When I can't connect with the main character that's a huge issue. Huge. She was clearly being stalked (roses being left in her locker with cryptic poems, weird things happens directly to her) and she blows it off. Doesn't mention anything to Logan, ignores Adam when he tries to get her to tell somebody, and pretty much acts like it's no big deal. I would be freaking out. Also, she didn't even figure out the big mystery; it had to be explained to her. I figured it out chapters before. I can see how Harper didn't see it right away, but come on. At a certain point, isn't the MC supposed to be smart-ish. 

     Also, when she finds out all these little tidbits throughout the novel, why does she keep trusting Logan?! Seriously! At some point you're lying boyfriend needs to become your lying ex-boyfriend. Also, his twin brother's name is Daemon. (Apparently it changed at some point from Caleb to Daemon.) The "deeply sinister" twin is named Daemon! I'm not even going to... I just can't. 

     And then the "plot." The first few chapters were good and really held my attention. Then it got real repetitive: Something freaking happens, nothing happens, something freaking happens, nothing happens, something freaking happens, nothing happens... you get the idea. 

     I finished the book, so I guess that's saying something.

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