Wednesday, August 27, 2014

ARC Book Review: Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty by Christine Heppermann

(REVIEW COPY FROM EDELWEISS)

Release Date: September 23, 2014
Info about the author: Goodreads - Twitter - Website
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 128
Buy the book: Amazon - Book Depository

Description (from Goodreads):

Every little girl goes through her princess phase, whether she wants to be Snow White or Cinderella, Belle or Ariel. But then we grow up. And life is not a fairy tale.

Christine Heppermann's collection of fifty poems puts the ideals of fairy tales right beside the life of the modern teenage girl. With piercing truths reminiscent of Laurie Halse Anderson and Ellen Hopkins, this is a powerful and provocative book for every young woman. E. Lockhart, author of We Were Liars, calls it "a bloody poetic attack on the beauty myth that's caustic, funny, and heartbreaking."

Cruelties come not just from wicked stepmothers, but also from ourselves. There are expectations, pressures, judgment, and criticism. Self-doubt and self-confidence. But there are also friends, and sisters, and a whole hell of a lot of power there for the taking. In fifty poems, Christine Heppermann confronts society head on. Using fairy tale characters and tropes, Poisoned Apples explores how girls are taught to think about themselves, their bodies, and their friends. The poems range from contemporary retellings to first-person accounts set within the original tales, and from deadly funny to deadly serious. Complemented throughout with black-and-white photographs from up-and-coming artists, this is a stunning and sophisticated book to be treasured, shared, and paged through again and again.



MY THOUGHTS:

I used to read a lot of poetry back in high school when it was a part of my English syllabus, but since graduating from HS I've been neglecting poetry. For some reason it has been difficult for me to pick up a book of poetry rather than a novel. I guess I've always found novels easier to get into, easier to understand and easier to read. When I read the synopsis for this collection of poems, I instantly felt like I want to read it since I am very interested in issues of female representation and how it is shaped by media. Also the blurb by E. Lockhart really made me interested about this one.

Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty is a collection of 50 poems by Christine Heppermann, a poet, writer and a critic, that tackles issues that young girls (and women as well) deal with daily, ranging from issues of body and problems of love. The way the poems discuss the life of modern teenagers from eating disorders to self-abuse is touching, unique and hauntingly beautiful. Heppermann does not shy away from discussing serious issues, but tackles head on into situations that are occasionally scary and occasionally funny. 

Heppermann takes inspiration from fairytales, building the poems around characters like Ariel, Belle and Rapunzel in a modern context. The collection touches upon the society' expectations towards young girls and the problems they face while growing up in a world in which media repeatedly tells girls how they are supposed to look and act in order to see "respectable" and "normal". While some of the poems deal with serious issues like anorexia and self-harm in very serious light, others dealing with issues like fashion magazines and peer pressure have a dark, humoristic flair. 

"How stupid that all I have to do
is grow two squishy lumps and suddenly
I'm man's best friend."

In addition to the poems, the collection includes black and white photographs from a series of artists that brilliantly complement the words within the pages. Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty is definitely a book that I'll try to acquire as a physical copy once it's published. It is one of those books I instantly wanted to share with someone, a book that I wanted to talk about with someone. My Kindle probably did not do justice for the photographs and I'm really looking forward to seeing them on print. 

Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty is a fast read, but also one that makes you think, one that you will carry with you. It is one of those books you can always go back to and one you can discuss with your friends. A must read for anyone interested in gender representation!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Book Review: Made for You by Melissa Marr (ARC REVIEW)

Release date: September 16th, 2014
Info about the author: Goodreads - Twitter - Website
Publisher: HarperCollins
Age group: YA
Pages: 368
Pre-order/Buy the book: Amazon - Book Depository

Description (from Goodreads):

Bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely books Melissa Marr’s first contemporary YA novel is a twisted southern gothic tale of obsession, romance, and murder. A killer is obsessed with Eva Tilling. Can she stop him, or will he claim her?

When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she’s confused—who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why? But before she can consider the question, she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her. While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old flame, reappears, and the two must traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva’s power to keep her friends—and themselves—alive. But while Eva and Nate grow closer, the killer grows increasingly frantic in his attempt to get to Eva.

For the first time, New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr has applied her extraordinary talent to contemporary realism. Chilling twists, unrequited obsession, and high-stakes romance drive this Gothic, racy thriller—a story of small-town oppression and salvation. Melissa’s fans, and every YA reader, will find its wild ride enthralling.



MY THOUGHTS:

"One wants to kiss her. 
The other wants to kill her."

Having read only Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr before venturing into this one, I did not quite know what to expect. Wicked Lovely focused on faeries (if I remember right), and though I did not hate it or anything, I did not enjoy it so much that I would have actually decided to continue with the series. I feel like recently I've gotten even more wary about picking up books that are listed as both "paranormal" and "romance", just because I've had some disappointments with books from those categories. But seeing this listed also as "gothic" and "Southern gothic" as well as "mystery" and "thriller" made me curious enough to pick it up. 

Eva Tilling is the sweetheart of Jessup, a little town in North Carolina. As the granddaughter of the rich winery owner as well as town reverend, she has been in the attention of the townsfolk since she was a little kid. She is adored by parents, envied by her class mates and loved by her friends. But in a Southern town where everyone keeps up appearances just to seem polite and pure, Eva does not know who's really on her side. It seems often like her friends are her friends just because of family connections and appearances and that her family is not really as perfect as it seems. When Eva is hit by a car and taken into hospital, everything starts to change in the little Southern town. Eva reconnects with an old crush Nate, finds her family way more attentive towards her than before and quickly learns that something has changed in her. In addition to the bruises, broken leg and the scars on her face and body, Eva realizes that when someone touches her, she can see the way they are going to die. When other girls start to get killed, Eva has to utilize her new skill to keep herself, Nate and her friends safe. 

Made For You is narrated from multiple perspectives which gives the reader a glimpse into events from a broader range. Eva, the main narrator of the novel, has to cope with was has happened to her as well as her newly found power. She also has to come into terms with the newly rekindled relationship with Nate and her feelings towards him. Grace, Eva's best friend, is like a voice of reason, trying to take care of Eva and figure out what is really happening to her. Are her powers real? What can she do to keep Eva safe? Can they trust Nate or their other friends? And then there's the Judge, a person who has known Eva for years and who believes that Eva is destined to spend her life with him. He tries to give Eva messages, in the form of brutality, to make her aware of him, but it seems like Eva does not feel quite the same way he does. 

I really enjoyed the multiple narrators and as morbid as it might sound, I was actually always looking forward to coming across a chapter narrated by Judge. He's cloaked in mystery for most of the novel, though I did have my thoughts about who he might be all the way from the beginning. I am happy Marr had decided to keep Judge as completely human, meaning that there was nothing supernatural in him, because that made him so much more terrifying and creepy. Eva's power is supernatural/paranormal, but it's so subtle that it does not take anything away from the realistic feel of the story. 

I feel like mixing romance and murder is always tricky and I must afraid that this one would focus more on the romance side of things. But I am happy to say that though the romance is there, it does not really take anything away from the mystery plot. It rather gives more fire to it. There's not instalove or ridiculously cheesy romantic scenes here. Eva and Nate have known each other before, they have taken comfort from each other during their childhood and now that they are both going through something difficult, they find each other and their feelings towards each other again. I feel like Marr does not even attempt to make Nate TOO PERFECT because really, this book is not about a dreamy boy who saves a girl. It's about a girl and a boy who save themselves. 

Having not read that many YA thrillers/mysteries, I can't really compare this one with other books. What surprised me was the quite dark nature of the novel and the details into which it goes to with the murders. There are no long descriptions of killing or anything like that, but there are scenes that might not be for the most sensitive readers. I definitely would recommend this to YA readers who are interested about the crime fiction genre, because I feel like this could be a good stepping stone into bit heavier stuff that's often found from the adult crime fiction titles. And even if you're not interested in crime fiction in general, I think you should give this one a chance. 

Made For You is fast paced, mysterious, thrilling and occasionally just plain creepy. A highly entertaining read for fans of crime fiction and mystery stories!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday Post (#20)


For more information, click here

Recap:

Coming up:
Review for Made For You by Melissa Marr (ARC)
Review for Poisoned Apples: Poems For You, My Pretty by Christine Heppermann (ARC)
Review for Alienated by Melissa Landers

What I read this week:
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Made for You by Melissa Marr
Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle

What I watched this week:

Capote: after reading  In Cold Blood I got interested about Truman Capote as well as the murder case the book focuses on. This movie was brilliant; so melancholic and hopeless and sad. 

The Wrestler: For my possible dissertation research (I'm going in with two ideas, the political one is the other)

Neighbors: Shirtless Zac Efron. Enough said.

The Fault in Our Stars: SO SAD. I cried A LOT.

A Long Way Down: I didn't like this one AT ALL. The single thing that made me watch it til the end was the beautiful face of Aaron Paul.

The Fountain: Also for my dissertation research.

From TV shows I watched some Arrested Development, some Friends plus I started watching Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Arrow and My So-Called Life.

In other news:

So bout of books was kind of a fail... AGAIN. I did read two and a half books, but I won't bother with counting the pages or the hours I read because the total would be nowhere near my goal. I won't be too hard on myself about this though because I managed to see some friends this week. I also watched films for my other possible dissertation topic and caught up with some films I've been wanting to see for ages. So all's good.

As you can probably see from my plan for next week, there will be a little less activity at the blog next week, which means that it will also take me a little more time to answer to comments. I only have about three weeks left at home here in in Finland before I have to travel back to university in Scotland and I want to spend as much of that time out of the Internet as possible. I use so much Internet while I'm at uni that I can do all of that then. Staying away from Internet does not mean that I won't watch shows and read books, it just means that I will not update about them so frequently. I will still do my Sunday post next week though!

This week on Instagram:

Finally reading Isla was great because the gap between the second and the final book in the trilogy was SO LONG. The wait was totally worth it though.
My mom brought fresh blueberries from the cabin, so I've been eating a lot of them this week. I always want to eat as much blueberries as I want while I'm Finland because Finnish blueberries are usually gathered from the forest, not from bushes like in UK. 
Capote was AMAZING! I've always held Philip Seymour-Hoffman in high regard , but my admiration for him reached whole new levels now that I've seen this film. 
Once again hanging out in my Ariel leggins.
The collected short stories of Truman Capote - I've been reading some of this so far. I feel like it isn't one of those books you can read on one sitting, just because the stories vary so much, but I really have enjoyed it and can't wait to read more!
Taking advantage of the fresh blueberries by making a blueberry pancake. So yummy.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Book Review: The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

Release date: September 25th, 2012
Info about the author: Goodreads - Twitter - Website
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Age group: YA
Pages: 320
Buy the book: Amazon - Book Depository

Description (from Goodreads):

Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers can get a taste of the real world. But the real world comes to her in this dystopian tale with a philosophical bent. Rumors of massive unrest on the “Outside” abound. Something murderous is out there. Amish elders make a rule: No one goes outside, and no outsiders come in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man, she can’t leave him to die. She smuggles him into her family’s barn—at what cost to her community? The suspense of this vividly told, truly horrific thriller will keep the pages turning.


MY THOUGHTS:

Mind blow. MIND SERIOUSLY BLOWN.

So, the setting for the novel is the following: Katie, a Plain girl, a child of an Amish community is waiting anxiously for her Rumspringa (Pennsylvanian German noun meaning "running around"), the period of adolescence for (some) members of Amish community during which they can leave the community and join the "outside" world. The Rumspringa is kind of like this rite - most come back and after that they are baptized to the community, and thus give the promise to live according to the Amish rules for the rest of their life. 

Katie has been planning the things she wants to do when she gets out since she was a child with her friend, and possibly also future husband, Elijah. But everything changes when a helicopter drops to the community field and it seems that the authorities of the outside world are not interested. And Katie is pretty sure she saw something inside the helicopter. More and more rumors start to arrive about the unrest outside the community gates and the elders of the community tell the people no one shall enter the gates and no one shall go out. But when Katie, who has always questioned the rules of the community before believing them, finds an injured young man just outside the community fence, she helps him and hides him from the rest of the community. As more and more start to happen, and the outside somehow smuggles its way in, Katie has to start to question the things she has always believed in and the people she is supposed to be able to trust. 

The Hallowed Ones was such a BIG surprise for me. When I read the synopsis, I found the idea interesting, but not really worth a read. I think the whole religious aspect kind of turned me away from it since I am not at all religious person. But since I picked this one up from my TBR jar, I "had" to read it. And wow, I am so happy that I did.

Katie was so likable as a main character. She is fierce and independent, and unlike the other people in the community, she questions the rules and the teachings. But she is not a complete rebel either - she believes in the teachings of the church and the God that she has grown to love, but she also is aware of other religions, other beliefs and other teachings. She dreams about the outside, but also knows that she will probably come back and marry Elijah. When she finds Alex, the injured man, she begs the men of the community who are willing to shoot him, to let God decide whether he lives or not. She thinks that because she is able to help him, she should do so. The way the relationship between Katie and Alex develops is very well established and written. There is also the relationship between Katie and Elijah which also definitely has its changes as the plot develops. 

What I found most interesting about this novel was the way the Amish community was described and explained for the reader. There are rules and regulations, and different people have more saying than others. As the situation gets more intense and the community is eventually closed, some elements of the community leadership really started to remind me of dictatorship; one man's power over people who trust this said man without questions. I would not go as far as saying that the Bishop is a dictator, but he certainly has his hold over the community. Eventually the will of God becomes a question both Katie and Alex, an "outsider" start to question - there is talk about different religions and different beliefs, and there is this awesome part about Greek mythology that I really loved!

The writing really engaged me from the first page onward, and I was hooked all the way to the end. The pacing of the story is very well established - the story takes its time in forming the relationships and the structures of the community, at the same time keeping you turning the pages in excitement. I loved the thriller, almost horror, elements of the story and the creatures from the outside word, the vampires, are very well established, but there was still questions about them left for the sequel.

And hey, when I say vampires, I do not mean like Twilight style brooding, glowing vampires. I mean actual, bloodthirsty, scary vampires. And honestly, if you do not generally like vampire books, do not push this away because of that. Because this does not really focus that much on the vampires - they are just the factor that starts to cause the tensions inside the community.

I highly recommend The Hallowed Ones to everyone, but especially to those who like dystopian fiction. The sequel for the novel is called The Outside.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Bout of Books 11: Updates 1


HEY!

I hope you're all good and that those who are participating in Bout of Books are having a lot of fun reading and participating in the challenges.

I am not sure yet whether I'll do an update post every day or not, but while I think of that, here are my stats from the day 1.

Books Read: 

 


100% of Made For You by Melissa Marr + 23% of Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle

Pages Read:

445

Time Read:

About 6 hours

Plan for today:

Hopefully finish with Famous in Love. It has been alright so far, just maybe a bit too fluff for what I would like to read at the moment. I might get a book I'm really interested in from the library today, so it might be that I cheat a little with my TBR list and read that next. We'll see. Probably going to watch a film again tonight (like I did last night) just to take a break from the reading. I'm trying to keep the films I watch book related though, so it fits to the theme. Last night I watched Capote and found myself crying in the end because of the hopelessness and melancholy of the film.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Book Review: The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Release Year: 1951
Info about author: wikipedia
Age group: YA/Adult 
Pages: 277 (depends on the edition)
Buy the book: Amazon - Book Depository 

Description (from Goodreads):

Since his debut in 1951 as The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield has been synonymous with "cynical adolescent." Holden narrates the story of a couple of days in his sixteen-year-old life, just after he's been expelled from prep school, in a slang that sounds edgy even today and keeps this novel on banned book lists. It begins,
"If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pretty personal about them."

His constant wry observations about what he encounters, from teachers to phonies (the two of course are not mutually exclusive) capture the essence of the eternal teenage experience of alienation.



MY THOUGHTS:


I would not call this so much a review, at least not in the fashion that the majority of my reviews, but more just like a post about my thoughts on this book. For some reason I find classics extremely difficult to review because they have been reviewed so many times, and because people usually already know what the books are about, even if they have not read them.

I tried to read The Catcher in the Rye for the first time probably back in 2010. I borrowed the Finnish translation of the novel from the library and pretty much after the first chapter realized that I would never finish with it. I returned the book back to the library and forgot about it. A while ago I saw someone talking about the book on BookTube and started to wonder whether my dislike towards the book was related to the translation rather than the content of the story itself. I kept thinking about the book and when I ordered something else from AwesomeBooks, I put the novel to my order, just to give it a new chance. And I am happy I did so - it did not end up becoming my favorite book or changing my life, but I did find it to be an interesting read, proving that it indeed was the translation that just did not work for me. 

I think of the main complaints I have heard from people who do not like this novel is the fact that "nothing really happens". I guess it could be argued that nothing spectacular happens, but it would be wrong to say that "nothing happens". I feel like this is one of those books in which "nothing happens", but at the same time a lot happens. Holden is kicked out of his fancy private school and the book follows his life for the next couple of days. Holden, the narrator of the novel, describes the events in a very wry, sarcastic manner - he describes the people around him, his own life, the surroundings etc. Through his narration we get glimpses about his past, his family relationships and the issues that he has dealt with from loss to alienation.

It is extremely difficult to decide what to think of Holden. He is occasionally very funny and sarcastic, but there are also parts of him that are extremely annoying - he is a snob, annoyingly privileged and tends to hate everything and everyone around him. I completely understand why someone would hate him as a character, but I did not hate him, I just found him to be kind of sad. I feel like the hate he feels is a result of his alienation and the loss he has experienced before, and his actions really speak for the fact that he must not like himself very much. Holden pretends to be tough and worldly, but his weaknesses/his human side become visible through his extreme emotionalism - he starts crying very easily when thinking about things and people he has declared to hate. This is only more of an evidence of the fact that in his teen angst, he cannot see that he actually cares about things and people.  

The writing style is very close to stream of consciousness narrative mode, due to which it is at parts extremely difficult to read. The book itself is quite short, but I felt like it took me quite a lot of time to get through it just because I really had to concentrate on every single word. While reading the book I constantly kept comparing Holden to these so-called "hipsters" that are now "super cool" (NOT) - he hates things like films and theatre (especially if it is mainstream), but then really enjoys them and cannot do without them. I feel like for Holden the fact that someone could be like him and that someone could be interested in the same things as him scares him - he desperately wants to be special, but by his actions he is like any other teenager in any given century.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Bout of Books 11.0 TBR


I suck at making TBRs. I have a lot of books in mind that I want to read, but when it's time to make an actual list of them, I start to hesitate and have no idea of what I want to do and when. I always find it easier to find some type of theme to work with, and for this Bout of Books I decided to go with yet unreleased 2014 review copies. 

I haven't decided an order in which I want to read these books and it might be that I do not have time to read them all, but I am hoping that out of the six books on this list I'm able to read at least half, if not more. 

So here we go. Please tell me in the comments what you are planning to read.

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch (release date October 14th, 2014)

A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley (publication September 9th, 2014)

Sam McKenna’s never turned down a dare. And she's not going to start with the last one her brother gave her before he died.
So Sam joins the first-ever class of girls at the prestigious Denmark Military Academy. She’s expecting push-ups and long runs, rope climbing and mud-crawling. As a military brat, she can handle an obstacle course just as well as the boys. She's even expecting the hostility she gets from some of the cadets who don’t think girls belong there. What she’s not expecting is her fiery attraction to her drill sergeant. But dating is strictly forbidden and Sam won't risk her future, or the dare, on something so petty...no matter how much she wants him.

As Sam struggles to prove herself, she discovers that some of the boys don’t just want her gone—they will stop at nothing to drive her out. When their petty threats turn to brutal hazing, bleeding into every corner of her life, she realizes they are not acting alone. A decades-old secret society is alive and active… and determined to force her out.
At any cost.

Now time's running short. Sam must decide who she can trust...and choosing the wrong person could have deadly consequences.

Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle (publication October 21st, 2014)


The romantic story of a girl who gets plucked from obscurity to star in the next major feature film franchise based on a book and the ensuing love triangles she gets entangled in on—-and off screen. 

Meet Paige Townsen, Rainer Devon, and Jordan Wilder…

When Paige Townsen, a young unknown, gets cast in the movie adaptation of a blockbuster book series, her life changes practically overnight. Within a month, Paige has traded the quiet streets of her hometown for a crowded movie set on the shores of Maui, and is spending quality time with her co-star Rainer Devon, one of People’s Sexiest Men Alive. But when troubled star Jordan Wilder lands the role of the other point in the movie’s famous love triangle, Paige’s crazy new life gets even crazier.

In this coming-of-age romance inspired by the kind of celeb hookups that get clever nicknames and a million page views, Paige must figure out who she is – and who she wants – while the whole world watches.

Don't Touch by Rachel M. Wilson (publication September 2nd, 

2014)

A powerful story of a girl who is afraid to touch another person’s skin, until the boy
auditioning for Hamlet opposite her Ophelia gives her a reason to overcome her fears.

Step on a crack, break your mother’s back. Touch another person’s skin, and Dad’s gone for good.

Caddie can’t stop thinking that if she keeps from touching another person’s skin, her parents might get back together... which is why she wears full-length gloves to school and covers every inch of her skin.

It seems harmless at first, but Caddie’s obsession soon threatens her ambitions as an actress. She desperately wants to play Ophelia in her school’s production of Hamlet. But that would mean touching Peter, who’s auditioning for the title role—and kissing him. Part of Caddie would love nothing more than to kiss Peter—but the other part isn't sure she's brave enough to let herself fall.

Perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson, this debut novel from Rachel M. Wilson is a moving story of a talented girl who's fighting an increasingly severe anxiety disorder, and the friends and family who stand by her.

Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker (publication October 21st, 2014)

It's an oppressively hot and sticky morning in June when Sterling and her brother, Phin, have an argument that compels him to run into the town swamp -- the one that strikes fear in all the residents of Sticks, Louisiana. Phin doesn't return. Instead, a girl named Lenora May climbs out, and now Sterling is the only person in Sticks who remembers her brother ever existed.

Sterling needs to figure out what the swamp's done with her beloved brother and how Lenora May is connected to his disappearance -- and loner boy Heath Durham might be the only one who can help her. 

This debut novel is full of atmosphere, twists and turns, and a swoon-worthy romance.
Made For You by Melissa Marr (publication September 16th, 2014)

Bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely books Melissa Marr’s first contemporary YA novel is a twisted southern gothic tale of obsession, romance, and murder. A killer is obsessed with Eva Tilling. Can she stop him, or will he claim her?

When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she’s confused—who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why? But before she can consider the question, she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her. While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old flame, reappears, and the two must traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva’s power to keep her friends—and themselves—alive. But while Eva and Nate grow closer, the killer grows increasingly frantic in his attempt to get to Eva.

For the first time, New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr has applied her extraordinary talent to contemporary realism. Chilling twists, unrequited obsession, and high-stakes romance drive this Gothic, racy thriller—a story of small-town oppression and salvation. Melissa’s fans, and every YA reader, will find its wild ride enthralling.