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.


"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!

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