08 July 2010
Book Review: Jekel Loves Hyde
Author: Beth Fantaskey
Release Date: 3 May 2010
Date Finished: 2 July 2010
Buy | Borrow | Accept | Avoid
Challenges: 100+ Reading Challenge, YA Reading Challenge, Hogwarts Reading Challenge,
The Short and Sweet of It
Jill Jekel and Tristen Hyde are thrown together in a chemistry experiment that could benefit them both. But while Jill's reward is money for college, Tristan's is something more personal and more dangerous. For Dr. Jekyll left a legacy beyond a great work of literature, a legacy which has the power to destroy those involved.
A Bit of a Ramble
First off, I can not get used to typing Jekel. Jekel. Not Jekyll. Seriously, my fingers have to be forced to type it J-E-K-E-L. While my left middle finger is trying for the 'e', my right pointer finger is simultaneously touching the 'y'. Okay, now on to what you actually care about.
I sped through Jekel Loves Hyde, finishing it in one sitting. Throughout, I was entertained; although I can honestly say that the first part of the book was much more intriguing than the last. I think as time went on I was a bit annoyed by Jill's unclear motivations.
I didn't form a strong connection with either of the two main characters, Jill and Tristan, who take turns narrating the story. I think I have very high expectations for multiple narrators; if the voices aren't completely distinct (a la The Moonstone), I go into eye-rolling mode. Why have multiple narrators if they aren't going to be different? Outside of that, one other thing annoyed me.
At this point in the review, things may get a bit... Well, you'll see. I have a question. Why do some YA authors think it's sexy to have a boy almost rape his love interest? Or talk about how she must be careful around him or he might lose control and hurt her (yeah, I'm talking to you Twilight)? Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for clothes-ripping, fist-clenching, teeth-scraping, intense passion - and it's pretty hot when the partners are equals. But come one, unbridled passion is completely, utterly, and entirely different from rape.
But YA seems to think that guys are consistently teetering on the edge of control, and that girls are passive little receptacles designed to help them gain control through their virginal innocence and amazing capacity to forgive. "Aw shucks hon, I know you didn't mean to slam me against that desk and keep going even though I was begging you to stop. It wasn't really you!"
I understand that in this book, Tristan really wasn't himself, but how does a girl initially fall for a guy who admits that a part of him wants to rape and kill her? Maybe if they fell in love first when he wasn't a raging psychopath, and then he changed. Maybe. But I forgot. He's gorgeous. And well, if a guy is gorgeous, we'll just forgive him anything.
Ultimately, I did not hate this book - despite indications from the rant above. The premise is highly unique; I do so love reworkings of older stories. I just wish Fantaskey (and other YA authors) found a way to inject her heroine with smarts and a backbone, which would be much more interesting than these silly little girls I keep seeing. If you like YA paranormal romance and quick reads, Jekel Loves Hyde is a solid choice.
This Book Around the Web
If I've missed your review, let me know!
This was another simultaneous review with Amy of Amy Reads!
Steph Su Reads; Laughing Stars; Wastepaper Prose; The Story Siren; Read This Book; Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf;
Question: Where are the strong, smart, sexually-confident YA heroines?