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. Hardcover, 356 pages
Published September 16th 2014 by HarperCollins
Two and a half stars: A well written mystery that just didn't sit well with me.
Eva Tilling is the town's golden girl. She is pretty, popular, and she comes from two strong Southern families. She has it all, except the boy she really wants. Unfortunately for Eva, her life takes a sharp turn when she is run down and left to die on the side of the road. As Eva recovers, she learns that she has a strange and inexplicable new gift. When people touch her, she gets flashes of their deaths. Suddenly, she is seeing visions of her friends dying, and then people around her start dying. Who is behind these sinister murders and why?
What I Liked:
- This book is definitely a case of it's not you but me. There are plenty of reviewers out there who have loved this book, but for me it was too unsettling and disturbing. I did appreciate the strong mystery and the strange turn of events, so if you are reader who enjoys creepy mysteries that are on the disturbing side, give this one a go.
- The story is told through three alternating points of view: Eva, Judge and Grace. Grace's point of view is rather minimal and most of the story is focused on Eva and Judge. Judge is the murderer and his portion is so chilling and downright creepy. I liked that I was in the dark as to who he was until the reveal. The author does an excellent job of portraying how disturbed he is. He is a villain that gave me the creeps, and the best, or the worst part, is that he completely blended in undetected in the tight knit community, just like a real sociopath often does.
- The mystery is the highlight of the book. Even though I found it disturbing, I liked unraveling the who, how and why. I had no idea who the perpetrator was until the reveal, and I liked that I was kept in the dark. The how and why is so disturbing, it made me shudder.
- I liked exploring Eva's new ability. After her near death experience, Eva awakes with scars, broken bones and a head injury. When people touch her, Eva sees visions of their deaths. This aspect of the story was fascinating, and I liked seeing Eva try to manipulate and change the future based on her visions. The touch of paranormal was interesting and exciting.
- The romance is realistic and slow moving. I liked that it was second chance romance built on an old friendship that lost its way. It moves sweet and slow and it never overtakes the plot. It was just right. I also appreciated that there wasn't a love triangle or unnecessary drama.
- The end ties off all the loose ends and the story completely wraps up. No loose ends or lingering questions. This appears to be a stand alone, which is nice in the YA genre.
- I was happy to see Eva's parents come through. In the beginning, I thought I was going to get the typical absentee parents that are common in YA books. However, I was excited to see things change between Eva and her parents, and I liked the new footing their relationship found, and how they grew closer together. It was so nice to see them become involved in Eva's life.
And The Not So Much:
- This was a book that I had to push myself to read. I found the killer's point of view unsettling and icky. I has strong religious tones to it, as the killer believes he is doing the will of god and so forth. This was totally a case of me not clicking with the story. I just found it to be creepy. I actually hated when the chapters switched to Judge's point of view because I disliked getting inside his nasty head. Usually I don't mind reading the villain's point of view, but for some reason, I was totally put off by this character.
- The climax had several parts that were so unrealistic. For instance, the killer comes barging into Eva's house and then runs away and kidnaps another girl. How on earth was he able to get away in a such a small town? Once Eva's mom raised the alarm they should have had him tracked down in that small of a town. Second, I don't think for one minute that Eva's parents or law enforcement would have let her out of their sight to go track down the killer on their own. Furthermore, I couldn't believe that Eva would willingly take so many risks. It was one of those books were the teen catches the killer and law enforcement comes stumbling in behind. I always find these types of read completely unrealistic.
- Plenty of readers have enjoyed this one, but it wasn't for me. I am not a fan of these YA murder mysteries with killers who are fixated on someone and murdering in the name of love. It is disturbing and icky and I finished this one with a nasty feeling.
Made For Me is a solid mystery with unsettling themes and murders. Even though I was sucked in by the mystery, I ended up closing the book with a creeped out feeling. This is a book with a disturbed man who believes he is doing God's will by harming others, and he does it for a girl he is fixated on. The finale was full of implausibilities that just didn't work for me. Many readers have enjoyed this one, but it was not a read that I can recommend.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.