Published by Macmillan on 2014-08-05
Genres: Action & Adventure, Love & Romance, Paranormal, Supernatural, Young Adult
Amazon • Book Depository •
Revenge is a dish best served cold.
Edie Kramer has a score to settle with the beautiful people at Blackbriar Academy. Their cruelty drove her to the brink of despair, and four months ago, she couldn't imagine being strong enough to face her senior year. But thanks to a Faustian compact with the enigmatic Kian, she has the power to make the bullies pay. She's not supposed to think about Kian once the deal is done, but devastating pain burns behind his unearthly beauty, and he's impossible to forget.
In one short summer, her entire life changes, and she sweeps through Blackbriar, prepped to take the beautiful people down from the inside. A whisper here, a look there, and suddenly... bad things are happening. It's a heady rush, seeing her tormentors get what they deserve, but things that seem too good to be true usually are, and soon, the pranks and payback turns from delicious to deadly. Edie is alone in a world teeming with secrets and fiends lurking in the shadows. In this murky morass of devil's bargains, she isn't sure who—or what--she can trust. Not even her own mind...
Creepy, but sort of terrible and cheesy. But CREEPS.
I had such, such high hopes for this one. I will admit I got a bit worried when some mixed reviews started pouring in…but it couldn’t be that bad, could it? I mean with a premise like that, what could go wrong?
As it turns out, quite a bit.
For the record, I was pretty close to DNF’ing this when I was about half in, but Alyssa said that the second half was better, so I persevered. And it was better! But not enough, unfortunately, to negate the rocky beginning.
I have a whole email of notes. Let’s start off with the one I mentioned first in my email:
If you were about to kill yourself…
Would you really go with some random stranger? When you were so determined you didn’t even write a note? Would you really just instantly believe that someone had the power to grant you three wishes? And would you really let him have your phone. That just seems like a whole lot of idiocy right there. (I mean, I understand that someone on the brink of suicide would be distraught and a bit glazed, but not once throughout the entire story, even in the beginning, did she act sad. She had anger and hatred, but never seemed to have much sorrow with her.)
Also she let him basically burn something into her skin within an hour of meeting him. I just. What?
Also instalove. A kiss on page 46. SO MUCH INSTALOVE AND KIAN WAS SO CHEESY. “You’re special.” “You’re different.” “You surprised me.”
Speaking of idiocy, or the opposite, we’re told repeatedly throughout the story by all the characters that Edie is smart and clever–but I never saw it. She deduced the simplest of things Spoiler, but not really: View Spoiler »(Gasp, Kian, the people you work for aren’t human! Oracle, I’m in a life threatening situation and not asking about future children and true love when people are trying to kill me, but why don’t you tell me about yourself?) « Hide Spoiler They all tell us how smart she is, but honestly, there was no evidence of it beside the sometimes nerdy references and allusions to books she’s read. (I’ve read books with ____, so this might happen. ) We’re also told, repeatedly, that she’s very good at physics because her parents are physicists. We never once see her in physics class.
And again, going off the whole telling not showing thing…info dumping. There was a lot of this where Kian would explain everything to Edie and while I get why that’d happen in real life, I just didn’t love it for the story’s pacing. The fact that Edie sometimes thought “Oh, what if this is a coma dream?” then completely went with it and never had an “I can’t believe this is happening to me” moment beyond a paragraph annoyed me too.
Anddddd on that topic (This is all just one big string of complaints.) Edie adjusted to life as pretty and popular way to easily. There were few times when she was like “I didn’t know what to do.” when confronted with her bullies. I mean if I’d met bullies who’d driven me to suicide, I might’ve been a little scared or unable to contain my rage, but she goes straight to manipulating people…and started manipulating people within an hour or two of getting her looks.
She also talked about how her new friends at camp didn’t care about looks and were so much better than people at Blackbriar because they valued personality above looks…except that she didn’t see any correlation between getting a new face and three sudden new friends and a pretty much instant boyfriend? I mean, that may sound a bit mean, but I’d at least be worried about that if I’d gotten a new face and friends in the same day when I’d been bullied before.
Sooo. Now onto the good things. Yes, they existed.
Here’s what I loved: THE WORLD. I mean there were so many questions I had (WHY DIDN’T SHE WISH THAT NOTHING BAD WOULD COME TO HER. WHY DIDN’T SHE WISH SHE DIDN’T HAVE TO RETURN THE THREE FAVORS.) but the idea of View Spoiler » legends coming to life–not even legends. Just something a large group of people believed/feared « Hide Spoiler was awesome. It was sort of original, but I’m always on for a book where everything is based on a huge game…actually, I almost wrote a book like that myself.
It was fascinating, seeing all the monsters and people involved in the Game and I couldn’t help but get curious about what would happen next! After the first slow half, the pacing did get better and the creep factor? Most definitely went up and I can’t wait to see what comes next! If Edie’s idiocy and the cheesy romance doesn’t get in the way, which it did with this book.
It was so creepy though.
It definitely got better and Edie wasn’t quite as idiotic anymore (although it was still sometimes there.), but I feel like eventually the book sort of lost it’s plot and drifted onto a new one. Does that make any sense at all? It’s not a complaint, just an observation.
So basically I wouldn’t really recommend this unless you think you can get through everything I said above. I’ll still probably read this just to see what’ll happen because, like I said, I LOVE books where the character is a pawn in a huge game. (Is that bad of me? I’M SORRY), but otherwise…yeah, I wouldn’t recommend this unless you take my willingness to read the next book a recommendation.
Which I guess could be legit.