When Jill Jekel’s father is violently murdered, her entire world is turned upside down. To make matters worse, it appears her father was involved in some pretty shady business right before his death, including late nights at the lab where he worked and the unauthorized–and devastating–spending of Jill’s entire college fund. So when her teacher suggests she team up with the brooding but gorgeous Tristen Hyde for a prestigious chemistry competition, she decides to go for the Jekel & Hyde pairing in an attempt to win a college scholarship.
Knowing her father not only believed they were descendents of the real Dr. Jekyll made famous by the novel, but had also hidden documents outlinging the original formula that transformed Jekyll into Hyde, Jill suggests to Tristen that they try to recreate the notorious potion. Tristen, who believes he is a direct descendent of the evil Mr. Hyde, is grappling with his own demons and is eager to recreate the formula and help vanquish the beast within. But in a struggle of good versus evil, the pair quickly learns that they are dealing with a much deadlier game than they signed up for when they first dug up the old experiments.
Why did I read this book:
I absolutely LOVED Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side. I was hanging on each delicious chapter. So when I read that Beth Fantasky has another novel coming out of course I had to pick it up.
I felt it too dark and too good at the same time. We were presented with a dark situation with characters that were too good acting it out. Jill is just too sweet and too good, and kind of boring. And Tristan while he has a dark streak he just wants to be good and in that wanting is too good himself.
This story is also written in first person with two different POV characters. I didn’t find this too hard to follow, simply read the name at the beginning of the chapter. Except the characters didn’t really have their own voice. Sure they had their own situations, but the style of a chapter did not really change depending on who was telling it.
I liked the way Jill questions Tristan liking her. I like that she stresses over the whole boy thing. Those are good parts in a growing romance for me. But Trystan doesn’t do the same, or at least we don’t get this same agonizing with him. It’s just Jill is so good, must protect Jill. Not will she return the sentiment.
I was eager to find out how it ends. The ending is good, but not surprising, not really. The signs were there, you just needed to pick them up. The engagement marriage thing is fine but for me as a reader it felt too pushy like a moral of the story kind of thing. It could have happily ended with them going to college in New York together.
I can say though that I did love the opening scenes description. That was well done.
I did not love this book. I also did not hate it. I liked it, but kind of also felt a little depressed while reading it. Like I knew were it was going and wasn’t really as emotionally involved with these characters as I wanted to be because they were just too good. Even with the realization of the ending in how they find their talents, I just don’t feel like it has been embraced. Maybe I wanted more teenage wildness. This book felt too calm for me. Too controlled.
Rating: 6.5 to 7.0