- Publisher: Strange Chemistry
- Publication date: 1/8/2013
- Source: eARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley
Imagine a modern spin on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein where a young couple’s undying love and the grief of a father pushed beyond sanity could spell the destruction of them all.
A string of suspicious deaths near a small Michigan town ends with a fall that claims the life of Emma Gentry's boyfriend, Daniel. Emma is broken, a hollow shell mechanically moving through her days. She and Daniel had been made for each other, complete only when they were together. Now she restlessly wanders the town in the late Fall gloom, haunting the cemetery and its white-marbled tombs, feeling Daniel everywhere, his spectre in the moonlight and the fog.
When she encounters newcomer Alex Franks, only son of a renowned widowed surgeon, she's intrigued despite herself. He's an enigma, melting into shadows, preferring to keep to himself. But he is as drawn to her as she is to him. He is strangely... familiar. From the way he knows how to open her locker when it sticks, to the nickname she shared only with Daniel, even his hazel eyes with brown flecks are just like Daniel's.
The closer they become, though, the more something inside her screams there's something very wrong with Alex Franks. And when Emma stumbles across a grotesque and terrifying menagerie of mangled but living animals within the walls of the Franks' estate, creatures she surely knows must have died from their injuries, she knows.
This is a difficult one for me. In the end I did enjoy it to a point, but it took a long time to get there. I am a fan of Frankenstein and have read a few different retellings on it so I was excited to read this one. Unfortunately, for the majority of the book I found myself completely bored. It was tedious going through Emma's school day with her. I get that they are at school because they are teenagers, but do I really need to go to all of her classes and hear about every insignificant detail of her day? If even a quarter of it actually had anything to do with where the overall story was going, I wouldn't have minded so much, but it was so much wasted time to read though all of it. And the characters weren't likable enough to keep me entertained through all of the unnecessary page filling. Wow, this review is off to a really negative start. Let's hope I can bump it up a bit in the rest of it.
Okay, now onto Emma. I feel bad for her, I really do. Not only is she mourning the death of her boyfriend, but she keeps seeing his bloody body and having crazy dreams too. The thing that bothered me about her was that it was like she wasn't even trying to mend herself. She just wanted to wallow in the pain and every other thought or sentence out of her mouth was something about Daniel. When Alex comes into the picture I was so happy that she finally had something else to occupy her mind, but then it was just Alex or Daniel and I just wanted to bang my head on the wall. She wasn't a great character to me. As with the title, she is broken, though I am pretty sure the title is supposed to be implied about Alex and not her. Oh, and her mom... total freaking psycho. I don't think she was ever friendly or not yelling at Emma. And she is rude to Alex. I mean seriously, I don't blame Emma for being embarrassed. Her mom didn't even know Alex and she is cold to him right off. I am totally going off topic now. That's because I really have nothing more to say about Emma I guess.
Alex was about the only redeeming character in this book for me. I enjoyed the parts with him in it. He cares about Emma a lot, but he also is unsure of things. As the "secrets" (Not really secrets considering the synopsis pretty much tells you the whole book) come out, he becomes even better. He is appalled by what has happened and I felt bad when Emma holds it against him, when obviously his dad is the wacko and he had nothing to do with it. Anyways, some of the things he said had me swooning. He is totally sweet. He is very protective of Emma too and even gets into some major trouble standing up for her. He will always choose her first.
I feel like I don't even need to go into the story because if you have read the book synopsis you have pretty much gotten the book without the hundreds of pages worth of boring school day and lunch shenanigans and the sulking endless missing Daniel thoughts coming from Emma. Up until almost 60% of this book I really didn't think I would finish it, but at that point, it finally started to go somewhere. Slowly. At least it was progress though right? So then we are puttering along getting a bit more of the story and then the last 5 % is pretty great, action filled and a bit suspenseful. I should have just read the last 20% of the book and would have gotten the same thing out of it as reading the whole thing. In general, the characters weren't well developed, with the exception of Alex, the story took too long to progress, and there is a lot of stuff that I felt was not needed in the story. It was interesting and I found myself intrigued at times, but besides the strong ending, I had a hard time getting through this book.