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Cher-y-lynne {sher-uhl-lin} –noun 1. One who formerly sold and recommended children’s books at a bookstore; a specialist in young adult, middle grade, and picture books. 2. A para-educator at a middle school. 3. A struggling young adult writer. 4. A lover of chocolate and popcorn. Archaic: An Audiology and Speech Language Pathology major at Brigham Young University. Questions? Suggestions? Books you'd like me to review? E-mail me at cherylynne1 (at) gmail (dot) com.
This is a blog for my ranting, raving, and occasionally brilliant opinions. You have been warned. Enter at your own risk.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Book Review: Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey

This quote and review are based on an advanced reading copy and uncorrected proof, courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

Fantaskey, Beth. Jekel Loves Hyde. New York: Harcourt, 2009.

"Your grandfather suffered from dementia in his final days." Dad overrode me again, actually reaching across the table and clasping my arm. I suppose the gesture was meant to be reassuring, but he held too tightly, and it came off as confining, almost threatening. "Those 'crimes' he confessed to--they never happened. There was no 'evil alter ego.' No late-night forays that ended in violence. No 'blackouts' for God's sake."


Dad squeezed harder, his finger surprisngly powerful, given that the only exercise they ever got was turning the pages of his academic texts. "The Case of Jekyll and Hyde was a novel, Tristen," he said, boring into my eyes. "A work of fiction. A good book, with some admittedly interesting insights into man's dual nature. But a tall tale. And we are, quite obviously, not descended from a fictional character. It's ludicrous!"

I stared at my father's eyes, which were a peculiar metallic gray. Eyes the color of two padlocks and nearly as impentrable. I had inherited my mother's brown eyes. Sometimes when I looked in the mirror, I could almost see her in my refecltion. I loved and despised those moments.

Where was Mom?

A chemistry duo of Jekel and Hyde sounds like a gimmick, a cheap way to win a chemistry scholarship. But with Jill Jekel's mother barely gripping reality and Tristen Hyde's father growing stranger every day, Jill feels she has no choice. She must find out what her father's last project was before he was murdered--and Tristen Hyde is the only one desperate enough to help her.

I have definitely seen Beth Fantaskey's growth since Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side. She's using fewer cliches and her characters are more well-rounded. This is a fascinating, original story.

It starts slow, I have to admit. It took me nearly a week to get through the first few chapters. Little Jill Jekel has a way of putting me to sleep. But Tristen...oh Tristen! Now that's an interesting psyche, even if it is rather Edward-esque. And the idea of a monstrous alter-ego as a symbol for emerging sexuality was beautifully done.

Now, was it flawless? No. Like I said, Jill's a bit on the dull side and Tristen is a little too perfect. But Twilight fans will love it. Anyone who's feeling the paranormal romance genre right now will love it. If you're putting together your summer reading list, make sure this one is on it.

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