Monday, July 1, 2013

Truly, Madly, Deadly (Early Book Review)

Monday, July 1, 2013 11:45 AM with 14 comments

Truly, Madly, Deadly

Truly, Madly, Deadly

Author: Hannah Jayne
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Number of Pages: 272
Release Date: July 2, 2013

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Sawyer Dodd has it all. She's a star track athlete, choir soloist, and A-student. And her boyfriend is the handsome all-star Kevin Anderson. But behind the medals, prom pictures, and perfect smiles, Sawyer finds herself trapped in a controlling, abusive relationship with Kevin. When he dies in a drunk-driving accident, Sawyer is secretly relieved. She's free. Until she opens her locker and finds a mysterious letter signed by "an admirer" and printed with two simple words: "You're welcome."

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MY THOUGHTS:

I requested Truly, Madly, Deadly months ago from NetGalley and never heard from them. The book was just withering in my "pending request" pile, and I had given up on receiving the book ages ago. So imagine my surprise when I was suddenly approved for the title a week before its release. I was ecstatic and dove into the book immediately, only to be utterly disappointed by this YA mystery I have been yearning to get my hands on.

Truly, Madly, Deadly follows Sawyer Dodd, an well-known and accomplished high school student who is grieving over the death of her popular, long-term boyfriend Kevin Anderson who died in a drunk driving accident (he was the drunk one) a couple of weeks before our story starts. Sawyer is sad, of course, but she is also harboring a couple of secrets about their relationship. One, she broke up with Kevin the night he died, and two, Kevin had been abusive to her for the duration of their relationship. A fact that Sawyer believes no one knows. She is shocked one day when she opens her locker to find a note written on a mint green note-card that only says the words, "You're Welcome." Sawyer is shocked and confused. Was Kevin's accident actually murder? Did somebody know he was abusing her all along? Is this just a prank? Sawyer wants to believe that it is until more and more people around her are hurt--or worse--people who have treated Sawyer badly in the past and those simply close to her.

Sawyer lives with her father and his new pregnant wife in a new housing development on far edge of town in which no other houses are yet filled. This is sufficiently creepy as she is often home alone. I always find housing developments kind of creepy to begin with (they always seem so cold to me), but having house after empty house surrounding you is so eerie and I applaud the author for this aspect. It was one of the few things I really liked about the story. Sawyer's mom is a lawyer who moved out of the house and out of town immediately after the divorce when she is offered partnership at a prestigious firm. Her mom is barely mentioned and appears in only one scene via Skype. The father and her step-mother are also often absent, which was a bit unbelievable, but helped to up the creep factor.

*Due to the nature of this book, I'd suggest that if you are still excited to read it that you stop reading now. I'm not going to give away any major plot points or spoil the ending (can you imagine), but with mysteries, it's always best to go in blind, in my opinion. I want to discuss some of the problems I had with this book and will try to do so in as vague a manner as I can, but it would impossible not to discuss some aspects of this book without giving some small details away.*

There were a couple of problems with this story. The biggest is Sawyer's lack of contacting any authorities immediately, including her own parents. At one point something that is sent to her screams: I'm a clue! and she doesn't do anything with it. Dumb. I mean, her mother is a big-time lawyer, if nothing else I would think she would turn to her, absent or not.  

Also, her long-term boyfriend just died making a new love interest seem unrealistic. Yes, she had broken up with him. Yes, he was abusive. But I had a hard time believing that she would be interested in anybody new so soon after such a traumatic experience. I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on abusive relationships. I'm not. I have absolutely no first-hand experience with it and neither does anybody that I'm close with, but it just seems like it romance would be the last thing on your mind.

The tone of the story was extremely uneven. I read an ARC, so this will hopefully be worked on before the final product comes out. But I can only judge what I read. At one point she kisses someone and somebody else sees and she thinks, "Shit, I just told the guy who saw that I wasn't ready to date" (I'm sure it's obvious that isn't a direct quote). I was so confused because I didn't remember the scene she was referring to and wondered how I missed it...and then the scene she was referring to happened like 20 pages after that scene.  This was a glaring error and one I hope they catch before the end.

Finally, the book only allows for a few small amount of viable suspects, making it incredibly easy to figure out who's behind it all. I figured it out about half-way through, so the rest of the novel was just how it would all play out.

On a positive note, the book is extremely fast-paced and fairly fun to read despite its flaws. I flew through the book in a couple days and it held my interest the entire time. I've been going through an epic slump lately--picking up one book, reading 10-20%, putting it aside, picking up something else, on repeat times 20. So it was seriously so nice to have something hold my interest for the duration. And that is truly saying something.

Overall, this book is quick and easy. I love the genre of YA mysteries so had just hoped for more, but if you like the genre and are looking for a quick read, you may enjoy this more than I did.

*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.*
 

14 comments:

  1. Oh no, I'm so sad to hear you were disappointed. I had been looking forward to this one too (NetGalley declined my ARC request months ago). I'll still give it a try, but I'll lower my expectations. Great review!

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    1. Thanks, Maggie. Yeah, I was so bummed. I was so excited for this one, too. Oh, well. I hope you like it more than I did. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Aw, it's too bad that this was such a disappointment. The cover makes it look so awesome... Thanks for the review!

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    1. I know, it really was so disappointing. It sounds and looks so creepy and cool, but unfortunately I didn't find it to be either. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Oh, that's a bummer. This one really looked like a promising story. But I think the problems you mentioned would likely bother me, too. Thanks for reviewing this one!

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    1. It was a bummer. I really wanted to like this one. Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Gawd, it irritated me to no end that Sawyer would never speak up. And then when she does finally go to the cops, she doesn't even give them the evidence. WTF?!? The sequence of events was correct in my galley, so that's really weird. But so was the whole book...it just never meshed well with me. Sorry you were disappointed, but glad I wasn't the only one! :P

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    1. That's good to know. I had an e-arc. Not bringing the evidence with her was when it really started to go down hill for me. I mean, for real, her mom's a lawyer. How could she not know better? I'm glad I'm not the only one, too!

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  5. Now, I'm torn. Seriously, no idea if this would be up my alley. I guess I'll try it if I find the time...You review was really good and detailed, thougH :D

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    1. You never know until you try! I hope you enjoy it if you do pick it up. Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. Hmmmm.... I've been on the edge of whether I should read this book or not. I'm not a big fan of reading about abusive relationships and whatnot, and due to the reasons you listed I think in going to pass. It just doesn't seem like my thing! Nice review and thanks for bringing up some of the problems in the book!

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    1. I'm really not a fan of reading about abusive relationships either--although it is only a small part of this story through short flashbacks. I usually love YA thrillers, though, which made this book a big disappointment for me. Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. Darn, I thought Truly, Madly, Deadly sounded so good. I might wait on this one now. Thanks for sharing with us.

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    1. I know. It sounded so awesome. Oh, well. I hope you enjoy it if you do pick it up. Thanks for stopping by!

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Hello, there! Thanks for taking the time to comment. I read each and every one and will do my best to respond--usually on your blog instead of on mine. I will, however, always answer direct questions. Due to serious time restraints, this blog is now an award free zone, but I appreciate the thought!