Monday, June 29, 2015

Hell Is Empty, The Devils Are All Here

"I don't want backward drama.
I want forward adventure."
--Trish Doller, The Devil You Know


Genre: YA Contemporary, Thriller
Publisher: Bloomsbury 
Pages: 256
Publication Date: June 2nd, 2015
Source: ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
Previous Books in Series: Standalone
Previous Books By This Author: Something Like Normal & Where the Stars Still Shine
Goodreads Description

Eighteen-year-old Arcadia wants adventure. Living in a tiny Florida town with her dad and four-year-old brother, Cadie spends most of her time working, going to school, and taking care of her family. So when she meets two handsome cousins at a campfire party, she finally has a chance for fun. They invite her and friend to join them on a road trip, and it's just the risk she's been craving-the opportunity to escape. But what starts out as a fun, sexy journey quickly becomes dangerous when she discovers that one of them is not at all who he claims to be. One of them has deadly intentions.

A road trip fling turns terrifying in this contemporary story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.
The Story
As per usual, Trish Doller's storytelling immediately sucks you in. I knew upon starting after looking up and realizing I was 48 pages in that I was not going to put it down until I finished...and I didn't. The story engages you immediately with Aradia's story in her small Florida town. She's grieving over the loss of her Mother a few years back and has given up all facets of a social life to take care of her younger brother and her absentee dad. She goes to a forest party and from there we get the meat of our story. She meets two cousins, Matt and Noah, and joins in on their road trip...and weird stuff starts happening. Something is amiss and you don't know what it is except the feeling that one of them can't be trusted and you don't know who. I will give no spoilers but the story sucks you in and the pacing is on point. I HAD to know what was going to happen.

The Romance
NO SPOILERS but I will say I was so totally swooning while reading but didn't want to fully commit because I didn't know who was the bad guy! If there was a bad guy! Ah, the agony. But I will say this, while I was reading and in the moment--whether it all worked out in the end I will not tell you--I loved the swoon. The guy is SO totally adorable and I wanted to start creeping the woods to find an outdoor guy. The dialogue, the banter, the interactions, all on point. Thoroughly enjoyed this aspect of the story!

Cadie
While I talk about the characterization below, I did really love Cadie as a character. If we're being honest, her actions speak louder than the words. She was smart, caring, selfless (I love the moments with her brother), and knew her decisions were on just this side of crazy. I loved that she did have moments of doubt on whether what she was doing was right or wrong because who doesn't have those thoughts? I thought she was a fantastic character and I was definitely rooting for her the whole time.

The Characterization
This is going to look like a lop-sided review of 'Beast' to 'Beauty' because I really did like the book but I also did have some issues with it only because I really wanted to love it. What I love with Doller's previous books are her deeply layered characters. She makes you really feel with her characters and what motivates them. While I was definitely invested in Cadie's story, I also felt a lack of connection. I cared but I didn't really care. The set-up was totally there for me to fall head over heels in literary love with her character but I lacked the depth of her story and her past/circumstances. Same thing with one of the boys in particular. I can't tell you who as to not spoil it but I could have had more from him as well. I knew the angst and the direness of their situation but I just didn't feel it as much as I wanted to.
Reserved Seating
If you like fast-paced novels, thrilling plots, and good characters...this one's for you.

3 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed this one too! I really did like Cadie but I think I know what you mean -- I didn't LOVE this one. This was actually my first Trish Doller book so I guess I have some catching up to do. :)

    -Wendy @ Book Scents

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  2. Ah, The Devil You Know. I really still enjoyed Trish's writing and her ability to spin a good yarn, but because I didn't really like any of the characters, I didn't wind up loving this one as much as her previous novels. It doesn't mean I won't read her future releases though!

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  3. Glad that Doller brings the swoon! Too bad Cadie isn't quite as developed as her other characters, but it still sounds like a great story.

    Nice review :)

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