I don’t know if it was the literal sparks between Selena and Dillan, but the beginning of this novel hiccuped and sputtered like an old car trying to turn over. That can happen when there is a lot of set-up to the story, many explanations so the reader is ready when the action starts. Sometimes, though, it feels like being in sort of a prologue purgatory, and it’s here where readers either brave it out or throw in the towel. Sprinkled liberally with a lot of that whole new-guy-at-school-hates-everyone-especially-our-heroine-and-she-has-no-idea-why thing, I almost settled in for an eye-roll-a-thon. I’m glad I soldiered on, because after all that’s over, it’s an interesting read.
Selena lives with her grandparents in a small town in Wyoming. Her parents died in a hurricane, many years back. She has this little quirk that only her grandparents and two best friends know about: she has the occasional vision, and they always come true. There’s a new guy at Newcastle High, and he has all the girls talking. It doesn’t help matters that he seems to have already formed his (low) opinion of Selena. And when they shake hands, a powerful shock reverberates between them. What is that all about? So they start their dance, circling around each other, disliking each other intensely one moment and not able to think of anything else all the others.
After make a grave mistake in Turkey, Dillan is sent to stay with his uncle in Wyoming. Humiliated and pissed off, he’s just trying to figure out how not to choke his uncle to death in his sleep when he meets Selena. There’s something that keeps pulling him toward her, and once his uncle gives him a mission on the down low, he is troubled to see all roads leading to Selena. Since she’s not a part of the Illuminati, Dillan has to be careful around her. Which he is finding it increasingly hard to do.
But Selena has some secrets of her own, and they will probably get her killed.
There’s a style of writing that is snarky + vulgar slang + teen angst, and it’s certainly here. Profanity, for me, has to fit the character, the story, the situation. And sometimes, it seems, in an effort to either appeal to teens or to sound hip and cool, certain words and phrases will be used (see “sucks balls,” et al). Sometimes they sound weird and out of place, like they’re trying too hard to be “in.” There were a few of those times here. And what was up with that sadistic uncle? Hopefully that feature gets dissected in a future volume.
Til Death by Kate Evangelista was published March 4, 2014 by Entangled Teen. A free copy of this book was given to Ink and Page in return for an honest review. Big thanks to the Author.
Genre: Young Adult Fiction Fantasy Paranormal Romance Series
Ages: 13 and up
COYER Scavenger Hunt #19: Read a book with the word DEATH in the title. (2 points)