13 October 2010

Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey

Jill Jekel has always obeyed her parents’ rules – especially the one about never opening the mysterious, old box in her father’s office. But when her dad is murdered, and her college savings disappear, she's tempted to peek inside, as the contents might be key to a lucrative chemistry scholarship.

To better her odds, Jill enlists the help of gorgeous, brooding Tristen Hyde, who has his own dark secrets locked away. As the team of Jekel and Hyde, they recreate experiments based on the classic novel, hoping not only to win a prize, but to save Tristen’s sanity. Maybe his life. But Jill’s accidental taste of a formula unleashes her darkest nature and compels her to risk everything – even Tristen’s love – just for the thrill of being… bad.
Overall, not preferred. Beth Fantaskey also wrote Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side and I really liked it. So I started reading Jekel Loves Hyde with some higher standards than I would for a book by an author who's work I hadn't read before.  But...Jekel Loves Hyde didn't jive with me.

Did you want a side order of cheese? There were way too many cheesy parts to this story. I understand that it's fiction and all that, but we all except some level of realism, yes? The whole hot-guy-shy-girl complex has been done plenty of times before--just turn on the Disney channel if you want proof. 

There was something off about the alternating POV's. The chapters switch between Tristen and Jill. Switching between POVs is an acquired talent, which I don't think has been fully cultivated here. These chapters were conveniently complete opposites of each other--Jill would think one thing, Tristen would think the exact opposite. If there was a chance for miscommunication, it was there and I didn't really like that. 

But excuse me, where's the humor? Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side was a riot! Jekel Loves Hyde focused more on sexual topics--minus humor. A huge letdown.

I liked the idea. The whole tie-in with Jekyll and Hyde?! Brilliant! That's definitely not something you see everyday, but looking back, I wish that it had highlighted more on the original story of Jekyll and Hyde. It does copy a paragraph from the book and makes references, but I didn't really learn anything about the story that I didn't already know. 

There were some really good parts. Some of the concepts--like being a Miss Goody Two Shoes--I could really identify.  I liked how Jill dealt with that and how Beth Fantaskey presented that struggle.

Overall, a disappointment.

Book Info:
  • received via - library
  • pages - hardcover, 282
  • published - May 2010
  • publisher - Harcourt Children's Books
  • genre - urban fantasy