Sometimes a book can be well-written from a technical standpoint, and follow the themes of the concept, but still be difficult to connect with on an emotional level. I found myself thoroughly invested in the dramatic opening, which presented a ton of questions and was made even creepier by my knowledge of the source material. However, the more the story developed and I had my questions answered, the less engrossed I became. I was always more invested in the potential fallout of Harley and Gio’s secrets being discovered than I was in their actual relationship development. The dramatic ending book-ended events nicely, but even then, I feel like I finished the book more because it was short and I didn’t hate it than because I desperately needed to find out what happened.
Readers should absolutely consider the content warnings when deciding to read this book because Burns doesn’t shy away from the relevant themes of suicide and domestic violence that make this entire plot possible. However, for such dark topics, reading it never felt stressful to me. Again, your mileage may vary.
Overall, this book features a solid story and writing, but I had a difficult time connecting with it emotionally. That being said, I do find it fascinating that I had pretty much the exact same response to Shelley’s Frankenstein, so perhaps the book worked as intended.
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