Thursday, June 10, 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 the key to a lucrative chemistry scholarship.To improve 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.

I had a hard time writing this review, but not because I was conflicted in how I felt about the story. I really enjoyed it, but I had the hardest time trying to figure out why.

First off, I want to say that I haven’t read Fantaskey’s first book, Jessica’s Guide To Dating on the Dark Side. It seems like many who liked that book didn’t like this one. Perhaps the two are too different from each other, and there was a certain set of expectations that weren’t met. But I’m just guessing. :)

I read Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde in high school and I remember enjoying it, but that’s about all I remember. So I was looking forward to this book, because it sounded like an interesting twist on the classic. And it was. There are so many books that use vampires and werewolves as a way of introducing the monstrous characters, but Fantaskey uses the monster within ourselves – man’s dual nature, and the lure of power that comes with it.

Many reviewers have complained that Jill didn’t stand out enough as a character, but I think that was done on purpose so that we could see the complete change after she drinks the formula. Her desire for power, or to at least to not be walked all over anymore, drives her to be more reckless than usual. The formula provides an easy and quick path to that power, which is extremely alluring and very believable.

The romance was probably the weakest part of the story. They yo-yo’d back and forth between love and hate too much for my taste.

As with all my book discussions, there are SPOILERS below.

I love that Fantaskey explored the monster within (as the original classic did), but I loved even more that she implied embracing your inner monster will keep it from taking over. Moderation is the key.

Definitely recommended.


Nomes said...

Yay - I just bought this one today :)

Mostly based on the cover and the title and the premise.

I haven't read her first book either - mainly as I am not a vampire lit fan, although I have heard it's good.

I'm about to read the first chapter in, oh, about ten minutes :)

Great review, btw. And not too spoilery :)

Tabitha said...

Thanks! Hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!

Merc said...

Cool--I've been eyeing this one and wanting to read, so I have it on my list. :)

Tabitha said...

It's a fun read. I mean, the lure of being bad is such a great premise! The only thing I could have done without was the flip flopping romance.

cleemckenzie said...

Thanks again, Tabitha for the recommend. Always looking for the next good read.

Sherrie Petersen said...

I love books that play with old stories. My TBR pile is just growing out of control!