Format Read: Hardcover & eGalley
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | OmniLit* | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes
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Blurb from goodreads:
Bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely books Melissa Marr’s first contemporary YA novel is a twisted southern gothic tale of obsession, romance, and murder. A killer is obsessed with Eva Tilling. Can she stop him, or will he claim her?
When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she’s confused—who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why? But before she can consider the question, she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her. While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old flame, reappears, and the two must traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva’s power to keep her friends—and themselves—alive. But while Eva and Nate grow closer, the killer grows increasingly frantic in his attempt to get to Eva.
For the first time, New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr has applied her extraordinary talent to contemporary realism. Chilling twists, unrequited obsession, and high-stakes romance drive this Gothic, racy thriller—a story of small-town oppression and salvation. Melissa’s fans, and every YA reader, will find its wild ride enthralling.
How could I refuse a mystery set in in a small town in the American South? Teens, obsessions, stalkers, love, romance, friendship; the story has the mall. Add in the striking cover and I was sold. I actually ended up with 2 copies of the book, an eGalley and a hardcover, both from the publisher.
Eva is the reluctant princess of her high school class and peer group. She, mostly, appreciates her advantages: looks, social standing, and a family that's well off. There are times when she acts spoiled but for the most she's level-headed and not snobby. She wishes, as do many of us at one time or another, that she could step outside of her proscribed role as the top of the teen food chain and that her cohorts would also break out. But living in a small town means there are long memories and a limited pool of people who see and hear everything. Once you get a bad reputation, deserved or otherwise, it's next to impossible to shed it. Outsiders, people who move into town, are accepted but not completely, at least not among the high school set. I thought that Marr captured the social politics and the social games of high school and high school in a small town (I grew up in a small town and live in a small town).
The story is told from Eva's POV, that of her friend Grace, and the killer. Being inside the killer's head was scary at times. The difference between what s/he thought and what we are shown via Eva and Grace was unsettling. Interpretation and perspective can radically change how an event or action are seen and understood. I did guess early on who the killer was though I wasn't 100% certain until a scene at Eva's house where most of her crowd has gathered. His (or was it her? read and find out) background was a little over the top but otherwise s/he was immensely believable and scary.
Helping Eva deal with the hit-and-run that injured her and then the killings that begin are her best friend Grace and her former friend Nate. She and Nate drifted apart years ago and he has since become the pariah of their peer group. (See my Quote-tastic post for a relevant scene from the book.) Nate and Eva rekindle their friendship while she's in the hospital and it quickly becomes more. The romance happened too quickly for me; yes, they've known each for years and Eva has had a crush on him for almost as many year, but after years apart, suddenly they're a couple and in love? I had trouble with that. And Nate's background was also over the top. He starts the story as arrogant and bitter but as we get to know him we see his compassion, his insecurities, and his strength. Reluctant to accept help at first, he becomes more accepting by the end. Eva is mostly passive but becomes more active and proactive throughout the story and by the end I really liked her.
The relationship between Eva and her parents was a bit cliched at first but gradually changed and became more realistic. It's not a perfect one, at the beginning or at the end, but it's an important one. I had to laugh at how Grace and Eva wished they could swap mothers. The grass is always greener. :D
The mystery was tight and compelling, Eva's new gift was handled well and her amateur sleuthing was realistic, the relationships were by and large believable. While not particularly Southern or Gothic, "Made for You" was a twisty, compelling, engaging story. I hope Marr will do more contemporary mysteries.
Hmm, I’m never good at the bio bit. I used to teach college & bar tend, now I write novels. I love to meet new people, to hear their stories, to walk through new streets and see new vistas. I enjoy art in all its guises–graffiti, surrealist paintings, classic sculptures, tattoos, interesting buildings, Renoir, photography . . . Art & nature, they feed my soul & thus my muse.
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