You may notice me, but you will never know me. I prefer it that way. I am the daughter of a monster. Born from blood and lies. Dead before I have truly lived. But Elian tells me that I’m different.  He tells me that I’m beautiful. That I’m an enigma wrapped in irresistibly complicated skin. Elian says that he loves me. These words terrify me. I can’t trust love. Or hope. Or truth. Because I fear the beast inside. It threatens to drown Elian and his sweet, unconditional love. It’s a beast that will destroy everything.

This is one of those books I can’t really settle on just one rating because even now, my mind is sweeping between the 2 to 5 star range. It certainly did live up to the promise as a psychological thriller, and even though I knew how the book would end by the time I was halfway through, the story was gripping and I couldn’t flip the pages fast enough. However, the story dragged a little because of the repetitive writing style and any and all romance in the book I didn’t feel the chemistry between the characters, so I’m just really confused and unsure of what I’m supposed to feel. Without a doubt, this is a book you are not supposed to understand or be able to relate to; you’re only there for the crazy ride. And as a reader who wants to be kept entertained as well as be wholeheartedly invested in the story and characters this book achieved the first goal while failing the second.

I’m going to split the rest of my review into 2 sections, a completely spoiler-free section and a potentially spoiler-ish zone (this part basically has more plot details).

First, this book is a NA psychological thriller through and through, and even though there’s romance, it’s one-sided, completely twisted, and only present in the story to serve a greater purpose. Therefore, I think that labeling whether or not this book has a ‘HEA’ (happily-ever-after) isn’t fitting because the romance is pretty nonexistent. It’s a story out to ensnare and mess with your mind more than anything.

I’ve read almost all of this author’s books – enjoy her writing very much – and I have to say the premise of this story was fascinating. The tone and the style are completely different from her NA romances and I like that we’re getting something unique and boundary-pushing. Towards the middle of the story, however, I started to get a little annoyed. I’m not a fan of word repetition and fragmented sentences. A few times for emphasis is okay with me, but almost every chapter had one or the either and it grated on my nerves.

Don’t get me wrong, I love this author’s words. They’re powerful and cut me deep but I wasn’t a fan of how she utilized them. But despite this, I could not stop reading. I had a hunch how the story would end. I still couldn’t stop reading. So if you ask me how gripping and unputdownable this book is, it’s a 10 on a 1-10 star scale.

To avoid spoilers, all I’m going to say about the plot is that it’s twisted, violent, and dark where there’s no point of return. There is no heroine or hero in the story. There’s only a protagonist and an antagonist. And part of the reason why I can’t settle on one rating is because of how complex the story and characters are. I love that this book was gripping and intense and thrilling all at once, but I seriously hated the female lead Layna with every fiber of my being. Like I said in the beginning of my review, this isn’t a book I’m supposed to understand or relate to, which is why it’s so hard for me to be invested in a character like her and a story about her where I can never, ever understand her actions. Do you see how frustrating that is for me? I want to understand a book that is not understandable. As for the male lead Elian, I liked him a lot and was so heartbroken when his past was revealed. And while I got why he connected so strongly with Layna because of their shared history, I didn’t feel the ‘romance’ when he claimed to love her. In fact, the author did such a great job of portraying the psychological thriller part of the book it completely snuffed out what little of the romance was there. I just simply didn’t feel it.

I then thought to myself…how much will this weak romantic connection bother me? And then I decided I would let it slide for the moment since the book was never advertised as romance, just psychological thriller and I would run with it with that genre in mind.

This short section is for those that want a little more about the plot and what to expect going in. For me I thought it was better to just let things unfold while I read, even though I’m normally a reader who seeks out spoilers beforehand. But it’s up to you if you want to read this next portion…

The girl in this story – Layna – is the daughter of a serial killer. That kind of past with her twisted father has turned her into a woman who is just so abnormal and thinks in entirely different ways from others. The guy Elian is deeply connected with her and she with him because of their ugly history. Throughout the book it will be very obvious what Layna’s intentions are, how Elian is related to it, and the deep psychological damage left on both of them. And of course, you’ll also have a clue about how things will end, and it will not be an easy read.

The ending of this book is controversial and will probably trigger many discussions about it, but it’s the only way the story could’ve ended while staying true to both Layna and Elian’s characters.

This story in general is a pretty thought-provoking read and after reading, I know it’s not a book that I’ll be forgetting anytime soon. I didn’t enjoy the book, because nothing about Layna was enjoyable and above all else, this is her story. I did like the book for stirring up all these emotions and feelings and for the crazy ride. I can see why this’ll be a 5 star read for some, and I can also understand why it’ll be a fluke for others. It’s just one of those books you have to read for yourself and see where you’ll fall. As for me, I really can’t decide on any one rating to reflect all these thoughts I have, so I’m not going to rate it.

Comments are closed.