"To find out what a story's really about,' the Librarian said,

'you don't ask the writer. You ask the reader."

- SNOW & ROSE by Emily Winfield Martin

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Review: MADE FOR YOU by Melissa Marr (YA)

by Melissa Marr
Release date: September 16th, 2014
Published by: HarperCollins
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Thriller
Format: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook
Format read: ARC from BEA2014


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.


Melissa Marr is an author that I have admired for a very long time. Although I have only read her short stories and the first book to the Wicked Lovely series, she is an author that I have been intimidated to read in fear that I would not like one of her books and then feel guilty for doing so. I always tread carefully around my favorite authors and am so thrilled that she has written a contemporary thriller for me to finally get over my procrastinations and dive into it. Saying that her writing is exquisite is an understatement. Her characters are so driven and realistic - they will find a way to crawl into your head and stay awhile...

MADE FOR YOU is told through three point-of-views - primarily from Eva, the victim, and Judge the stalker/murderer; and then a few chapters from Eva's best friend, Grace. Going into any book, I always assume that we are going to primarily see perspectives from the victim's side of the story. I was prepared to find myself immersed into the mind of the perpetrator too. I have to admit, from the start, Judge is very creepy and twisted. Hearing his thoughts and how he justified what he was doing was... there are no words to describe how deranged he was, and how sick I felt. After reading a few chapters from Judge, I did not know if I was going to be able to continue with the book, and decided to put the book aside for a few days to make sure that this was a story that I was going to be able to get into. As eerie as it was to be in his mind and see why he did the things that he did, I am glad I was able to continue on with the story and finish the book.

Eva is the most popular and most sought-after girl in school who comes from a well-known and wealthy family in a small southern town where everyone knows everyone, and their business, since the beginning of time. There is a certain image to uphold, a certain way of southern living to do and Eva knows how to play along and do the right things. Her boyfriend, who comes from the same background as Eva, is more than willing to uphold his popularity, not only in school, but within his own family too. Things seem perky and perfect... until Eva is in a hit-and-run accident and is left to die on the side of the road. The moment that Eva opens her eyes she knows that her life will never be the same again. Her estranged young parents become permanent fixtures right by her side now. Her long lost best friend is supporting her and doing his best to believe in her too. Especially when she thinks that she's losing her mind... because she's seeing peoples deaths. And she thinks that she'll be able to stop the murderer from doing any more harm.
And even with Eva's family and friends support her - there is no stopping the truths and lies that start to unfold at a rapid rate. There is no holding back now when there is a killer on the loose.

I insist that you take your time reading this book! It can be a quick page-turner. But, you will miss a lot of details if you don't slow down. I found myself going back a few pages a few times and forced myself to slow down so I wouldn't miss anything. The intensity of every situation was a force to be reckoned with too. The 'sacrifices' that Judge does to teach Eva lessons are cruel and mind blowing things taken right out of newspaper headlines. He truly believes that God is sending him signs to help him teach Eva how to be pure in order for her to become his partner, his wife. There is no way to describe the inhumane things that he does to his victims. Ms. Marr briefly gives us glimpses to Judge's family life and past. And even with that, I could not find an ounce of empathy for him.

One more thing - I absolutely love when a bookcover displays a prominent part in the books story. I had mentioned on twitter on how much I loved the cover because the insect on the cover looked like a bee. I was wrong! Ms. Marr corrected me and told me that it is a cicada, and the entire picture does play a role in Eva's story.

This is not for the weak hearted. Those who love crime tv shows will enjoy MADE FOR YOU and will find it really interesting to see how Judge thinks and how he reveals himself.
And of course, this book was definitely made for all you creepy-thriller types. How do you all sleep at night?

*An ARC was acquired from the publisher during BEA2014 for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.


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