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 key to a lucrative chemistry scholarship.
To better 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.
Details: Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey, 282 pages, 3.64 stars on Goodreads
My Thoughts: As I read books that I will review, I take mental notes (and sometimes I write down things on paper, although not as often as I should) and start forming a rudimentary overall opinion (e.g. "okay", "bad", "amazing"), and often the opinion will change. However, as I was reading Jekel Loves Hyde, my opinion of the book was fluctuating like crazy. There were parts that I loved, parts that were okay, and parts that were just sort of weird. But even the places that I didn't like as much still made me want to read on.
After I finished the entire book, I still wasn't sure how I felt about it, so I decided to dissect my feelings for it during this review. First, there was the premise. I like retellings of classic stories but frequently I feel like the premise tries too hard. However, I didn't feel like this for Jekel Loves Hyde's premise - it was sufficiently different and modernized from the original to be interesting and unique, but has enough of the same elements to appeal to anyone who liked the original (which I didn't read but always intended to).
When I started reading, I found the writing quite good. It propelled me through the entire book, even during the parts that didn't appeal to me, and I think the author is a master at creating suspense. I love books that can give me goosebumps, and while I wasn't that affected, Jekel Loves Hyde definitely had a lot of the creepy factor.
What I mainly didn't like about the book were the characters. Jill seemed rather flat to me, and I found her quite annoying. She believed what Tristen told her without demanding any proof - even several weeks later, I can't get over the fact that she just accepted it from someone who was acting rather insanely. Tristen also bugged me because of his arrogance and sweeping generalizations of people. He looked down on every single student in school except for Jill.
Some things were confusing for me, and I still had questions by the time I finished reading. However, the ending of the book was so perfect that I was able, for the most part, to overlook the problems with it. I recommend this book if you really liked the original one this is based on, but otherwise, it's probably not really worth a read unless you happen across it.
Plot - 3/5
Writing - 4/5
Characters - 2/5
Impact - 3/5
Inability to put it down - 2.5/5
Overall - 58% = C+