Apr 27, 2010

Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey

Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey is set to be released May 3rd by Harcourt Children's Books and the ARC was provided to me by Around the World Tours.

Destiny is a right pain in the tuckus. Jill Jekel and Tristen Hyde are living proof of that fact. When her father is murdered, the mysterious and elusive Tristen shows up at his funeral to offer comfort and tell her that everything will be alright one day.

That was at the beginning of spring semester. Now that it is fall of her senior year, Jill has focused her eyes on the prize of college. She's been handling the finances at home since her mother started slowly falling to pieces, but soon the truth emerges; Jill's father spent all her college savings and now she's on her own for tuition money. Fortunately there is a great opportunity awaiting her in chemistry class. There is a science contest with a huge grand prize that would allow her to go to college with very little worries. Now to come up with a project.

Re-enter Tristen Hyde. The London-transplanted bad boy really does operate on his own schedule and within his own terms. Son of a brilliant psychiatrist, he's a little high strung, but reasonable enough; at least from the outside. Inside he is keeping the beast caged and at bay so that it doesn't fulfill it's wish to spill an innocent girl's blood. The blackouts when the beast takes control are less frequent, but the damage caused during that time is no less severe. The science contest provides a perfect cover for him to approach the late Dr. Jekel's daughter Jill to see if she can help him contain the beast.

Jill and Tristen begin to work in secret, late at night at the school. They use the secret formula papers that her father kept locked away. It turns out that they really are the notes of the infamous Dr. Jekyll. As the ill-fated pair work together, things begin to change: between them, between their classmates, and especially between their parents. These teens are cooking up more than just a suppressive antidote to the beast, they're messing with nature. And on that last fateful night, nature fights back.

This wild ride was so much fun!! I really loved the Jekyll/Jekel and Hyde play in this novel. It was so much easier to understand that dynamic since the story was told in the alternating voice of Jill and Tristen. They were both very entertaining and engaging. I found myself really drawn to Tristen and his pain, while still holding on to the thought that his pain and suffering were, in a way, self-inflicted. His torment really showed through in Fantaskey's writing. I think she really captured his essence.

And Jill was phenomenal as well. While I don't usually like the uptight, good girls in books (especially if it's the good girl goes bad scenario) this was different. It really was like she was a child transforming as she had to mature. Sometimes that happens later in the teen years, especially when there's never been too much to overcome, and I found this to be the case with Jill. She was honest and fair, while trying to remain accessible to others. The characters' interactions, between themselves and others, allowed their personalities to really manifest and blossom. This was especially noticeable between Jill or Tristen and their parents.

A fun and rather quick read, Jekel Loves Hyde is a nature next step for anyone who likes a little science and a little magic mixed in with their fiction. Enjoy!


Andrea said...

That sounds fantastic! I'm adding it to my list right now.

Vampires and Tofu said...

I'm really looking forward to reading this one!

YA Vampire Books said...

Great review! I've been interested in this book before, and now when you told me more about the story it seems even better!