Sunday, 13 December 2015

Review: Half in Love with Death by Emily Ross

It's the era of peace and love in the 1960s, but nothing is peaceful in Caroline's life. Since her beautiful older sister disappeared, fifteen-year-old Caroline might as well have disappeared too. She's invisible to her parents, who can't stop blaming each other. The police keep following up on leads even Caroline knows are foolish. The only one who seems to care about her is Tony, her sister's older boyfriend, who soothes Caroline's desperate heart every time he turns his magical blue eyes on her. Tony is convinced that the answer to Jess's disappearance is in California, the land of endless summer, among the street culture of runaways and flower children. Come with me, Tony says to Caroline, and we'll find her together. Tony is so loving, and all he cares about is bringing Jess home. And so Caroline follows, and closes a door behind her that may never open again, in a heartfelt thriller that never lets up.

ebook, 224 pages
Expected Publication Date: December 16th 2015 by Merit Press 
Genre: Young Adult/Historical Fiction

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

Half in Love with Death was a fast paced, easy to read story about a young girl (15 yrs) who's older sister sneaks out of the house never to be seen again. It tells of her struggles and guilt over the disappearance and her uncontrollable draw to that same sister's boyfriend. At the same time that Caroline was trying to find her sister she was dealing with growing up and the trials and tribulations of being a teenage girl. In essence it was also her journey of self discovery.

I enjoyed the pace of this book and that I was able to finish it in one day but I did find it really predictable. There were no shockers or twists that I didn't see coming. I craved originality that was somewhat lacking in this story. It was easy to see how the entire story was going to play out from the very beginning.

I feel that this book will appeal mostly to the market that it is intended for. Younger readers will probably find more appeal in it than older readers of the YA genre. Partly I feel this way because the naivety of Caroline drove me crazy as a younger reader may not notice it. I understand that the book took place in the 60's and perhaps teens were a little more sheltered but Caroline was beyond naive for a fifteen year old. There were times that I wanted to reach into the book and snap some sense into her.

In the end, it was still an entertaining read that I was able to get lost in for a few hours. As much as it wasn't perfect it was inspired by the 1966 case of Charles Schmid, the Pied Piper of Tucson which stands to reason why the story couldn't go the way I would have liked it to.


About the Author
Emily Ross's YA mystery/thriller HALF IN LOVE WITH DEATH is forthcoming from Merit Press(12/2015). She received a 2014 MCC Artist Fellowship finalist award for fiction, and is a graduate of Grub Street's Novel Incubator program. When not writing she works as a web developer and is the mother of two millennials.

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