Sunday, January 17, 2016

Death Loves Me Not

16-year-old Eden Velasco is haunted - by a girl with a face-splitting smile, by one who likes to hang on to her window sills at night, and by another who chokes on her own ashes. Sometimes, Eden wonders if it's just better to bite her wrist and bleed herself to death.

Eden has tried hard to fake being normal, recording episodes of MTV reality shows that she never watches and covering her walls with posters of boy bands she can't even name. And she can't see ghosts. She can't. Yet everything Eden's worked hard for starts to unravel when a dead little girl with paper eyes starts stalking her, leaving dead bodies in her wake.

And before Eden knows it, the men in white have straitjacketed her back to the cold place. St. Dymphna's Institute of Mental Illnesses and Disorders is a place where it is winter all year long without the snow, where ghosts come and go and every one of them is not right.

As the lines between reality and blood-stained dreams continue to blur, Eden finds herself playing Pied Piper to bitter spirits who blame her for their murders. Demanding vengeance that Eden feels she's incapable of giving, they come after her day and night until Eden's pushed to the brink of truly losing her sanity, abandoning her soul, and becoming what everyone once accused her of being: a child of the Devil.
    - Goodreads

****STARS: 4****

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So I have this thing now where I read Marian Tee's books when I know she's going to come out with more. Cause the last thing I need is to read all her books and be left with nothing but sick anticipation. Don't judge me.

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Anyways, since she's in the process of working on TWO NEW BOOKS Angelo and The Duchess (YAAAAAS) I thought I'd hit one of her earlier works, one I'd intended to read during Halloween, but there's no way in Hell I'm waiting nine months. And it was staring me in the face sooo-

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This thing is fucking creepy. I'm so disturbed and a little scared yet filled with baffling curiosity and intrigue. First thing's first: whatever the flavor of this book, it went up and beyond in freaking me the fuck out with all the ghosts and demons in here. The descriptions were too dead on, and can I say, OMfrickinG on giving all the ghosts back stories. I find it morbidly adorable to have all the dead people she comes across with these creative, sometimes elaborate horror stories that didn't at all add to the plot but gave a lot to the character as a 16-year-old young lady just trying to fucking survive high school without all this other necro-bullshit.

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Favorite thing of all, man.

Normally I don't like stories that have nothing to do with the plot, but this, this I loved. I believe it helped that Eden was an oddly morbid yet optimistic person to begin with. How do I put it? She was dark with her thoughts and a little too friendly with the thought of death and suicide, but at the same time, despite that emo shit being her 'normal', she was still a bright spirit with a good heart and overall positive attitude. Not so positive when it came to her personally, but with her loved ones, you can bet she went up and up.

That's another thing. How can someone so familiar with death be so strong? Throughout the book she was a frightened girl just wanting some peace, but like her bff Will pointed out, she faced her fears every day. She wasn't a coward for being afraid, it was the 'shitting bricks but still doing it' routine that earned her brownie points in my book.

The plot was a very surprising twist that unfolded nicely. It kept me in suspense without taking away too many things. A few things, however, left me a little wanting.

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Death Loves Me Not evolves entirely around Eden and her messed up situation of not being able to stand up to the ghosts that haunt and the demons that taunt. Majority of her life, she's been treated like a child of the Devil. I low key wanted her to just go off on the losers that mistreated her BUT that wouldn't be very Christian of me her to want such a thing.

*But you're not Ch-*

GOOD FOR YOU Eden, on not giving in to temptation. Could've easily had all those dumb bitches disappear, but you didn't. She had a great support system that weren't her parents but rather a set of twins with their own woo-woo problems: Willow aka Will and Stuart aka Stud, beautiful people inside and out with bright blonde hair, brighter blue eyes, and blood with generations' worth of anticipated vengeance dating back to the Salem witch trials. They understand what she's going through, and with their help, Eden's able to have a somewhat normal teenage experience.

The romance...

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I get that the book was centered more on her finding a way to put the ghosts back to rest again, but when a love interest popped up suddenly, I was a little miffed. It's not the appearance that bothers me (come on, Stud's the only guy in her damn life, how are they not gonna fall?) so much as the way it came up that makes me wonder if this could've been handled better.

On one hand it's obvious that Stud and Eden could be a thing, but when she just had this EPIPHANY that he loved her, I was annoyed. Where does it show it, Eden? Are you just now figuring it out or what? And then for Stud to get all boyfriend jelly because she knows but doesn't do anything about it also made me want to choke him. He went from supportive bff to a jaded lover.

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Keep your shit together, kiddies! You're fucking up what romance is found in here. And I know I'm not crazy because to be honest, I enjoyed her time with Liam, and Will's time with Hades more. You know, cause it made sense. Dude wants a double date and they make it happen. With Eden and Stud, it was more like an assumed thing but we don't get to see it come about. I feel like it's details that are missing because things get bridged for other things, why not this one? I think I'm just bummed that there was a cute jealously thing going on and I didn't get to enjoy it because the romance came out of nowhere. There's only so much nonsense I can take and context I can read into before it gets a little draining.

Aside from the romance, I also wanted to see more from the demon with a hard-on for Eden (I'm a bit confused, was it the bad guy or another demon???) and the asylum that made her nuts. There was a great deal of teasing from when she first got checked in, but when she went back a second time, I got a lot of mental flashbacks and not enough action in the present time. The only other problem I could think of were the edits and grammar, but I give her kudos considering that this was an earlier work and English isn't her first language (right, Marian? I'm assuming you're reading this). She's vastly improved and grown as an author in comparison to her latest works, like Pollyanna and The Greek Billionaire.

Anyone who thinks otherwise and
can't tell the fucking difference between their, there and they're?

middle finger

In conclusion of rant and review, this was an entertaining read when the edits didn't trip me up or the romance didn't confuse me. The fucking creepy little ass Gemmaline was just too much for a read in the dark-

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-but if you have a good source of light nearby, I suggest you use it for when things get cold...
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I hope you screamed, Ms. Tee.
Be very afraid.

with someone weekend scare

Happy Reading =^-^=

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