Title: Jekel Loves Hyde
Author: Beth Fantaskey
Publisher: Harcourt – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: May 3, 2010
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 the key to a lucrative chemistry scholarship.
To improve 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.
I haven’t read anything by Beth Fantaskey in a while, but reading this book made me remember why all of her books are on my TBR list. Her writing is excellent, and I love the style in which she writes – alternating first person. Plus, her twist on the supernatural is always entertaining and captivating; I started this book this morning and finished it less than twenty minutes ago. Once you’ve read a chapter or two, the words get their hooks into you, and the characters get in under your skin, until its all you can do to look up from the pages to eat and sleep and other important things.
I loved Jill, partly because I could really identify with her. I think that at some point most, if not all, people have wanted to do something they know is wrong, sometimes just for the sake of being bad. I liked Tristen because his struggle with himself and his family history felt real. Creepy, but real, and I felt bad for him. Put the two of them together, and it just seemed as though everything was conspiring against them. However, there were definitely parts where I wanted to hit one or both of them. Sometimes they took turns.
The twist of the Jekyll and Hyde story I thought was very original. Fantaskey worked it into the plot so effortlessly that I never doubted that it was real. I also liked how the book wasn’t overtly long. It was a great standalone novel, and the ending was perfect.
I highly recommend this book, and probably anything else by Ms. Fantaskey, to anyone looking for a quick, intriguing read.