Jekel Loves Hyde Hardcover – May 3 2010
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"This novel is filled with compelling plot devices; one particularly nice touch is the way that Jekel and Hyde alternate telling their stories, embodying a double perspective. Fans of the genre won't be able to resist this slick genre update."--Booklist
"Fantaskey's (Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side) premise is creative, and there are plenty of twists to keep readers engaged--right through the fiery final face-off."--Publishers Weekly
"Teen readers will be drawn to the classic story of Jeckyll and Hyde with a modern, romantic twist."--VOYA, starred review
About the Author
Beth Fantaskeyis the author of Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, Jessica Rules the Dark Side, Jekel Loves Hyde, and Buzz Kill. She lives in rural Pennsylvania with her husband and two daughters. Visit her website at www.bethfantaskey.com .
Top Customer Reviews
Jekel Loves Hyde opens with Jill Jekel feeling alone and isolated at the funeral of her father. Since his murder, her mother has had a nervous breakdown which leaves Jill in an adult role she doesn't want, paying household bills and caring for her mother. In that role there's no one to comfort and guide her, so she is surprised when a gorgeous classmate, Tristen Hyde, suddenly approaches her at the funeral, going so far as to hold her in his arms and kiss her cheek. This has been her only warm source since her father's death, so she is mortified when she breaks down and cries on his shoulder.
But when she sees him again in chemistry class and in school hallways, he has reverted to his old brooding, defiant nature.
Jill has always been an obedient daughter, but after her father's murder when he's accused of company indiscretions and she finds that her college funds have disappeared she's tempted to peek inside a mysterious box in his office. Her mother warns her against opening it.
Jill enlists Tristen's aid in discovering what's in the box because she thinks the contents might be the key to unravel his murder and discover what happened to her college funds. While working together, the teens begin to fall in love.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Jekel Loves Hyde has a great premise, being based off the classic the title emulates. I was sold. I love the concept of the original and have enjoyed movies based on it, and I sincerely dug the twist the author uses here. That's really the only expectation I had coming in, that the book might try to emulate that eerie, unrelenting sense of morbid danger the original has. And it does. Jekel Loves Hyde has a great atmosphere, but it soon became apparent to me that a great atmosphere was all it would offer this particular reader. Enough to keep me interested anyway.
I'm a character-driven reader for the most part. I love good worldbuilding, where it feels so effortless, like a cradle for the rest of the book. Once that's firmly established in the back of my mind I want to know the characters. I couldn't get into the ones here. The chapters (most of which are ridiculously short, sometimes not even two full pages hardly) alternate between Jill and Tristan's first point of view tellings. And that's the problem, I think, for me. Each tells the story. There isn't very much showing. Telling gets monotonous and after several chapters (I'm sorry, I forget what page number I stopped at), I just couldn't take it anymore. Also, when we're only ever told how a character feels, it doesn't make for very imaginative or thrilling character development.
Another thing that irked me was the intense foreshadowing - an element that I've seen in other things based on the original. Maybe this just didn't work well in fiction format for me, but in Jekel Loves Hyde, the constant foreshadowing, at the end of almost every chapter, became redundant. When the next chapter turned up yet another point of foreshadowing, I realized I was gritting my teeth a little.
The writing also wasn't up to par with the author's debut work. I'm not sure if this YA novel is targeted at a younger YA set, maybe? But I felt the writing didn't lend itself particularly well to intelligent young readers. I think that goes back to the telling aspect, which you don't need that much of. Give the readers credit, that they will "get" it when the writing shows instead of tells. I felt like I was reading a completely different author.
This was one of my most anticipated books for 2010, and I'm more sorry than I can say to be disappointed to the point of not finishing. As there's plenty more I need to read, the question came down to being miserable reading or taking a chance on the next book in my TBR. You know the answer. Two stars for the fact that I couldn't finish (which I blame myself for in spite of not enjoying), and the concept and atmosphere, which I felt was the only good thing about what I did read.
I didn't buy these characters at all. They didn't sound like teenagers, didn't act like teenagers and sometimes their actions and motivations were just totally out of left field. Since I wasn't buying the characters, that meant the romance didn't work for me - I was really frustrated with Jill and very annoyed with Tristan throughout most of the novel. The dialogue is not effective, often coming across as stilted, and the extremely short chapters only served to highlight the choppy writing style.
While this one didn't work for me, I have no doubt it will find it's fan base. I am not in this novel's target group, which I think would be young adults age 15 and up. There is some language and sexual situations. Fans of paranormal romance will find things to like here, but if they also are looking for a well plotted, well written story, they will ulitmately be disappointed. Not a recommend.
First of all, the book is nothing like her first. There is absolutely no humor in this second novel, only violence, grief, sex, petty crime and nasty language. Jill Jekel, our protagonist "good girl" turns into a shoplifting slut when she accidentally tastes the forbidden formula and Tristen Hyde, self-proclaimed monster and murderer, suddenly turns moral saint towards Jill's sexual advances. In all honesty, this was somewhat of a shock, as I was stunned by the amount of language and sex (or attempted sex) splattered throughout the novel, when "Jessica's Guide" was so much cleaner and more appropriate. I don't know, maybe if I had read "Jekel Loves Hyde" first, perhaps I would have enjoyed this novel more. But I don't think so.
One thing I did like about this book, that many other reviewers didn't, was the alternate telling of the story through Jill's eyes, then Tristen's. I tend to enjoy this type of writing, as I like to get the story from different points of view. In "Jessica's Guide", we hear the story mainly through Jessica's perspective, but also are allowed to catch a glimpse of Lucias's thoughts through the (hilarious!) letters he sends home to his uncle. I like to know what all the characters are thinking, and I think Fantaskey did an okay job of this in "Jekel Loves Hyde" but, in my opinion, this was the only redeeming quality that this book has to offer.
I will not be donating this book to my daughter's school, as I am too embarrassed by the content of this book to allow my daughter and her friends to read it. Instead, it will go to the public library and leave it there, and let them decide what to do with it.
Why I picked it up: I enjoyed Fantaskey's JESSICA'S GUIDE TO DATING ON THE DARK SIDE as a fun twist on the vampire thing.
Why I read it: The premise of a female Jekyll and a male Hyde seemed very fresh to me, a clever recasting of the always effective romantic archetypes created so many years ago by Ms. Bronte. Here our sensible Jill Jekel/Jane Eyre, a self described nerdy governess-type, falls in love with the lucious Tristen Hyde and all his dark secrets. Tristen is the only male in this school with the intelligence to see Jill's deep inner beauty and wonder what she looks like without her glasses... He finds out too.
Unfortunately, Fantaskey follows a little too closely on the frock coattails of Robert Louis Stevenson's original Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde for success. When romance rears its ugly head in the science fiction genre, it's seldom a pretty sight, and JEKEL LOVES HYDE is no exception. I wish that Fantaskey had stuck a little closer to dangerous young love and teenage angst and left the secret potions, the evil doctors,the missing ingredients and the traitorous assistants to another time and place. This plot wasn't just twisted; it was tortured too.
Who I Would Give This Book To: Someone who loves a page turner with plenty of romance.
I loved her novel `Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side' and absolutely devoured `Jekel loves Hyde'.
Fantaskey writes smart YA novels, and never talks down to her readers. `Jekel loves Hyde' has its plot roots in the Robert Louis Stevenson classic, `The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'. The story (both this modern retelling and its classic inspiration) provokes analysis of big ideas like humanity's conflict between good and evil, and Man's duel nature.
Basing these concepts around Jekyll & Hyde is a really inspired idea - it makes `Jekel loves Hyde' a standout supernatural romance when the norm is vampires and werewolves. Fantaskey could have gone the (now) humdrum route of using Werewolves for the metaphor of `Beast VS. Man'; but she instead decides to treat her YA readership to a taste of classic gothic literature for the stories' backbone. Fabulous!
I think High School is a wonderful setting to discuss big-picture ideas of duel nature. Where better do we see the full-spectrum of humanity's struggle with Good and Evil than in the war of adolescence, on the High School battlefield?
`Jekel loves Hyde' has two narrators - shy brainiac, Jill Jekel, and popular track-star Tristen Hyde.
Through these two Fantaskey is able to transport the Jekyll and Hyde metaphor of conflicting personalities to the wider-spectrum of High School cliques.
Jill's been best friend's with Becca since kindergarten, but while Becca's social status soars, Jill is left to wonder if Becca clings to their friendship out of genuine affection or convenience? Then there's Darcy Gray - Jill's rival for valedictorian who more successfully straddles the geeky/popular line by also dating quarterback, Todd Flick.
I loved Jill and her struggles with popularity. I always admire an underdog character, and Fantaskey excels at writing them. Jill is shy and awkward, but she's also got real backbone and courage - in the wake of her father's murder she runs the household and becomes her mother's full-time carer. There's a lot to admire and relate to in Jill - and I think she makes for a great YA heroine.
Likewise I adored Tristen Hyde. As I found in `Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side', Fantaskey likes her male leads to be brooding and mysterious with a heavy dose of charming on the side. Throw in a Birtish accent and Tristen Hyde is indeed swoon-worthy. But I especially loved Tristen because he isn't perfect, no matter his chiselled good looks and spine-tingling accent.
The duel nature metaphor delves deeper by way of Tristen's failing mental health, as he experiences `rage blackouts' and a losing control over his inhibitions;
Fantaskey does well to balance Tristen's dark and disturbing struggle with the more common examination of Teen life through Jill's struggles.
Just as in `Jessica's', `Jekel loves Hyde' has a captivating romance at its centre. I especially loved Tristen and Jill's saga because they're combating so much more than just raging hormones - mainly Tristen's `monster'. It makes for melodramatic, addictive reading - very `gothic' indeed.
Another thing I admire about Fantaskey is that she writes quite mature YA books. Her characters swear, talk about sex and reveal some nasty personality flaws. I think it's a misconception that YA books have to adhere to a strict PG-13 rating. Of course there is a line that defines the Young Adult/Adult crossover - but that doesn't mean YA authors have to treat their audience with kid gloves. Fantaskey seems very savvy when it comes to her readership and she writes very believable characters, and gives them very plausible struggles (amongst more outlandish ones).
I loved `Jekel loves Hyde'. Beth Fantaskey has wonderfully combined the metaphors of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic tale with teen melodrama to make an insightful and compelling read. Fantaskey is now an automatic-buy for me, and definitely a YA author to keep your eye on.
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