Thursday, December 18, 2014

Book Review: Made for You

 Title: Made for You
Author: Melissa Marr
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: September 16, 2014
Genre: Young Adult // Mystery // Romance // Murder
Format: Physical Copy
Source: Library

When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she’s confused—who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why? But before she can consider the question, she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her. While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old flame, reappears, and the two must traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva’s power to keep her friends—and themselves—alive. But while Eva and Nate grow closer, the killer grows increasingly frantic in his attempt to get to Eva.
For the first time, New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr has applied her extraordinary talent to contemporary realism. Chilling twists, unrequited obsession, and high-stakes romance drive this Gothic, racy thriller—a story of small-town oppression and salvation. Melissa’s fans, and every YA reader, will find its wild ride enthralling (goodreads).

Made for You is a fun mystery. And while the mystery kept me turning pages, the characters were what sold the book for me. 

Plot: Made for You started off with a bang - 30 pages in and our main character is in the hospital after being hit by a random car, and authorities don't think it was an accident. I loved the mystery in this novel, especially because the story was told from different perspectives, mainly Evie, and our local murderer, The Judge. Made for You is not your generic murder mystery because there are paranormal elements. After the accident, Evie can see the deaths of people if they make contact with her bare skin. This little trick comes in handy when trying to decide when the Judge will strike next (as he seems to be targeting people in Evie's circle). My only complaint is that Evie's power wasn't explored enough. We find that sometimes she can't see someone's death no matter how many times she touches them. Why? Are they immortal? And will she have this power for life? Will Evie have to wear gloves (a la Rogue from X-Men) to keep her sanity?  

Characters: The characterization in Made for You is what made this novel a step above all of the other YA murder mysteries. Each character has his or her own distinct voice and our people of color characters are not typical stereotypes. When you usually read the lines "popular rich girl," the image of a Mean Girl usually comes to mind. Not Evie though, Evie is a generally nice girl who just so happens to be in line to inherit a major winery. The people she hangs out with may be shallow,  but Evie has some depth, as does her family. I actually wish that there was more to learn about Evie's family life because I fell in love with her parents. They had their own demons to face and were extremely real.

As the synopsis says, Evie reconnects with a childhood friend and of course this friendship blossoms into love. When I first cracked open this book, I thought for sure that the love story was going to be cheesy and just over the top - luckily it was the complete opposite. Nate and Evie had such an innocent love that blossomed slowly and naturally. I was happy that these two characters realized that a raging murderer took precedence over their attempts at repairing their relationship.

World Building: Made for You takes place in North Carolina and boasts a southern mystery. Although it geographically took pace in small town North Carolina, I didn't quite feel like this was a southern mystery. There are old houses and a strictly classist society, but I feel like Made for You could have been set in Anywhere USA. 

Short N Sweet: Made for You exceeds in characterization and gets full points for creepiness! I only wish that the paranormal element was thought out more. 


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