Review: Made for You by Melissa Marr
Release date: September 16th, 2014
Source: e-ARC via Edelweiss/print ARC from BEA14
Length: 368 pages
Rating: An enjoyable, quite creepy thriller that could have been more impactful.
Bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely books Melissa Marr’s first contemporary YA novel is a twisted southern gothic tale of obsession, romance, and murder. A killer is obsessed with Eva Tilling. Can she stop him, or will he claim her?
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.
I'm not sure what to make of this one. Overall, I definitely liked it. Is it a Gothic, racy thriller? No. Is it creepy as all hell and a pretty engrossing read? Yep. In the end, I definitely liked Made for You, but it had a few hiccups that kept it from being as truly wow-worthy as it could have been.
Eva Tilling is a nice, kind, small-town Southern princess with a boyfriend she only sort of likes and a fearsome family reputation to uphold. She's in love with the ex-best friend who no longer talks to her and has become the school "man-slut" But all of that takes rather a back seat (heh) when she's run over and left for dead--on purpose.
Yep. Someone is trying to kill Eva, and he's doing it because he loves her. Made for You shifts between three points of view: Eva, her best friend Grace, and the killer, who has named himself "Judge" and who is the creepiest motherfucker in the land. To be honest, I liked his chapters best, because they were so heinous. Stepping itno his head and inhabiting his skin felt dirty and nasty and nauseating and blechhhh, but that's just how I was supposed to feel. He's completely obsessed with Eva, and will do anything to make her his... including killing the people around her. His logic is ick and his actions are ick and seeing his thoughts makes you want to buy extra locks and hide under the covers for all eternity.
|I'm a bit of a marshmallow|
In tandem with the obsessive serial killer aspect--which is, for the most part, well done--Made for You has a paranormal bent. When Eva wakes up in the hospital, horribly injured, she discovers she has developed the ability to see a person's death when they touch her. This is also horribly creepy and unsettling, and while I loved this aspect at first, I must admit to some confusion. (I got a pit in my stomach when she saw her father's death. WHAT A HORRIBLE THING TO SEE).
The second half definitely lags, particularly after the reader is clued into who the killer is. Mind you, I figured out who the killer is in, like, the first chapter, but that didn't really lessen my enjoyment. I also thought the climax was a bit underbaked, and I never really got a clear picture as to why Eva's visions were a thing. I sort of got the point, plot-wise, but I guess emotionally speaking, they left me cold, and the subplot felt unresolved. I think this ties into the fact that I don't really know Eva that well. She's perfectly nice--in fact, I felt a vague fondness for all the characters, particularly Eva's mother and Grace--but had they been developed more, I think I would have felt more when they were routinely imperiled. I don't really know anything about Eva beyond that she likes to watch the news and is a good student.
But I really liked the intrigue, particularly at first, when people around Eva start to die and her visions start to get more whacked out. And I read this book in a few short hours, eager to see where it could go. The girl friendships are really lovely, and Eva never resorts to girl hating. The family dynamics are adorable, and the romance is sweet, if a wee bit underdeveloped. I even laughed a few times (basically whenever Eva's mom was being awesomely awkward). But the amps should have been cranked to eleven. This book had the potential to be a knockout, but i don't think it quite went at far as it could go on any front. Not with the characters, romance, serial killer thriller, or paranormal mystery.
Now excuse me while I go pull my window curtains and unfriend all of my friends just in case one of them is secretly murderstalking me