Saturday, December 30, 2017

#1 of 2017: Teen Hyde by Chandler Baker

Teen Hyde by Chandler Baker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Published January 10th 2017 by Feiwel & Friends

High school meets classic horror in this YA contemporary twist on Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Head Cheerleader Cassidy Hyde’s life should have been perfect. But it really, really wasn’t, and she’s about ready to give up and disappear. Until, the first time she takes Sunshine. This new experimental drug makes Cassidy feel like the perfect, golden girl once again. A little memory loss seems like a small price to pay to get her life back . . . at least until boys start to go missing . . . boys that Cassidy NEVER wanted to think of again . . .

Thus begins Chandler Baker's second twisty-turny retelling of a familiar tale, once again set in the town of Hollow Pines, Texas, where high school is truly horrifying.

The Perfect One for 2017

It's a story driven by revenge, in the list of my favorite plot themes that's like second. I loved it from the very beginning; falling deeper into Cassidy's mentality and feeling her loss of control.

It's a horror story but I think what makes it so great, is that the truly horrific part is all too real in this world.

Maybe 'great' is a weird choice of words to describe it, when I put it that way but what I mean is the scary part and ideas that would keep me up at night already existed, and isn't something that is 'just your imagination.'

It's real and Baker does not shy away from it. Putting it in the horror category is simply one way to tell the story. This very well could have been straight fiction.

I've no doubt that some might say that the context of this book was merely another 'plot point' just used to sell a story but I doubt that too.

It's something that needs to be acknowledged and not swept under the rug. Baker makes that obvious.

Somethings just hit where they were suppose to and you never can tell if there is a real villain. At no point in this did I find myself feeling sorry for the victims. Or should I say "the boys that go missing...that Cassidy never wanted to think of again." (They're victims of something- feelings of self entitlement- but nothing to feel bad about.)

I really admire how she managed to make a very important point in an equally entertaining story. It's an amazing story that you never know where it will go or how it will end, or even what will happen at the end of the chapter. I was so absolutely caught up in it, I couldn't get enough.

10 Months Later

"Of course he thought he'd be all right. Guys weren't taught not to walk alone at night. Guys weren't taught not to leave their drinks unattended. Guys weren't taught to carry Mace or whistles or to consider carefully whether or not to fight back."

This truth kind of makes me want to punch someone.
- Me, when I first read that line.

It's still a horrible truth. As a I said above: the truly horrific part is all too real in this world. Which is why I'm labeling it the perfect book for 2017 not of.

A lot has changed in the 10 months since I read it. Women who have been in Cassidy's place have been fighting back and bringing the horror into the light. They're letting the world know it's not okay that women have to worry about carrying mace, or to be distrusting about their drinks and going anywhere alone. Or worse of all that they might lose something if they decide to fight back.

They are no longer letting it be swept under the rug. I don't even think there is a rug anymore.

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