I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I wish that I didn't read a little spoiler about the book. (Avoid this entire review and the synopsis if you don't want to know that spoiler. Just jump straight into the book.) If I didn't know the book is going to have a very huge turn into implied horror town, then I would probably be reading along with bliss. At least, that is until the terrible parts smack right into my face.
Caroline, after her sister has been declared missing by the local authorities, begins to wonder where Jessica has went. She teams up with Tony's ex-boyfriend and believes that Jessica is still alive in California. She slowly changes into a much different girl as the story goes on, and she even kisses Tony (sister's boyfriend) while searching for a way to get to California. But all takes a very, very dark turn once a body of a young woman has been found in the desert.
The plot goes by very fast, and HALF IN LOVE WITH DEATH is actually a short book to read. It's enjoyable, and though there are some lapses here and there, the book is put together well. The mystery of Jess is definitely one compelling story. Caroline may not believe that something bad has happened to Jess, but we, as the readers, would definitely notice the signs and see what's going on with the handsome villain.
The villain is definitely disturbing, and his traits are subtle in nature. The few people who knows the inkling of the truth are written off as crazy by the narrator and every other character (except for the villain and the authorities, of course). His scenes may originally come off as charming, but as the story marches on, he becomes a much more creepy character. Think "bad boy" turned "stalker with a crush" turned "serial killer with a few deaths under his belt."
And the ending. My. It's chilling.
Overall, HALF IN LOVE WITH DEATH is a happy... Oh, wait. It isn't. It's a seemingly pretty story with a dark history and plot. It's disturbing, and it's not for those looking for a light romance with sunshine and unicorns. The villain is a great character, and he's so subtly evil that I wish Caroline has less scenes with him. Entertaining story/mystery.
Rating: Three out of Five