Half In Love With Death

Half In Love With Death

Featured
 
3.2 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
1796   0
Write Review
Half In Love With Death
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
12+
Release Date
December 18, 2015
ISBN
9781440589034
Buy This Book
      

It’s the era of peace and love in the 1960s, but nothing is peaceful in Caroline’s life. Since her beautiful older sister disappeared, fifteen-year-old Caroline might as well have disappeared too. She’s invisible to her parents, who can’t stop blaming each other. The police keep following up on leads even Caroline knows are foolish. The only one who seems to care about her is Tony, her sister’s older boyfriend, who soothes Caroline’s desperate heart every time he turns his magical blue eyes on her. Tony is convinced that the answer to Jess’s disappearance is in California, the land of endless summer, among the runaways and flower children. Come with me, Tony says to Caroline, and we’ll find her together. Tony is so loving, and all he cares about is bringing Jess home. And so Caroline follows, and closes a door behind her that may never open again, in a heartfelt thriller that never lets up.

Editor reviews

2 reviews

Overall rating 
 
3.2
Plot 
 
3.0  (2)
Characters 
 
3.0  (2)
Writing Style 
 
3.5  (2)
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0

In California.

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

Was this review helpful to you? 
(Updated: September 20, 2015)
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Half In Love With Death

As if moving to a different state wasn't bad enough, Caroline's older sister Jess is missing. She's run away before but Caroline can't help but think this time is different. No one, including her parents, take Caroline's concerns that Jess might have runaway to California seriously. The only one who does is Jess's boyfriend Tony. Problem is everyone warns her to stay away from him as he's trouble. Caroline finds herself swayed by the seductive charisma of Tony even when her gut tells her he's lying.

What worked: The 60s setting is a great backdrop for this psychological thriller. The Arizona desert plays a part in the mood of this story too. The stark desert and the heat boil to a frightening conclusion that forces Caroline to confront her biggest fear.


Caroline loves the Beatles and wants to have a boyfriend. She has been crushing on hot Tony and has entertained fantasies of him. When he starts to give her attention? Caroline loves it even when there are subtle and not too subtle clues that her parents and others might be right to not trust him.

Tony is very charismatic and knows how to get girls and others to follow him. There is one scene, where he tells Caroline he can dye her hair blonde, that is very creepy. His girl 'friends' all give off an almost-Manson like vibe. All think that Tony loves them and that they're the special one. I liked how Ross drops subtle hints throughout the novel that not all is what it seems with Tony. What fifteen-year-old girl wouldn't love the attention of a very hot guy?

Rumors fly around in this small knit town. It's hard to believe who is telling the truth right down to some of the frenemies who don't seem to really be there for her. In one case it's more a case of the whole 'don't date a former boyfriend of a friend' scenario. Billy is a guy more Caroline's age that she secretly likes but after he kisses her? He ends up going back to her friend May. I do think this is the catapult that has Caroline give in to Tony's charm and disregard everyone else's concerns.

I did want to know more about Jess and was a little disappointed at the conclusion. No, I won't reveal more as that would be a spoiler though I do admit, the final reveal is chilling.

Mesmerizing coming of age psychological thriller where readers wonder what is real and what is a lie.

Was this review helpful to you? 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Little Girl Who Wanted to be Big
The internet’s “World’s Best Father," award-winning photographer Dave Engledow, follows...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Diamond and the Boy
Told in a unique dual-narrative format, The Diamond and the...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Little Penguin Stays Awake
A charming companion to Little Penguin Gets the Hiccups and...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Merry Christmas, Little One
Christmas comes but once a year - Time...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Hi-Five Animals
What's the best way to say hello to anyone you...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Three Little Superpigs
After defeating the Big Bad Wolf, the Three Little Superpigs...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Twice Dead
Naya, the daughter of a sea merchant captain, nervously undertakes...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
I, Sofia-Elisabete, Love Child of Colonel Fitzwilliam: A Perfect World in the Moon
In 1815, a 5-year-old girl searches for Utopia in a...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Way I Used to Be
The main character Eden is raped by her brother's best...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Agony House
Denise Farber has just moved back to New Orleans with...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
PortalsByAnnChristy.jpg
The world sees the portals as an invasion. For Lysa,...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
ONE RULE. DON'T FALL FOR THE BAD BOY. Sixteen-year-old Jasmine...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Island of Monsters (Spirit Hunters #2)
The perfect spooky read for Halloween, this pulse-pounding adventure will...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Four Three Two One
Golden “Go” Jennings wasn’t supposed to be on Bus 21...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The Lines We Cross
Michael likes to hang out with his friends and play...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Max Tilt: 80 Days or Die
When thirteen-year-old Max Tilt stumbled across his great-great-great-grandfather Jules Verne’s...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Twice Dead
 
5.0
"Feedback I absolutely loved this story! This book was never boring and always kept me wanting more. The beginning..."
Turtles All the Way Down
 
4.7
"Great book - one of my favorites by John Green, for sure."
Wink Poppy Midnight
 
4.7
"Definitely worth the read! A fun book even though it has some creepier turns, and loved Tucholke's writing style!..."
All The Crooked Saints
 
5.0
"Loved this book from start to finish. Stiefvater was at her best with her prose here and the novel was..."
Carve The Mark
 
4.7
"A good read. A bit confusing in the beginning, but as with many fantasy novels, it works itself out...."
Genuine Fraud
 
3.7
"Interesting, quick read. You're held a bit at a distance because of the nature of this narrator, but it's worth..."
Before I Fall
 
5.0
"Love this book! One of my favorites."
We Were Liars
 
5.0
"I loved this book!"
The Princesses of Iowa
 
5.0
"I really enjoyed this book!"
Warcross
 
5.0
"Hello you guys! So I have read a few more books that I want to review (one is a reread)..."
Speak
 
3.7
"It's a fast read."
The Agony House
 
4.0
"Denise Farber and her mother and stepfather have moved back to New Orleans. Denise lost her grandmother and father to..."
Four Three Two One
 
4.7
""Chandler and Golden versus the world" has been the motto of Chan and Go since they were 11. As seventeen-year-olds,..."
The Lines We Cross
 
4.3
"Michael likes to hang with his friends. His parents are very active in speaking out against refugees settling in Australia...."
Heretics Anonymous
 
5.0
"Michael is angry enough at his parents that they have moved him and his sister yet again for his father's..."
Riding Chance
 
3.7
"It seems repetitive to mention the need for books like these when I was a youth--but I can still see..."
One of Us is Lying
 
3.3
"WHAT I LOVED: One of Us Is Lying presents us with a remarkably strong base for the mystery to come:..."
Antisocial
 
3.3
"WHAT I LOVED: I’ve always tried to be my best self online, but even I’m terrified at the idea of..."
Prince in Disguise
 
4.0
"WHAT I LOVED: Dusty and Dylan, each one named after one of their mother’s favorite singers, are pretty opposite...."
When the Moon Was Ours
 
3.0
"WHAT I LOVED: If you’re asking book bloggers to recommend you gorgeously written books, there’s a very good chance Anna-Marie..."