Half In Love With Death

Half In Love With Death

Featured
 
3.2 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
1872   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

Mend A Story of Divorce
Sophia, the fourteen-year-old author and protagonist, tells the heart-wrenching story...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Dungeons & Dragons: Into the Jungle: An Endless Quest Book
Welcome to the Forgotten Realms Endless Quest books, where you...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Dungeons & Dragons: Big Trouble: An Endless Quest Book
Welcome to the Forgotten Realms Endless Quest books, where you...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Clink A Story of Cyberbullying
Click is the heroic story of a young girl who...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Stay Sweet
Summer in Sand Lake isn’t complete without a trip to...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
On Blood Road (A Vietnam War Novel)
The last place on earth Taylor Sorenson wants to be...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Courageous
Aiden is the son of a fisherman on the south...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II
In the early years of World War II, Josef Stalin...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler
Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party is gaining strength and becoming more...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
New Kid
Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Watch Hollow
Deep within the enchanted woods in the town of Watch...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Giant Days
Based on the hit graphic-novel series from BOOM! Studios, the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Unteachables
The Unteachables are a notorious class of misfits, delinquents, and...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Tales from the Inner City
Tales from the Inner City is a collection of incredibly...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Gamer Army
After Rogan Webber levels up yet again on his favorite...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Eventown
The world tilted for Elodee this year, and now it’s...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Courageous
 
4.0
"Aidan lives in a fishing village in England. His one brother has died in the war, but George is still..."
Tom Gates Is Absolutely Fantastic (at Some Things) (#5)
 
5.0
"The big event in Tom's world is the upcoming School Activity Trip, but he might not be going! He forgot..."
Bravelands #3: Blood and Bone
 
4.0
"Thorn, a baboon, Sky, an elephant, and Fearless, a lion, have been friends since childhood. Due to the evil influence..."
Tales from the Inner City
 
4.0
"In this heavily illustrated short story collection, Tan explores the interconnectedness of humans and the natural world. Using animals to..."
The Unteachables
 
5.0
"Mr. Kermit is entering his 30th year of teaching, and he's already put in for early retirement. He started his..."
On Blood Road (A Vietnam War Novel)
 
5.0
"Taylor Sorenson is a typical rebellious teen of 1968, sneaking out of his posh apartment to hang out with friends..."
Right as Rain
 
3.0
"Rain's family has experienced a tragedy-- her older brother was killed in a car accident. The mother thinks that the..."
Eventown
 
3.0
"Elodee's family is struggling for reasons that aren't clear, and she and her twin sister Naomi are not getting along...."
Scream and Scream Again
 
5.0
"I found some stories to be a lot more scary or interesting than others but the whole book was enjoyable...."
How Do I Love Thee?
 
5.0
"HOW DO I LOVE THEE is a beautifully illustrated children's book that is based on Elizabeth Barrett Browning's "Sonnet 43"...."
Privateer's Apprentice
 
4.0
"Privateer themed books can so easily go the way of the ridiculous and over the top. Not so with Privateer’s..."
Louisiana's Way Home
 
5.0
" I want to hug this book and never let go. Louisiana Elefante is cursed. She is hopeful..."
Unbound: A Novel in Verse
 
3.0
"All her life, Grace has been told the rules she must follow to survive: keep eyes down, keep mouth shut,..."
Time Jumpers: Escape from Egypt
 
3.0
"Time Jumpers: Escape from Egypt offers lengthier chapter book reading, while still offering delightful illustrations more familiar to young readers..."
Mangoes, Mischief, and Tales of Friendship
 
3.0
"This book took me right back to my childhood! But what’s interesting is that the stories in this book aren’t..."
Zora & Me: The Cursed Ground
 
5.0
" Reading stories set during the time of slavery twists the stomach into a knot. Though most of us..."
Laugh-Out-Loud A+ Jokes for Kids (Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids)
 
3.5
"Yet another collection of clean kid’s jokes in the LOL series, this slim paperback offers fresh school-themed humor. As with..."
The Third Mushroom
 
4.0
"Ellie's grandfather Melvin, who turned himself into a teenager in The Fourteenth Goldfish, has gotten tired of traveling and has..."
A Long Line of Cakes
 
3.0
"'A Long Line of Cakes' by Deborah Wiles, set in a comfortably cozy town where everyone knows each other, captures..."
Are You Scared, Darth Vader?
 
5.0
" This is a fun, cute, beautifully illustrated childrens book. What scares Darth Vader? Not wolfman, vampires, ghosts or kids!..."