Premeditated

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3.3 (2)
 
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Premeditated
Age Range
12+
Release Date
October 08, 2013
ISBN
978-0385743297
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17 year-old Dinah pieces together the mystery that surrounds the near death of her 14 year-old cousin, Claire. 

While Claire is holding on her for her life in the hospital, Dinah goes in search of the boy Claire writes about in her journal. The boy who forced her to do something she didn't want to do. The boy who caused her such humiliation that the thought of having to live one more day was just too much. 

Dinah is on a mission for revenge, but as things start to unfold, her plan isn't as simple as it seemed.

Editor reviews

2 reviews

Revenge is a dish best served cold
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
What I Liked:
Josin L. McQuein has solidified herself as a fresh voice in YA. I read and loved ARCLIGHT for its unique world and heart-pounding action. PREMEDITATED has a very different feel, but the same strong characterization and fast pace that I've come to associate with this author remains.

Dinah, the narrator, has an impressive arc in this novel. The reader begins with only the knowledge that Dinah is out for revenge and will do anything to make the guy who hurt her cousin pay. But as the story progresses, you get to see a softer side to Dinah. She's fiercely loyal, loves with her whole heart, and is still trying to figure out who she is.

The relationships were my favorite part of the story. The author skillfully weaves a picture of just how close Dinah and Claire are through memories. It's easy to understand why Dinah would go to such lengths to avenge Claire. Their friendship is simple and natural. Dinah's relationship with the rest of her family is more complicated (when is it not?) and her relationship with Brooks is even more twisted.

What Left Me Wanting More:
I did guess the twist fairly early on, so I wish there had been a bit more suspense. Curiosity kept me flipping the pages, though. Dinah doesn't go into this with a clear plan of how to get revenge on Brooks, so I really wanted to see how it would all play out.

The Final Verdict:
Though predictable, the strong writing and interesting character dynamics make PREMEDITATED a good novel for fans of thrillers and revenge.
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Premeditate Your Reading This Book
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
What I Liked:
The fact that Josin L. McQuein released two novels within her debut year is impressive. What I find even more impressive is that both are good and that they fall into such different genres. Of Arclight and Premeditated, I preferred the latter, which has much stronger characterization and a lot of great messages. It also has the added benefit of being different from the bulk of YA offerings.

The blurb promises a girl bent on revenge, hardened and out for blood. Dinah does sort of fit this, but not quite. Everything’s much less certain than I was expecting. Though Dinah definitely wants to make the guy who raped her cousin Claire pay, Dinah’s not really sure on how to do it, distracted by hope that Claire will wake from the coma that resulted from a botched suicide attempt and her own lack of experience with the revenge game. I didn’t expect Dinah’s narrative voice to be so comic, if blackly so, or for the novel to have so much characterization and thoughtfulness to it.

Dinah does go all out. She moves in with her aunt and uncle across the country, grateful for a chance to escape her mother, who is a monster bitch. She visits the hospital regularly and Claire is ALWAYS at the back of her thoughts. McQuein successfully establishes the bond between the two, which I give her major props for. Also, though it’s a bit less epic than expected, the vengeance wreaked on Brooks Walden, the rapist, is largely in the realm of things teens could easily do.

The best part of Premeditated was that McQuein included a bunch of positive messages in a non-preachy way. Dinah’s edgy, pierced, tattooed, dyed, but cleans up her look to go to the prep school where she will find and destroy her sister’s rapist. Along the way, she really begins to think about who she is and how she wants to present herself, and comes down sort of in the middle. It’s not that any particular look is wrong, but about her finding out what works best for her. Also, Premeditated promotes reconsidering first impressions, which is generally a good idea. Oh, and there’s a lesbian couple included just because and not as token characters. The ending’s left just the right amount of open-ended too, leaving room to hope or not hope for romance depending on how you feel when you finish.

What Left Me Wanting More:
That said, I did have a few issues with Premeditated. The characterization bordered a bit too on the quirky, even for me. Dinah’s friends, Tabs and Brucey, seem to have all the precise skills and knowledge needed for her vengeance plot. Perhaps worse, when it comes down to it, Dinah does very little of the actual destruction of Brooks Walden. Abigail-not-Abby’s character also seemed to flip flop a lot. At first introduction, she’s a nerd with no social skills. Then later she seems to be hanging with the popular crowd. Her methods of interaction and her choice of subject matter varies from scene to scene as is convenient.

Though this wasn’t a huge drawback, I did figure out the resolution short of the halfway point. I didn’t really mind, but, if you like your mysteries complex and hard to divine, then you will likely be disappointed with Premeditated. I found the characters and the suspense plenty to keep me entertained, even if I knew where the book was going.

The Final Verdict:
Josin L. McQuein’s Premeditated is a fast-paced novel about rape, family, and friendship. Though perhaps not ideal for traditional mystery fans who will figure out the twist too easily, I think this is a great one for readers of contemporaries, particularly those who enjoy darker themes.
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