Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey
Jekel Loves Hyde takes the classic Jekyll and Hyde story by Robert Louis Stevenson, treats it likes it's actual history, fast forwards to present time, and adds teenagers. Jill Jekel and Tristan Hyde couldn't be more different. Jill is a good student who is always on time and achieves the highest she can. Tristan is content to sit in the back of the classroom and read instead of paying attention. Of course he is devastatingly handsome, but he has a dark side. When extremely angry, he blacks out and loses control. He thinks it's a curse originating from Henry Jekyll and wants to work with Jill to somehow find a cure.
I'm a sucker for a good retelling and this book stood on my shelf for years. I finally decided to read it and I simply couldn't finish it. Up until the halfway point, the characters, the plot, and the writing were fine. Nothing momentously good or bad, so I kept reading. The characters are a little flat. Jill is super straight laced and rejects everything else until Tristan comes along. Then she's sneaking out at night, kissing, and breaking into schools. The romance was ok and I was becoming invested in their characters. I really wanted to know why they were two people since Jekyll and Hyde shared a body in the original story. However, I rage quit when Tristan is kissing Jill, attempts to go further than she wants, and she sticks around to comfort him after he comes very close to assaulting her. This a book for teens. I don't want to support a story or an author that shows teens that sexual assault or rape (even attempted) is ok and not the perpetrators fault. The real world solution would be to get as far away from him as possible and get help, not stick around and feel so sorry for his inner evil.
Also, based on reviews, Jill and Tristan trade personalities later in the book so Tristan is super good and Jill has the dark side. Tristan's evil manifests in the urge to kill people and apparently Jill's makes her promiscuous. So a teenage girl being sexual and acting on natural sexual urges is just as bad as a teenage boy attempting to kill people. That's horrible and incredibly sexist. I'm very glad I stopped reading. I won't be subjecting myself to any other books by Beth Fantaskey.
The Brokenhearted by Amelia Kahaney
Anthem Fleet, ballerina extraordinaire, is privileged with having millionaire parents and a cushy apartment. She rarely sees the real world until she meets cute Gavin, who is poor and from the wrong side of town. After they illicitly sneak out a few times, she spends the night over at his place. In the middle of the night, a gang of criminals busts in, find out who she is, kidnaps her boyfriend, and demands that she pay an exorbitant ransom to get him back. She rushes home and ends up falling into a river and having her heart replaced by a machine.
The premise is pretty cool and the writing is pretty engaging. Anthem Fleet is a horrible name, but I was willing to overlook it. The world building is nonexistent. I have no idea where it takes place or when. The only differences between the present and the book world is the weird gas mask gangs going around and gassing people and the horrible lingo for drugs. I read about the first 100 pages. Anthem got her new heart from a random illegal doctor who just so happened to have a bionic heart that fit Anthem's body. She wakes up a few days later and sneaks away, totally fine. Not slowed down at all by the very major surgery that REPLACED her heart. She runs home and no one thinks to have her examined even though she was missing for days. Then, on top of this other ridiculousness, the new heart somehow makes her crazy beautiful and have super powers. The whole thing is also based on Anthem being head over heels in love with Gavin, which I just don't buy after so little time and development. I didn't hate the book, but since logic didn't play into the story anywhere, I just put it down and started a new one.