Monday, 28 February 2011

Review: Jekel Loves Hyde - Beth Fantaskey

Published: May 3rd 2010, Harcourt Children’s Books
Pages: 282 pages, paperback
Acquired: Sent for review by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads): Jill Jekel has always obeyed her parents rules; especially the one about never opening the mysterious, old box in her father's office. But when her dad is murdered, and her college savings disappear, she's tempted to peek inside, as the contents might be the key to a lucrative chemistry scholarship.

To improve her odds, Jill enlists the help of gorgeous, brooding Tristen Hyde, who has his own dark secrets locked away. As the team of Jekel and Hyde, they recreate experiments based on the classic novel, hoping not only to win a prize, but to save Tristen's sanity. Maybe his life.

But Jill's accidental taste of a formula unleashes her darkest nature and compels her to risk everything, even Tristen's love just for the thrill of being . . . bad.

My review: I’d heard a lot of good things about Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, Fantaskey’s first YA novel so I was excited to read Jekel Loves Hyde and see what all the hype was about.

Fantaskey’s writing shows her years of experience and her prose flows brilliantly. It’s clear Jekel Loves Hyde has been edited to perfection and I was really impressed at the high quality of the writing itself. I think she made an incredibly brave choice to attempt a reimagining of such a classic and beloved story but I think she managed to pull it off.

Jill is our heroine in the story and Tristen the inevitable love interest. I do wish these two had been a little more unique as I think this is where the story fell down somewhat. As I said before, the writing was really strong the characters just didn’t live up to my expectations.

I’ve said before that I wish writers would be a little more adventurous with male leads and I feel the same about Tristen. He was fine, he was likeable but there was just nothing special about him (well, apart from the obvious). Unfortunately the same goes for Jill as well. I honestly wouldn’t be able to tell her apart from hundreds of other protagonists from recent YA paranormal novels, which is a shame.

Putting that aside, I think paranormal fans will really enjoy this one and I’ve read many five star reviews on various blogs. I’m not convinced this will bring new fans to the genre but it’s certainly a solid novel and I look forward to reading Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side.

First line: ‘I buried my father the day after my seventeenth birthday.’

Read if you liked…: Claire de Lune – Claire Johnson

Plot: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 3/5
Cover: 3/5
Total: 14/20 (B)

Alternative covers:


  1. Ooh! I haven't heard of this one before. It sounds right up my street, adding to my wishlist.

    Thanks for a great review :D

  2. I can't wait to read this book - it's been on my shelf much too long. Great review.


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