About a week ago, I received an ARC copy of Made For You by Melissa Mar in the mail, however I was already in the midst of two other books, so I set it on my shelf and it stared me down until yesterday.
Let me just say, it was a really good thing I waited until I had a couple free hours to just read, because this book sucked me in. The stroy line was thrilling and creepy…actually it was just downright terrifying. About a year ago I read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, and I honestly didn’t think I would find another YA book that had the same effect on me. I stayed up until 4 in the morning reading Mara Dyer’s story, not only because it had me on the edge of my seat, but because I lost all track of time. This book was no different. I was sitting on one of the benches in a small area on my university campus, and I literally did not look up from the book until it began raining. At that point I simply moved inside and sat in the hall of the nearest building and finished the last 100 pages.
I really liked Eva as a protagonist. Granted, I was annoyed by her constant obsession over how “ugly” her face was after the accident, but admittedly I probably would have reacted the same way. However, her bravery throughout the whole book completely overshadowed any vanity she had. Every time she was faced with a life-threatening decision, she chose the path that kept her friends safe. She was fiercely loyal to her friends, even the ones that had turned their backs on her. I really admired that about her. I also really enjoyed her relationship with Nate. I’ve been in a similar situation, where was friends with someone for years and then they all of a sudden just cut me out and I never saw them again. However, despite years of not speaking and Nate acting out, Eva was still able to welcome him with open arms. Of course her crush on him didn’t exactly hurt the whole process. I especially loved the scene where she finally admits her crush to him. It was just so cute…although the after shocks were kind of depressing (nice job pushing her away Nate). I also really liked Nate’s character. He went through a lot of crap, and yes her took his pain and anger out by sleeping around and shutting people out, but he still managed to survive it with feelings. Even during all the hard times in his life, he still cared for his brother and Eva (even though she didn’t know). He was also the only one who believed her when she revealed her hallucinations, which is significant because even her best friend, Grace, just chalked it up to TBI. Nate didn’t though, and because of that he lived. Judge was just downright creepy. Every time one of his sections came up, I read as fast as I could because he scared the hell out of me. Now that I’m in college, one of my worst fears is having a stalker…maybe I’ve been watching too much Criminal Minds, but whatever. Melissa Mar did a really good job of making an extremely demented character seem completely normal to his peers. I have to admit, I thought when Eva touched him and saw his death it would be revealed to her that he was the killer, but instead she was convinced he was a target of the killer and tried to protect him. Props to Marr on that one. Now, I’m of the opinion that the sidekick to the main character in a story or movie can make or break it. I’ve read a few books where the sidekick was so unbearable that I ended up not liking the main character because she put up with her sidekick’s stupidity, yappiness, etc. Grace was not one of those. She really truly cared about her friend, and was always looking out for what was best for Eva. She was also extremely smart and quick-witted when kidnapped by Judge, and I think that was nice of Marr to do. She gave Grace a moment of independence from Eva and put her character into the spotlight. A sidekick doesn’t often get that opportunity.
Since it is the month of Halloween, there is a certain air of creepiness afoot. As a result, I’ve been trying to read more suspense and mystery/thriller novels, and unfortunately there aren’t too many well-written YA novels of that variety. Made For You, however, was perfect. It was creepy, and always kept you guessing; there was a constant thought of “Who is going to die next?” Even when the killer was revealed to Eva, the danger was still very present. She kept a slight air of foreboding and suspense throughout pretty much the entirety of the book. This is the perfect read for late nights when you’re home alone…if you enjoy a fearful atmosphere or that sort of thing.
Until next time,