Makani Young thought she’d left her dark past behind her in Hawaii, settling in with her grandmother in landlocked Nebraska. She’s found new friends and has even started to fall for mysterious outsider Ollie Larsson. But her past isn’t far behind.
Then, one by one, the students of Osborne Hugh begin to die in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasingly grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and her feelings for Ollie intensify, Makani is forced to confront her own dark secrets.
**** I would like to just say right away before I get into the review that if you liked this book, that’s fantastic! I am in no way trying to demean your experience with this book! I, however, really hated it. So I respect your opinion and I would like if you respected mine. Thank you! ****
What can I say about this book? I really, really wanted to enjoy it because YA Horror books seem so few and far between and I like to get my hands on as many as possible. Then I heard it’s based off of the movie ‘Scream’ which is one of my all time favorites so of course I wanted to read it! However, I was extremely disappointed by it.
Prepare for a very ranty and ragey review.
Plot? What plot? Oh you mean the one that is ROMANCE TO THE EXTREME with no horror, suspense, or slasher vibes at all? I really don’t know why I expected anything more than this from Stephanie Perkins, who is a romantic contemporary author, honestly. The plot was completely overwhelmed by the romance and sorry but I came here for a damn slasher story not a love story that just so happens to have a mediocre slasher subplot!
Now, you would think that in a slasher story there would AT LEAST be a little suspense right? “Who is the killer” type of suspense? Well, think again! Because this book had zero plot twists! Sure I didn’t guess who the killer actually was right away but when their identity is revealed it was so freaking anti-climatic. I thought it was a joke, I found myself sitting there and thinking “seriously? That’s it? That’s who the killer is?”. Speaking of the killer’s identity….it was revealed WAAAAY too early on in the story! Half way through the book early. Since it happened so soon I found myself wondering if there was going to be another twist that would actually shock and surprise me. Like *gasp* it was two killers or *gasp* he was framed and the killer is someone else! But nope. What we got is what we got and no other shocks or twists along the way.
Don’t even get me started on the killer’s motive…because it was so freaking laughable.
I will say this though: the scenes where we got to see the killer…well, kill people, were the only interesting aspect of this story. They saved me from the monotony of the main character’s romance obsessed POV. HOWEVER, the story is only told through this one POV and whenever the killer is going to strike we switch POVs over to that of the victim. Surprise, surprise? Suspenseful? I think not. How exactly is this shocking when a character is killed but you knew they were doomed the minute the POVs were switched? It ruined the surprise! Half the fun of a horror book/movie ESPECIALLY slashers is not knowing who’s next!
Also this is supposedly based off of ‘Scream’ or a sort of retelling of ‘Scream’, if you will. In my opinion, comparing this book to ‘Scream’ at all is almost insulting. ‘Scream’ is a freaking horror masterpiece, at least in my eyes, and the only thing this book had in common with it is that it’s about a slasher killing teens with a knife. That’s it. Honestly if you want something like ‘Scream’ just go watch it because you won’t find it here.
There is also a sort of mini subplot in which Makani, the main character, is harboring this big, bad, deep, dark secret from her friends and peers. So of course this makes you want to know what it is, right? I figured it’d be something pretty juicy! I was wrong. Like every other “twist” in this book it was completely anti-climatic and once again I found myself thinking “seriously? That’s it? That’s your bad, horrible secret?”. Cue my many *eyerolls*.
One of the other few things I liked about this book was the diverse cast of characters featuring an African-American/Native Hawaiian main character along with a transgender character.
That’s about as far as my love for the characters go though. They weren’t complex and didn’t develop whatsoever, which doesn’t really surprise me since horror characters usually fall into stereotypes anyways. Plus they constantly make stupid decisions, which once again that’s sort of what horror characters do but these guys just….really annoyed me.
And the victims? I could have cared less about any of them.
The worst part of this story because it IS the entire story. Forget the crazed killer on the loose this book is 100% romance! I was so tired of all the make-out and sex sessions because that’s not what I signed up for. The main character’s love interest was so incredibly boring and I just felt like they had zero chemistry on the page. It felt like romance for the sake of romance.
In case you didn’t already know….I really hated this book. I normally can find more than a couple good things about a book but this book was awful.
What I Liked:
- Diverse characters
What I Didn’t Like:
- Romance that overtakes the entire plot
- No suspense, action, or thrills
- I died of boredom while reading this book
- The killer’s identity reveal was anti-climatic and his motive was ridiculous
- Not comparable to ‘Scream’
- Characters were not developed or complex at all
- The romance was awful and tropey
I cannot recommend this book, sorry, I gave it a shot and suffered through it all the way until the end. This is probably one of the worst books I’ve ever read.