Free books. Gotta love 'em. They are a great chance to try something out that you might not have grabbed if you'd known you were paying full price. That's how I ended up with my copy of Jekel Loves Hyde.
I noticed the book when I was researching Jekyll and Hyde because I was trying to find a way to explain Kesyl's situation in Moon Dance. The idea behind this book immediately grabbed my attention. As such, when I had an opportunity to grab a freebie at Chapters last weekend and had already completed my list, I figured why not?
Plot: (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.
This story moved slow. It wasn't the issue I sometimes have where the balance of dialogue and description off. Nor was it that nothing was happening. Rather, my problem was that nothing that was happening ever fully grabbed and held my interest. I never found myself truly invested in what these characters were going through and trying to accomplish. Which is extremely disappointing, because the premise of the book -- modern desendents of Jekel and Hyde working together and falling in love -- seemed like it could be a really good story.
I think it is pretty neat that the reader gets both Jill and Tristen's side of what is happening. Unfortunately, I just didn't care what was happening for some reason. Oh, that might be because of the...
Jill is good. Really good. Neurotically, unbelievably good. Then she drinks something and it makes her want to be bad. I found her passive and wishy-washy. I go into a book wanting to cheer for the characters and Jill really didn't do anything that made me want her to get what she wanted.
Tristen had a bit of depth, but for some reason I never clicked with him. At all. Despite the author describing a man I should have found appealing, who had problems that should have been interesting and who had interests that should have made him likable. I am not sure I have ever been more baffled over my disinterest in a hero. He just didn't grab me. Which is really too bad.
The rest of the characters simply did not feel like they were real at all (and that's saying something, considering I just complained that Jill and Tristen seemed flat to begin with.) Just so you know why I'm not listing them all here.
I like slow building romance. I do not like a book where romance is suppose to be relatively important where the two characters do not really start showing real interest toward each other until 200 pages in, when the book in question is under 300 page. By that point you've lost me. But that point, I really don't give a damn.
I was pretty kind to this book in my updates for GoodReads and Absolute Write. But that was when I thought it would pick up and get interesting. And that never happened. I still don't totally get why I feel that way, but something here was very off kilter for me. I think this may be the first book I've given only one heart too. Which is a shame, because this had the potential to be so much better then it was. I hate seeing a great idea wasted. (Lookin' at you, too, Abandoned.)
Read at your own risk. If you can find a way to get this for free and want to try it, go for it. But for me this book was a huge letdown, the kind of epic letdown where I feel like someone should have paid me for the time and energy I just wasted.
Extremely disappointed does not begin to express how I feel about Jekel Loves Hyde.