Friday, October 19, 2012

Me on Dangerous Boy

Title: Dangerous Boy
Author: Mandy Hubbard
Release Date: September 4, 2012
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin imprint)

Harper's new boyfriend, Logan, is everything she never knew she was looking for, including the fact that he's exhilaratingly dangerous while she's a little meek and ordinary, but dating him gives her the chance to say good bye to her good girl past and hello to adventure. There's only one problem: Logan's twin brother Daemon, a possibly bad seed with an icy stare and the ability to freak her out. But they're a package deal. Then some strange things happen, like cow bones being found in mailboxes, a flock of dead birds scattered around the school, and cars stamped with blood red handprints. Harper wants to believe Logan, that Daemon isn't to blame, that they want to start over, but the more he tries to protect his brother, the more she wonders what she isn't being told. Harper must unearth the hidden secrets of the brothers' history, but discovering what brought them to town will put more than her heart in jeopardy.

Dangerous Boy is dark and mysterious, filled with questions and heavy with secrets. Something is going on around Harper, something dangerous, something possibly lethal, and she'll have to determine if she's brave to find out.

The setting was so well-crafted. Perhaps it's because I live in the same climate as both the author and the book, but it was so clear in my mind. Everything smelled of the earth and rain, things were dripping wet, the landscape was covered in dirt, hills, and so many trees. Lots of shadows for dangerous boys to hide in and watch Harper from a distance.

Harper is a little, or more than a little, emotionally crippled. Her father has thrown himself into their farm, her mother died in an accident, and while she has some friends at school she's not Miss Popularity. She's not particularly focused on moving on or letting go, enough so that she had a list of fears she's not exactly willing to confront. But all of that changes when she meets Logan, when she starts dating him, much to her surprise, and he starts to open her up to the world.

But he has some secrets he'd like to leave buried, secrets like his twin brother Daemon, secrets like the reason they just moved into town. And it doesn't help that Daemon freaks out Harper. She's scared, clearly, and worried about what could happen, but does she want to know the truth or does she want to avoid it? Does she want to go back to the lonely life she was living before?

The dangerous mystery aspect, the deadly secrets, the thumping tension, all were kept up throughout the book, right up until a very surprising ending. I kept speculating on what was behind the secrets as I read, but I didn't guess right. A must-read for those who enjoyed the author's previous YA novel, Ripple, and for those interested in a darker sort of YA mystery.

(I purchased a copy of this book.)

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