Exceedingly Brief Review of an Even Briefer Relationship

I pretty much broke up with this book as soon as the main character, Arcadia, bemoaned her lack of a social life because her mom so inconveniently died.  "I've stepped into my mom's shoes while my own grow dusty in the back of my closet."  I do not think this is a character readers are supposed to intensely dislike, but I intensely disliked her.

This title is a departure for Doller, who normally does more contemporary YA romance.  Actually, wait, it's not.  Not really.  This is basically a contemporary YA romance trying really hard to be a thriller.  Now, if you know me (and even if you don't, listen up), woo-woo romance and I don't get along about 99% of the time.  There is that rare book that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy with the love story, but it doesn't come along too often.

In The Devil You Know, the premise is that a girl who's sick and tired of her home life goes on a spur-of-the-moment road trip with two strangers, one of whom is ... a killer!

The subtitle of this book is probably something like: Riding in Cars with Boys Who Kill.

Most of what I read dealt with the completely ON FIRE hotness (no smoldering here, guys, we go in straight for the kill) of not one, but two mysterious strangers.  I quickly tired of reading about their liquid eyes and so forth and so on.  Descriptions like:

"Matt.  I like his name.  I like the bony bump of his wrist below his brown leather watchband.  I like the barely-there sun freckles trailing across the bridge of his nose.  His dark hair curls out every which way from the bottom edge of his Red Sox ball cap.  If he took it off, there'd be an indentation in his hair, and I'm pretty sure I'd like that too ... He's so well made ... and my brain just dries up."

SO DID MINE, thanks!  Also, who finds dudes' wrists sexy?  That is one of the weirder sexy body part descriptions I've read.

"His maple syrup eyes and nearly black hair are close enough to Matt's that it's clear they fell from the same family tree ... My eyes travel back up to his nose, which sits off-kilter at the bridge as if it's been broken.  To his hair cropped to peach fuzz. To the corner of his mouth that lifts in a grin that acknowledges that I'm checking him out--and God, do I want to know him."

How does she know if his hair is "nearly black" if it's also "cropped to peach fuzz"?  It would probably look just black if it were that short.

And these descriptions just go on and on and Cadie keeps yapping about how her hormones are out of control and she wants ALL THE DUDES!  Not for me.

I received an ARC of this title from Netgalley.


  1. A good reminder that not every book is for every person. I didn't like parts of this because I'm realizing I'm not a big fan of thrillers. BUT I did like this one for subverting a lot of the usual thriller tropes and also for the feminism.

    1. Exactly. I loved Doller's blog post about writing "unlikable" characters, though. So I think it was just a combo of some of the overly woo-woo boy thing and my general surliness that made me dislike this.


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