Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Review: Dark Eyes by William Richter

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Dark Eyes
William Richter
Release date: March 15th, 2012
by Razorbill

Goodreads / Purchase

Wally was adopted from a Russian orphanage as a child and grew up in a wealthy New York City family. At 15, her obsessive need to rebel led her to life on the streets. Now the 16-year-old is beautiful and hardened, and she’s just stumbled across the possibility of discovering who she really is. “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” for teens, this debut thriller introduces a new heroine.

*A copy was provided by Penguin Canada for review purposes*
When I see a book being compared to another, especially a well loved one such as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, I’m always skeptical on how it can actually live up to such a claim. Fast paced and filled with conspiratorial twists, Dark Eyes reminded me of Dragon Tattoo before I actually remembered that it said as much on the blurb.

A rebel roughing it on the street, Wally is trying to locate her biological mother after getting a mysterious envelope containing strange messages as well as an expensive gem. However, someone else, someone very dangerous, is following the same trail. The story immediately begins with a high action murder scene, fastening the book with an ominous vibe. Then we move on to meeting our unusual protagonist- Wally. With incredible confidence and excellent street smarts, Wally is a particularly bad-ass heroine. Her ability to handle herself becomes quite apparent during the many impressive fight scenes throughout the novel. She is not your average teenager and this is the main reason why I enjoyed this so much. At the very start I wasn’t too sure how much I would like the story, but it didn’t take long until I was truly captivated by the eccentricity of Wally’s whole situation.

Russian mob bosses, hidden identities, stolen riches- Dark Eyes has a slew of exciting plot-lines that are sure to enthrall you, along with its never-ending twists and non stop action. True originality is not something commonly found in the YA genre nowadays, I was thus thrilled at how Dark Eyes stands out from anything else I’ve read with its authentic grittiness. Even though the first half left me wondering why Wally would chose a life on the streets in trade of her wealthy home life, by the end of the book I understood the reasoning behind her choices and behavior; showing us how deeply rooted this whole story really is.

Dark Eyes is abrasive, it’s fearless, and it’s clever. Would I recommend it to everybody? Probably not. I would recommend it for those who like things outside the box. A book in a prose depicting such great detail, you will see the story come alive in front of your eyes. But, also, a book written by an author who is not afraid to take risks and become just a little different.  

4 Hot Espressos
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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30 Responses to “Review: Dark Eyes by William Richter”

  1. Amy

    Dark Eyes sounds like a book I would really like. I like dark and gritty books. It sounds like Wally is a really well written character too, and who doesn’t like a great badass female protagonist.. Awesome review!

  2. Jessi

    This cover has caught my attention a couple of times, but it’s never stayed on my radar. However, you mention that it’s a bit outside the box and I tend to really enjoy those kinds of things. The BA heroine and the action-packed story sound fantastic. Great review, Giselle!

  3. Carina

    Hmm… I was never really sure whether to add this one to my to-read list, because it doesn’t sound like something I’d usually like to read (never read THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO because of the same reason). But you – and many others – seem to really like DARK EYES, so I’m starting to think about adding it to my to-read list after all. Thanks a lot for your honest and great review! 🙂

    Fictional Distraction

  4. Giselle

    Thanks ladies!
    @Amy: If you like dark and gritty contemps you’d like this I’m sure!

    @Carina: It’s definitely different and you should really read Dragon Tattoo it’s a mystery (girl disappeared 40 some years ago) it’s very well written. If you like mysteries you’d really enjoy it I’m sure! This is like a milder version of it with a different plot.

  5. Patricia's Particularity

    I am always very tentative to books that compare themselves to huge hits (like Kiss Crush Collide did to Perfect Chemistry – not anything like each other). I’ve only read a few other reviews on this book but all were positive. Maybe I need to read outside of my box a bit 🙂

  6. J.R.

    I pre-ordered this book on a whim and now I can hardly wait to get to it. Gritty and dark seems to be right up my alley these days! Great review 🙂

  7. Shellie

    Great review. I started this one then somehow got distracted with another book. I’ll have to pick it back up this weekend =)

  8. Shellie

    Great review. I started this one then somehow got distracted with another book. I’ll have to pick it back up this weekend =)

  9. Nikki-ann

    I’ve not heard of this one before (and I must be one of the few people on the planet not to have read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo!), but this sounds pretty good. I may have the check it out, thanks 🙂

  10. Giselle

    Thanks guys!

    @JR: I hope you love it! Great impulse buy for sure!

    @Nikki-Ann: Oh Dragon Tattoo is awesome you should get to it! 🙂

  11. Candace

    I’ve been wondering about this one, I hadn’t seen a review yet. It does sound really interesting! I may have to keep my eyes out for it.

  12. Mimi Valentine

    I know what you mean, Giselle!! Whenever a book is compared to another one that I loved, I develop these really high expectations for it that’s probably not fair to the book LOL. x) But I’m glad that this one didn’t disappoint! I love that Wally isn’t your average teenager — she sounds like the kind of girl I’d love to hang out with in school! 🙂

    Amazing review as always, Giselle! <3 As a girl who likes things outside of the box, your recommendation hit home! Definitely going to read this! 😉

  13. Danny

    WoW, this definitely sounds very very intriguing. Specially your last few sentences totalyl sold me on this one. Outside the box? Fearless? Clever? Yes, I want this! Plus, the cover is awesome:)

    Oh and I might be the only one who never read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – yep shame on me…

  14. Ivy

    Nice review! Dark Eyes seems kind of creepy for me. I haven’t picked the book up because of it. Maybe I will…thanks for the review!

    (I do like hidden identities! :O)

  15. K R Weinert

    Fab review, Original’s something you have to respect, like you said that’s not something commonly found in YA. So there’s been a few books that really stand out from the rest. This sounds wonderful!

  16. Zoey Talbon

    I’ve been meaning to read this and I keep forgetting about it. I need to remember!! I’m glad it’s something outside the box, sounds very original. Great review, Giselle!

  17. Rebecca (Kindle Fever)

    Ohhh, I’ve been so curious about this one! I think it looks super good and I’m glad you enjoyed it. Recommended to those who like things outside the box? Hmmm… That makes me super intrigued! Definitely usually me. Lol. I’ll have to take a closer look at this no doubt! Great review:)

  18. Lexie

    I love this review. 😀 Sadly, I have not yet read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, so I cannot make comparisons, but this one sounds really wonderful. I love anything that can attempt and pull off something genuinely original, and I love heroines that can fight for themselves, so I think I’ll definitely be a fan of this book.

  19. Alexa

    This sounds perfectly intriguing! Though I wasn’t a particularly big fan of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I think I might like this one, especially as it’s targeted to a YA audience. Thanks for the great review!

  20. Maja

    You are so right about original books being so rare, Giselle! This sounds exactly like something I’d enjoy, since it’s both action packed and unusual, and certainly not formulaic.
    Thanks so much for the review. Off to order a copy! 🙂

  21. Sophia

    This book sounds great! I’m glad it rose up to the claim of being compared to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. 🙂 This book sounds like it’s packed with action and mystery–love it! Happy to hear you enjoyed this book, Giselle! Wonderful review 🙂