Monday, May 27, 2013

Review + Giveaway: Bitter Angel by Megan Hand

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Review + Giveaway: Bitter Angel by Megan HandBitter Angel by Megan Hand
on April 1st 2013
Genres: Contemporary, NA, Thriller
Source: Megan Hand
Buy on Amazon

Torn between two realities.
A choice that will mean life or death.
But she won’t know anything… until she wakes up.

College sophomore, Lila Spencer lived Friday night twice. She doesn’t know how or why, just that she did. As if she split in half and went in two different directions.

Out clubbing with her friends, Heather and Nilah, the girls rock it out and party hard. What begins as an innocent night will lead to a deadly fight for their lives, and Lila might be their only chance for survival.

In bed with her boyfriend, Jay, Lila is safe and warm as she drifts to sleep in the arms of the man she loves. Until she is sucked into a horrifying nightmare of her friends' deaths.

As the sunlight warms her face on Saturday morning, the two scenarios collide. But there can be only one outcome. Will she wake up in her warm bed with Jay by her side, devastated and grieving for her friends? Or was she there to save them?

The answer is just the beginning.

Bitter Angel was a very mixed bag for me. The first part would easily get a 4 stars; it was intriguing and exciting, it even had my heart pounding with pure adrenaline. Unfortunately the second part left a little too much to be desired, garnering only a 2 if rated separately.

Let’s start at the beginning: After Lila decides to go out with her two best friends at a club, she never thought things would turn into a life or death situation involving gang rapes and abduction. What’s peculiar though, is she also remembers what happens if she had stayed home with her boyfriend, and that scenario was equally terrible. Although obviously not “realistic”, I found this to be very interesting. The abduction was a terrifying situation; all too real and with tons of intensity. The other reality, staying home and leaving her friends to themselves, evened this out with a sweet romantic night, but with its own consequence in the end. The action does plummet after these initial sequences, though, when Lila wakes up for her redo and the story switches gears. Mostly this next part contains exhausting inner dialogue, a lot of fidgeting, and even an instance of garbage eating.

Yes. Garbage eating. *shakes head still in disbelief* So Lila is spying on this guy, right, hiding out in a back alley, when hunger hits. It has been SO long – like, 8 hours!! – since she last ate that she can not fathom going another minute in hunger, so she jumps into the dumpster and searches through trash bags until she finds Chinese food… and eats it!

I think my barf just barfed!

“It’s smelly, but what leftover Chinese isn’t? I decide it’s fresh enough.”

Eeeh yeah no shit it’s smelly! Even if it was only a day old (which I very much doubt seeing as even the buildings on this street are rotting), it was likely amongst used condoms and dirty diapers. No one normal would resort to this unless they were seriously starving to death and trapped. Not someone who ate lunch the very same day! On the plus side, it has brought on random giggling fits for the past 2 days whenever I’m reminded of it. Though I doubt this was the intended reaction. Even ignoring the hobo habits, Lila doesn’t have the most common sense in all of this ordeal, diminishing the tension of the story greatly. It’s hard to be scared for someone who puts themselves in their own messes. It comes to no surprise that I’m not this girl’s biggest fan, however I can’t say I disliked her either. She does prove her strength and determination more than once which redeems her faults a little. Like I said: a mixed bag!

The plot itself veers away from the expected traumatic side of this story line and instead focuses on bringing justice down on sickening evil. I was both intrigued and, I admit, a little disappointed by this – I do thrive on those traumatic psychological thrillers – but it was still a refreshing change of direction for a story that could easily have been another same ol’. I was horrified yet completely immersed when we learn of what these people have been doing on a regular basis. Most of the horror takes place at the beginning of this book, but we get a great climactic ending that brings back a little of the excitement I was hoping would keep throughout.

While I have obvious complaints about this novel, I can’t ignore the fact that I was holding my breath during the first part, drowning in Lila’s fear and truly feeling her heart breaking in guilt and grief. Megan clearly excels at writing suspense and I will be watching for more from her!

3 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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32 Responses to “Review + Giveaway: Bitter Angel by Megan Hand”

  1. Christina K.

    LOVE multiple timelines with options. It’s too bad you didn’t like the half of it, but it’s still intriguing:)

    Thank you for this:)

  2. Amy

    I am reading this one really soon. It sounds good even with some stuff that seems extreme. I can’t wait to read it. 🙂 Too bad that the second half wasn’t as good as the first half, but I’m glad that you still liked it.

  3. Melanie

    I’m still not awfully intrigued by this book for some reason, it sucks that the second half ruined a book that could’ve been so suspenseful. I’ll probably stalk all the other blogs on the tour to see if it’s def. worth a try.

    Brilliant review as always, Giselle! <33

  4. Jenni @ Alluring Reads

    Ugh yeah, the garbage eating scene was just way too much for me. I can’t fathom how that was deemed necessary for the story at all, it just made it so unrealistic for me, really wish that was left out. I did really like the beginning of the story. I think the rest could have been stronger had she gone through with the night going out with the girls and tried to stop everything as it happened.

  5. Vivien

    This sounds like it could be a good read. Even though you had a few quibbles the fact that you were holding your breathe throughout is promising. Thanks for the review.

  6. Casey

    I think this could either be an excellent book or one that I can’t stand. *grin* I’ll give it a try soon. 😀

  7. Siiri

    I kinda skimmed your review since I won a copy on Amy’s blog and I wouldn’t want your review to cloud my judgement, however, that garbage part was so grose though. I still think the synopsis sounds good, the cover is still so very gorgeous and I hope some of these ticks of yours won’t bother me that much.

  8. Christianna Marks

    I won a copy of this awhile back, but I haven’t gotten a chance to read it! I think it sounds pretty awesome though. I wasn’t sure what it was about, but now I’m curios! Great review!

  9. Aman

    Eating food from trash? Really? EWW! Though I like that the suspense part was done right and the story was exciting enough in the beginning. I still want to give it a try sometime. Great review, Giselle!

  10. Jen (A Reading Daydreamer)

    OH MY GOSH. LOLing right now! That’s just. DISGUSTING. I’m a little turned off by the fact that the main character would do something SO STUPID, but the main plot story does sound pretty good. I’m always in for a thriller, and I’m glad that you enjoyed the first half of the story. I’ll have to look into more reviews for this book, but awesome review! 🙂

  11. Meghan

    This looks so great! Thanks for sharing with us! I adore that cover as well.
    Books like this make me wonder whether the author had any influence from friends and family while writing it.
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    mestith at gmail dot com

  12. Megan K.

    Aw, I was actually really looking forward to this! Yeah, I don’t read many GOOD psychological thrillers, so it’s half disappointing that the plot didn’t focus so much on that. It does still sound interesting, though, so I might check this out in the future. 🙂

  13. Alexa Y.

    This sounds very strange, but not in a bad way. I’m not a huge fan of thrillers, so I can’t say I’d read this one. BUT you did manage to make it sound fairly interesting, and that’s definitely something that makes me want to reconsider.