Thursday, June 27, 2013

Review: Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne

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I received this book for free from Sourcebooks Fire in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah JayneTruly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on July 2nd 2013
Genres: Thriller, YA
Source: Sourcebooks Fire
Buy on Amazon

Sawyer Dodd has it all. She’s a star track athlete, choir soloist, and A-student. And her boyfriend is the handsome all-star Kevin Anderson. But behind the medals, prom pictures, and perfect smiles, Sawyer finds herself trapped in a controlling, abusive relationship with Kevin. When he dies in a drunk-driving accident, Sawyer is secretly relieved. She’s free. Until she opens her locker and finds a mysterious letter signed by “an admirer” and printed with two simple words: “You’re welcome.”

A fun and creepy thriller, Truly, Madly, Deadly is a perfectly entertaining read. It does take some suspension of disbelief in certain aspects of the story, but I can see it being a hit by fans of the genre nonetheless.

Sawyer’s boyfriend’s death was only the beginning, it seems. Since the accident, Sawyer seems to have taken on a stalker who’s set on framing her for all the accidents-ruled-murders that have been happening in her town. Aside from the aforementioned, we also have the topics of bullying and abusive relationship that Sawyer has to learn to fight through. What I liked the most about Sawyer’s character was her voice; how she dealt with what was happening felt very real and emotionally gripping. The flashbacks to her past had my heart breaking for her. However, I do prefer my characters strong and feisty, and Sawyer vomited and passed out a little too much for my taste. It’s understandable in her situation, but still. The side characters were just average, and I did feel like some were included to serve the lone purpose of having extra suspects to try to derail us. It did work to a certain extent as I suspected most of them at least once, but it becomes apparent who the true culprit is if you put your mind to it. The author uses a familiar (to me) angle that makes it easy to pinpoint when you’ve read as many murder mysteries as I have.

As I mentioned, the plot is very entertaining with a lot of creepy instances that you can expect from your run-of-the-mill stalker mystery. It’s also a quick read with a steady pacing that makes it easy to fly through. There were a few things from the plot that stood out as a bit unrealistic to me, though. For instance, Sawyer wants to know more about a few of the crimes so, at the police station after falsely claiming an interview (homework) was left for her, she is given the OK by an office to rummage freely through another cop’s work desk, after which she finds and takes confidential case files and other personal police papers that were laid-out on it. No way would an officer allow a teenage girl to “look for her homework” on a detective’s desk by herself like that. Yes I know this is very specific but I watch a lot of cop shows and it annoyed me. Another thing I have difficulty believing is how the killer could have achieved one of the killings. It would take some serious ability to put a dead body in such a position by oneself. I’m not saying it’s impossible with adrenaline and careful planning, but it’s still a stretch – in this case especially but I can’t argue this further without spoilers.

Truly Madly Deadly did have its problems for me, but in the end I can honestly say that I had fun reading it. It’s definitely a decent thriller that amounted to a few chills and thrills along the way.


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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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34 Responses to “Review: Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne”

  1. Nick

    I’m currently one chapter into the book and I like it so far, but it’s in the 3rd person! Bleh! >.< I find it so much harder to connect with my characters when it's in the 3rd person. Anyways, this does sound like a creepy mysterious read. I can tell that the parts that are illogical will annoy me, but I'm glad was forewarned about it from your review.
    Fab review, Giselle!

  2. Mary @ BookSwarm

    Ooh, I’m just not sure about this one. I do like a good mystery and stalkers are always creepy but the abusive relationship (granted, he’s dead but still) and a couple other things make it a little squidgy to me.

  3. Megan K.

    Eep, I’m definitely looking forward to the creepiness factor for this one! I’ve also noticed the trend where MCs seem to pass out a lot. I mean, I know they’re going through some tough times, but sometimes it’s so unrealistic the amount of times “darkness overcomes [them].” I still think I’ll enjoy this one, though, despite Sawyer and her weak stomach.

  4. Amy

    This one sounds good. I am very perceptive when reading books (or watching movies) and am always like, “That isn’t possible!” It can really get to me after a while if there is too much that seems far fetched. This seems like it was pretty entertaining though, and in general pretty good.

  5. Siiri

    Since I’m not like Rose Hathaway or Katniss Everdeen kind of strong then I prefer my heroines as you–strong. I think the premise sounds awesome and it could very well be appealing to me, but I don’t know.. It doesn’t scream ‘READ ME’ to me. I agree with the detective and homework part though *__* Wth. LOL. Anyhow, I’m unsure about this one, but I’ll look around for other reviews. Maybe I’ll give it a try eventually 🙂

  6. Jen (Books and Other Happy Ever Afters)

    I was totally looking forward to this one but it after reading your review, it just seems kind of meh. The characters seem okay and decent for a novel, but nothing memorable or exciting. And shoot, the plot was what I was excited about! Sure it’s at a fast and steady pace, but the fact that it’s not really realistic makes me a bit disappointed. I may still pick this book up, but thank for the honest review, dear!

  7. Hollie

    I was really excited to get myself a copy of this one, but I’m disappointed that the main character isn’t as strong as I hoped she would have been! I do like murder mysteries, even if the culprit is kind of obvious (maybe because I’m kind of dense when it comes to the obvious, haha!), so I don’t think that would bother me too much. I’m still looking forward to reading Truly, Madly, Deadly, but I’ll probably be going into it with lower expectations than I originally had. Thanks for the honest review! 🙂

  8. Alexa Y.

    This feels like the year of the thriller/mystery books! It sounds like a pretty good one, if I’m being honest. I’m curious to see how everything pans out, even if there are elements that are unbelievable or too convenient.

  9. Molli

    Ugh, I hate when logistic stuff really throws the book off and makes you go “whaaaaaaat.” I’m a crime show fiend (I love love love Bones and Criminal Minds) so I wonder if I’d have the same issues as you did? Hard to say, though I am looking forward to reading this one simply from the premise. Glad you found some things to like, Giselle!

  10. Jen @ Pop! Goes The Reader

    I actually said “Oh my God” aloud when I finished reading that synopsis. It really sounds like a chilling premise. I absolutely love a good thriller, and I’m more than willing to suspend my disbelief to a certain extent for a quick thrill-ride story of this nature.

    That said, this novel does sound a little formulaic, and I worry I would experience some of the same issues I had when I read Gretchen McNeil’s Ten. I’m still very interested in reading it, but after your review I’ll likely borrow it from the library as opposed to purchasing it.

  11. Lena

    This book looks like my cup of tea… haha I have been wanting to read this book as soon as I heard of it. Its the first tim I heard that the MC is a little weak… so I will keep an open mind. Thanks for great review Giselle!

  12. Ariella Lee

    Hmm I don’t read that much thriller and this doesn’t sound all that good to me. The story sounds entertaining but I’m pretty OCD over u realistic things so I don’t think I should put myself through this book. Great review as always, Giselle!

    – Ariella @ Secrets of Lost Words

  13. Christianna Marks

    I’m glad that you liked this one, even if it wasn’t perfect! The whole thing in the police station does sound a bit odd, but it still sounds like you liked the book. Great review girl!

  14. Bellas Shelf

    It sounds like a fun book but not entirely realistic. That’s ok. Sometimes its good to just let the fantasy fly. lolz. My goodness you can barely get into the lobby of a PD without being questioned imagine a kid rummaging in a desk unattended?! lolz

  15. Melanie

    Thrilling and entertaining plots are something I love, after awesome main characters. Which also sounds amazing, Sawyer seems fairly likeable. Nice to know that this isn’t awfully disappointing.

    Fantastic review, Giselle!

  16. Shooting Stars Mag

    I really like the summary- going off of that, I’d want to read the book. Based on your review though, I’m not sure. I hate that it doesn’t feel realistic in parts…and it just seems a little too “light” in some aspects for the summary.

  17. vivalabooks

    After reading that synopsis, I was dying to get my hands on this one, but now I think I’m going to put it on the back burner. It sounds like a pretty creepy thriller, but being unrealistic can be really annoying. Thanks for the honest review! I might pick this up if I’m in the mood for a creepy, quick read.