Dangerous Boy by Mandy Hubbard is a retelling of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. How awesome is that? I haven’t read the original, but I have seen the Wishbone episode (that counts for something, right?). Since it is the season for reading all that is spooky and sinister, I dove right into this one. Did it fulfill my Halloween read craving? Yes. Was it a fantastic read otherwise? Not so much, I’m afraid.
Y’all, the MC is a WEENIE. Oh my goodness, Harper is afraid of everything. I mean, in both her and Mandy Hubbard’s defense, she does have her reasons for holding back from things. But it was taken to SUCH an extreme level – every single time her friends or boyfriend try to do anything with her, she whines about being afraid. It is really hard to respect (or even like) a protagonist like that. About all I could muster up for her is pity, and that just kinda makes it worse, doesn’t it? Sigh.
Oh, and another thing. When things start hitting the fan, though, she refuses to tell anyone or ask for help. Uh, really? The girl too afraid to drive on the freeway doesn’t want help when she is being stalked? Seriously you guys. I basically hated her character. She was not fleshed out very successfully – or consistently – at all.
The other biggest issue for me in Dangerous Boy was the writing. I’ve already mentioned that I felt Harper’s characterization was poorly done. The dialogue was also less than impressive for me. It got pretty clunky at times, especially in the beginning. I thought more than once about setting this one aside and adding it to the ranks of the other DNF reads.
So, why didn’t I give up on Dangerous Boy – and why shouldn’t you? Because you guys. This book is a CREEP FEST. Hopefully you know a little about the plot of the original classic story since I’m not talking about it here. The atmosphere was super ominous throughout the entire read and built up suspense layer by layer. Where Harper’s characterization suffered, Logan’s was pretty stellar. Something is so off about him from page 1 – but at the same time, it is so believable and easy to accept why Harper keeps trusting him.
When things finally come to a head at the end, I was not disappointed. The conclusion was worthy of all the build up. It was very edge-of-your-seat-bite-your-fingernails. I don’t know how true it is to the original, but it sure worked for me!
To Sum it Up:
- Harper, the MC, is very hard to like. She wasn’t written very well and has way too many fears to be a strong female lead easy to root for.
- The writing fell short in other areas too – the dialogue didn’t flow very smoothly at all, especially in the beginning.
- I think other areas suffered because all the focus seemed to be placed on the plot and fleshing out Logan’s character. Not a very well rounded read, but definitely great to pick up for Halloween!
- Read the original The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. Hey, why not? It’s free and super short!
- Watch the Wishbone episode! Link to Part 1. (You’re welcome.)