I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Devil You Know by Trish Doller
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing Australia on June 2nd 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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Eighteen-year-old Arcadia wants adventure. Living in a tiny Florida town with her dad and four-year-old brother, Cadie spends most of her time working, going to school, and taking care of her family. So when she meets two handsome cousins at a campfire party, she finally has a chance for fun. They invite her and friend to join them on a road trip, and it's just the risk she's been craving-the opportunity to escape. But what starts out as a fun, sexy journey quickly becomes dangerous when she discovers that one of them is not at all who he claims to be. One of them has deadly intentions.
A road trip fling turns terrifying in this contemporary story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.
I’ve seen The Devil You Know compared to Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick, a comparison I don’t think is fair because The Devil You Know is, to me, a much richer narrative. Both deal with a trip and a kidnapping. But where Black Ice was implausible and problematic, The Devil You Know takes its characters and their intentions seriously, stretching them to the limits and breaking point.
Where The Devil You Know shines is in Arcadia’s character building. She’s smart and sensible, albeit doing something for once in her life that’s a little risky and scary, and the plot doesn’t sacrifice this aspect of her characterisation for the sake of moving things along. Nor does it require any twisting of Noah and Matt’s characters for the story to end as it does. This is in stark contrast to Black Ice which required a suspension of disbelief that could have been used to build a bridge.
It’s a sensual novel, taking its time to get to the action with plenty of sexual tension along the way, vivid writing and rich story telling. It doesn’t skimp on the details although readers who want a faster paced story, may find themselves getting restless waiting for the action.
I loved Arcadia and Noah’s relationship the most. That was my ship, and I thought the suspense regarding his character was really well done. Those two were on fire! I mean. Like, douse them with a hose or something, guys. Doller knows how to write her delicious smut, if ever I saw it.
It’s the writing and dialogue that is so on point. Arcadia is a teenager but her narrative imparts a lot of wisdom that I wish I’d had at her age. A no-nonsense approach to sexism and sex that left me applauding her at every turn. Rather like a proud mother hen, I couldn’t help but cluck with happiness every time she put a thoughtless boy in his place.
Yet it’s also my only complaint about the book. Sometimes it felt a lot like Arcadia was lecturing. A character built to say all the right things and to think all the good feminist thoughts. This didn’t last, it was just a passing fancy of mine. For the most part she felt older than her eighteen years but that would be good character building, considering her background.
Okay, I lied, I have one other complaint. It was simply too easy to guess who the bad guy was. And it wasn’t a small suspicion either. It was basically, “This is the bad guy.” And I knew it the whole way through. I wish that aspect had been a little less obvious. A little more clouded.
I admit that when it got to the scary, intense times, I did a little bit of skipping. It was so tense for me that it was hard to read. I kept freaking out. Let’s just say it was a really difficult portion of the book for me to delve into.
The book is romantic without sacrificing its dignity to the realm of implausibility. It is finely crafted and sexy as hell. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I think you will too.