Title: Made for You by Melissa Marr
Published by: HarperCollins
Publication date: September 16th 2014
Genres: Southern Gothic, Young Adult
Bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely books Melissa Marr’s first contemporary YA novel is a twisted southern gothic tale of obsession, romance, and murder. A killer is obsessed with Eva Tilling. Can she stop him, or will he claim her?
When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she’s confused—who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why? But before she can consider the question, she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her. While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old flame, reappears, and the two must traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva’s power to keep her friends—and themselves—alive. But while Eva and Nate grow closer, the killer grows increasingly frantic in his attempt to get to Eva.
For the first time, New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr has applied her extraordinary talent to contemporary realism. Chilling twists, unrequited obsession, and high-stakes romance drive this Gothic, racy thriller—a story of small-town oppression and salvation. Melissa’s fans, and every YA reader, will find its wild ride enthralling.
Hmm, I’m never good at the bio bit. I used to teach college & bartend, now I write novels. I love to meet new people, to hear their stories, to walk through new streets and see new vistas. I enjoy art in all its guises–graffiti, surrealist paintings, classic sculptures, tattoos, interesting buildings, Renoir, photography . . . Art & nature, they feed my soul & thus my muse.
I received an Advance reading copy of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
My first Melissa Marr novel and I can honestly and happily say that she’s made herself a new fan. From the very first page you’re sucked into this southern gothic-ish setting of a town where a lot of the old beliefs and rules still apply in this day and age. Told in multiple povs, which is not something I usually like and not every writer can pull off – but Marr did.
Made For You tells the story of how Eva Tilling – the town’s “royalty” because she comes from one of the wealthiest families – is run over by an unknown driver and her trying to put the pieces back together and find out who the driver was. Eva is yet another character in a YA book that I consider to be an unreliable narrator as she has no recollection of how the accident took place or if it even was an accident. In this case it was not.
Eva is being targeted by someone who is obsessed with her to the point where he would kill her (or attempt to) if she does something displeasing in his eyes. She just doesn’t know it. Yet. After her accident she discovers something is different about her, she is able to foresee a person’s death when she touches them, just a dash of the paranormal added in for spice – but it goes beyond that because it’s almost as if she is that person as she sees it happening in her mind. Which is all very unsettling as she struggles to decipher what is real and what is not. During this time she is able to rekindle her friendship with her childhood best friend, Nate, who has a reputation in the town, but I adored him. Reputation or not. As these two become friends again and their relationship develops into more the killer becomes more desperate.
I really liked these characters. Being teens who are privileged and some who are not, I usually have issues with how they are written, but Marr manages to balance them out well. Eva being from a wealthy family didn’t judge others who were dubbed as beneath her. She was pretty normal in my opinion. I also liked Nate very, very much. He’s not your typical teen boy in that while he behaves as the typical guy who doesn’t give damn, he actually does care on the inside. Also, Eva’s best friend, Grace. Man, I loved her as a friend. Normally some may call Grace who is of Asian descent to be the token person of color friend, that was so not the case here.
I don’t usually read very many mystery YA novels but this was a cut above the rest in my mind in comparison to the ones that I have read. I was sucked in from the very first page with Marr’s writing and her heroine not being your typical bratty, rich girl. I was intrigued by the setting and the town’s behaviour towards those they consider outcasts. I was also very captivated by the point of view of the killer. It was interesting to really see what he was thinking and also trying to figure out who he was because I had no idea! I normally suss out who the bad guy is very early but in this case I was on the edge of my seat, tense and anxiously reading to see who he was and what he’d do next.
Enjoyable, riveting and a page turner from start to end. I highly recommend.