Title: Made for You
Author: Melissa Marr
Published by: HarperCollins
Publication date: September 16th 2014
Genres: Southern Gothic, Young Adult
Made for You
Harper, September 2014
From the publisher—
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?
It seems impossible that anyone would have it out for the town darling. Thanks to her family’s distinguished history and her own unassailable reputation in old-money Jessup, Eva is universally liked. But she has little time to consider the question when she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her.
Eva is struggling to understand just what these visions mean when a slew of murders takes place back home. The victims, all classmates, are discovered alongside eerie messages that tie the incidents to her. There is a killer on the loose, and he is after Eva.
While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old friend, reappears. The two 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 determined killer grows increasingly frantic in his attempt to get to Eva.
I met Melissa Marr years ago back in the days when my bookstore was open. She had come to the store for a signing event with her debut book, Wicked Lovely, the first in a young adult dark faerie series. The event itself wasn’t overwhelmingly successful—few signings are, especially for debut authors and more especially in my town—but we had a chance to talk and, although we couldn’t have been much more different from each other, we shared a love of books and a desire to encourage teens to read. I fell in love with her work that day and I’ve done my best since then to keep up with her books. When I heard she was branching out with a young adult mystery thriller, I was completely intrigued with the thoughts of what she could do with it.
Ms. Marr has always had an equally adept hand at plot and character development and Made for You is no exception. Leaving aside the element of Eva becoming a sort of psychic, this is a strong piece of crime fiction. Having been a mystery reader for many, many years, I picked up on a few minor problems with the overall plot but the author really has pulled together a complex story that kept me guessing nearly the whole way through while it also caused a couple of sleepless nights. The town of Jessup is “the sort of place where name and money matter too much” and that atmosphere is an integral part of the nightmare that has begun but how could anyone predict such horror?
Spending much of the time in Judge’s head was both disturbing and energizing and certainly increased the creep factor. He—or she—is a nebulous sort of evil and each chapter with him is more unnerving than the last. From the very beginning, I felt the hollowness in Eva, a girl who has lost someone who meant the world to her but who also just doesn’t seem to fit into her surroundings or among her life-long friends anymore. After being run down, she has a whole new set of questions and, as she begins to learn some painful truths, it’s easy to see in her intelligence and determination, as well as her curiosity, the woman she is about to become.
When it comes to best friends, few can beat Grace, a girl who truly wants Eva to be well and happy. It’s Nate, though, who captured my heart with his prickliness and vulnerability. Once he allows himself to open up a little, he morphs into a boy who has reasons to be standoffish but yet is willing to take chances. I really, really liked this kid.
As far as I can tell, Made for You truly is a standalone but I hope Ms. Marr will continue writing crime fiction—she does it too well to let this be her only foray into the genre.
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, September 2014.
About the Author
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.
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Tour-wide giveaway (US & Canada)
All 5 of Melissa’s Wicked Lovely books (paperback)
The Desert Tale – Wicked Lovely companion book (paperback)
A hardcover copy of Made For You
Enter the drawing here.