Title: Made for You by Melissa Marr
Publication Date: September 16, 2014
Genre: YA, Suspense-Thriller
Synopsis (mine): Eva Tilling is a reluctant Southern sweetheart, until someone decided to mow her down with their car. Now, Eva’s life is turning upside down. She discovers her boyfriend is shady (no surprise), her former best-friend and crush is actually not as totally screwed up as she thought (surprise), and oh yea, there’s a killer on the loose. That coupled with a new gift for seeing how people will die is enough to make anyone crazy, but when its revealed the killer is fixated on Eva she decides to put her crazy time aside and focus her new gift on helping to stop him.
Gah! I love a suspenseful YA. Give me a psychopathic killer, some mystery, a dash of romance, and a heroine with an unusual gift any day of the week. Couple all those things with my absolute adoration of Melissa Marr and you have something I’ll want to sit down and read.
Suspenseful YA is hard to write right (haha). I’ve read a lot of books recently which tote themselves as the next “Body Finder,” series and they have yet to live up to my expectations. I loved “Made for You,” because while it does have similarities to ‘The Body Finder,” I didn’t feel like it was trying to BE “The Body Finder.” I found myself able to engage in the plot without comparing the two at every turn.
One thing I will suggest is not reading ahead. I have a bad habit of doing this and I happened to open my “read ahead” page right where the identity of the killer is revealed. #badamanda.
Let’s break down this down here:
What I liked: There seems to be a reoccurring theme lately of the “popular girl” being a fringe character. As a community, YA is moving away from the mousy, quiet, geek girl and towards a more realistic female. While I’m a fan of this movement because there is nothing more I like than reading about a girl who can be feminine and still kick butt; I still feel that some authors aren’t sure how to do this. Marr is not one. Eva may be ‘Miss Popularity’ but she’s a normal teenage girl trying to figure it all out. The standout moment for me was when Eva wakes up with a scared face from her ‘accident,’ and immediately worries that she’ll never be pretty again. That’s a totally normal human response. Yea, you may be happy to be alive, but worrying about possible disfigurement is not outside the realm of possible concerns. I don’t even think it’s incredibly vain; I do think it is an incredibly human moment, which I feel like we do not get enough of in Young Adult.
So, now that I’ve discussed Eva, I have to go onto NATE. Again, he’s a flawed guy with some familial issues, but he’s also exceedingly kind. I want a Nate. Where can I find one. As far as romantic leads go, he was a good one. The phrase “You are worth it Eva,” left me in swoon city. Now, I could go on-and-on about how strong this novel was as a suspenseful YA, but I’ll focus on just one more thing here.
The ending. I have a love/hate relationship with this ending. But, what I loved the most is that the boy doesn’t really save the day. I mean, he helps, but Eva definitely takes no prisoners. She may be a Southern Belle but even on crutches she’s totally got this.
What I didn’t like: I wanted to know more about the background of the killer. Maybe that speaks to America’s fascination with the depraved, but I felt like Marr dropped some hints that definitely peaked my interest. Aside from this whole situation, I wasn’t crazy about the ending. Up until the time the killer pops into Eva’s house waving around his crime photos I was totally on board, but after that things deteriorated for me. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy them, I just didn’t feel like the ending held the same strength as the rest of the book.
Overall, if you like suspenseful YA than pick this up. If that’s not your thing, you should still give this a try. 4/5