Half in Love with Death by Emily Ross

Title: Half in Love with Death

Author: Emily Ross

Publisher:  Merit Ross

Format: eBook

Publication Date: December 16, 2015

Overall: Rating on 5

Source:

Finalist for Best YA Novel in the International Thriller Writers Organization’s 2016 Thriller Awards

It’s the era of peace and love in the 1960s, but nothing is peaceful in Caroline’s life. Since her beautiful older sister disappeared, fifteen-year-old Caroline might as well have disappeared too. She’s invisible to her parents, who can’t stop blaming each other. The police keep following up on leads even Caroline knows are foolish. The only one who seems to care about her is Tony, her sister’s older boyfriend, who soothes Caroline’s desperate heart every time he turns his magical blue eyes on her.

Tony is convinced that the answer to Jess’s disappearance is in California, the land of endless summer, among the street culture of runaways and flower children. Come with me, Tony says to Caroline, and we’ll find her together. Tony is so loving, and all he cares about is bringing Jess home. And so Caroline follows, and closes a door behind her that may never open again, in a heartfelt thriller that never lets up.

This was an interesting story in that I felt like I knew where it was going the whole time, because I knew what had inspired it. Therefore I was pleasantly surprised that the ending was nothing like the story it was based on.

For the most part I enjoyed this book, although I will say that at times it was very tedious and felt like it just needed to move forward. Having Caroline spend so much time wavering back and forth when she has already told Tony they will find her sister together just felt repetitive. I understand it was to show all of Tony’s bad sides but those were pretty much on display already. I also didn’t like how none of these characters had any redeeming qualities. I guess you could argue Caroline wasn’t a terrible person, but she was still catty and mean at times. Her friends though, they were terrible. They were ratting her out for the sake of doing it, not because they were actually concerned about her. The parents in this story ought to be slapped. I’m sure this was common for this era, but you’d think they would have wised up after their first kid went missing.

It was well-written but there was a sense of disappointment. I felt like this story was going to be much darker, and in a way I’m disappointed that it wasn’t. While I didn’t want our main character to end up like those in the original story, I still expected a darkness that wasn’t really found anywhere. It made it hard to emotionally relate to Caroline or her family. I would give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

3/5 – Worth Reading

**Please Note: This review is my honest opinion and I did not receive monetary compensation from it.**

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“When I returned with her, things would be different. Maybe she would even be different. Maybe she’d be a person you could talk about without saying ‘if only.'” 
-Emily Ross