Saturday, May 8, 2010

Review: Jekel Loves Hyde

Jekel Loves Hyde
By Beth Fantaskey
Publication date: May 3, 2010
My rating: **

My review:

Jill Jekel is still reeling from the murder of her dad when she finds out that he has used up the money set aside for her to attend college. When she is offered the opportunity to compete for a prestigious chemistry scholarship, Jill reluctantly teams up with Tristen Hyde to recreate the formula from Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. For Jill success means she won't have to worry about college. For Tristen, it means being free of the murderous monster within.

Jekel Loves Hyde is based on the idea that the characters of Jekyll and Hyde existed. Jill is distantly related to Dr. Jekyll while Tristen is a direct descendent of Mr. Hyde, cursed to become the same monster unless he can find the cure. Jill is a timid but smart character. She has the responsibility of taking care of her mom who has been unable to cope with the loss of her husband and is suffering a breakdown. Jill also has to deal with reduced financial circumstances and the pain of her dad's murder and betrayal. While I liked Jill's character somewhat, I really wished she'd had more spunk and personality. Instead Jill can be a doormat where her best friend Becca is concerned. She doesn't defend herself against the mean treatment of her nemesis Darcy and Darcy's idiotic boyfriend. She also lets Tristen boss her around sometimes. While they are working on the experiment, Jill accidentally ingests a potion that makes her behave wildly and wantonly. This version of Jill isn't likeable either but fortunately the scenes with wild Jill are pretty brief. By the time the end of the novel comes around thankfully Jill has grown a backbone and shows some spunk. I enjoyed seeing her deal with Darcy.

Tristen is a complicated character. He is handsome, musically talented, and brooding. Tristen has to deal with a demanding father, a dark secret in his past, and a very dark future if the experiment fails. He can show kindness to Jill and genuinely wants to help her and her mother but at the same time he can be cold. Some of his actions are controlled by the monster like when he nearly takes advantage of Jill or has violent outbursts at school but he can also be dangerously calculating on his own. He purposely drugs Jill's mom at one point to keep her from finding out about their experiments. At that moment he is not controlled by the monster but himself. Jill orders him to leave and he does regret his actions later. Because of the duality of Tristen's behavior I did not care for Tristen and Jill's relationship for much of the book. There were some times when I did like the relationship between Jill and Tristen, particularly when Tristen was being the kinder version of himself. Unfortunately it didn't last long. I felt that the chemistry between them is ruined by the monster aspect of Tristen’s character.

I loved Beth Fantaskey's take on vampire romance in Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side which featured a strong heroine and a likeable hero so I was really looking forward to reading Jekel Loves Hyde. While I was disappointed with the romance I did like the suspense as Jill and Tristen raced to find a cure and had to deal with some unexpected villains. I kept reading because I wanted to know what would happen. I even came to care about Jill and Tristen and I wanted him to be cured. I thought both characters showed promise but for me this was just an okay book because of the problems with the romance. I really wish I could have liked Jekel Loves Hyde more than I did. I do think Beth Fantaskey is a talented writer and I am still looking forward to reading the sequel to Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side.


  1. That's too bad you were dissapointed with the romance, I also really liked Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Darkside. Great review, I love the cover.

  2. Insightful review! I have a better idea of what this novel is about.
    I agree with you... I dont like doormat qualities in characters: hero or heroine.

    From your review I almost get the idea that perhaps the author was trying for a lovable bad boy persona.
    I wonder if their will be a sequel seems like towards the end Jill has grown and perhaps there will be more growth if there is a book 2.

    Love the review!=)

  3. I was very interested by the title, and the cover is beautiful, but maybe I will pass on this one. Thanka.

  4. I recently read and reviewed this one too. I agree that the romance was not all that compelling, but it was a good read. I loved your detailed analysis of the characters.


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