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review 2015-12-21 02:14
The Devil You Know by Trish Doller
The Devil You Know - Trish Doller

I had been eager to read author Trish Doller’sThe Devil You Know ever since I had read the novel’s synopsis. A murder mystery taking place out on the open road? Definitely sounded like a story with the potential to keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page. I saw a lot of mixed reviews but decided to find out just whatThe Devil You Know was all about.

Ever since her brother was born, Arcadia—Cadie—has been acting as his sole caregiver. Missing time off school regularly and doing just about everything in her power to give him everything he needs, nobody can blame her for wanting some time to herself. So when Cadie meets cousins Noah and Matt who offer to take her and a friend travelling all through Florida, she happily accepts. Both cousins fight for her attention and affection but something’s not right. When Cadie’s friend claims to have left to return back home nothing adds up. Cadie receives phone calls from people telling her things that all beg the question: who exactly are these boys she’s travelling with? And is it possible that they might just pose a bigger threat to her than she knows?

I was a big fan of Cadie’s character throughout reading The Devil You Know.While I did find that she was very naïve throughout the novel, her character held certain personality traits that I admired. They’re traits that I think plenty of readers will be able to relate to and find themselves able to place themselves in her shoes with ease. Cadie is an older sister in every sense of the word. Having raised her brother since he was a baby, Doller does an outstanding job of getting it across to the reader the lengths that Cadie would go to for her brother. Even after leaving him to go off with Noah and Matt, there is still that lingering thought in the back of her head that is oriented towards her brother. It was definitely what kept me inside of Cadie’s head and what kept me interested in her character.

While Doller’s protagonist was exciting, I found it difficult to stay invested in the storyline as the novel progressed. It was definitely a story that would hook you and then leave you waiting for that next hook. That being said there were plenty of instances reading where the novel would grow exciting and fast-paced and well written and then (after reaching a climatic/expository moment) stop. Having to constantly wait for those moments did leave me bored from time to time and often wondering if something good would happen next.

I had very high hopes for The Devil You Know and hoped that I would be faced with a plot twist that would leave me with my jaw dropping. The entire road trip that the novel is centered on is eluding towards a big reveal that I personally saw coming from a mile away. It was a bit disappointing but perhaps for readers who aren’t well-versed in reading between the lines, they’ll be hit with a surprising twist as to who the novel’s big bad really is.

I do think that The Devil You Know is a novel that readers who are just getting into YA will be interested in. It’s a story that has its grittier moments and is definitely good to test the thriller waters with. Readers who are fans of murder mysteries and thrillers will have a fun time reading The Devil You Know. Readers who are looking for a novel that holds romance elements should also give it a go.

Source: www.chapter-by-chapter.com/review-the-devil-you-know-by-trish-doller
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review 2015-10-15 06:11
Review: The Devil You Know by Trish Doller
The Devil You Know - Trish Doller

Initial reaction: Are you freaking kidding me? What part of this was a good book, I'd honestly like to know. It was incredibly awkward, lacking suspense, and I hated the main character's complete senselessness and stupidity. I can understand characters making stupid decisions, I can also understand that the character is a teenager who may be completely oblivious to the scenario around her, but ye Gods, this was just...a complete waste of time.

Full review:

I was going to wait a night to write this, but I think I can expound on my thoughts properly since it upset me enough. Suffice to say, I (quite strongly) didn't like this book and I found it difficult to find any redeeming factors. Which is unfortunate because not only was I looking forward to a decent mystery/thriller/suspense, but I also found something to like in my last read from the author. I could almost forgive the fact that both heroines (both this and "Where the Stars Still Shine") in Doller's books are self-absorbed and act in ways that aren't so wise, but this ultimately culminated in a suspense thriller that proved to be a waste of time because everything was so unflinchingly awkward and obvious.

I'll admit that I followed the book along for a time because it's an easy read - very fluid prose for the most part. But Arcadia (Cadie) is a heroine that grates not necessarily because she's spontaneous and awkward (with a fair share of awkwardly humored moments in the text), but that she makes very obvious ill choices which are paint by numbers tedious and predictable. The story starts out with Cadie deciding to take some "me" time out for herself considering she's been taking care of her father and younger sibling since her mother died from cancer. Cadie decides to hop on a spontaneous road trip with two guys she just met and a friend whom she'd lost touch with some time before. The characterization development seems to progressively build, and at the very least (at the start) it would shape up to be a good way to know the characters and their quirks. Cadie herself is spontaneous in her voice and quite awkward. There were moments I was close to getting behind her in the beginning, but as the narrative wore on (to the point where it was tedious even with trying to establish chemistry with Noah and Matt), her purposeful cluelessness grated on me.

She doesn't think much about the odd man who suddenly went missing that ended up on the news (and later dead).

She doesn't think much about the fact that her friend - who was excited about taking a trip to Disney World - deciding to bail all of a sudden (and the poor friend is subsequently forgotten about through the rest of the narrative until a certain revelation).

She doesn't think that much about not contacting her father (though I understood this was rebellious on her part, it still felt odd since purposely thought in points "I should call him even with everything going on...").

In truth, Cadie just didn't think at all. Not until the last possible moment despite the warning signs being right in her face. I saw where this was going and it held no suspense for me. Plus, the characters themselves didn't feel that dimensional when it was all said and done. I couldn't even really think of it as steamy or sexy (granted, I couldn't find Cadie's losing her virginity in a graveyard sexy - but I was trying so hard to forgive things in this that I felt were just plain awkward in transition and translation, despite some notably intentional references to awkward dialogue and humor).

By the ending, I was just done. I got the fact that some of it was meant to be an homage and parody (to an extent), but it just failed miserably to me. I honestly wouldn't recommend it and I thought "Where the Stars Still Shine" was a much better effort than this. Very disappointed.

Overall score: 1/5 stars.


Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher.

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review 2015-09-11 00:00
The Devil You Know
The Devil You Know - Trish Doller

This review was originally posted on One Curvy Blogger

Here lately, I’ve read a lot of young adult thrillers. I’m not sure why I eat them up, probably because amazing young adult thrillers are so few and far between. The last two I picked up didn’t live up to my expectations, but The Devil You Know was a completely different experience! It wasn’t the most unpredictable — I wound up guessing the bad guy before he’s revealed — but the character’s wormed they way into my heart quickly and I found the book unbearable to put down.

Let me introduce you to Cadie, Noah, and Matt

Cadie is an adventurer stuck in middle-of-nowhere Florida. She spends what little free time she has planning trips to exotic places that she wants to explore. When she’s not day dreaming about leaving Florida, she plays a single parent to her four-year-old brother because her father became useless when her mother died three years ago.

Why should I have to change who I am so someone else will like me? Why should anyone have to do that? And why shouldn’t I call boys out on their bullshit?

I really liked Caddie. I have had minor issues with female leads in young adult novels these past couple of weeks, but I became instantly attached to this one. I think a lot of us can relate to the unwanted familial pressures of responsibility that can weigh a teenager down when all they want in life is independence. I know I certainly can. I also liked how honest she is with herself, and how strong and self-aware she comes off. Though she does make plenty of her own dumb mistakes (such as going on adventures with complete strangers), it’s hard to blame her for wanting to cut loose for once in her life.

When she meets Matt and Noah, handsome cousins that are camping their way through Florida for the summer, she can’t pass up the opportunity to do a little adventuring and to learn more about the mysterious hottie that is Matt’s older cousin, Noah.

If Matt was the Fourth of July, than Noah is a summer thunderstorm, and I’m at a loss to understand why. I know that I’m suffering from a case of lust at first sight, but isn’t that how it’s supposed to start? We shouldn’t just open up the boxes of our lives and dump them at each others feet. We should lift the flaps one by one and peek inside.

Whew! *fans self* I totally understand Caddie’s instant attraction to Noah — and those of you that have read The Devil You Know probably can, too. Noah is the older of the two mysterious cousins. He’s the bad boy type with delicious tattoos that loves the outdoors and wants more than anything to change his bad boy ways. When Caddie is first introduced to the man I knew he would make a better love interest than Matt.

“Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.”

Matt is the suave cousin that Caddie is introduced to first. He’s got that rich-boy charm that makes Caddie look twice, but when it’s obvious that she’s more into Noah, he gets closer to her friend Lindsey, though it’s clear he’s much more interested in Caddie than anyone else.

I’m usually not a fan of love triangles, but this one was much more fascinating to me because all the characters were so…well-rounded and unique. I didn’t have any complaints about any of them, but my absolute favorites were Arcadia and Naked Ed!

Nothing Wrong with a Character Driven Thriller

The Devil You Know wasn’t the most complex or unpredictable thriller I’ve ever read. In fact, I had the bad guy pegged two-thirds of the way in, but that didn’t matter to me because the writing was so addictive it seemed to jump off the page, she still managed to surprise me in other ways! It didn’t bother me that the world building wasn’t as complex as the character development. I had no trouble visualizing the plot or the setting. I felt like I was on this adventure with them and it turned out to be a hell of an emotional roller coaster!

Like many other young adult novels, Doller used first person narrative to tell this story and she picked the perfect character for the job. I also enjoy how she doesn’t always tell us what’s on her character’s mind. She gives us subtle hints and forces us to read between the lines to understand their personalities.

Every one should read this book!

I can’t say that I’ve read anything like this book or experienced any other writers who compare to Trish Doller, she seems to be in a class all of her own. I really enjoyed The Devil You Know, it’s become one of my all time favorite books of 2015. :)
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review 2015-09-07 18:34
Recent Reading: non-fiction and YA
Hissing Cousins: The Untold Story of Eleanor Roosevelt and Alice Roosevelt Longworth - Marc Peyser,Timothy Dwyer
The Disenchantments - Nina LaCour
The Devil You Know - Trish Doller

Hissing Cousins by Marc Peyser and Timothy Dwyer: I picked up this double biography of Eleanor & Alice Roosevelt because, I mean, look at that tile! How could I not? It turned out to be (as far as I could judge) a well-researched and well-written look at the complex intertwining lives of these two cousins. Peyser & Dwyer examine the ways in which each woman lived up to her reputation, as well as the ways in which she didn’t. They also look at the long-standing feud between them, and the ways in which this both was and wasn’t reflected in their actual relationship. Definitely recommended for people interested in early 20th c. American history, or women’s history, or complicated family dynamics. My only quibble is that the authors seem reluctant to talk about the wider social ramifications of, say, Theodore Roosevelt and his beliefs and policies in favor of a mostly-positive personal portrait.


The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour: I picked this one up after reading and loving LaCour’s more recent Everything Leads to You. The Disenchantments has the quirky, artsy, adventure/quest that I enjoyed in ELtY, but for me it lacked some of the depth of character that I saw in that book. Then again, it’s also true that this book falls into the pattern of a boy interacting with an unattainable, brilliant, and unknowable girl. It’s well written, and yet the pattern itself annoys me; if anything, I wanted this story from Bev’s point of view. Still, LaCour’s prose is smoothly enjoyable and the story as a whole does a nice job of looking at that transition from high school to college, as well as the realization that the adults in your life are actually human and complex.


The Devil You Know by Trish Doller: The Devil You Know has been very highly praised by several people I trust, and I really liked Doller’s previous books. This one is part coming-of-age, part romance, and part mystery. I had two somewhat different reactions to it. First, like Dessen’s Saint Anything, I thought Doller did a great job of writing an extremely readable book, which also takes on big issues. I really admired the way she wrote this situation where things slowly start to unravel. And the fact that Cadie is never judged or shamed for the choices she makes also was great. On the other hand, I figured out the mystery really quickly. That said, this is 1) a book written for teens and not for mystery-obsessed adults (me) and 2) not the reason I was reading this book and therefore wasn’t as much of a problem as it might have been. So despite that fact, I would definitely recommend this one if you want that combination of big topics and readability

Source: bysinginglight.wordpress.com/2015/09/07/recent-reading-non-fiction-and-ya
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review 2015-08-12 11:39
Review: The Devil You Know
The Devil You Know - Trish Doller

This is one of those books where I don't actually know whether I loved it or hated it. I loved the scenery and the setting. Arcadia Wells is possibly one of the stupidest main characters I have come across lately. I figured out who the bad guy was immediately. 


This book tells the story of an overworked 18 year old, desperate for adventure and freedom from her many responsibilities. Arcadia lives in a small town in Florida, her mother passed away a few years ago and she has taken it on herself to take care of her dad who's not coping well at all, and seems to be also raising her younger brother. She looks after the house, does the cooking and it seems she gets very little help from her father. Who doesn't seem like a bad guy, he wasn't mean or a drunk or anything, just doesn't seem to know how to cope. 


Cadie has been dumped by her boyfriend and is still bitter about it, though trying to pretend not to be. She started off seeming quite likable. She has an attitude about her and there was something in her tone of voice that I really liked. She was a bit of a smart ass, but still seemed kinda cool. 


Then she goes to a campfire party and meets two strangers, Noah and Matt. Its a case of insta-lust with both of them. She gets cosy with Noah pretty quickly, he's attractive, has an air of something new and mystery about him and they have a great rapport. She gets along really well with his cousin Matt too. Things go rapidly down hill from there.


One of the guys at the party was teasing her, and threw her clothes in the water when she was skinny dipping. The next morning when the party goers wake up the guy has been beaten up and something horrible has happened to him. Everyone's shocked. To me, it was totally obvious who the culprit was. And its like a moment of shock, but then, okay, lets move on to the next thing. 

(spoiler show)


She winds up going on spur of the moment road trip with Matt and Noah. Complete strangers. She knows nothing about them. But its okay because a former best friend she gets taking to again has hooked up with Matt and comes along.  YOU. JUST. MET. THESE. GUYS. The grown up in me is screaming at this girl, how fucking stupid can you get? Though given Cadie's circumstances, I can sort of understand the yearning for doing something reckless and spur of the moment.


For the most part, in spite of the main character's stupidity and seemingly lack of common sense, the dialogue was great, and the scenery was amazing. For the most part the connection between Noah and Cadie is fairy intense and compelling. Then the other girl who comes along disappears, supposedly having gone home for a family thing she forgot about. They had been planning the next stage of their impromptu road trip and the girl, Lindsay, was really up for it and exited, and it doesn't seem weird to anyone that all of a sudden she has to go home?


No, apparently not. So the trip continues. There's a rather amusing scene where Cadie goes to see a psychic and is told several things that seem way too coincidental. Its uncomfortable and a little freaky, but its of course pushed aside as nonsense. Then things take a rather dramatic turn. 


It had a few good twisty moments towards the end. And to be fair, when things get bad, Cadie is at least smart about it. She knows she's up a certain creek without a paddle and thinks logically to save her life even though she's completely freaked. Where in some parts of the book, she's a complete moron, she does sort of redeem herself a little towards the end. 


The villain of the piece was obvious to me. I guessed right away from the first incident. How they finally get rid of the bad guy is eye roll inducing. I'm sure I've seen that ending done before. While it was silly, it was certainly entertaining and quite enjoyable. I would really love to see this book turned into a movie. 


Crossing off Travel square for Summer Bookish Bingo 2015. 




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