Genre: YA/Mystery Thriller
Damaged. Deceptive. Dangerous. Darling. Are they labels or a warning? The answer could cost Sera everything.
Murder, justice, and revenge were so not a part of the plan when Sera set out on her senior camping trip. After all, hiking through the woods is supposed to be safe and uneventful.
Then one morning the group wakes up groggy, confused, and with words scrawled on their wrists: Damaged. Deceptive. Dangerous. Darling. Their supplies? Destroyed. Half their group? Gone. Their chaperone? Unconscious. Worst of all, they find four dolls acting out a murder—dolls dressed just like them.
Suddenly it’s clear; they’re being hunted. And with the only positive word on her wrist, Sera falls under suspicion…
I kept having one thought come to mind while reading this, over and over again and it was this; I feel like I’m watching a typical teenage horror movie. You know how when you’re watching said movie and you end up yelling at the screen because the main character (s) keep making stupid decisions and walking into obvious traps? There was quite a bit of that happening here. Similar to the way I feel after watching one of these movies I can’t quite decide if I liked it or not. Were parts of this book enjoyable? Sure. Predictable? Sometimes. Creepy? Yes. Satisfying? That’s the part I’m having trouble nailing down.
Four teenagers are trapped in the woods with their teacher. They’ve been separated from the rest of the group and though they can’t totally tell what happened to their classmates, they can see that it’s not good. Weird and chilling things keep happening; they’re being drugged, their things are destroyed and someone is definitely watching them. While there were absolutely some disturbing moments, unfortunately they weren’t quite enough to get my pulse pounding.
I feel like this yet another case where I’m just the wrong reader for this book. There was nothing inherently wrong here, Richards is a good writer and the plot was alright. The pacing was a little too frenzied for me, it made me feel anxious in a uncomfortable way. The characters were fine too, maybe not as fleshed out as I would have liked them to be, but otherwise good. I think if I had read this while I was a teenager I would have enjoyed it more. For readers first starting out with thrillers this would be a good place to begin, but for the more seasoned thriller readers I would pass on this one.
Overall rating: 3/5
Thanks to Sourcebooks for my copy in exchange for an honest review.