A road trip fling turns terrifying in this contemporary story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.
Disclaimer: I received this ARC as a gift from a fellow blogger. Thanks Emily!
Book Title: The Devil You Know
Author: Trish Doller
Published Date: June 2nd, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s USA
Genre: YA Thriller
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Eighteen-year-old Arcadia wants adventure. Living in a tiny Florida town with her dad and four-year-old brother, Cadie spends most of her time working, going to school, and taking care of her family. So when she meets two handsome cousins at a campfire party, she finally has a chance for fun. They invite her and friend to join them on a road trip, and it’s just the risk she’s been craving-the opportunity to escape. But what starts out as a fun, sexy journey quickly becomes dangerous when she discovers that one of them is not at all who he claims to be. One of them has deadly intentions.
So Trish Doller really knows how to write books that people will love, but she also knows how to write books that are so different from one another. This woman is insanely talented and I’d kill to have her talent for writing such dynamic stories. Her first two books were more of the contemporary romance type, with the flawed characters that I love so much. The Devil You Know was totally different, in a mind-blowing, fantastically awesome way.
I have a feeling a lot of people will be irked by some or all of Cadie’s choices. Yes, she really does make some questionable choices, I’ll admit that. However, Cadie has been this “perfect” teenager who has helped her dad raise her little brother ever since her mom died of cancer several years before. She has also been essentially holding down the fort by taking care of everything that her father should be taking care of. Cadie’s been under immense pressure, and I couldn’t blame her for just wanting to be a normal teenager, a teenager who is allowed to make stupid mistakes, and who isn’t always perfect.
The book itself is slow in the beginning, just like Doller’s first two have been, yet I knew some insanity was about to go down, so I was willing to wait and be patient. Doller has yet to disappoint me, and I just knew that she wouldn’t disappoint me this time around. Early on, we’re introduced to cousins, Matt & Noah (PSA authors, please stop using the name Noah) and because of the synopsis, my brain starts spinning. Right away, I begin looking for clues as to who I could trust and who I couldn’t.
Cadie has very strong opinions, all thanks to her mother who encouraged her to have strong opinions. This leads to her speaking up when she feels that Noah and Matt are trying to take ownership of her,
“Poach? Seriously? Like I’m an endangered white rhino instead of a person? Pretty sure I’m capable of choosing for myself, instead of waiting for you guys to decide who gets me.”
Interestingly only one of the boys apologized for it. If I had been paying better attention to that part, I would have noticed the red flag.
The following day, the four of them meet Naked Ed. Oh my goodness, if I had known he was going to provide the last real bit of comedy in this book, I would have laughed even harder. He was awesome, and I wish he had been a bigger player in this story.
When Lindsay just up and disappears, that’s when I knew something was fishy, and Cadie was probably in danger. I was really annoyed about how she handled that situation though. I mean, I know they weren’t best friends, but by this point, red flags are slowly popping up all over the place. Instead of being worried, and questioning, she’s falling hard for Noah and she’s contemplating sex with him.
I do have to say that Doller treats sex very positively, and she uses it in a very empowering way. So often girls are told that “good girls don’t have sex” and if they do have sex, then they’re sluts or whores. Whereas if a boy has sex, he’s a stud. I really, really hate the double standard. Cadie mentions the conversation that she had with her mother when she was 12 years old.
“Virginity wasn’t something to be lost or won, given or received.”
That quote was very thought provoking, but not quite as much as the next quote.
“And you don’t lose value by having sex.”
So many teenage girls are told that a boy won’t want “sloppy seconds” or that if a girl has sex, she’s worthless. I really think teenage girls need to read this book, just based off of the sex positive message that is in this book. I know the sex positive message isn’t what this story is about, but it is in the story and it’s something that I felt the need to mention.
When Cadie finds out that Lindsay didn’t make it home after a supposed family emergency and also that she had told her family that she was still with Cadie, that’s when Cadie begins to realize that something is not right and that she could be in danger. She begins to wonder if Noah is really all he’s cracked up to be. She begins to wonder if she’s missing something about him.
Near the end of the book, one of the boys labels his cousin as having antisocial behavior disorder, which is basically the same as being a sociopath. But as the book goes on, I realized that this boy was talking about himself and that he has this disorder, and that he’s the sociopath.
“Sociopathy isn’t an affliction Cadie. It’s a gift.”
Chills. All the chills.
This book was awesome. I hadn’t read a really good thriller in a long time and I knew that Doller would deliver in a big way and she did. She delivered a creepy, terrifying book that reminded me of a roller coaster with all the twist and turns. It should come as no surprise that I’m giving this book 5 stars. She was already on my auto-buy list, and I really, really hope she writes another thriller.