Fantasy/romance writer Mona Hanna. I like kittens.
I'm kind of shaking after I read this book, so this review might not be that coherent. I am actually shaking, as I only finished it moments ago. Wow - just, wow. I did have my issues with the writing, and I'll mention them, but the ending was so cool.
*LOTS OF SPOILERS*
It was a very creepy book. Gavin was portrayed extremely well, so we saw his horrible side, but could see why Val was attracted to him also. The tension throughout the book was very well done. I'm glad it was a short book - it didn't need to be long - it packed a punch as it was. And the ending! I'm so glad she fought back. My heart was racing as I read the scene in the art room at the end. Go Val! Stupid teacher. I can't believe she didn't do anything.
But this brings me to what I didn't like - the POV shifts. It was usually within the same scene - we were in Val's head, then someone else's for a little while, then back to Val. It really just needed to be in Val's POV, ESPECIALLY the scene where she was fighting Gavin in the classroom. It really took us out of the scene to be in the teacher's head, so it lessened some of the impact. It was still an amazing scene, but it just lost a little bit of its edge, because we weren't always in Val's head.
And I'm really confused about why the art teacher didn't do anything to help Val. I know she was calling the police, but was the phone in another room? Was she really in the same room and not helping Val fight him? Given that on the stand she didn't describe what happened very well, maybe she wasn't in the room - but that really needed to be spelled out, so it was clear. That way the court case falling through would have made more sense. I'm not saying I want the fight between Val and Gavin to be any different, I just needed to be told a reason why she wasn't helped by the teacher.
But all in all it was a great book. Gavin was an amazing character, and I'm glad Val hated him in the end and realized how horrible he was. I wanted to know more about what was in the sketch book - maybe my imagination wasn't big enough, but I wanted a little more detail about the horrible things she saw, so we could feel her fear. But the ending was amazing, the book had a great atmosphere, and it gave me chills.
Normally I'll read an indie book and I'll be like: "It was okay but the ending didn't work. And it had so many problems that I just didn't like it that much." But this book worked really well, and I'm so glad I read it. A little polishing by an editor and this would easily be 5 stars. So good.