THE STORY (from Goodreads)
When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she’s confused—who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why? But before she can consider the question, she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her. While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old flame, reappears, and the two must traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva’s power to keep her friends—and themselves—alive. But while Eva and Nate grow closer, the killer grows increasingly frantic in his attempt to get to Eva.
For the first time, New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr has applied her extraordinary talent to contemporary realism. Chilling twists, unrequited obsession, and high-stakes romance drive this Gothic, racy thriller—a story of small-town oppression and salvation. Melissa’s fans, and every YA reader, will find its wild ride enthralling.
Made For You is the type of thriller we don’t realize we’re deeply invested in until we set it aside after reading the last page, marveling at the persistent ache in every muscle in our bodies from being tightly clenched for several hours straight. Eva’s story grabs us from page one and never once slows to let us catch our breath, her first person perspective chillingly contrasted with the first person narration of her would-be murderer to give us insight into the mental and emotional consequences for both victim and killer. Ms. Marr does a truly stunning job of crafting not only a page turner that keeps us up late reading, but also a story gorgeously character-driven at its heart.
When we first crack the spine of Made For You, we can’t help but wonder if we’re going to find a familiar setup in which the mystery stems from accident-induced amnesia, leaving Eva to relearn all the people in her life and how they fit into the increasing violence following her initial attack. Luckily though, Eva suffers no such amnesia and is well in possession of all her faculties post-near death experience, complete with an added death-centric precognitive ability. As a result, we don’t have to wade through the often tedious confusion and disorientation as a character struggles to remember, and instead simply get to leap into the middle of Eva’s waking nightmare.
Eva herself is a joy of a heroine, sitting atop the social hierarchy of her status-obsessed town but lacking the sense of entitlement that would usually accompany such a position. She’s aware that the tide of power flows toward those of wealth and reputation and recedes from those without it, but she doesn’t buy into it for a single moment. She’s surrounded by those of her ilk thanks in large part to the nature of small town life, but she also chooses the friends closest to her, and her choice has absolutely nothing to do with status or money. She speaks her mind, something we appreciate overall but particularly with regard to Nate, as she never fails to let him know the depth of the wounds he inflicted when he abandoned their friendship. Her love for him is obvious and painful in that it initially appears to be unrequited, but she doesn’t simply suffer in silence as so many young women do, instead she’s honest and willing to throw herself off the cliff of communication with no guarantee that kind words from him will be waiting to cushion her fall.
While Eva is a true highlight of Made For You, this review would not be complete without mentioning the haunting brilliance of the killer’s chapters. Each time we’re thrust into his head we find ourselves unable to sit still, the depth of his conviction that he’s but enduring God’s test for him so that he may earn Eva as a reward making us so uncomfortable we can’t help but squirm. Even more unsettling is the fact that he’s able to hide his fanaticism and delusion so well that those closest to him have not even the slightest of inklings that anything is amiss, and go on calling him friend until the moment they’re facedown in a foot of water without the strength to fight him off.
Overall, Made For You is a must-read for any and all who love the type of thriller where progress is marked by periodic gasping inhalations, so involved are we that we simply forget to breathe.
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.