Jekel Loves Hyde

After finishing Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side yesterday, I immediately moved on to Beth Fantaskey’s second novel, Jekel Loves Hyde. I liked how the author dealt with tormented teenagers in her first novel, so I figured I would enjoy the same in her second work. I was not disappointed. As you may have guessed, Jekel Loves Hyde has a connection to Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It’s definitely interesting to read about how that case, if true, could have had long-lasting and far-reaching effects on future generations.

Jill Jekel has just lost her father.  He was murdered, and secrets about his life are beginning to come into focus.  It seems he was engaged in some criminal activity involving some stolen chemicals, he depleted Jill’s entire college fund before he died, and the circumstances surrounding his death are mysterious at best.  Jill’s mother is hanging on to her sanity by a very thin thread, and Jill just doesn’t know how much longer she can hold everything together.

There may, however, be a way to regain control of her life.  Jill has an opportunity to enter a chemistry competition with a grand prize of a $30,000 college scholarship.  She just needs a project idea…and a partner.

That partner is the mysterious Tristen Hyde.  Everyone knows that Tristen has a dark side, but they have no idea just how dark it can be.  See, Tristen is a direct descendant of the Mr. Hyde, the monster from Stevenson’s supposed work of fiction.  Well, it’s not fiction to him.  Tristen knows that when emotions get too high, when he gets too angry, the Tristen everyone knows disappears, and the monster lurking within takes over.  He’ll do anything to banish the monster forever, including working with Jill Jekel to recreate the experiments detailed in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

But how can two teenagers, one who is painfully shy and another who has something of a split personality, hope to recreate these awful experiments?  The answers they seek are hidden in Jill’s father’s work, and, through their journey to find a cure for Tristen and hope for Jill, these two young people may just discover that some answers, some secrets, were meant to be kept hidden.  As Tristen seeks to tame the monster within himself, Jill yearns to become the powerful, confident person she’s never been.  Could a cure for one lead to the destruction of the other?  And can the growing feelings between Jill and Tristen possibly survive when it’s not always clear when a monster will come between them?  Find these answers and more when you read Beth Fantaskey’s Jekel Loves Hyde.

Although I liked Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side a little more, I still found Jekel Loves Hyde to be a very satisfying read.  I especially identified with the character of Jill Jekel–shy, lets people walk all over her, never stands up for herself, a little boring, but always with the urge to break out of her shell and really let the emotions run wild.  I highly recommend this book and urge readers to pair it with Stevenson’s novella, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  Should be interesting.

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