*This is a spoiler-free review.
♡ Book Title: Unnatural Deeds.
♡ Author: Cyn Balog.
♡ Series: Standalone.
♡ Page Count: 288 Pages (Kindle ARC Edition).
♡ Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary & Thriller/Mystery.
♡ Rating: 🌟🌟 stars.
* I received a copy from Sourcebooks Fire via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Secrets. Obsession. Murder. Victoria is about to discover just how dangerous it can be to lose yourself.
Victoria Zell doesn’t fit in, but she’s okay with that. All she needs is the company of her equally oddball boyfriend, Andrew. She doesn’t care what anyone else thinks…until magnetic, charming, mysterious Z comes into her life, and she starts lying to everyone she knows in an effort to unravel his secrets.
And then something terrible happens. Someone is dead and it’s time for Victoria to come clean. Interspersed with news clippings and police interviews, Victoria tells her story to Andrew, revealing her dark, horrible secrets…secrets that have finally come back to haunt her.
Unnatural Deeds was bland, boring and without character for the majority of the book. Up until the very end when the author managed to save the book with an interesting twist and a thrilling ending that could not be foretold.
The story is centered around Victoria, an outcast, and Z the charismatic and charming new kid. From the start Z wants to be friends with Victoria, making her feel wanted and special. But Victoria has a boyfriend, her neighbour Andrew, who’s also a little bit of an oddball, just like her. But the more time Victoria spends with Z the more adventurous and outgoing she becomes ultimately betraying Andrew.
I wasn’t really fond of the narration style that Balog chose for this novel. The story was told from a first person perspective from Victoria’s POV and I just couldn’t connect with her character making it hard for me to get fully absorbed in the narration. This narration also made the writing seem a little bit weak and bland. Secondly there was no plot really, it basically centered around Victoria being trapped in a bush somewhere recording this story on her phone for Andrew to listen to when they eventually found her.
90% of the storyline was boring and uninteresting and I really almost ended up DNFing it, but I pushed on and I was really surprised by the mysterious and thrilling ending. If the author could’ve made the first part of the book equally as psychopathic and thrilling I think that Unnatural Deeds could be a five star read – for sure! But it was a little too late and the ending wasn’t that good that it salvaged the mediocre beginning and middle.
I didn’t really connect with any of the characters. Victoria was a bland character, even after she met Z and became a little bit more outgoing, she still remained boring and not relatable to me. As for Z he had an interesting back story and a lot of things about him made sense in the end, but he also wasn’t the greatest character. Yes, he was charming and he knew how to get the ladies, but I didn’t like him.
I just really wished that the book could’ve followed the same pattern as the ending, because then it would’ve been able to truly blow me away.
- I really loved the cover, this would be a total cover buy book if I didn’t know the story.
- The ending was really thrilling and mysterious and it definitely saved the rating of this book.
- The rest of the book was bland and boring.
- The characters were unrelatable and also on the boring side.
- I didn’t enjoy the first person narrative from Victoria’s POV.
Unfortunately I’m not sure if I would recommend this, especially not to fellow lovers of Thriller/Mystery novels. I will however take a look at Balog’s other works as I have heard loads of positive things about them.
*Unnatural Deeds will be available from 1 November 2016.