The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is reimagined in the modern American Midwest.
Lulu Gutierrez, a 17-year-old Latina, and her best friend, Jek, a biracial young man with an Indian mom and a black dad, are from different social worlds but have been best friends since they were children, with their love for science and each other as the glue that has kept their friendship going strong. Lately, though, Jek has been distancing himself and keeping more secrets than usual. Lulu has just started coming to terms with her more-than-platonic feelings for Jek, but his lack of interest is disappointing. To add even more complications, a new, white (or maybe Asian?) guy with some connection to Jek has come to town: Hyde. Everyone seems to be unable to resist Hyde’s charms, even after hearing of his dangerous and violent exploits. At first, Lulu finds Hyde disgusting and wishes that Jek would cut ties with him, but soon she is unable to deny her attraction to Hyde. This retelling of a classic leaves much to be desired. Storyline holes and character-development gaps go unresolved even to the end, a contrived and painfully expository conclusion. The Gothic flourishes of the original clash with the aggressively contemporary setting.
A retelling that struggles to live up to the notoriety of the story on which it’s based. (Thriller. 14-18)