In Eve’s dark debut, 16-year-old Cosette Hugo finds herself the victim of a high school bully, but after she kills her bully’s rapist and is wracked with guilt, she decides that the best way to die is to get herself killed.
Cosette doesn’t like her life. She lives with her mom in a beige apartment, her dad and his new trophy wife ignore her, her war hero brother was killed in a car accident, and a bully, Hilda, is making her life miserable. Cosette doesn’t think she’s attractive, strong, or confident; that’s nothing, however, compared with how she feels after she stumbles across Hilda being sexually assaulted one night. In a flood of adrenaline, Cosette scares away two of the attackers and kills the third. Afterward, she feels so guilty that she considers suicide, but she decides it would hurt her friends and family too much. So Cosette formulates a plan: she’ll find one or both of Hilda’s remaining attackers and let them kill her. At least, that’s the plan until she accidentally runs into a drug addict who attacks her, and Cosette kicks him to death. After murdering twice, Cosette is apparently hooked; she stumbles into one dangerous situation after another, but instead of feeling weak and afraid, she begins slitting throats and chopping up bodies. Eve is a strong writer whose prose makes it easy to get sucked in, yet the plot may turn some readers off. What appears to be a story about bullying and teen suicide takes an abrupt (at times, not wholly believable) left turn when Cosette becomes a psychotic vigilante serial killer who gets sexually aroused by murder. When she says things like, “He holds my neck and clenches my hair, forcing me to bend to his demands. It’s painful and violent. And I love it,” it feels as if two types of books—YA about bullying and depression and thriller in the vein of Dexter or Fifty Shades of Grey—are warring for dominance. The two halves don’t entirely fit together.
A grisly thriller that will satisfy fans of serial killers, though it might mislead readers into thinking it’s a YA novel when it decidedly is not.