Thursday, July 28, 2011

Devoured by Amanda Marrone

Ever since the car accident nine years ago, life for 16-year-old Megan has never been the same. Her father lies in a coma at the nursing home; her twin sister, Remy, who died in the accident, continues to haunt her; and her mom only seems to care about winning dog competitions with their purebred Fergus. Events become even more complicated when Megan decides to take a job working at the Land of Enchantment in order to keep an eye on her boyfriend, Ryan, and his "best friend," Samantha. There she meets Luke, who is psychic and, to Megan's relief, can also see and communicate with Remy. Megan is concerned because Remy's behavior is becoming violent. The natural attraction between Megan and Luke quickly becomes a problem for Ari Roy, whose family owns the Land of Enchantment. Ari feels that Luke is hers, and she will stop at nothing to get what she wants.


Genre: fantasy; supernatural; contemporary

Rating: 4/5

Note: #4 of Modern Retellings of Classics Challenge (Snow White)

Not a traditional retelling, but one that takes some of the elements of the original story and puts them into modern context. There is no one to one correlation of dwarfs to humans or evil stepmothers to villains, but there is a magic mirror and a healthy dose of jealousy, which is what the original story is based on. There is someone not awake but not dead (Megan's father), but there isn't any waking up for him. Megan is trapped in a life with a mother who won't face the tragedy around her and seeing the ghost of her twin sister. Luke, who can also see ghosts, seems like a knight in shining armor, but even he gets wrong what is the basis for Remy's reasons for not leaving Megan alone. Megan is a believable character struggling with several tragedies in her life and whether to dump her boyfriend or not. Luke is a very one dimensional character who is the "right guy for Megan" mainly because he can also see ghosts.

The book was a good mystery and there was real peril as several characters didn't make it out alive. There were a couple issues though. First, the description of the amusement park goes out of its way to get across how run down and cheesy the place is, yet there seems to be plenty of money rolling in to employ the various park workers. Then there's Megan's mother, who goes from trying to ship Megan off to the loony bin every time she brings up Remy to suddenly believing her. There's also the fact that Megan just seems to spontaneously hop in bed with Luke, something that seems out of character and also unnecessary for the story line. Also, the cover misleadingly makes it seem like there is a serious love triangle. There isn't. Megan has a boyfriend who is clearly only interested in her for sex. There is no real competition for Luke no matter what the cover implies.

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