Release Date: September 29, 2015
Synopsis: The last thing sixteen-year-old Cassie Foster needs is trouble, but that doesn’t stop him from finding her.
Nine months after the tragic accident that killed her mother and sister, this high school junior just wants a fresh start. Settling down in the quiet town of New Haven, Maine, she’s found peace at last…until the new resident bad boy, Jackson Matthews, comes into the picture. Arrogant, sarcastic, and devastatingly sexy, he’s the very last thing Caddie wants to entertain. Romance was never part of the plan. But when terrifying circumstances drive these two together, she finds herself in over her head and drawn in by his allure. As local girls begin disappearing, Cassie can’t help but wonder if it’s just a coincidence that everything started when this blue-eyed Casanova strolled into town. Will falling into Jackson’s arms mean she’ll be falling victim to a real lady-killer…or worse?
The answer will open the door to a world she never thought possible.
Divine Vices combines several popular YA elements: The paranormal, contemporary high school life, mystery, and forbidden love. Melissa Parkin takes these and adds some unique twists which prevents this from becoming too predictable and makes it an enjoyable read.
This is definitely a character driven story. Cassie is an appealing heroine who many teens will relate to. She’s suffered a horrible tragedy with the loss of her mother and sister, and because of that she’s had to grow up quicker than normal. She soldiers on with the help of her two best friends Ian and Gwen who are as different from one another as night and day. Despite this, this trio are completely supportive and loyal to one another. I also liked the peek at Cassie’s relationship with her dad. I’m hoping more of that will be explored in the next book.
I have to admit, I didn’t care for Jackson at all. Yes he’s good-looking but he’s also an arrogant, egotistical misogynist who really got on my nerves. That said, I understand the bad boy appeal, although I found myself wanting to take Cassie by the shoulders several times and push her in the direction of Ian, who I personally loved. He actually wound up being one of my favorite characters with because of his sweetness, goth/steampunk personna, and mad magic skills. He’s one of those personalities that stand out, long after you’ve finished a book.
There’s plenty of suspense which kept me turning the pages although I did feel that for the first half of the book there was too much dialogue and not enough action. Granted, the banter was witty and entertaining, but I was a little frustrated at times that the plot wasn’t moving forward a little quicker. Once I hit that halfway mark though, everything began to come together, culminating in an exciting conclusion which has me looking forward to the sequel.
Divine Vices heralds the arrival of a promising new arrival to YA fiction. With it’s combination of the paranormal, mystery, suspense, and romance genres, I think this will appeal to a wide audience.