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Beautiful Stranger

Take a sexy (and maybe dangerous?) road trip with The Devil You Know by Trish Doller.

Beautiful Stranger

BOOK REPORT for The Devil You Know by Trish Doller

Cover Story: Reflection
BFF Charm: Heck Yes!
Swoonworthy Scale: 8
Talky Talk: Let's Talk About Sex and Consent, Baby
Bonus Factors: Road Trip, Charles Wallace, Suspense
Relationship Status: I Call Shotgun

Cover Story: Reflection

Sigh. OK, this is one of those books that I'm not really sure how I'd depict as a cover anyway, so I can't really fault the cover designer on this one. And at least it's kind of trying for that swampy Florida setting. But at the same time, who is that cover I see staring straight back at me? When will its reflection show who it is insiiiiiide?

The Deal:

With high school in her rear view mirror, you'd think that Arcadia Wells would finally be able to go on all the adventures her heart desires, right? Except she still has her little brother and widower father to take care of in her small Florida town. But being the responsible one all the time weighs on you, y'know? So when Cadie meets a pair of hottie cousins passing through town on a road trip, she impulsively accepts the brief escape from her usual life. But Cadie just might be getting more adventure than she bargained for.

BFF Charm: Heck Yes!

Ever since her mother passed away, Cadie's had to pull more than her own weight in the fam, sacrificing her teen year thus far to do so. Increased responsibilities might be a part of growing up, but most teens don't have to worry about running a household on a daily basis. While Cadie's not typically one to flake out on her duties, I totally get why she feels like making a selfish choice for a change. 

I realize my attitude kind of sucks, and God knows my dad works as hard as I do, but it feels like I'm always the one making concessions. [...] I get that we need Dad's income from the store, but sometimes I think he forgets Danny is his child. And that I am his child, too.

Though it isn't just a pity party for Cadie, either. Girlfriend had me pumping my fists and highlighting swathes of quotes as she dealt out some mad truths. (More on that later, but have another quote right now, too.)

In the awkward silence that follows, I wonder if I'm overreacting. My mother nurtured strong opinions in me, and sometimes I think they push people away. But why should I have to change who I am so someone else will like me? Why should anyone have to do that? And why shouldn't I call boys out on their bullshit?

YES YES YES. Cadie, where were you when I was in high school?! (And college, and afterwards, and etc.)

Swoonworthy Scale: 8

Anyone who's ever read one of Trish Doller's books knows that her name is basically synonymous with scorching hot romance. Cadie's still reeling from being dumped by her last serious boyfriend (Jason, whose twin is a d-bag confusingly* named Justin), when she meets the quintessential boy-next-door, Matt, and his tatted up cousin with a dark past, Noah. If that sounds like the makings of a complicated love polygon -- don't worry, it's not, because Noah is the main attraction. (Major emphasis on attraction. Yowza.) And neither is it instalove. Although instalust? Definitely. Crank up that A/C, 'cause it's about to get HOT IN HERRE.

*Residual effect of me having recently recapped a TV season with a character named Jason played by an actor named Justin. Caught myself making so many mistakes. (Just did it again in that last sentence, actually.)

Talky Talk: Let's Talk About Sex and Consent, Baby

The plot unravels slowly before really ramping up near the end, letting those strong opinions instilled in Cadie really shine. Thought-provoking and never preachy, Trish Doller has a lot of wisdom to impart about sex and consent, and everyone should be paying attention. 

Bonus Factor: Road Trip

Overworked Cadie's long due for a break, and there ain't no time like summer to hit the road -- esp. with a couple of hot travel buddies. Even if something sinister might be lurking around every corner.

Bonus Factor: Charles Wallace

Even though he doesn't seem to exhibit any extraordinary mental prowess, Cadie's precocious little brother, Danny, insists on being called Daniel Boone, and his favourite superhero is Wonder Woman. So that's pretty dang adorbs.

Bonus Factor: Suspense

You know how when you know a story's heading in some direction, but you have no idea what that is so you're always waiting for the other shoe to drop? Being on the constant lookout for danger even during the most carefree of scenes? YEAH, THAT.

Casting Call:

Ashley Benson as Cadie

Younger Tom Hardy as Noah

Matthew Daddario as Matt

Relationship Status: I Call Shotgun

When this book invited me on a road trip, I couldn't resist its call of adventure. Even though I had my suspicions, I never quite knew where it would lead me until we got there. The road may have had a few bumps, but I would have gladly hung out with this strong, uncompromising heroine anytime, anywhere.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my free review copy from Bloomsbury. I received neither money nor froyo for writing this review (dammit!). The Devil You Know is available now.

Mandy Wan's photo About the Author: Residing in Edmonton, AB, Mandy unabashedly loves YA lit, frozen desserts, and terrible puns.