Made for You

Zoe N. | December 10, 2014 | Review

Made for You

Made for You

by Melissa Marr

Genre: YA Mystery, YA Paranormal
Published: September 16th, 2014
by HarperCollins

three-half-stars

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Summary:

Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital to discover an attempt has been made on her life. But who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why? Before she can consider the question, she finds that she's awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people's deaths when they touch her. While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old flame, reappears, and the two must traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva's power to keep her friendsβ€”and themselvesβ€”alive.

Review:

Ever since I finished Dangerous Girls, I have been searching far and wide for a book that would blow my mind in the same brilliant and twisted way. And while I can’t quite say that Melissa Marr’s Made for You quite lived up to those high expectations, I did appreciate what it had to offer.

When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital after a hit-and-run accident, she dismisses it as an unfortunate accident. But when her classmates and acquaintances start being murdered, she realizes that it’s not as accidental as it looks and that someone is after her…

Marissa Marr’s writing is one of the highlights of the story. While it was especially beautiful or eloquent, it did manage to really get into the heads of the characters. The story is narrated from three POVs: Eva’s, her best friend Grace’s, and the mysterious killer – dubbed “Judge.” Each POV has a unique and distinguishable feel to it, making this an extremely readable story.

However, what disappointed me most was how predictable the mystery was. As a mystery, it was suspenseful and well-written. There is tension, a ton of different suspects, and decent attempts at creating red herrings. The only thing we know about the murderer is that Eva knows him personally; and this one fact makes you race through the pages to find the culprit. However, once that really revelation came, I felt a bit underwhelmed. Despite the author’s attempts to throw me off track from discovering the culprit, I was still able to predict who this murderer was; and thus the reveal was not the mind-blowing one I wished it would be.

Even moreso, there are some paranormal elements here that I felt seemed a bit out of place. When Eva wakes up in the hospital after the accident, she has this revelation that if she touches someone, she will be able to see their deaths.

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These paranormal elements felt, more than anything, like a plot convenience to keep the plot moving at a break-neck pace. However, I personally was annoyed by them because there was never any scientific or logical explanation as to why she got these powers; and, being a murder mystery, it felt a bit out of place as well.

As a protagonist, I found Eva to be decent. She wasn’t especially memorable, but she was decent enough. She makes logical decisions and her thought process makes sense.

All in all, a decent murder mystery. The sporadic chapters written from the point of view of the murderer are twisted and wonderfully written; and the book as a whole will make you turn the pages faster than possible in anticipation of discovering the culprit. Even though the revelation itself is a bit underwhelming, it’s still worth the read.

three-half-stars

49 comments

  1. Hahahaha that gif! I’m sad it underwhelmed you, but at least it was still a good read, so I am keeping this on my TBR πŸ˜€ Having chapter’s from the murderer’s POV excites me most of all, I think! Predictable mysteries are kind of a bummer though. I’m reading ‘Black Ice’ right now, and it’s a bit of a murder mystery, although I called out the ‘murderer’ pretty early on. But! Still good. Wonderful review, Zoe! πŸ˜€

    1. Hehe…thank you! πŸ˜‰ It’s definitely a decent read; it just didn’t wow me unfortunately, you know?And I agree – having the POV of the culprit always makes murder mysteries so much more thrilling. πŸ˜€

    1. Definitely don’t put it off because of me Joy, especially if you enjoyed her adult mysteries. It’s still a decent mystery; the revelation just didn’t wow me as much as I would have hoped.

  2. It’s too bad that this book was so predictable. I generally like mysteries, but predictable endings just completely ruin everything. That said, I can’t get enough out of books written from multiple POVs, so this still might be one to try out. It sounds scary, though…Eek! I’m not too good with scary things. I did read Then There Were None, and I grew up on The Nancy Drew Series, so maybe it’ll be okay.

    1. It is Ana, because everything else about it was definitely intriguing. I adore mysteries, but if the resolution and the culprit’s actions are predictable, that kind of ruins the whole thing, you know? :disappointed:

  3. Awww, I knew it wouldn’t be as amazing as Dangerous Girls, but at least there’s something to aim towards right? I really love Melissa Marr’s writing, so no doubt I’ll enjoy this regardless. I borrowed it from the library, so I’ll prepare for the somewhat predictable mystery. Great review Zoe! <3

    1. Ever since reading Dangerous Girls I’ve almost been afraid to read another mystery because I know it’s so hard to live up to. And while this one has a decent attempt, the predictability left me a bit disappointed.

  4. I haven’t read Dangerous Girls… so I have nothing to compare this to (maybe I should rectify that). That being said, I mostly go with what other bloggers are saying about a book when deciding to read a book or not (I totally trust you!). Maybe I’ll try this one, but I think I’ll go for Dangerous Girls first -with you saying it’s awesome and all πŸ˜‰
    Thanks for sharing Zoe, and by the way: AWESOME NEW DESIGN! I totally missed it, because University has been keeping me busy, but it looks great! More than great, it looks superb!

  5. I’ve been searching for something that could be the next Dangerous Girls for me as well! It’s a shame that this one had a plot that was a tad predictable. I’m still curious though!

    Have you read Dangerous Boys, btw? I hear it’s a step below Dangerous Girls though…

    FABULOUS REVIEW, ZOE! <3 x

    1. *sighs* Ever since finishing DG, it has become my life goal to find a mystery that is even close to being as good as DG was. While this made a valiant attempt, the predictability was a bit disappointing.

      And yes – I have! While, like most people, I didn’t like it as much as DG, I do think that it is still a really well-rounded mystery regardless.

  6. Love the tag, “Cait knows best’. She’ll hear her name and be in here soon gloating πŸ˜€

    I’m all for authors trying something a little different, why the eff did she try to slot that crap about touching someone to see their death in there. You can’t do that with a serious contemporary. It’s like having a sociopath killer that stops in the middle of stabbing someone to plan a children’s party. I’m pissed now and I haven’t even read this πŸ˜€ I haven’t had any luck with any of her previous books, so I can’t imagine this one would probably be my thing either. There’s really not too many really surprising thrillers out there is there. Dangerous Girls really spoiled us. We’ll probably never find a book to rival it.

    Brilliant review Zoe, sorry you couldn’t have enjoyed this a little more <3

    1. It’s a legitimate tag, no? πŸ˜‰

      And that’s what I’m trying to figure out. I’m all for authors trying to be original and combining genres, but the way Marr did it just didn’t make sense in the context of the story, you know?

      Thank you!

  7. This certainly sounds messed up. I like a good paranormal mystery, but you’re not the first one who’s said this one was too predictable. I think the predicting deaths gimmick sounds like the best part of the book. Too bad it didn’t seem to fit.

  8. I reallllyyyy want to read this (and Dangerous Girls). Melissa Marr is one of those authors that I have never read anything by, but I think I have about three of her books sitting on my shelf and I just need to read them! I don’t know why I haven’t…

    1. Definitely give this a try Lara – and Dangerous Girls as well. πŸ˜‰ Both are really well-written attempts at writing mysteries for YA (DG is a bit better, but this was still a decent attempt). πŸ˜€

  9. It’s no good when a mystery is predictable πŸ™ And if elements in the book doesn’t fit then that really sucks. I don’t think I’ll read this one but I really want to try Dangerous Girls!

    1. I completely agree Eileen. 😐 The best thing about a mystery, IMO, is screaming “Oh. My. God. I would have never guessed that!” when the culprit is revealed; but this one just didn’t do that for me unfortunately.

  10. Yeah, it’s really hard to live up to Abigail Haas when it comes to mystery and thrill and plot revelation. After reading her books, the bar is set higher, and so succeeding novels don’t feel as good anymore D: I’m not sure I wanna read this one, though. The “seeing death when you touch someone” is something that’s quite overdone and I’m over it. Haha. Someday when I feel like reading that particular trope, I’ll go and look for this one.

    1. While this isn’t quite as good as Dangerous Girls (let’s face it…that’s probably not ever going to happen…), it was still a decent mystery. πŸ˜€

  11. I detested the paranormal aspect.I was like “wait what??” Southern gothic, thriller, mystery, paranormal?? Too many classifications. I loved the suspense and urgency in the book too, although it was a bit underwhelming after the “big reveal.” I didn’t really care for the romance. I agree about the writing, Marr did a great job getting us inside the person’s head. It seems like nothing can live up to Dangerous Girls. I MUST read it!! Lovely review, Z <33

    1. My thoughts exactly Rachel. πŸ˜€ If you include a paranormal aspect in a mystery, that kind of gives the mystery a feeling of not being as legitimate, you know?

      AND YOU MUST READ DANGEROUS GIRLS! Thanks!

  12. OH MY GOSH ZOE YOU HAVE KILLED ME. YOU HAVE A TAG CALLED “CAIT KNOWS BEST”? I ONLY JUST NOTICED THIS AND I FEEL I CAN DIE HAPPY. lol x)
    I’m glad you liked this one. *bookish twin hi-five*
    I agree, though, I wish the paranormal part had been left out. *shrugs* It was weird and I was expecting something HUGE from it, but you really can’t dabble in paranormal, because then it makes the murder mystery seem fakeish.
    Loved this review. XD

    1. HEHE! How could I not? πŸ˜‰

      And I’m glad you liked this one as well!

      …but you really can’t dabble in paranormal, because then it makes the murder mystery seem fakeish.

      My thoughts exactly Cait!

  13. I’ve only read Melissa Marr’s fairy series and didn’t enjoy it, but I must agree that she has beautiful writing. You’ve reminded me that I need to read Dangerous Girls! Gaaah I keep putting it off haha.

    I’m very confused about the paranormal aspect as well…for a second I felt like you were going to say “and when she woke up it was all a dream” haha. Not sure I’ll pick this one up, but glad you enjoyed it overall lovely! xx

  14. Eh. Predictable mystery? Yeah, I’m not a fan of them — at all. I have seen quite a few positive reviews of it, though, and I have a copy already — so I figure I might as well read it. Though I’ve read a couple of the author’s books before and they just haven’t been for me. xD I didn’t realize this had paranormal elements to it, though!

    WONDERFUL review, though. πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing.

    1. Definitely give it a try Kara. Putting aside the predictability & paranormal elements, it really is a thrilling novel. πŸ™‚

    1. If you liked Marr’s other series, definitely give this a try. It’s a really intense read despite the minor flaws. πŸ™‚

  15. I still haven’t read Dangerous Girl! Shame is one I know. I have to get to read it soon. Anyhow I saw this one around and it does seem appealing but it’s a shame that the mystery was predictable. I hate when that happens. So yeah. But still I’m really curious now. Amazing review πŸ™‚

  16. A DANGEROUS GIRLS COMPARISON? You had me right there. But the paranormal elements? Those don’t sound so appealing, especially since you said they are just there for convenience. On the other hand, the chapters from the POV of the killer sound wonderful. You’re making me feel so conflicted!

    1. I hear you Emily! I’d definitely say go for it! It’s thrilling despite the flaws it has, but I suppose if you go into it aware of the paranormal elements you might not have as much of a problem. πŸ˜‰

  17. Hmmmm, I’m really not sure about this one. I loved Dangerous Girls, and have also been searching for more great YA thrillers. I feel like the paranormal aspect would throw me off though, I’d prefer there was some explanation for it. I also hate when the big reveal is predictable and isn’t the big shocker that it should be. Great review, I’m still trying to make my mind up about this one.

    1. I completely agree Charnell. If you’re going to add paranormal elements to a mystery, it’s got to at least be logical, you know? 😐

  18. Ack, I still need to get to Dangerous Girls! It’s really amazing how it’s still on your mind even until today. Sign of a good book, right? πŸ˜€ Made For You sounds like another mediocre book, though… I’m glad that you were able to enjoy it overall, but it sounds like it’s lacking the kind of “oomph” you’d expect from a mystery novel — especially since the plot is so predictable. I swear authors are underestimating our detective skills. So many YA mystery novels have such predictable stories, honestly. *facepalm*

    But, um, at least the writing was good? To be honest, I don’t really care much about the writing, since I’m able to enjoy a book with or without eloquent prose. I’m just relieved that the lyrical writing didn’t get in the way of the story. πŸ˜› Oftentimes I find that when a book’s writing becomes to flowery, it’s kinda like the author’s “trying too hard,” or something. (Gosh, I know, I know, I’m such a pessimist when it comes to everything. STOP IT, MEG.)

    Awesome review, Zoe! Here’s hoping that you’ll find the next Dangerous Girls book reaaally soon! <3

  19. Hahaha I was actually expecting more paranormal features from your review, but what? Why is that death touch ESP thing even there? I think it would’ve intrigued me more if there was more to that aspect, but it doesn’t look like there is. OH WELL. I’m glad you still enjoyed it! I don’t know if I will pick this up or not.

  20. You sparked my interest when you mentioned “Dangerous Girls” at the beginning. I’d love to be challenged like that again! What a shame that it was predictable, but at least you enjoyed it enough? I like murder mysteries, so maybe I’ll give this a chance πŸ™‚

  21. I read this book a while ago and I loved it. I definitely agree with some of the points you made though. I don’t think the mystery itself was particularly unpredictable it’s just that I love the way the author creates these characters. I especially liked the main character and how mature she was in spite of her being a popular and privileged girl. She wasn’t some stereotype and I really appreciated that! πŸ™‚

    I AM glad that you enjoyed this book though, even if it doesn’t live up to Dangerous Girls (although based on what I’ve heard about the book, finding a book that does live up to it will be hard!).

    Lovely review, Zoe!!! πŸ™‚

  22. That seems to be a theme in some books – to add paranormal elements when the main genre is completely different. I don’t see the point, unless it’s done right of course. I don’t like the predictability of it either but of course I sometimes don’t catch on until the end no matter what… I do like that the killer has a POV in the book. That’s probably the best part. It seems so much more dramatic that way.

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