Group Review: The Devil You Know

Posted June 1, 2015 by Kara in book review, Kara, Lyn, Pixie / 2 Comments

Group Review: The Devil You KnowThe Devil You Know by Trish Doller
Published by Bloomsbury Children's on June 2nd, 2015
Genres: mystery-thriller, young adult
Pages: 256
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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Eighteen-year-old Arcadia wants adventure. Living in a tiny Florida town with her dad and four-year-old brother, Cadie spends most of her time working, going to school, and taking care of her family. So when she meets two handsome cousins at a campfire party, she finally has a chance for fun. They invite her and friend to join them on a road trip, and it's just the risk she's been craving-the opportunity to escape. But what starts out as a fun, sexy journey quickly becomes dangerous when she discovers that one of them is not at all who he claims to be. One of them has deadly intentions.

A road trip fling turns terrifying in this contemporary story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Pixie, Lyn, and I decided to read The Devil You Know together. I had highly recommended this author’s books to both of them, and though I loved Where the Stars Still Shine to pieces, this book was pretty much a mess for all three of us. There were SOME good qualities, but for a thriller, it’s very lazy and could be plotted much better. I still want to read her other books, but I’m hoping she sticks to contemporary in the future.

Border Leaf

SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW. COULDN’T BE AVOIDED.

Lyn: Did anyone else want to go to Disney World after reading this?

Kara: Not exactly. I mean, I’ve been there so many times. I do live here. Plus I hate crowds now. 😀

Lyn: I want to go.

Kara: Well, GO THEN. I’d much rather go see the gators at Gatorland. Muahahahaha. Pixie?

Lyn: Pixie, take the next line while I find something inappropriate to ship to Kara from Amazon.

Pixie: Sorry, Bella just stomped my boob.

Yes, I want to go to Disney World. I’ll go with you Lyn!

Kara: I didn’t say I WOULDN’T go. I guess if you guys want to go when you are here, I won’t say nooooo. I’ll just need to bring a sack full of pills. Hahaha.

I feel like we are all ignoring the elephant in the room, which was this book. I am…pretty disappointed. I  think this author should stick with contemporaries after reading this. I really do.

Lyn: I think my initial reaction was that this book had an identity crisis. It never knew what it wanted to be. Was it a contemporary? Was it a thrilled? Was it a book to promote feminist ideas? Was it a Go Florida advertisement? It was just all over the place. I almost thought that the ending would have the MC wake up in a hospital or something, coming off of drugs or out of a bad dream.

Pixie: Good gravy, I’m not alone. I DIDN’T FINISH. I couldn’t. I couldn’t take it anymore. It was awful.

Kara: LOL at the “Go Florida” advertisement. Where the Stars Still Shine was like that too, but it was a MUCH better book. I am going to make you guys read that one. Seriously, it was just the best. I don’t know what the hell happened here. But I took notes.

I wrote this: So, I know what Jason did to Cadie didn’t warrant what happened to him, but I don’t think it was harmless like she said it was. It WAS rapey. And I don’t like how she dismissed it. That really bothered me. I don’t think behavior like that should be swept under the rug like it was, and I kind of feel like that was done to progress the story along. But it was an important issue, and that was my first sign that I was going to have problems with this book.

Pixie, I get why you didn’t finish it. I know it takes a lot for you not to finish, and you didn’t miss much.

Pixie: It does take a lot because I will certainly almost always stick through a book all the way through and read it. But I just couldn’t make it with this one. I hated the characters way too much and the writing or the story wasn’t sticking with me for me to stay committed. I tried though. I would be willing to try her other title because I’ve heard good things about that one, but this one just didn’t work out.

Lyn: Kara, I do want to read her other novel, because I enjoyed the voice of her MC. You pointed out the biggest issue in the novel, and I even made a comment on my reading progress that the scene with Jason was really gross.

The next issue I ran into was Noah’s pouting and huffy attitude when Cadie focused on Matt.  It really left a bad taste in my mouth. She knew the two guys for just a handful of days. I HATE it when a guy gets jealous when a girl interacts with another guy. It honestly just pissed me off. For all the pro-woman ideas addressed by the book, I found the majority of the male characters in this novel as completely horrible and unlikeable.

Kara: Yeah, I didn’t like either of the guys in this one. I know the author painted Noah that way because she didn’t want us to know immediately it was Matt, so she had to find a way to throw SOME shade at Noah, but still. It was pretty unsettling.

And that kind of leads into the other thing I wanted to say, which is, was I the ONLY one who found it blatantly fucking obvious that Matt was the bad guy from the very beginning? The foreshadowing was a MESS. I wrote early on: Lindsey is dead, Matt has her phone, and he killed her. I mean, if I can figure it out before the book even really gets going, something is wrong. It’s like this book was a “Thrillers For Dummies” How-To.

Pixie: I didn’t have to finish the book to know who the bad guy was and what had happened to Lindsey after she’d disappeared.’ LOL. It was so obvious!

Lyn: LOL. I am picturing that Dummies guy on a yellow cover with a knife and bloodstains on his face.

Yeah, hard to mention that there might be a spoiler alert when the twist is so apparent as soon as you met Matt and Noah. Also, Lindsey. That whole plot was so far fetched and ridiculous that I almost stopped reading. No one gave a crap about her? There were no red flags at any time? Two people ask about her and no one is worried? I can’t just dismiss logic to that degree. It was sloppy and lazy. No one in their right mind would have brushed off her disappearance.

Kara: Yeah, I have to agree. It was laughable, almost. There were a lot of leaps of logic that had to be made to even get through this one and remain remotely positive about it. And then when she drove off with Matt and left Noah at the rest area, I almost had a conniption. HOW STUPID IS THIS GIRL? Lindsey’s phone was in Noah’s bag and he willingly let Cadie go through his bag. Do you honestly think the real killer would leave evidence that easy to find? IDIOT Dur de dur.

I’m done. This book was ridiculous.

Lyn: Yes, I agree. Then the cover up at the end. I was so over it at that point. Who in their right mind just shrugs off that entire event and thinks “Well, we’ll just deal with that little issue later.” It was infuriating. It was so hard to swallow the entire story. I almost felt bad for giving this two stars, because I loved the note from the author at the end of the book. She mentioned that it was a story about a woman coming of age, but I never got that. Never. I saw someone who just threw logic and caution into the wind, but not “coming of age.” I don’t blame Cadie for wanting something else, because her life did suck. However, her decision turned from wild abandonment into idiotic choices over time. It was almost like the author wrote a contemporary, then the editor complained about the lack of action. It was a peanut butter and pickle sandwich. Nothing fit together.

Pixie: May I speak now?

Thanks. LOL. 😛

Y’all’s rantings are actually making me consider going back to the last 25% or so and just finish watching this trainwreck.

Kara: Don’t do it. It’s not worth it. It was STUPID.

Pixie: It was. I think the breaking point in me setting it down was her deciding not to go home, getting on the phone with her dad & finding out Lindsey didn’t go home. Instead of calling her dad back to inquire more about it or something, she just shrugs it off–another thing to shrug off anyway, in my opinion, and runs off. It was just too much again and I was like NOPE. Couldn’t anymore. I just really hated all of those characters. Grrrr.

I don’t want to think about that book again. I’ll try her other one. LOL.

Kara: Yeah, I think you guys might really like that one. It’s completely different. It’s a contemporary, it’s a romance, but there are no thriller elements. It’s much sweeter.

I can say, I did love her painting of the atmosphere in this book though. I love the way she writes about Florida because I can tell she loves it as much as I do. But honestly, that’s the only positive thing I can say here. The other thing is that all of the things she mentions about Florida are true. That naked river guy? He’s real. As is the town of Flamingo. So that’s a cool thing to know.

Lyn: Those parts won the book an extra star. That is really sweet to know. However, I could have done without part of the finale. That made me dry heave and sob a bit. I think everyone knows which part.

Kara: View Spoiler »

Lyn: HURLING HERE.

Kara: Muahahaha. So, what was everyone’s final rating? 2.5 for me.

Lyn: 2 stars. I didn’t flat out hate it, but I don’t have a lot of good things to say.

Pixie: I DNF for this time. Maybe I’ll finish that last 25% sometime out of sheer curiosity, but even if I do, I doubt it’d ever get above 2 stars. It just wasn’t in the stars for me on this one.

Kara: YEAHHH. Hate read the last 25%. LOL. Do it for funsies. 😀

2 responses to “Group Review: The Devil You Know

  1. First of all, I don’t trust ANYONE who would choose Gatorland over Disney World! That’s just crazy talk! XD Seriously though, great review! I’ve had my eye on this one for awhile, even though I wasn’t positive what it was about. It seems like the characters weren’t great though, which is super disappointing! And the big mystery seems to have been very badly done. I’m glad I wasn’t too set on reading it since I know who the Big Bad is now… 😉
    Tracy (@Cornerfolds) recently posted…Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. MaasMy Profile

    • Hahah! Well, I was mostly joking about Gatorland. It’s kind of a joke among people that live here. 😀

      I’m actually quite bummed about not liking this one because Where the Stars Still Shine is one of my favorites. I just feel like it had a lack of focus and would have been a better book if it was JUST a contemporary or a thriller but not both. There was too much going on for me, and the thriller elements were incredibly lazy. But a lot of people are loving it, so what do I know?

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