Before I begin with the Death Wish review, I will admit that I was given this book for free for an honest review. As such, this review will be done a little different. I will do the pros and cons for the book, but I will also be looking at other features of the book that I felt did not belong in one category, however, they did affect the rating.
Death Wish by Megan Tayte is about a young woman, Scarlet, who is shocked over the death of her sister and is trying to find out why and get some answers. In the process of discovering her sister’s decision, she begins to discover who and what she is.
As I have mentioned before, there were features that didn’t belong in a specific category. These features are setting and characters. For both of these features, as much as I did enjoy them, there were moments of time that I did not enjoy them so much.
The first one is setting. Don’t get me wrong, I love London and the UK. I have been to London before, and I can tell you that it is beautiful. However, it took me over half the book to finally piece together that the town was in the UK. For the longest time I thought she was living in her grandparents cottage in the East Coast of the US, especially the New England area. The characters spoke with zero accents or use of British slang, and there was very little outside world connection. What got me to realize that the place was in the UK and not in the US was when our main character was trying to find out travel times from her beach home to London and was using shorter amounts of time between the two locations than I expected. Even after the realization, it still took me a while to get the setting straight.
The second feature that I want to talk about is the characters. The characters were okay, however, they were not believable or lovable. Scarlet is okay, but in the end, I would not want to hang out with her all the time. In addition, Megan Tayte left the parents hanging in the air. You do have some background story about how the parents really did not love their children, but nothing about the choices they made, or why they made those choices. The father barely made an entrance, and the mother was there to drive the plot forward or to create an additional problem for Scarlet, our main character. The other characters were also there for three reasons: 1) teach Scarlet a lesson, 2) provide Scarlet information about her sister, or 3) provide a service for her.
Moving on from two features, I will be moving onto the cons. I felt as though there were a lot more cons with this book than previous books that I have read this year. Those cons are the format, the love triangle, the conveniences, vagueness and the feeling of the author purposely prolonging the book.
Let us first start with the format. I will admit that there might be some human error when I downloaded the book. I traditionally download the book onto my computer and move it onto my Nook. However, with the computer problems that I had the past month or so, I also had to use a different route. Though after a few times on several different devices, and getting the same result, I am beginning to wonder what really happened. In the beginning, the story was normal but the conversations were done in either bold or italic font. I tried the format out for a bit, but after a few pages it became annoying to the point where I was thinking about not finishing the book. In the end, the story somehow deleted itself off of my Nook, and when I redownload the book, the format was normal. I will admit that Scarlet’s thought process and poems are done in italics, but the conversation format that happened earlier did not happen.
The other con that I have is the elusive love triangle that exist with YA. I am glad to see that our main character realized this, but when I first read it, all I could think of was really? It felt like a cliche and something the author thought needed to be done to make her story a bit more heart wrenching. In the end, it was annoying and it felt it was something to help prolong the story.
This brings me to my other con of the feeling that the author tried to prolong the story. This also goes with my last con of the vagueness that the story had. I understand that in the perspective of our main character, we would not know all the facts and details. However, that vagueness lead to the feeling of the author trying to purposely prolong the story, which then lead to my annoyance with the book. There were times in which I did feel as though the author was prolonging the book without the vagueness. I don’t want to spoil the book, but there was a scene that felt was a repeat and the story could have moved forward better without.
Moving on from the cons, I did have a few pros. First of all, I did enjoy the paranormal/mystery element of the story. I normally do not read paranormal or mystery, so it was fun to switch it up and read something different. I really enjoyed how Tayte combine the two and has set the book up for the other books. The other pro that I enjoyed was the plot for this book. Tayte mainly focused on our character discovering herself, not only what, but who she really is. It was fun to see Scarlet grow as a character. Though I do need to point out that this is the first book in a five book series and Tayte has started to develop the plot for the series, even though it took a while. Almost everything with the plot took a while. In a sense, the discovering self-plot is a bit more believable with the death of the sister. The final pro that I enjoyed with the book was the symbolism. There was some religious symbolism that existed throughout the book. It was enjoyable and intertwined with the text beautifully.
In the end, I did give this book three out of five stars. Even with all the little annoyances, I did enjoy the story as a whole. It would not be a book that I would reread, and I am still debating as to whether or not I would finish the series. Because of the rating, I am on the fence with recommending this book. I generally recommend books that I love or absolutely love (four to five-star ratings). If you are into paranormal and a little bit of mystery, come check this book out. I do believe that you might enjoy this small quick read.