Thursday, December 8, 2016

REVIEW: Heartless by Leah Rhyne

I received this ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

In a contemporary take on the Frankenstein tale, Jolene Hall is dead – sort of. She can walk, think and talk, but her heart no longer beats. After being abducted and subjected to horrific experiments, Jo wakes up to find her body is a mosaic of jagged wounds and stapled flesh. Jo has a choice: go to the authorities, or team with her best friend Lucy and boyfriend Eli to save herself. She wants to know who turned her into a monster, and live to see another sunrise. On a trip deep into the snowy White Mountains, to a hidden laboratory filled with bodies of the dead, Jo and Lucy find more ‘creatures’ just like her. Part body, part machine, run by batteries and electricity, these girls are killers, created by a shadowy Order with a penchant for chaos…and murder. To make matters worse, a photo on a wall of victims reveals Lucy is next in line to be "recruited” into this army When Jo’s physical condition takes a turn for the worse, and the and the Order kidnaps those she loves most, saving her best friend and the man she loves might just mean sacrificing herself...or what’s left of her. 

I am having a few problems writing this review and putting into words exactly what I didn't like. I hate when that happens. I loved the premise of this book. A retelling of Frankenstein where the monster is a teenage girl just sounds all kinds of awesome. The problem is that the premise didn't really live up to what I pictured in my head.

The very beginning of the book was great. It started with Jo telling about how she wound up dead and the horror of waking up in a morgue. I loved the friendship between Jo and Lucy. It was very sweet and realistic and I loved that Jo counted on her even more than she counted on her boyfriend, Eli. That doesn't happen in books very often so that was refreshing. It's hard to describe where it went wrong. I think some of the dialogue and interactions were just over the top. The dialogue seemed cheesy at times, especially between Jo and her parents. And then some of her friend's reactions were a bit off. Every time Jo told someone else that she was dead, I expected a bigger reaction or more shock. But maybe that's just me. 

Speaking of over the top, let's talk about Jo basically falling apart (physically) as they try to figure out what happened and how to fix her. Another reviewer compared it to a cheesy horror movie and I think that is the most accurate description. The descriptions of her smell and her broken bones that she couldn't even feel and her bones that were showing were just all too much. It was also predictable. There were a couple of people involved in what happened to Jo and the second they were introduced, I said to myself, "Yep, that person is involved." And there were SO MANY SIGNS. I thought Jo, Lucy and Eli were all basically idiots because they couldn't see any of that stuff sooner. I wanted to scream at them so many times. And then the resolution of why everything happened was just crazy. I know you have to suspend a certain amount of disbelief anyway with a story like this, but it just seemed a little too unrealistic.

I also didn't like the romance part of the book. I didn't like Eli. He acted like a jerk at times. Seriously, who yells at a dead woman? Ugh. There was no chemistry between him and Jo and I never understood what Jo saw in him. So I didn't root for them at all.

I really wish this book had been better, but alas, it just wasn't for me.

Buy/Borrow/Skip: Skip this one.


  1. Oh my gosh, the premise sounds amazing?? I have second hand disappointment that it didn't turn out just as good as the blurb! I hate when authors make the main characters unrealistically stupid, it annoys the hell out of me when something is right in front of their nose, but they don't act upon it. Just because they're young, it doesn't mean that they're complete idiots!

    1. Oh I know. I have never read a retelling of Frankenstein so I was super excited. So sad that it didn't live up to expectations.

  2. Oh that's too bad this didn't work out for you! I love Frankenstein this definitely did sound like it had a lot of potential, oh well! If the romance doesn't work, it can really kill the story!
    Great review, Cynthia!

    1. Cyn, so true. The lackluster romance just killed it! But the over the top parts of the plot didn't really help. :)