Made For You by Melissa Marr
Source: ARC acquired at BEA (and signed by Melissa Marr)
Goodreads link: (click here)
What's it about?
Not much ever really happens in the small town of Jessup, North Carolina. Everyone knows everyone and there are definitely unspoken rules of Southern conduct that the residents abide by. In Jessup, social status matters. Your friends are of the same social standing as you, and you do not date out of your "class". Some people break these rules, but never publicly. Eva Cooper-Tilling comes from one if the most well known and respected families in Jessup. Her mother's family runs the local winery that employs many people who live in the town. She's well liked, nice to everyone and has the perfect boyfriend. The entire town is shocked when Eva becomes the victim of a hit and run accident. She is run over and left for dead on the side of the road one evening and nobody knows who could have done it or why. At first, Eva and everyone else thinks it was just an unfortunate accident, but when more girls are turning up dead it's obvious that there's something more horrific going on. Eva was lucky, she survived the attempt on her life, but she didn't quite come out of it unscathed. She has broken bones, a brain injury and her once perfect face is now covered in scratches and scars. She's temporarily stuck with crutches and needs help doing most everything, but at least she's alive. Another side effect of her accident is something she doesn't want to tell anyone about. When someone touches Eva, she can "see" their death. Of course this sounds crazy, so she decides to keep it a secret for now.
One night while recovering in the hospital, Eva reconnects with Nate Boucher, who was her best friend as a child, as well as her first crush. Her feelings for Nate never went away, but some of them have been replaced by hurt because she feels as if he had abandoned her. Over the years that they were estranged, Nate became a different person. He drank a lot, he was promiscuous and he was not very nice to Eva, if he ever acknowledged her at all. They put the past behind them and because of Eva's situation, other changes in his family life and the possibility of a serial killer on the loose, they begin a new chapter in their friendship.
Soon, they realize that the killer isn't choosing his victims randomly, they are all somehow connected to Eva. It's becoming clear that someone is stalking her. It could be anyone, so Eva decides to use her new abilty to try to flush out her stalker before he kills anyone else.
The story is told from the POVs of Eva, her best friend Grace and "Judge", her insane stalker who insists that Eva is meant for him. He's convinced that she's sending him messages and he will do anything to prove his love for her...even if it means killing her.
What I thought
Melissa Marr is brilliant and amazing, as usual. She is one of my favorite authors for a reason. Made For You is a creepy, suspenseful, psychological thriller with a bit of paranormal activity and romance both twisted and sweet. Part of the fun of this book is going along for the ride, feeling your heart pound as you get closer to the identity of the killer/stalker. It reminds me of what would happen if a particularly disturbing episode of Criminal Minds crossed over with an episode of Medium (I know, that show isn't on anymore, but it was a good show.). "Judge" is scary, sick and twisted and I really like Eva as a main caracter. She's the victim of a crime and the object of a stalker, but she doesn't let herself become a typical victim. She's popular, but not mean (yes, I swear it can really happen) and she takes control of her situation. The characters and their friendships and family bonds grow throughout this book as well. The paranormal element is part of the story, but it is not overwhelming, so it feels more like a thriller. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading. I enjoyed every creeptastic word.
**I got to meet Melissa Marr at BEA this year and I got a hug when I told her that my son is named after a character from her books. She's awesome. If by chance she sees this...
Seth says, "hi"!!
(He also says "thank you" for dedicating the book to nurses, doctors and techs in the NICU. He spent some time in one and knows how hard they work.)