Eighteen-year-old Jenny Morton has a horrific secret: her touch spreads a deadly supernatural plague, the “Jenny pox.” She lives by a single rule: Never touch anyone. A lifetime of avoiding any physical contact with others has made her isolated and painfully lonely in her small rural town.
Then she meets the one boy she can touch. Jenny feels herself falling for Seth…but if she’s going to be with him, Jenny must learn to use the deadly pox inside her to confront his ruthless and manipulative girlfriend Ashleigh, who secretly wields the most dangerous power of all.
With that cover and that synopsis, how could I NOT read it? I remember getting this book because it was for free on Smashwords. I loved the cover and the synopsis sounded pretty cool. I immediately downloaded it and put it on my Kobo. It wasn’t until Bout of Books that I finally picked it up to read – everyone seemed to be talking about the latest book in the series, so I knew I had to catch up!
This was such a different book. I will admit that I adored the first half and how it seemed like a sweet paranormal-type romance, but then turned into all types of WTF-ery as the story entered the second half. It was like one of those train wrecks that look so cool that you just can’t look away. I was in love with the entire story and wanted more — MORE!
I loooooved Jenny! Her relationship with her father is wonderful, though I wondered about his alcoholism. He seemed pretty tame from the alcoholics I’ve seen in other books, but I did like Jenny’s dedication to him. I also felt so sorry for Jenny and her weird condition/power — never being able to have physical contact with ANYONE EVER would be so hard.
As far as the WTF-ery, the story was part Mean Girls and part Carrie. The romance was my FAVOURITE part of the book — really, I loved it. I was initially cautious of the love interest for Jenny – but eventually the way he is in the story is revealed! Again – spoilers! I don’t want to give anything away, but let’s just say that Jenny isn’t the only one with powers. The fact that the story turned out to be something that I was just NOT expecting.
I loved the supernatural slant of this book – it was so unlike what I thought it was going to be. Jenny was a character you wanted to root for, even when things got crazy weird in the story. And Ashleigh, the evil character of the book, is so easy to hate! She’s manipulative and it takes a while to really figure out what she’s all about. There are times when she acts like a total crazy person, but then it all makes sense.
Keep in mind, though, this is NOT for the feint of heart. There is plenty of death and gore and other things that will make you tingle — and not in a good way! Well, if you like that stuff, I guess it’s good, but there is a lot of ugly going on.
Honestly, as I was reading this story, I didn’t expect to like it — it was all kinds of crazy, but crazy in such a good way. The instant I finished it, I knew I had to get my hands on the sequel (big thanks to Kelsey for sending it to me!) — J. L. Bryan is THAT good. I am so happy to have been introduced to these books and will be diving into Tommy Nightmare soon!
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