Book Title:
Unnatural Deeds
Book Author:
Cyn Balog
Publishing Date:
November 1st, 2016
Publisher:
Sourcebooks Fire
Date Read:
November 10th, 2016
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher - Thank you!

Synopsis

Secrets. Obsession. Murder. Victoria is about to discover just how dangerous it can be to lose yourself.

Victoria Zell doesn’t fit in, but she’s okay with that. All she needs is the company of her equally oddball boyfriend, Andrew. She doesn’t care what anyone else thinks…until magnetic, charming, mysterious Z comes into her life, and she starts lying to everyone she knows in an effort to unravel his secrets.

And then something terrible happens. Someone is dead and it’s time for Victoria to come clean. Interspersed with news clippings and police interviews, Victoria tells her story to Andrew, revealing her dark, horrible secrets…secrets that have finally come back to haunt her.

My Review

I think what originally drew me to Unnatural Deeds was that somewhat creepy cover that just screamed “thriller alert!” when I looked at it.  The rusty scissors, the creepy black and green background and writing for the title, and of course, that lone, clearly snipped flower that just hints at an amazing psychological thriller.  See, I really do have a thing for pretty book covers, and this one is probably in line with my favorite covers ever.  It’s simplistic, yet perfectly states what it is going for.

The story for Unnatural Deeds definitely is thrilling, and I did find myself really enjoying the book.  It was set up in an unusual way – it was more like a haunting confessional instead of a regular book – that is, our main character is telling another character in the book what happened and why.  She is telling him a story, instead of it being narrated in the traditional way.  It was interesting, as I haven’t really read a lot of books like this.  In fact, the last book that I read that had the whole confessional thing going on was probably Leftovers by Laura Weiss.

Unnatural Deeds starts us off with our main character, Victoria Zell, starting up a confessional to her boyfriend Andrew on her cell phone.  See, Victoria is in a very compromising position, and we, as the readers, don’t exactly know how she has gotten here…but she’s about to tell Andrew what led her here, and as readers, we have to listen to her story.

“I want him out of my head.  I wish I could scrape him out of my memory.  I don’t want to live with him etched in the deepest part of me.  I don’t want to die thinking of him.

But I know I will.”

Victoria begins her confession to Andrew by telling him about a new boy in school.  His name is Z, and he instantly takes a liking to her, inviting her to skip class (something she has never done before but gets such a thrill out of doing with Z), hang out, and be friends with him.  Z, on the other hand, has the entire class at their school (which is only about 30 kids, since it’s a private school) in the palm of his hand – everyone seems to want to be around him, and he uses that to his advantage.  However, Vic doesn’t really have any friends – she doesn’t interact with anyone except Andrew, who is home schooled and doesn’t leave the house very often because of his severe agoraphobia.  So Vic takes up with Z, and doesn’t realize that he is using her for her lab reports (which he takes out of her locker and leaves her little gifts) and for her to do all the work in the classes they have together so he can copy her.

Then Vic starts to fall for Z.  Really fall for him.  To the point where she’d probably do just about anything to make him happy.  But there are some weird rumors going on about Z, and he’s acting kind of weird…so Vic decides that she should definitely get to the bottom of what’s going on.

The whole time, she’s been ignoring Andrew – not spending time with him, keeping plans that they made for his birthday – and he’s starting to notice.  While Vic was honest with him about their friendship, she wasn’t honest about the fact that she has slowly been falling for Z, daydreaming about him, and even kissing him.

Eventually, the book leads up to an incredibly shocking twist (and I’ll admit that I didn’t see this coming!) that really changes the way you look at the entire story.  I’m still not sure if I’m happy with the way that this book ended, but I’m not even going to say anything about the twist or the ending because I don’t want to ruin the story.  The author clearly spent the entire novel working her way up to the explosive twist at the end, and yes, it’s quite the twist, so trust me on that.

I really wasn’t able to connect with Vic’s character, and that did kind of make the book a little less enjoyable for me, but I still liked the book overall.  Vic’s character just seemed a bit like a pushover – she seemed content to let Z get away with doing or saying just about anything to her, and she let him walk all over her and was quick to forgive him and continue her feelings for him like he hadn’t even hurt her.  She was happy to accept the gifts her left for her in her locker, and let him copy her work, and when she confronted him, she just let him talk her into believing that it was okay.  After reading the book to the end, I can see why she acted this way (kind of), but it still made me kind of angry that she thought this behavior was okay.

Unnatural Deeds satisfied my need for a psychological thriller, that’s for sure.  The writing kept me glued to the pages – I haven’t read any other books by Cyn Balog before, but this book made me want to check into some of her other novels (I get all excited when I discover an author that I haven’t read a book by before!).

4 stars
This entry was posted in Mystery, Reviews, Romance, Thrillers, Young Adult and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Review: Unnatural Deeds by Cyn Balog

  1. Karen Blue says:

    Great review! I was really curious about this book, cu the cover is amazing. I am glad to hear you mostly liked it. It sucks when you don’t really connect with a character, but it happens.
    Karen Blue recently posted…Fun Things To Do That Don’t Cost A Lot of Money ~Beyond the BooksMy Profile

    • Kelly says:

      Thanks so much! The cover of this book is definitely a great one, and the story was good too, even despite not being able to connect with Victoria. I do hope you like this one if you read it, it’s an interesting thriller! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I keep seeing the cover of this book everywhere and I’ve been wondering about it! I was so happy to see you reviewing it so I could find out more about it. After reading your awesome review for it, I want to read it! I hadn’t planned on it. 🙂

    • Kelly says:

      It was definitely an interesting read, and if you do read it, I have to say definitely pay attention to details, because it makes the ending that much more of a surprise when you figure out what’s actually going on!

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