Friday, December 30, 2016

PREMEDITATED BY JOSIN L. McQUEIN - BOOK REVIEW

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, Premeditated by Josin L. McQuein.





I was all set to give this book a high rating, and then I got halfway through and figured out the ending. And from that point on, things just got too almost painfully annoying. Like if I could figure it out, why couldn't the characters?

Basically, this is a story of revenge. It was vaguely reminiscent of The Female of the Species, but McGinnis does a better job dealing with the revenge aspects, as well as many other related elements that I won't talk too much about so I don't spoil either book. Anyways, in this story, Dinah finds her cousins diary after she is rushed to the hospital after a suicide attempt. And in that diary, she names the boy who broke her heart and drove her over the edge. Dinah decides she will take her cousin's place at a prestigious school and find him and ruin his life. Or maybe kill him. I'm still not sure what the ultimate end goal was. There is also some family drama, of course, with her cousin in the hospital in a coma, Dinah is staying with her aunt and uncle which makes her drama queen mom upset. Her dad is pretty cool, though.

I won't say much more on synopsis because I don't want to spoil anything.

One of my main issues with this book and the reason I rated it lower than maybe what it deserved was because of its predictability. I literally got to the halfway point of this book and figured out what was actually going on. And sometimes, you get a book that is supposed to be predictable, you're supposed to know things the characters don't. But it got to the point where things were so blatantly obvious that I was angry that the three co-conspirators didn't figure it out. They seem smart enough, they, at least Dinah should have seen it. But they didn't. And it made the second half of the story painful. I was seeing clue after clue of what really happened, which aggravated me, but the characters were completely oblivious. It should not have taken Dinah as long as it did to figure things out. I get that it was easy to be swept up into things, but I felt something was off when things first started and my suspicions grew. I'm a little bit saddened by this portrayal, frankly, because it paints Dinah as someone who is blinded by mundane things to the point where she is unable to think critically. Now, I can't be too harsh, he had me going too, but I would like to think that Dinah has a bit more smarts than this.

This book also deals with the concept of revenge and portrayals of justice. Dinah takes it upon herself to be the bringer of justice and get revenge for her cousin. And I wholeheartedly applaud her for her loyalty. Some of the things that happened to her cousin are horrific and deserve justice. My problem comes in with Dinah's execution of justice. I'm not even mad that she wanted him dead. In her eyes, he killed Claire, so he should die too. I'm not going to get into punishments, we're setting that aside because my problem wasn't with her wanting him to be punished, it was how he was going to be punished. Not once did she go to the police. Or even her dad or an adult. Now, she had her reasons, no one would believe her, there was not proof, etc. which I get, but she, a seventeen year old was going to kill or at least socially kill a guy and she thought there would be zero consequences for her actions. This is where this book goes downhill for me and reminds me of The Female of the Species. A similar thing happens in that book, but McGinnis is able to execute it flawlessly. Dinah, I don't think, had it in her to kill. Alex, from TFoTS, did. And this difference means a lot. Dinah messed with his future, rearranging college interviews, releasing compromising info, none of these things were the death that was said to be the only justice. I feel like McQuein chickened out. Dinah realizes that he's a person and he made a mistake, but I was promised that he would pay the ultimate price for his actions and I feel ripped off.

There was some romance in this book, but I don't even want to talk about it because it was so convoluted and just such a randomly thrown in thing to add. There was a sort of love triangle, but at the same time, I felt like this story had enough going on without a romance.

I will warn that this book deals with mental illness and there may be triggers for rape and self-harm/cutting. These issues, especially self-harm are major elements of this book, and I think this was the one thing McQuein did very well. There is one point where Dinah gives a monologue on cutting, speaking as her cousin and it was chilling. It was very descriptive, so just be warned if that is something that affects you.

Overall, I think this book had good bones, but with the predictability, it just didn't work. If you want a book like this but is actually really well done, check out TFoTS by Mindy McGinnis instead.