I’m sad to say that Barking Madness by Ryan Hill is the first book of 2017 (and hopefully the only one) that I won’t finish. I’ve managed to read the first 150 pages of the story, before I finally made the decision to just put it away.
RECOMMENDED FOR READERS 17 AND UP DUE TO STRONG LANGUAGE, SEXUAL SITUATIONS, DRUG USE, AND MILD VIOLENCE.
Seventeen-year-old Rosetta Harper is plagued by nightmares of a masked man. With her father’s new career move, her family has just relocated from Florida to the small New England town of Ashwood. A quiet town and close-knit community where you know your neighbors, and trouble is a word unspoken. But soon after her arrival, her world and the worlds of her classmates come crashing down.
Michael hates his family and feels alone and unloved. He only finds comfort when he’s with his friends, but even they get on his nerves. Everything about Ashwood and his life bores him, until Rosetta Harper moves into town. With her as a new classmate, Michael finally gets the excitement he was looking for, but it may be at too high a cost.
Let’s start off with some positive notes: it’s a really easy read and I read about 50 pages before I knew it. Also, I really loved the opening scene which gave me much hope for the rest of the story.
Unfortunately it didn’t live up to my expectations. After Rosetta wakes up from her dream, my opinion of the story just went downhill and never got up again. Most of the time I was just rolling my eyes at the thoughts, actions and behaviours of the main characters and the characters I actually kind of liked didn’t really talk or do a lot.
The story is told from two perspectives: Rosetta’s and Michael’s. Rosetta appeared as a real arrogant … girl who jumped from one boy to the other without thinking twice. I don’t know if it was Hill’s intention to make me hate her so much. If it was, he did a splendid job! And if it wasn’t, he has quite a weird view on how girls/women think and act.
On the other hand we have Michael and I liked him slightly (only slightly!) better than Rosetta, but overall he was as ‘teenagey’ as Rosetta and mainly hated everything and everyone.
Although the story is told from an I-perspective, Rosetta still is arrogant as poop in her mind. I honestly think that the people who appear most arrogant, are also quite insecure about themselves and won’t think and act the way Rosetta did.
The action didn’t happen until 70 pages into the book; the first 70 pages were only about the main characters talking about who’s hot and who’s not. And when the action finally began I got the hope that I had at the beginning of the story, back. That didn’t really last long unfortunately. After an attack Rose befriends Michael, but lets him down again even faster, just because he’s not ‘cool’ enough and she rather hangs out with a selfish, rude, pushy, aggressive dude. And oh, did I already mention that Rose got a boyfriend and had sex with him right on the first day at her new school? And that he tells her he loves her after just spending one day together? No? Okay.
So, I think this rant has been long enough.
(with this rant I’m not trying to write Ryan Hill off as a bad author, since I’ve read a short story by him, called Blue Moon, on his website, which I really liked!)
*I received an ebook copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*