Thursday, January 26, 2017

Barking Madness by Ryan Hill


Star Rating : 1 out of 5

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Content Rating : HIGH

Back Cover :
“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.”

My Thoughts :

I was actually really excited to read this book. I love this genre and the concept seemed interesting. However, after about the first two chapters I knew I did not like this book. I kept reading just to see if there was anything in it I liked, and there was not.

It is rated HIGH. The author rated it for ages 17+ which I completely agree with. There are multiple sexual encounters that are explicit, strong language, drug use, and violence.

What I liked :
  • The conceptI have read books like this one before and I’ve always enjoyed it. It’s a difficult genre to write because you have to write something out of the ordinary but in a way that is believable.
What I didn’t like :
  • The CharactersThey were all AWFUL. Rose is supposed to be manipulative and all that. However, she didn’t seem like that in the first few chapters; she seemed like a normal teenager. Then all of a sudden, she turned into a psychopath. Some of her actions would lead me to believe that she could be diagnosed with a mood disorder. Mike’s character is ok, yet he also is contradictory. He wants to be a good and caring father when he’s older; but, he won’t even take care of his poor dog? I don’t know if teenage guys are that vulgar either, but honestly, I need something about his character to like and I can’t find anything. The best character is probably Rose’s sister Emily. And that’s because she’s not in the story very much. Rose’s friends are atrocious. Do high schoolers really act like this? How was Tommy, one of the only redeemable characters, friends with them?
  • The POV changeI’m all for multiple Point of Views; but, Hill did not write this style well. Rose’s chapter would be super long and go through multiple weeks or even a month, and then the next chapter would go back through those same weeks or that same month with Mike. It’s so unnecessary and repetitive! It frustrated me.
  • The “curse – Maybe I missed it because I stopped reading super thoroughly about halfway through the book, but HOW DID SHE GET THIS CRAZY CURSE? I’m still so confused. It makes absolutely no sense to me. I’ve read books where the werewolf plot was explained simply by genetics or because of a curse, but I could not follow this one.
  • The writingHill has a unique writing style that I do not care for. There are instances where the setting is described more than the actual plot, and that bothers me. If the scene description is relevant to the plot I would understand, but it usually was not.
  • Rose and Mike’s relationship SUPER UNHEALTHY! They basically find their saving grace in each other, which is horrible because 1) a person should never stake their own life on another human being and 2) they are both mentally unstable people who definitely need counseling.
  • RoseI really really, really dislike Rose. She is an awful character and I cannot find one redeemable quality about her. Actually, she loves her sister, so there’s that. But she manipulates Tommy, and she is a complete brat to Mike and everyone else in the first half of the book.
  • OtherThere were also some nitpicky things that I did not like. There was a point where Mike was talking about his parents and he said “they’ve been together since before I was born” and I laughed out loud because, since they are his biological parents, OF COURSE they would have been together since before he was born. And Hill had one of the characters (a high schooler) say “swell”. I mean really, who says that anymore?
About the Author:

Ryan Hill is a YA Fiction writer. Born in Connecticut, Ryan now lives in Massachusetts with his family and is a student at UMass Amherst. He writes novels to appeal to young adult readers and people of any age who are looking for a good psychological thriller. Ryan describes his style as Girl Interrupted meets Shutter Island.




Reviewed by Lydia Jones


I was provided a free copy of this book by the author in exchange for my honest review. All opinions in this review are my own.


Pick up your copy at Amazon.


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