**I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest review**
Where to begin with this one… it had so much potential. The premise sounded amazing and the concept very original, but the delivery was just bad. The writing style of the author did not feel solid, it felt young and juvenile. It was difficult for me to ever get into the story because the actual premise was not introduced until nearly 200 pages in. That’s insane for an arc that is only 288 pages. The author spent most of the book describing modern day Puerto Rico and not giving information into what the heck was going on with the boys being murdered. And if the author was not describing present day PR, she was trying to include too many story lines: parent abandoning child, parent with alcohol problem, coming of age story for girl, drug habits/issues for teens, violence between teens, and so on. It was just too much for such a short book. Of course that meant that none of the story lines were properly developed or executed. They felt as if they were included to help move the story along which I do not ever agree with.
Not only was the story line not properly delivered, the main character was all around horrible. Lupe was nothing short of a petulant child that had the emotional range of a toddler. She walked around as if she was the tough kid on the block and everyone needed to recognize. Her emotions were nothing short of eleven the entire story. She needed to have a slap across the face in hopes of bringing her down a few notches. She started the story by traveling to PR to visit her aunt and uncle. It turns out her uncle is a well respected police officer investing a brutal murder. What does Lupe do? She claims that she would SOLVE THE CRIME because she’s watched it done on TV. Sorry, sweetie, you need to take a time out. Just because you watch it on TV does not make you an expert. You have zero knowledge outside of what Hollywood has displayed on that idiot box. That being said, she still proceeded to lie to her family and parade all over PR proclaiming that she would “get to the bottom of the murders”. Here’s something else you should know about Lupe – she apparently inherited her ivory skin and fair coloring from her mother so she never looked PR. She took it personally and badly every time someone doubted her being half PR. And when I say badly, I mean she turned into the rudest and most cruel person. Calm down, darling, jumping down the throats of people won’t win you friends. How about you dial those emotions back and talk to people?! Jeez. There was no redeeming qualities about this girl at all.
This was pitched as “A twist on a Caribbean boogeyman myth set in contemporary Puerto Rico…” but there was no thrills or chills involved – at least for me. There was far too much time dedicated to describing the food within PR to make this anything close to a thriller. When the mythical boogeyman creature was referenced, it was in a short paragraph hidden within pointless descriptive verbiage. I never felt on the edge of my seat, I never felt compelled to read past my bedtime, I felt no connection to this story. Nothing about it hooked me and that saddened me. I had very high hopes for this but they were all crushed by what I read.
Do I recommend? Not in good faith, no. I would recommend that you borrow from the library if you do want to read this. If you did read and love this, I am thrilled for you! I wish I could have read it with your eyes because it simply did not work for me. I feel some people will love it while others will feel like I did. I do not feel there will be a huge middle of the road with this one.