The Devil You Know - Trish Doller

This review was originally posted on One Curvy Blogger

Here lately, I’ve read a lot of young adult thrillers. I’m not sure why I eat them up, probably because amazing young adult thrillers are so few and far between. The last two I picked up didn’t live up to my expectations, but The Devil You Know was a completely different experience! It wasn’t the most unpredictable — I wound up guessing the bad guy before he’s revealed — but the character’s wormed they way into my heart quickly and I found the book unbearable to put down.

Let me introduce you to Cadie, Noah, and Matt

Cadie is an adventurer stuck in middle-of-nowhere Florida. She spends what little free time she has planning trips to exotic places that she wants to explore. When she’s not day dreaming about leaving Florida, she plays a single parent to her four-year-old brother because her father became useless when her mother died three years ago.

Why should I have to change who I am so someone else will like me? Why should anyone have to do that? And why shouldn’t I call boys out on their bullshit?

I really liked Caddie. I have had minor issues with female leads in young adult novels these past couple of weeks, but I became instantly attached to this one. I think a lot of us can relate to the unwanted familial pressures of responsibility that can weigh a teenager down when all they want in life is independence. I know I certainly can. I also liked how honest she is with herself, and how strong and self-aware she comes off. Though she does make plenty of her own dumb mistakes (such as going on adventures with complete strangers), it’s hard to blame her for wanting to cut loose for once in her life.

When she meets Matt and Noah, handsome cousins that are camping their way through Florida for the summer, she can’t pass up the opportunity to do a little adventuring and to learn more about the mysterious hottie that is Matt’s older cousin, Noah.

If Matt was the Fourth of July, than Noah is a summer thunderstorm, and I’m at a loss to understand why. I know that I’m suffering from a case of lust at first sight, but isn’t that how it’s supposed to start? We shouldn’t just open up the boxes of our lives and dump them at each others feet. We should lift the flaps one by one and peek inside.

Whew! *fans self* I totally understand Caddie’s instant attraction to Noah — and those of you that have read The Devil You Know probably can, too. Noah is the older of the two mysterious cousins. He’s the bad boy type with delicious tattoos that loves the outdoors and wants more than anything to change his bad boy ways. When Caddie is first introduced to the man I knew he would make a better love interest than Matt.

“Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.”

Matt is the suave cousin that Caddie is introduced to first. He’s got that rich-boy charm that makes Caddie look twice, but when it’s obvious that she’s more into Noah, he gets closer to her friend Lindsey, though it’s clear he’s much more interested in Caddie than anyone else.

I’m usually not a fan of love triangles, but this one was much more fascinating to me because all the characters were so…well-rounded and unique. I didn’t have any complaints about any of them, but my absolute favorites were Arcadia and Naked Ed!

Nothing Wrong with a Character Driven Thriller

The Devil You Know wasn’t the most complex or unpredictable thriller I’ve ever read. In fact, I had the bad guy pegged two-thirds of the way in, but that didn’t matter to me because the writing was so addictive it seemed to jump off the page, she still managed to surprise me in other ways! It didn’t bother me that the world building wasn’t as complex as the character development. I had no trouble visualizing the plot or the setting. I felt like I was on this adventure with them and it turned out to be a hell of an emotional roller coaster!

Like many other young adult novels, Doller used first person narrative to tell this story and she picked the perfect character for the job. I also enjoy how she doesn’t always tell us what’s on her character’s mind. She gives us subtle hints and forces us to read between the lines to understand their personalities.

Every one should read this book!

I can’t say that I’ve read anything like this book or experienced any other writers who compare to Trish Doller, she seems to be in a class all of her own. I really enjoyed The Devil You Know, it’s become one of my all time favorite books of 2015. :)