This second novel from (relatively) local author Beth Fantaskey takes the reader on a scientific and literary journey into the lives of two teens – Jill Jekel and Tristen Hyde – whose meeting is less than coincidental. Jill Jekel, a shy and brilliant chemistry student, and Tristen Hyde, a too-cool-for-school British exchange student and equally brilliant chemist, are an unlikely pair. But they are drawn to each other through the shared grief of each having lost a parent to brutal murder. Of course as their relationship develops, they discover how un-coincidental everything about this year is… and that they share a literary fate – Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was based on their ancestors. Hyde and Jekyll couldn’t coexist… so is it possible now that they can love one another?
After reading Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, I was totally geeked for what Beth Fantaskey would create for her readers next. Jekel Loves Hyde offers its audience many of the same elements as its precursor without being formulaic. The characters and setting are similar (write what you know, right?), but their stories are different. Still, I didn’t quite get into this book like I did Jessica’s Guide. I’m not sure why; I’m usually a sucker for characters and her characters are pretty good. I know that Fantaskey is a completely capable author and she can surpass her debut novel. I just don’t think this one was it.
Besides, this is the best modern version of Jekyll and Hyde I’ve ever seen: http://www.shmoop.com/news/2010/10/05/jekyll-hyde-facebook/ Just couldn’t compete!
Additionally… happy birthday, Grandma!!!
Image taken from http://www.amazon.com