- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Young Readers Paperback; Reprint edition (June 6, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781328695314
- ISBN-13: 978-1328695314
- ASIN: 132869531X
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 157 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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With Malice Paperback – June 6, 2017
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* "Cinematic scene breaks and propulsive reveals will keep the pages furiously turning in this slow-burning but explosive thriller."
–Booklist, STARRED review
"[With Malice] is a page-turner, and the ending is unsettling—let the reader beware."
"A solid thriller that will leave readers guessing until the very last page."
–School Library Journal
"Cook believably portrays the struggles of girl who had it all and is left to pick up the pieces of a life she isn’t sure is hers."
"The hoopla surrounding the accident is played well, reminiscent of the real-life Amanda Knox trial. Jill's past-tense narration is complemented by Justice for Simone blog posts, police transcripts, text messages, email, Facebook comments, and Crime Watch episodes, through which details of their frenemy-ship and what might've happened emerge."
"The story is twisty, well-written, and so powerful that I felt as though I was reading about a true crime. Is there anything more complex or vicious than a teen girl? Especially one with secrets."–Chevy Stevens NYT Bestselling author Still Missing and Those Girls
"Some books you read and forget immediately. Some you finish and want to start again immediately. This is one of the latter. Staggeringly smart, just enough sexy, and virtually seamless."–Terra Elan McVoy, author of Edgar Finalist, Criminal
About the Author
Eileen Cook is a multi-published author with her novels appearing in eight different languages. She spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer. Eileen lives in Vancouver with her two very naughty dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.
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The book read like it was written by someone who either doesn't spend much time with teenage girls, doesn't remember being a teenage girl, or doesn't have a lot of respect for teenage girls. And the result is characters that are one dimensional and trite. I live with an 18 year old girl, and I Can tell you, they have a rich inner world that this book didn't come close to touching. I found much of the teen dialog forced and not believable. The adult dialog was mostly fine, though I did find even some of those characters written as caricatures of personas instead of as fully fleshed-out individuals. And even though this is a YA novel, I didn't think it paid the reader due respect either: the book could have been a lot savvier than it was, even with it's utterly lackluster plot.
Those looking for a story with a good twist? Please keep looking. There isn't a twist so much as a general feeling of, "....Oh. That's all? I see." Like, you might not have guessed that's where you were headed, but once you got there, you weren't punched in the face like perhaps you were with Gone Girl. This book just sort of...ends. And you're like, "Ok, well, thanks for nothing."
I found some of the devices the author used awfully convenient ("My friend knows stuff about computers!" "AWESOME! Can he solve this riddle for me?" "TOTES!" "RAD!") and the entire book was riddled with cliches. (The interview with the Italian guy who describes the girls as bellisima while kissing his fingertips LITERALLY made me cringe)
Overall, weak plot, weak twist, poorly developed characters, but a fast-paced read that does leave you wanting to know what happened, even if that desire hits a wall at the end of the novel.
Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital room with no memories of the past six weeks. She's just eighteen years old and seems to have so much in front of her. She finds out that that she went to Italy for the Study Abroad program and she was involved in a fatal car accident that killed her best friend Simone. The Italian Government and so many others believe that it wasn't an accident and Jill killed her best friend. She has to face surgery, rehabilitation, and possible extradition to Italy to face the courts.
Jill's a really smart young woman that has been accepted to Yale University. She comes from a family with money but her father left her mother for a younger woman with two sons that seem to have replaced their family. She's close with her mother but the person that knows her most was Simone. They had been best friends since fourth grade. Jill and Simone are so completely different. Jill's always been about her studies and books, she loves history and art, and voicing her opinion on matters that she thinks are important. Simone was all about being the center of attention, she was a cheerleader, and ended up being Prom Queen. She had no plans for college and didn't know what she wanted to do with her life. She wasn't even supposed to be on the Italian trip and it was going to be an opportunity for Jill to be on her own.
Jill's a likable character that's trying to figure out what happened. She can't believe that she would ever do anything to hurt Simone because she loved her and felt like she was her sister. She hates that she has no memory of what happened or the last times she and Simone were together. Jill does have moments where she's a people pleaser especially her father. She feels guilty or horrible for letting anyone down. Her parents do what they can to leave her in the dark to supposedly protect her. Luckily her rehab roommate Anna does what she can to help her. There are so many people that are trying to make Jill seem like a slut, jealous of Simone, and think she looks like a cold blooded killer. She's never been a social butterfly, she feels uncomfortable in social situations a lot, and she feels better in the classroom and museums, etc.
There are so many times throughout this story that I worry that Jill's future will pretty much be ruined because of this. She's a great character and has moments of strength but this could also destroy her. But the ending showed that Jill will be just fine!!!
I really liked the premise of With Malice, and I enjoyed the first half of the book. That said, I didn't love it overall. I felt like it was trying to be Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas, but was unsuccessful. There were a lot of similarities between the two books, and most books that are compared to Dangerous Girls won't stack up, because it was amazing.
I won't give anything away, but I also didn't like the resolution of the book. It felt unbelievable and I had a hard time believing it. I'm struggling to write this because I don't want to spoil anything, but I'll just say that some of the actions taken by some characters felt out of character from what we knew about them. I get that sometimes that's what happens in books or real life, but it wasn't done well enough for me to actually buy it in With Malice.
What I did like was Jill's relationship with her roommate at the rehab center. They seemed to have each others backs, and I enjoyed seeing them help each other progress and just be friends to each other. I also enjoyed the writing in the book. It was easy to read, and I was hooked enough in the story to not want to put the book down until everything was revealed.
If you're in the market for a light mystery vs. a fast paced thriller, you may like With Malice. If the story sounds appealing but you're not sure if you'll like it, I suggest checking out Dangerous Girls instead! I can't recommend that one enough!