Thorn Jack by Katherine Harbour

18505811Rating: 3 stars

Series: Night and Nothing #1

First half of the book gets 4 stars, and the second half gets 2 stars. Finn, short for Serafina, was a teenager living with her dad in San Francisco. Her mother was long dead, and about a year ago her sister committed suicide. She and her dad moved back his hometown in New York. It was a bizarre place. Spooky things happened in the woods, and many homes which used to be extravagant were abandoned. Some of the young people in town were strange and different. Many people in town were oblivious to these oddities.

For while I was really into this. Finn was depressed over the loss of her sister. She settled into her new town quickly by making friends and starting college. Finn had a hard time believing her sister committed suicide, and the more she learned about her sister the more suspicious her death seemed. She met Jack Fata and the rest of his bizarre family. She got the feeling there was some kind of connection between them and her sister. Something weird was going on with Jack. Being around Finn made him be able to bleed again, and I really wanted to know what that meant for him.

Unfortunately this went from interesting to YA cliched crap. The plot began to focus more on the romance than the sister’s death or the bizarre happenings in town. Jack was a mysterious bad boy, so of course Finn was drawn to him against all better judgement. At one point things with Finn and Jack were getting intense when it was mentioned that Finn had only known Jack for a month. By then they were acting like they couldn’t live without each other. Their relationship turned out to be nothing more than instalove with no realistic basis for a relationship. They didn’t know each other at all.

Farther into the story it developed a stronger YA feel. Finn and her friends were college freshman, so they were roughly 18. It felt like they were in high school. There was too much petty bickering and bullying. Finn got in a fight at college and went home to tell her dad. She was an adult. At that point in her life she wasn’t obligated to tell her dad about every mistake she made. Out of Finn and her two friends only one of them had a car. Finn didn’t even know how to drive. She and her other friend rode bikes. All three of them still lived at home. That didn’t seem so weird since the college was in the town. It was weird that Finn had a curfew. It was midnight which isn’t early, but the idea of college kids having curfews is odd IMO.

The character development was seriously needed work. The side characters had no depth. What you see is what you get with them. At first I thought some of the characters would be grey, and it would be hard to know where their loyalties lie. The bad people were simply bad, and the good were good. The only character with slightly questionable motives was Jack. He was supposed to be a serious threat to Finn, but I never got the feeling he would really hurt her. Finn’s two friends didn’t add much to the story. Sometimes I wondered why they were even in the book.

Finn acted dumber and dumber as the book went on. Her decisions became more reckless although everyone around her kept telling her what she was doing was dangerous. The intelligence of her friends was highly questionable also. They tagged along for every dumbass thing Finn did which put their lives in danger as well. The bad people were obviously otherworldly. Apparently her stupid friends thought they’d somehow be able to protect her from them. After a while it was fairly obvious what the Fatas were, but it took forever for Finn to figure it out. It took even longer for her to convince her friends. By the time the drama happened at the end, she’d been in the town and known everyone for about 2 months. She and Jack were literally willing to die for each other. The whole scene was overly dramatic.

This is the first book in a trilogy. Some things like her sister’s death got vague explanations but were satisfactory. Finn and Jack’s story was completely wrapped up. Nothing in this made me feel compelled to read the next one. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought this was a standalone.

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