I’d like to preface this by saying this does contain little spoilers, but I have tried to devoid as much as I could. What I couldn’t get rid of, I have put spoiler markers. Enjoy!
ROSES ARE RED
VIOLETS ARE BLUE
WATCH YOUR BACK
I’M COMING FOR YOU
Lylah and her friends can’t wait to spend a night out together. Partying is the perfect way to let loose from the stress of life and school, and Lylah hopes that hitting the dance floor with Chace, her best friend, will bring them closer together. She’s been crushing on him since they met. If only he thought of her the same way…
The girls are touching up their makeup and the guys are sliding on their coats when the doorbell rings. No one is there. An envelope sits on the doormat. It’s an anonymous note addressed to their friend Sonny. A secret admirer? Maybe. They all laugh it off.
Except Sonny never comes home. And a new note arrives:
This novel follows a character named Lylah, and her five housemates.
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, Lylah is dreading the days as they count down as Valentine’s Day marks the day of the second anniversary of her parent’s death. Lylah was only 17 when it had happened, her older brother freshly 21. Because of the accident they deeply relied on each other, supporting each other emotionally.
Finally, after gaining back her sense of independence, she takes a leap of faith. Lylah decides to move out of home from her brother, moving to campus to study media.
Just as everything has returned to normalcy, adjusting to the stressful but fun life of college- it happens. A letter on the doorstepped addressed with thick letters- Sonny. Sonny, her housemate, is unfrassled, deciding it must’ve just been a secret admirer and goes out to a club with their gang. Lylah is paranoid, but she joins in, having a fun night of drinking. Late into the night, they go home and sleep the hunger over off after Sonny departed to meet with a lady.
In the morning, Sonny isn’t home. He is always home. Panicked, the group decide to split up, searching his usual spots for him but never fail to find him. Growing even more serious, they contact the police to file a missing person. Soon, their worst nightmare is uncovered as they find Sonny. Dead. His heart carved out.
For a better analysis of the plot, please refer to the link below.
Honestly, I cannot stress this enough, the font and text size is perfect. I love me a book that selects fonts well. Not only that but the version of the book I bought was large enough in size that I read it fluidly. Not sure why, but this actually means a lot to me as a reader.
Now, when I first opened the book I was presented with a massive image of a letter, with cut and paste letters spelling-
Roses are red, violets are blue, watch your back, I’m coming for you.
Now, it was an interesting way to enter a book, however, it came off as almost tacky. Unoriginal. I have seen the ‘classic’ messages written in magazine cutouts, but like- printers? You don’t have to hand write a note anymore, you don’t even have to touch it. It still leaves zero traces.
I mean, I understand that it isn’t as ‘scary’ but it is a major cliche that can be left in the past, in my opinion.
Besides that, the character build-up of both Lylah, her brother and Jake were done brilliantly, however, every single other character lacked even the shallowest of depth. It also led me to the question, how can six broke college students afford a 6 bedroom house with multiple bathrooms. I’m a college student and I couldn’t even afford to buy myself a new shirt, let alone pay a mortgage/rent, utilities, food, transport and everything in between.
The other thing I noticed when reading was the fact that despite having round-the-clock police surveillance, the killer managed to break into the house not once- but several times. Not only that, but the characters managed to sneak past the police. Like, I cannot stress this enough, if you cannot manage to watch a front door, then you shouldn’t be driving, carrying a gun or even be in the police force.
Next, I noticed that none of the five housemates family came once they had heard several murders had taken place and they were being targeted. Like, I get sometimes family can be nonchalant or maybe they didn’t know what to do, but not a single family member- 10 parents, not including siblings- showed up, even for support. Time for a new family, guys.
Finally, on a positive note, I thoroughly enjoyed the plot twist at the end, and how the author tied everything together. That is, the main plot tied together. The sub-plots, however, not so much.
The plot lacked in-depth suspicion and character build-up in the sense of the killer.
In an attempt to not spoil this novel, I’d just like to say that the hyper-focus on a particular character completely gave it away that it wasn’t that character. Perhaps the author was going for a cheap magic trick attempt, telling you to focus someone where while they hide the true character. However, their suspicions for the supposed character lacked not only evidence but substantial theory. I’m not saying who the killer is, but I am going to say this-
-Jake, the supposed killer- attempted to give Lylah a kiss and was softly rejected. HOWEVER- a rejected kiss isn’t going to turn you into a killer, let me be blunt. Like, he wasn’t deeply infatuated, they weren’t in a relationship and she didn’t give off any significant mixed signals. Not only that, but he was mentally stable until he left college- which could have been for a plethora of reasons that the author did not delve into.
And what about the ending where almost his entire family thought him to be a mass murderer because of a rejected kiss. Not even the Joker has a backstory that weak. And he is so controversial.
(END OF SPOILER ALERT)
Now, it could’ve been better. the desired love affair, the lack of unpredictability. According to Goodread’s reviews, it had a significant quantity of spelling mistakes that I must’ve skimmed over. Personally, I cannot complain about this, I just thought I would add it in.
In saying all of this though, it was quite a ride. Fast-paced, enough sub-plots to make it almost believable and she approached mental health respectively. For that, she did very well and I’m beyond excited to read more of her novels.
Thank you all for reading! I have attempted to improve my reviewing blogs, and as such, the usual length is significantly longer.
Not only that, but I have include image ratings instead of just text ratings. I desperately wanted to create gorgeous bookmarks to fill in for my ratings, however, all I could use was stars. It still looks nice, nonetheless.
Thank you all for reading, if you have similar or contrasting opinions in respect to what I have said above, feel free to comment down below.
If that doesn’t work, feel free to go to my Instagram at @in_another_realm. New update, I have created a twitter account- @inanotherrealm1