June 4, 2015

The Devil You Know - Trish Doller

The Devil You Know book cover
The Devil You Know by Trish Doller
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Publication Date: June 2, 2015
Source/Format: Publisher (Thanks!) || ARC
[I received this book for review. This in no way affects my review.]

Eighteen-year-old Arcadia wants adventure. Living in a tiny Florida town with her dad and four-year-old brother, Cadie spends most of her time working, going to school, and taking care of her family. So when she meets two handsome cousins at a campfire party, she finally has a chance for fun. They invite her and friend to join them on a road trip, and it's just the risk she's been craving-the opportunity to escape. But what starts out as a fun, sexy journey quickly becomes dangerous when she discovers that one of them is not at all who he claims to be. One of them has deadly intentions.

I don't often go out of my way to read thrillers. But since The Devil You Know is penned by author Trish Doller (who I love), I didn't hesitate when I was given the opportunity to read it. This novel is very different from her previous two contemporaries. Both Something Like Normal and Where the Stars Still Shine are centered around teen characters going through a lot of personal growth as they confront the issues and circumstances life has dealt them; I was incredibly moved by both reads. While The Devil You Know has a similar teen lead as the others, the focus is central on the shenanigans that ensues when she spontaneously decides to join the two cousins, Noah and Mark, on their road trip. 

I admire the fact that Ms. Doller has broken new ground in terms for genre for herself with The Devil You Know. Her writing style is still so consistently good, and I'm particularly enamored with her descriptive turns of phrase and her attention to details. But, and though it pains me to admit it, this novel was just not for me. The characters were underdeveloped, even Cadie, though she does have moments where she feels real to the reader. The plot was definitely full of zigs and zags, but certain twists felt predictable and certain situations felt unnecessary. If it was Ms. Doller's intent to leave the reader feeling confused, she succeeded with me - though maybe not in exactly the way she was hoping, as I was mostly mixed up in terms of how I felt about this story.

Unfortunately, The Devil You Know wasn't my particular cup of tea. But if there's one thing that I can take away from this reading experience, it's that Trish Doller is a great writer who knows how to tell a good yarn. Though I still prefer her other novels, I don't regret reading The Devil You Know and experiencing something a little different from her usual work. 

Have you ever tried to see if a ghost story or myth was real?

I'm honestly not a fan of the scary stuff, so I never go out of my way to challenge any stories about the paranormal world. But I have encountered a ghostly presence in my basement! I was having a sleepover with some of my best friends. We are all in the 5th grade, and one of my best friends was a big horror buff back then. She was telling a story when the lights shut off, and something began to glow lightly in a corner of the room. We froze for all of ten seconds before we screamed and threw ourselves onto the bed. In about ten minutes, the lights went on again. Ever since then, that room has had more ghostly light apparitions show up whenever there are big groups of people sleeping over. It seems friendly though, since it doesn't harm anyone and just appears. Weird, right?


  1. I don't often read thrillers but I must say, the premise for this has intrigued me! I will be aware of the undeveloped characters though. Great review!

  2. The beginning of this year is when I read my first Doller book, Something Like Normal, and I loved it. I haven't read anything else yet. But I'm not sure about this one either. While I do sometimes go for thrillers, I just don't know. I'm not sure it will be for me, either.

  3. You know, this was my first Doller book and I was surprised how much I loved it. I'm always on the lookout for a good thriller book and I'm always disappointed. I was surprised at how quickly I flew through this. I'm def interested in trying her other books. Sucks this didn't wow you like it did me.

  4. I agree with you. I have LOVED this author's prior books, but this one didn't wow me. I also found the thriller elements predictable, and it seemed to me that the main character made a series of questionable choices just to move the plot forward. I also wanted to see a lot more character development. I think if there had been less (or no) romance and the book had focused more on how Cadie had to use her inner strength and resourcefulness to save herself and her friend, I'd have been happier.
    I remain a huge Trish Doller fan -- not every book, even by a favorite author, always clicks with every reader.
    Jen at YA Romantics

  5. Ah I was wondering about this one! I really like how it's a thriller and there's a road trip, but I'm sorry to hear it didn't live up to your expectations! I might still try this because of the writing! Or another one of her books :)

    Awesome review Alexa!

  6. Aww that's too bad this didn't work for you! I actually really enjoyed it! I admit that the thrilling aspect wasn't quite as thrilling to me mostly because I had the "deadly intentions" guy pegged from the start... however I was still completely wrapped up in the ride! This was actually my first trish doller so I'm going to need to go back and read her other ones!

  7. You definitely should! I really loved Where the Stars Still Shine. That's definitely my favorite from her!

  8. Oh, if you like her writing, definitely give it a shot! That's what kept me reading it :)

  9. Yes! I absolutely agree, Jen. Just because this one didn't work for me doesn't mean that her other stories will be the same way in the future. Plus, I loved her two other novels!

  10. You should definitely read her other novels! They're such great contemporaries and I particularly loved Where the Stars Still Shine.

  11. I'm not much of a thriller girl either, to be honest. But if you liked her writing, definitely give this a shot!

  12. Thank you, Jen! I'm curious to see what you'll think of The Devil You Know when you do get around to reading it.

  13. Thank you! I hope you like it more than I did.


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