It’s something that Ada Palomino has always known so well, having grown up in a house of horrors, surrounded by a family plagued by ghosts and demons and things that go bump in the night.
But after the sudden and tragic death of her mother two years ago, death has never felt so personal.
Or so close.
Now eighteen, Ada is trying to move on with her life and the last month of summer holds nothing but sunshine and promises with her first year at a Portland design school just around the bend.
That is until her increasingly violent and realistic dreams, dreams of other worlds, of portals and veils where her mother is tortured and souls bleed for mercy, start to blend into reality. Ada has to lean on her older sister, Perry, to try and make sense of it all but even then, she’s never felt more alone.
Then there’s Jay. Tall, handsome and deeply mysterious, Jay would be just another stranger, a familiar face on the bus, if it wasn’t for the fact that Ada has met him before.
In every single dream.
And the more that Ada is drawn to him in both worlds, the more she’s in danger of losing everything.
Including her heart.
And her very soul.
Page Count: 398
Published Date: August 6, 2016
***WARNING: sex, bad language and violence.***
**STANDALONE spin-off of the Experiment in Terror series**
Perry’s little sister isn’t so little anymore.
“It’s not easy having to deal with things you can’t explain. Things that the world judges you for. The fact that you see the world differently. Or maybe the world shows itself differently to you. When you find that person who understands… you hold onto them with your life. And if there is anyone out there who can… give that person back to you, you’re in debt to them forever.”
I was both ecstatic and hesitant in reading this because 1) it’s got Perry and Dex and 2) it’s all about Ada. I slowly warmed up to Ada in the EIT series and didn’t really start to connect with her until Dust to Dust, but since I had such withdrawals for Derry, I figured I’d try this out.
Things I loved: Ada’s very different from Perry and I’m happy about that. Shows she isn’t in Perry’s shadow (like she gets reminded of so frequently in the book) and is also a take-charge kinda girl. The plot was good because who doesn’t like the thought of rescuing one’s mum? The romance had layers that you didn’t really know about until the very end. I LOVE the thought of the Jakobs getting a little more limelight, especially after Maximus’s death at the end of EIT.
So yeah, it was nice to see more gingers, and seriously, a very fun thing to now concentrate on. If the series continues and Derry doesn’t show up, I’ll still be interested in the world Max came from. Their relationship was a bit stiff but it kept on changing, and only towards the end did I really get the feels. I fucking love the thought of her dancing with the devil. *cue evil laugh*
Things that were… : Like I said, Ada’s nothing like Perry except for the good things that count, like fearlessness. However, like I also mentioned, she’s never been a character I could easily connect with. It was still the case with this book, save for the few times when I thought there was a moment between us. Writing wise, it was pretty good, but there were a few inconsistencies that bothered me. About a handful disrupted my flow, but the most prominent were:
- Ada asking him his name when she’s been saying it all this time (though if she was just clarifying, I didn’t get that sense)
- Ada asking him about his virginity status and him her (unless, again, they were just clarifying…?)
That, with the effort it took me to connect with Ada and the small errors are the reasons for the 4-stars. This is a good book. A really, really great book that can creep you out one page and make you blush in anticipation the next. It makes me want to check out the author’s older works, as some characters in here turn out to have had their own series.
Oh, thanks for the reminder. There’s one thing that I think could’ve done without: the info dump referencing back to Perry and Dex every time something happens. As a spin-off and standalone, I don’t really see the reason for paragraphs of details dedicated to two characters that other people in Ada’s life don’t even want her counting on any longer. While in some way helpful and even enticing, I think the info dump works against the book because it’s got Ada thinking about Derry nearly half the time while at the same time, is being told to put on her big girl pants and do everything herself. Anytime she thinks about asking her sister for help, someone’s there to tell her “No”, and I personally didn’t think their excuses were enough to make her do it all on her own. But that’s just me and my near psychotic love for Derry.
Overall, I had my personal issues with the book with a few technical weirdness with the reading flow but otherwise? This thing was fucking hot and fucking creepy as hell and I’m never going to be able to sleep on my side again. Damn it.
A Little Darling