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Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Twins on Thursday: The Cutting Room Floor by Dawn Klehr

"The Twins on Thursday" is reserved for the Twins' joint reviews. It is a special feature of our blog that discusses books that we either both like, dislike, or have mixed feelings about. This is also the day where we post reviews for books (and ARCs/Galleys) that have been sent to us by authors/galley sites/publishing houses. And because we don't believe much in uniformity, we'll be trying to mix things up a bit by adding random stuff in relation to our review (well, mostly for books we purchased anyway).

Title: The Cutting Room Floor
Author: Dawn Klehr
Format Acquired: eARC
Publication Date: October 8 2013
Publishing House: Flux
ISBN: 9780738738048
Source of Copy: Requested from publisher via NetGalley


Behind-the-scenes secrets could turn deadly for Desmond and Riley.

Life in the Heights has never been easy for seventeen-year-old Riley Frost, but when she's publicly dumped and outed at the same time, she becomes an immediate social outcast at her high school. So Riley swears off romance and throws herself into solving the shocking murder of her favorite teacher, Ms. Dunn.

Riley turns to her best friend, budding filmmaker Desmond Brandt, for help. What she doesn't know is that Dez has been secretly directing her life, blackmailing her friends, and hoping his manipulations will make her love him. When his schemes go to far, Dez's web of lies threatens to destroy both of their lives.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


With a concept like that, how were we supposed to resist? A controlling, manipulative boy who has secretly directed our leading lady's whole life in the hopes that she'll fall in love with him through blackmail and subterfuge. While it's not exactly something a normal high school boy would do, we think it's been established that Desmond's not exactly normal. Add to that the murder of a teacher and we've got a murder-mystery slash psychotic-stalker-problem in our hands.

Desmond's been pining after Riley for a while now and makes it a point to sabotage every intimate relationship she's had. Riley is his and Desmond's going to everything in his power to make sure it happens. Riley is totally clueless. To her Desmond is her pretty boy best friend who's a great filmmaker, and a totally upstanding guy. And when Riley is bent on solving a murder involving her favorite teacher, Dez will have to show how far he's willing to go with his unhealthy obsession.

What's confusing about this book is the many themes that were thrown into it. Murder, mystery, a bit of gay fiction, romance - so much so that we're not exactly sure what to think. It has a definite murder mystery vibe going on but the lack of focus on that particular aspect was a bummer. Dez's machinations should play a bigger role in the story, given how warped his displays of affection are. He's actually a total creep, but somehow, readers are forced to tolerate him, because hey, he's the protagonist and he's somehow refreshing (if you're the type who wants to read about unconventional leads, that is.)

If you're not into protagonists you want to rally 100% with, you might not find yourself enjoying this one. Dez was downright creeptastic towards Riley, even when she seemed to be batting for her own team. But if you do find yourself interested in a different kind of protagonist, why not try this one out for size?


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