Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Half in Love With Death by Emily Ross Book Review


It's the era of peace and love in the 1960s, but nothing is peaceful in Caroline's life. Since her beautiful older sister disappeared, fifteen-year-old Caroline might as well have disappeared too. She's invisible to her parents, who can't stop blaming each other. The police keep following up on leads even Caroline knows are foolish. The only one who seems to care about her is Tony, her sister's older boyfriend, who soothes Caroline's desperate heart every time he turns his magical blue eyes on her.

Tony is convinced that the answer to Jess's disappearance is in California, the land of endless summer, among the street culture of runaways and flower children. Come with me, Tony says to Caroline, and we'll find her together. Tony is so loving, and all he cares about is bringing Jess home. And so Caroline follows, and closes a door behind her that may never open again, in a heartfelt thriller that never lets up.

*A special thanks to the publisher for this review copy*

This book gets points for readability and thrill. It didn't quite live up to my expectations but I wasn't thoroughly disappointed.

The fact that this book is set in the 1960's wasn't missed on me, it definitely has that vibe. It feels like historical fiction without being heavy laden with old-time-y backdrop. It just happens in this time and that's all you know Because I'm not sure if I mentioned this before but I am not a historical fiction fan and I am really picky about what I pick up, not being contemporary. 

What seems like a simple "missing person" story quickly unravels to be so much more. I will admit I often wanted to slap Caroline in hopes that some common sense would rub off on her but you have to realize that she's young and clearly inexperienced with any of the woes that life can often bring.

You have to pity her because she calls for it. Her sister is missing. She's one of the last people to have seen her--and her sister's boyfriend seems to notice her for the first time ever. He's kind and he's helping her. He's going to help find Jess--at least that's what he promises. But sometimes promises are made to be broken.

What worked: The mystery, you do kind of wonder what the heck has happened to Jess--the entire time because let me warn you, the conclusion does not come easy. Whether or not I'm satisfied by it at all is up for debate.

The oddness of Caroline and Tony's relationship. There was something so entrancing about it, even though it often felt wrong.

What didn't work: The conclusion. I am slightly satisfied but I feel like the author could have given just a tad bit more.

The friendships: They were all superficial and nobody really trusted anybody but maybe that's just life. Eh, I don't know.

All in all it was a decent read one that will keep you reading--at least to find out what's going on with Jess--if nothing else. I wasn't totally in love--it felt a little emo but it was a decent read. One that will work for YA fans that like their reads a little historical and based on truth.



  1. This sounds pretty intriguing. I like a little emo haha! Sorry it was not quite as good as you were hoping. But good thing it wasn't a complete disappointment!

  2. the mystery sounds interesting but knowing you weren't happy about the ending... what a let down. The ending is always important to me. I kind of believe it makes or breaks your relationship with the story. Glad to know you still find it okay.

    czai @ the Blacksheep Project

  3. I might have to check this one out even with its issues. I like the whole based on true events aspect. Great review!

  4. This sounds really intriguing, I like that it is based on a true story( I guess that makes me a little emo, lol). But now I'm not sure. I'm always on the fence about mysteries which sucks because they are one of my favorite genres. The problem for me is if the story is boring but I still want the resolution and the suspense is just slowly torturing me... I skip to the end and read it. I know!! The shame is real!!!! I might still give this a try but I'm not as excited. Great Review!!!

  5. Glad you weren't completely disappointed with this and it still kept you turning the pages.

  6. Here's to hoping that your next read is awesome! Not that 3 stars are bad, but you've been pumping them out for a minute. I vaguely remember seeing this one, but I'm sure I can wait to read it. If I even read it. Great review!

  7. The ending you mentioned kinda makes me wary...back to 3 star-reads I see. :D

  8. Yes this definitely sounds like there's a something interesting brewing. I also don't really like unresolved endings. Great Review!!

  9. I LOVE how you ended this bwhahaah. Because it IS based on a true (and insanely creepy) story, and I ummm couldn't stop reading about the real story after I finished this book.

    I agree with your thoughts too. The friendships were definitely a mess for me, as was Caroline's family- what was their deal? They were the worst! But the mystery and setting were definite pluses for me. I just wish I had been more invested in the characters, I think that would have made this much stronger for me. Fabulous review!

  10. Books that are based on true stories always get to me a little, even if it is loosely so based! I saw this one around but I have decided to pass up on it for now. Maybe I'll be interested later on, but for the time being it does sound creepy but not for me.