:::4 Stars, I think?:::
Compelling, but bizarre.
This book is not an easy one to rate, nor was it an easy one to read. Labeling this as “edgy” is too delicate a description. This goes beyond that. The content of this story is so disturbing, I cringed through most of it and felt flat out uncomfortable with the rest.
That’s not to say discomfort is a bad thing. I find great value in any story powerful enough to ignite intense emotions even if my gut is twisting. In fact, I’ve read many deranged books that I’ve loved and will no doubt read again.
This story centers around mental illness, disturbing sexual desires, violent behavior, and is executed in a graphic, vivid nature–elements I am not squeamish towards in fiction.
But I think what pulls Delicate Monsters into a less enjoyable category for me is the fact that I just couldn’t find a way to appreciate the story. This book seemed to have no other point but to shine a very revealing light on the disturbing behavior and sickening thoughts of three very fucked up teens who never seem to march forward.
I didn’t feel the plot moved with solid purpose. Yes, it told quite a vivid story, but offered no reasons or justifications, and finished without an ounce of satisfaction. There was a certain air of mystery, but it was a pretty light coating and there weren’t many significant rise-and-falls in the plot. It all felt like a steady stream of sick, sickish, SICK-ERY.
The only saving grace was that this was told on a third person perspective so we aren’t thrown directly into these dark and twisted minds…although it came pretty close.
I was relieved when it was over.
BUT—and this is an important but—this author’s exquisite writing made it all okay! It was like walking upon a gigantic spider web—you in no way want to get caught in it, but you can’t help the intense wonder and awe you feel while examining its delicate intricacy; its boundless perfection. Although this book isn’t meant to offer much redemption, if you dig deeply enough you may be able to spot some hints of it.
There is no doubt Stephanie Kuehn is an immensely talented and skillful writer. Her damaged characters are flawless in their own right, and for me to rate this any lower than 4 stars would be doing this author a severe injustice.
Because, whether I like it or not, I’m going to remember this one.
▪ Genre/Category: Thriller/Mystery
▪ Steam Caliber: Fairly graphic
▪ Romance: Twisted
▪ Characters: Damaged. Very well developed
▪ Plot: Follows the journey of three deranged teens.
▪ Writing: Flawless
▪ POV: 3rd Person
▪ Cliffhanger: None/Standalone
*Arc kindly provided in exchange for an honest review*