This is one book that I feel deserves all of the 4-5 star reviews. As I'm sure you can already tell from the blurb, this isn't your average read. It's a dark & twisted little story- reminiscent of Dexter, but don't worry, it's a definitely tamer version that deals more with the psychological/emotional aspect rather than blood and gore (as the creepy cover kind of suggests). The story starts right off with a chilling tone as Archer is in the midst of orchestrating a suicide. But slowly, we are given bits and pieces on what terrible past has driven Archer to make the choices he has, a past that has him indelibly bonded with Vivian.
Deeply flawed individual that he is, Archer has a vulnerability to him that is just so heartbreaking to see and makes it so easy to empathize and care for him...forgetting the fact that he is an unapologetic killer. And that is because we see how he has been blinded in his loyalty and love for Vivian, just drowning in guilt and self-hatred, a victim of years of manipulation and callous disregard by not just Vivian but everyone who he has ever tried to just show his love for, including his mother...
"You're a monster, Archer. Everything around you rots and dies."
And then there's Evan. Evan is the breath of fresh air that Archer so desperately needs... His bump into Archer as a new student hopelessly "lost" on campus is so endearingly sweet.
This was a gripping, suspenseful story that had my heart racing and on the edge of my seat out of fear and worry over what would happen to Archer. I reveled in the moments of happiness and clarity, even innocence, he was able to find. I wanted so much for him to find some crazy way to get out of this hell he has found himself in and finally be able to live and breathe. Because right to the very end, the punches and kicks don't stop coming... I'm not going to spoil anything about this story, but I finished this book satisfied-it was an ending that made sense. Edit: And yes maybe it seems overly optimistic to call it a HEA but it's the best HEA they can hope for... it just depends on how you choose to see it. I think I can believe in this type of HEA because of the sequel to Breaking Faith by M. King .
This book isn't perfect but it is damn close to it imo, not to mention well-written and I was captivated by the story so the small flaws don't matter in the long run.
I really think this is a book not to be missed out on, if you're looking for something incredibly different and unique~