Title: Pretty Dark Nothing
Author: Heather L Reid
Published: April 23rd 2013 by Month9Books
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
It’s been twenty three days since Quinn has slept for more than minutes at a time. Demons have invaded her dreams, stalking her, and whispering of her death. The lack of sleep and crippling fear are ruining her life. Energy drinks and caffeine pills don’t make a dent. When Quinn dozes off in the school hallway, Aaron, an amnesiac with a psychic ability, accidentally enters her nightmare. The demons are determined to keep them apart, and Aaron from discovering the secret locked away in his memory. Together, they could banish the darkness back to the underworld for good. That is, unless the demons kill them first.
The way this story is set up is as a nice, intriguing mystery. I really liked that part, the string along and slow reveal as we figure out what’s going on with Quinn. She’s having nightmares, seeing shadows that shouldn’t exist, and have little demon creatures whispering awful things in her ear. The demons are like that little voice in the back of your head that tells you all the ways in which things can go wrong, all the ways you fail. The voices are haunting Quinn, pushing her, manipulating her, driving her insane.
I liked Quinn. I liked that she’s neurotic and pretty much falling apart. She’s broken up about being dumped, on academic probation, benched from cheerleading and suffering from so much sleep deficiency that she passes out at school. She’s a mess. Had the entire story just been about Quinn’s struggle to reclaim herself, or her spiral into darkness, it would have been an easy 5 star for me.
Sadly, that is not the case. Pushing the mystery of Quinn’s circumstances to the back was more relationship drama than you can shake a stick at. Quinn and her mother don’t understand each other. Her father left to start a new family. Her boyfriend broke up with her without saying why, and then started dating someone Quinn hates. Her friends aren’t that supportive, and quickly turn on her.
And then there is Aaron, the love interest. Saying I didn’t like him is an understatement. He sucks. He’s a weeny. Suffering from amnesia due to an accident, he is supposedly this brooding, sensitive musician. Who can read minds/emotions. I’m sorry, what? He reads her emotions, can see how out of her depth she is, and instead of giving her space, or being supportive, he whines. A lot. At no point does he actually fight for the girl, he just skulks off to attend pity parties for one.
This is one of those stories where most of the conflict could be avoided if people just talked to each other, but no, everyone is secretive and cryptic and unwilling to explain, or allow anyone else an explanation.
I was riveted for the first 150 pages, but the story seemed to nosedive from there. Up side, I love the title, and the cover is beautiful and haunting, very appropriate.
Heather L. Reid has always had a sense of wanderlust and a belief in the paranormal. She eats mayonnaise on her fries, loves video games, and getting lost in a good story. This native Texan now lives with her Scottish hubby in South Ayrshire, Scotland, where she spends her weekends wandering the moors in search of the ghost of William Wallace and exploring haunted castles.