Author: Chandler Baker
Series: High School Horror Story #2
Published: January 10 2017
Source: ARC from publisher
High school meets classic horror in this YA contemporary twist on Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Head Cheerleader Cassidy Hyde’s life should have been perfect. But it really, really wasn’t, and she’s about ready to give up and disappear. Until, the first time she takes Sunshine. This new experimental drug makes Cassidy feel like the perfect, golden girl once again. A little memory loss seems like a small price to pay to get her life back . . . at least until boys start to go missing . . . boys that Cassidy NEVER wanted to think of again . . .
Thus begins Chandler Baker's second twisty-turny retelling of a familiar tale, once again set in the town of Hollow Pines, Texas, where high school is truly horrifying.
There are a couple good things about Chandler Baker's new novel, Teen Hyde: it's pretty readable, even if you have not read the series first book, Teen Frankenstein, and it's also pretty short at less than 275 pages. I wanted to enjoy this adaptation of Jekyll and Hyde with teen girls but outside of the story's basic premise, there's not much new or memorable about this modern retelling. Cassidy has a few moments where she stands outside the YA milieu of protagonists but on the whole, she is as been-there-read-that as the rest of this story.
There's a basic plot that anchors Cassidy's actions in Teen Hyde. Her blah boyfriend cheated on her, friends have died, and Cassidy is not handling it well -- memory loss included. There's so little depth given to her as a character or to her relationships, that the inciting incident has no emotion or involvement on the part of the reader. I didn't care about Cassie because she never felt real or dimensional, though Marcy did from early on. There are a few plot elements in play that are obviously tied into the events of book one -- Sunshine for example -- that didn't make any impact on me, or would on other new readers. Still, this was modestly entertaining... if shallow and forgettable.