Review: Dark Eyes

Dark Eyes by William Richter
Release Date ~ March 15, 2012
Razorbill ~ Penguin
ISBN13: 9781595144577
ARC received from Penguin Canada for review
Goodreads Synopsis:
Wally was adopted from a Russian orphanage as a child and grew up in a wealthy New York City family. At 15, her obsessive need to rebel led her to life on the streets. Now the 16-year-old is beautiful and hardened, and she's just stumbled across the possibility of discovering who she really is. "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" for teens, this debut thriller introduces a new heroine.
Dark Eyes has been called the new Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for teens; that instantly drew my attention because it's the first time I've heard that claim being made, and I wanted to find out how accurate it was.
After reading it, I can see why Dark Eyes has been tagged to Dragon Tattoo, and I was so pleased to see that it captured many of the elements I loved about Dragon Tattoo, but ended up being a book I enjoyed far more than the latter (I was one of those few people who didn't really enjoy TGwtDT all that much)! And throw in a little bit of Bourne Identity in there too maybe ;)
  1. Widespread appeal:
    One of the things I really think is great about Dark Eyes is that it's going to be a great read for so many groups that are typically missing out when it comes to YA; even though it features a female protaganist I think this is definitely a book that guys are going to like reading as well since it features so much action and excitement, but still plays with your mind a bit. And for the same reasons I think Dark Eyes could really be enjoyed by people who don't read as much or are kind of disillusioned with many of the YA trends out there because this one isn't a cookie cutter book at all.
  2. A real detective mystery:
    I loved that this was a book with a real mystery; not only is Wally trying to find out more about her actual past, but there's a detective character who's trying to solve a murder as well. There are so many deeply buried secrets and everyone is just racing to find out first what's going on. But it's dangerous- really dangerous.
  3. Thriller just bursting with twists:
    I ended up calling out of the plot twists really early on and I was right about it, but at the same time there ended up being a few surprises at the end that I didn't see coming at all. It's a huge plus for me if a book isn't overly predictable, but I'm still able to follow along with the storyline easily. And I loved that this book was very clearly a thriller; I want to see more of these in YA!
For those of you who may not know, William Richter is actually a screenwriter/producer and I have to say that Dark Eyes really came across with its writing at times as a book that was written in hopes of possibly becoming a movie- it definitely had that movie feel to it, and I'm not sure how well that translated into book form becuase the two are such different forms of media.

I also found some of the characters to be stereotyped a bit much, especially Klesko and Tigr, but I thought Wally and many of the other secondary characters were very well done and I loved discovering the various layers to Wally's character.

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Andrea @ Cozy Up said...

I really enjoyed TGwTDT and the idea that this is similar to it, but for a YA audience really draws my attention! I love the cover of it too. Great review, I also really like the idea that there is a real mystery to it. Can't wait to read it!

Anonymous said...

Hm, I loved Girl With a Dragon Tattoo, so this book intrigues me. I always love when a book surprises me with twists, so this may be something I'd like.

Jenny at Books to the Sky

Bonnie said...

I wasn't quite sure to think of this book when I heard it being compared to TGWTDT - I couldn't get into it and ended up giving up after a few chapters.

Your review makes it sound interesting enough (and different enough) that I probably will pick it up. Great review! :)

ChristasBooks said...

I still haven't read GWaDT :s

But I do like action packed reads so this sounds really interesting too me. It's too bad that it reads like a movie at times. I've read a few books like that lately and while I enjoyed them they were definitely missing something.

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