I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The White Devil by Justin Evans
Published by Harper Collins on 2011-05-10
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers
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Set in a four-hundred-year-old boys' boarding school in London, a chilling gothic thriller by the author of the critically acclaimed A Good and Happy Child . . .A fierce and jealous ghost . . .A young man's fight for his life . . .The Harrow School is home to privileged adolescents known as much for their distinctive dress and traditions as for their arrogance and schoolboy cruelty. Seventeen-year-old American Andrew Taylor is enrolled in the esteemed British institution by his father, who hopes that the school's discipline will put some distance between his son and his troubled past in the States.But trouble—and danger—seem to follow Andrew. When one of his schoolmates and friends dies mysteriously of a severe pulmonary illness, Andrew is blamed and is soon an outcast, spurned by nearly all his peers. And there is the pale, strange boy who begins to visit him at night. Either Andrew is losing his mind, or the house legend about his dormitory being haunted is true. When the school's poet-in-residence, Piers Fawkes, is commissioned to write a play about Byron, one of Harrow's most famous alumni, he casts Andrew in the title role. Andrew begins to discover uncanny links between himself and the renowned poet. In his loneliness and isolation, Andrew becomes obsessed with Lord Byron's story and the poet's status not only as a literary genius and infamous seducer but as a student at the very different Harrow of two centuries prior—a place rife with violence, squalor, incurable diseases, and tormented love affairs. When frightening and tragic events from that long-ago past start to recur in Harrow's present, and when the dark and deadly specter by whom Andrew's been haunted seems to be all too real, Andrew is forced to solve a two-hundred-year-old literary mystery that threatens the lives of his friends and his teachers—and, most terrifyingly, his own.
Methinks my brain has been sanitized by YA, because whenever a penis pops up in an adult books, I’m all WHAT IS THIS?! Boys have more than just kissy-lips? Oh hell naw. Clearly, my brain is awesome. ANYWAYS, I recently read The White Devil by Justin Evans and am a bit unsure of what I think about it. Obviously, I enjoyed it. However, certain elements were hard for me to get used to, like penis in various states of erection. (how many times can I use the word penis in this review?) Also, complex characters. And this tinge of depression.
Right. So. This guy, Andrew Taylor is 18. He pretty much failed his senior year in American private schools, so his antebellum wanna be father sends Andrew to Harrow school in England to re-do his senior year. Harrow is an all boys school. Plenty of allusions are made to gay relationships taking place, but it’s not homophobic or anything. Just a statement that some people are gay. However, we do see homophobic characters, but not in a positive homophobia is awesome light, because it’s not. Anyways Andrew is having a hard time fitting in, and it gets even worse when popular guy Theo Ryder dies and people blame Andrew because of drugs. Also, there is a ghost. And a girl, the headmaster’s daughter Persephone Vine. She’s pretty hot, but kind of a floozy according to the secondary characters. OH and Andrew’s Head of House, is this poet named Piers Fawkes whom I sort of pictured as being a phoenix and not a person, because Harry Potter has ruined my brain. Fawkes is writing this play all about Lord Byron who is pretty much Andrew’s twin brother, they look so much alike.
Plenty of interesting events happen, like diseases. I know, I know. Most people don’t get excited about disease, but holy crap guys, I love a good plague. Also, there’s what I think is a handjob that happens, but I can’t be sure, as you know, that doesn’t happen in the sorts of books I read. Yeah, guys. SEX! (I feel like a 12 year old boy right now). ALSO there are gay underthemes and that is awesome because I don’t read enough books with gay subplots. I’m not going to outline the whole subplot though, because that is a special surprise for you, when you go out and read this book.
Honestly, while reading The White Devil, a lot of the time I was thinking, I bet older YA kids would enjoy this, especially males who are 16 or older. Mainly because, there’s sex, violence, and ghosts. Also, this is obviously an adult book, but with a teenaged main character. I know when I was 16-17, I read everything I could get my hands on, but heavily slanted towards adult books. There was YA when I was in high school, but I guess, I just thought I was a bit too grown up for it.
Justin Evans, he brings the goosebumps. Not quite like R.L. Stine, but he’s good. I mean, when the air would go cold, I would be all, WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? Because that is what you say when scary things happen: WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? Or at least that’s what I would say. And I mean, this isn’t scary like oh my boyfriend is a vampire who sparkles, but scary in oh there’s a ghost running around killing people.
In all, I enjoyed The White Devil. It was a variation on what I normally read, and I think it’s good to stretch your mind from time to time and try new things.
Disclosure: Received for review.