Review: Hit by Delilah Dawson

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Hit by Delilah DawsonHit by Delilah S. Dawson
Published by Simon Pulse on April 14, 2015
Genres: Science Fiction, Thriller
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
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two-stars

NO ONE READS THE FINE PRINT.

The good news is that the USA is finally out of debt. The bad news is that we were bought out by Valor National Bank, and debtors are the new big game, thanks to a tricky little clause hidden deep in the fine print of a credit card application. Now, after a swift and silent takeover that leaves 9-1-1 calls going through to Valor voicemail, they’re unleashing a wave of anarchy across the country.

Patsy didn’t have much of a choice. When the suits showed up at her house threatening to kill her mother then and there for outstanding debt unless Patsy agreed to be an indentured assassin, what was she supposed to do? Let her own mother die?

Patsy is forced to take on a five-day mission to complete a hit list of ten names. Each name on Patsy's list has only three choices: pay the debt on the spot, agree to work as a bounty hunter, or die. And Patsy has to kill them personally, or else her mom takes a bullet of her own.

Since yarn bombing is the only rebellion in Patsy's past, she’s horrified and overwhelmed, especially as she realizes that most of the ten people on her list aren't strangers. Things get even more complicated when a moment of mercy lands her with a sidekick: a hot rich kid named Wyatt whose brother is the last name on Patsy's list. The two share an intense chemistry even as every tick of the clock draws them closer to an impossible choice.

Delilah S. Dawson offers an absorbing, frightening glimpse at a reality just steps away from ours—a taut, suspenseful thriller that absolutely mesmerizes from start to finish.

Before I get into this, I want to be totally clear about the fact that it wasn’t Hit‘s blurb that made me curious; it was Delilah S. Dawson. I follow her on Twitter and love reading her blog posts. She’s incredible funny, laugh until tears are leaking from my eyes and can’t breathe funny. With how much I love all of the things I’ve read by her online, I figured that Hit couldn’t possibly miss, but, once again, I’ve been proven wrong.

gif you're wrong 3rd rock

The concept of Hit is a fun and compelling one. Dawson draws on some of the most troublesome aspects of American society: credit card debt, the economy, and the omnipresent terms and conditions no one ever reads. The premise is that Valor National, a bank, becomes influential and wealthy enough to pay off the national debt and become the government. Valor National then takes advantage of some scary agreements they hid in the terms and conditions of their credit card contracts: if the card owners default on their payments, Valor National can call the debt in, requiring the card holder to either pay the debt in full, become a bounty hunter for them for a few days, or die. Teen Patsy has to present ten people with these options, killing them if they don’t pay up or volunteer to do what she’s doing, or both she and her mom will be killed. The whole thing is absurd but also ridiculously possible; the concept ought to be the foundation for a delicious satire.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get satiric vibes from Hit. Everything’s told in a very realistic, gritty way. It’s more action/thriller/conspiracy/romance than commentary on the American way of life. There are elements of social commentary, of course, but I feel like that message gets muddied along the way. A satire should have a dark comedy underlying it that I really did not find here. There are some attempts at comedy, but they fell almost entirely flat for me, perhaps because so much of it consisted of odd southernisms. In fact, though most of her writing was descriptive and no-nonsense, but sometimes the metaphors and phrases didn’t make any sense to me.

It’s like when they say a goose walked over your grave, but this was one big effing goose.

Is this a thing? Hit is set in Georgia, which is where I live, and I’ve never heard this. Admittedly, I’m in Atlanta, which isn’t much like the rest of Georgia, but, based on my googling, it doesn’t seem like the most common phrase.

gif goose attack

Somewhere, deep behind my ribs, in a place I didn’t know existed, my heart opens up like one of those blooming tea bags, the ones that start out tiny and dark and then blossom like a flower.

Her heart is a tea bag? Before she gets rid of her mom’s credit card debt by killing ten of Valor National’s creditors, maybe she should consult a physician, because that’s not healthy.

“That thing’s tech is tighter than a turtle’s butt.”

Ew. Also, I have no idea how tight turtle butts are, so this means nothing to me. Nor do I want to know. Nope nope nopeity nope.

gif turtle can't

“Shit on a biscuit.”

You’re already swearing, Patsy. No need to try to make it cutesy, bless your heart.

Hit‘s incredibly long chapters, one per debtor, also slowed me down. Some were fifty plus pages long, and it’s really hard for me to sustain my mental interest for that long a duration. I do think that Dawson does a great job with the realism aspects. Patsy’s not model beautiful; she has zits and awkward clothing. There’s a fantastic awkward boner scene at the most inopportune of moments. When Patsy has to kill people, it’s not pretty; it’s bloody and gross, mentioning bodily fluids leaking from the corpse.

The romance proved quite frustrating. Patsy’s first kill is Wyatt’s father. He confronts her and, because of reasons, they end up working as a team of sorts for the rest of the kills. They’re attracted to each other despite the circumstances and somewhat because of the increased tension and fear. Their connection’s pretty superficial, based mostly upon the fact that they’re willing to kill people and have similar musical taste, but I sort of get that. However, they only spend a couple of days together and they met when she KILLED HIS FATHER. Some ill-advised action, I can understand, but lovey feelings? FUCK NO. They keep getting mad at one another for not being trusting enough, but why the fuck would they trust each other? FUCKING WHY? Not to mention the bomb dropped by Amber: View Spoiler »

nick uncomfortable gif

Then, after all of that, I’m incredibly curious to find out how Hit will wrap up, hoping that the conclusion will bring everything together and make the novel make some sort of sense to me. I was getting worried, because some pretty serious plot threads were not wrapping up, like, say, her parentage. BAM. Plot threads dangling because this is a fucking surprise series starter. I was able to confirm book two by looking at the author’s twitter feed, so that’s definitely happening. Be warned: SERIES.

gif surprise bitch

I will not be back to find out what happens next in Patsy Klein’s life. Hit very much missed the mark with me, lacking the humor I hoped for and just leaving me puzzled and unsettled.

Favorite Quote:

“‘Should’ is a stupid word. There will always be poor people, and their kids will always have to worry about shit. And rich people’s kids will have a different pile of shit to worry about. And then we’ll grow up and get new shit.”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

gif people are disappointing allison janney
Delilah’s still awesome, but I don’t want to be Hit one more time with this series.

8 responses to “Review: Hit by Delilah Dawson”

  1. Hannah says:

    The cover certainly caught my attention, but alas, it sounds like a bit of a dud. I never understand stories where the character kills a relative of the love interest, but they’re still all in love like nothing happened? That’s a pretty MAJOR relationship obstacle, IMO.
    Hannah recently posted…Review: In the Shadow of Blackbirds – Cat WintersMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      The romance was the part I had the most trouble with. It could have been really interesting, but there just wasn’t enough time for that sort of a redemption arc romance to work for me.

  2. Gina says:

    Hmm. I can certainly see where you’re coming from but as for me, I’m still keen on checking this one out. I give author’s a lot of free license to spin things however they choose and I take it at face value. I think I might actually enjoy the realistic approach to this slightly- out- there- yet- possible story. Thanks for the share!
    Gina recently posted…A Memory of Violets by Hazel GaynorMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      By no means do I think people shouldn’t try the book if it interests them. There were good things about Hit, but it just felt off to me. I gave a lot of free license, but it was working less and less for me as the story went along. Hopefully it works better for you when you try it. 🙂

  3. Brigid says:

    A turtle butt? ARE YOU SERIOUS. THE FUCK?
    Brigid recently posted…Review: Dead Heat by Patricia BriggsMy Profile

  4. “a fantastic awkward boner scene”

    If I weren’t already sure Dawson isn’t an author for me because I didn’t like Servants of the Storm, I’d be here for this book based on that quote. Awkward boners are always funny to me!

    My parents grew up about an hour south of Macon in the middle of bumfuck nowhere and I’ve definitely never heard them talk about turtle butts or geese walking on graves. I mostly got stuff about bein’ have (because BEHAVE, DAMMIT and we weren’t very good at that) and things rolling off people like water off a duck’s back. There are a LOT of duck stories in my family, actually. My parents met when my dad offered my mom a duck in a convenience store on Christmas Eve.

    • Christina Franke says:

      I’d really like to see how some other people I know well feel about this book, because it’s really just SO strange, and I wonder what they’d think about it.

      Those phrases were SO weird. I mean, I’m from Atlanta which isn’t the same as more rural GA at all, but still. You’d think I’d have maybe heard they existed. A DUCK? Like, a live duck? A duck plushie? A frozen duck to roast?

      • Her debut YA Servants of the Storm was just as weird, believe me. I paged through the middle of it after I DNFed it and dear God, I love weird and it was too much for me.

        Maybe those phrases come from Savannah-area Georgia? Certainly not from around Atlanta or South Georgia.

        Yup, a duck. In Dad’s words when Mom asked exactly what kind of duck, he said, “Well, it WAS a live duck. Now it’s an eatin’ duck.” About 30 years later, their bedroom is filled with duck-themed things and they still have a huge ducky gift-thing from their wedding. Ducks are a big deal. #SouthGeorgiaLife

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