Review: The Devil You Know by Trish Doller

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.

Review: The Devil You Know by Trish DollerThe Devil You Know by Trish Doller
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on June 2, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Thriller
Pages: 256
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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Eighteen-year-old Arcadia wants adventure. Living in a tiny Florida town with her dad and four-year-old brother, Cadie spends most of her time working, going to school, and taking care of her family. So when she meets two handsome cousins at a campfire party, she finally has a chance for fun. They invite her and friend to join them on a road trip, and it's just the risk she's been craving-the opportunity to escape. But what starts out as a fun, sexy journey quickly becomes dangerous when she discovers that one of them is not at all who he claims to be. One of them has deadly intentions. 

A road trip fling turns terrifying in this contemporary story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Let’s start with the standard disclosure: I’m friends with Trish Doller. I was actually talking to her while I read The Devil You Know, which was an interesting exercise, but thankfully not an awkward one because I love this book. Basically, if you don’t trust my opinion because of that, fair enough. For those of you who still trust me, let me just say that this book is completely predictable, in that Trish Doller continues to write incredibly amazing books and I really don’t know how she does that.

Speaking of predictable, the mystery of The Devil You Know is actually pretty predictable. I guessed the murderer as soon as character introductions are made. I do not, however, see this as a bad thing. If you’re coming here for the mystery element, though, that might be disappointing. As a thriller, I think the fact that you’re pretty sure you know what will happen the whole time only enhances your trepidation as you read. The fact that it was somewhat predictable only made me more emotional as I was reading it, because I knew exactly what missteps Cadie was taking.

gif screaming internally supernatural

Cadie makes a lot of bad choices in The Devil You Know. People of every age make bad choices all of the time, but they can come off really forced in books. The important thing is for the character to be so well-established that the reader understands precisely why each choice was made. That was the case with Cadie in The Devil You Know. Even as I’m yelling at Cadie to not get in the car, I know that she will, and I can sympathize with why she did.

Of course, I freaking love Cadie, and I don’t blame her for the choices that she made. Cadie’s amazing. She’s practically been raising her younger brother since her mother died, her mother that was the glue that made their family really stick. It’s not that Cadie and Danny’s dad doesn’t love them, but he doesn’t quite know how to be anymore. Cadie’s given up so much for her family, and all she wants is a little bit of time to herself to be a carefree teen on an adventure after so much time working and homemaking.

gif supernatural i deserve something good

Girl also has a boatload of personality. She’s got a lot of willpower, and she owns her choices; she doesn’t try to pass blame. I also love that Cadie doesn’t want to go to college. There are a lot of people who can’t afford to go to college or go traveling after high school. Cadie wants adventure, but she doesn’t feel like college suits her, even though she has the grades to go. That’s not something that I see often in fiction, and it was a really nice addition.

The Devil You Know is also gloriously sex positive, though that’s not a surprise coming from Trish. One of my favorite things in fiction, especially YA, is when women get lusty. Pop culture likes to play into women not having a sex drive, so I love that Cadie sometimes sort of zones out staring at pretty men. When she meets Matt and Noah, she basically drowns in instalust, which is not to be confused with instalove. I think it’s also wonderful that Doller managed to pull off Cadie being very attracted to both cousins without it really feeling like a love triangle, because her mind is made up despite her physical response to both. Also, I ship it, despite the horrible circumstances and the problems inherent in it. I really, really do. Oh, and when the one cousin apologizes to the other for “poaching” her, she delivers this GLORIOUS rant:

“Poach?” My eyebrows practically climb up into my hairline. “Seriously? Like, I’m an endangered white rhino instead of a person? Pretty sure I’m capable of choosing for myself, instead of waiting around for you guys to decide who gets me. So that’s not what you meant by poach, right?”

gif you're awesome supernatural

In a lot of thrillers, the female characters exist to be hot while they’re chased and to maybe get saved at the end. Cadie’s a lot more independent and has a lot of agency. The Devil You Know marks a change in Trish Doller’s fiction: previously, she’s written about damaged girls dealing with their trauma, but The Devil You Know IS the trauma that will be with Cadie for years. Doller handles it just as well, and with just as much of a focus on mental health.

I’m fairly certain that Trish Doller can’t write a book that I won’t love, so, if you haven’t tried her books yet, DO SO.

Favorite Quote:

I don’t want backward drama. I want forward adventure.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

gif i wish i couldn't feel a damn thing supernatural

11 responses to “Review: The Devil You Know by Trish Doller”

  1. Lesley says:

    Ooooh. I was so close to taking this off my to-read list purely because it’s getting long and I couldn’t remember what this book was about, but now it’s staying. And going on the need-to-buy-asap list. Thanks!
    Lesley recently posted…Since We Last SpokeMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      On the plus side, The Devil You Know is not long, so you can make swift progress and feel like a boss. 😀

  2. Wow, how cool is it that you know the author and got to talk about the book with her while you read it? I’m really, really glad I got a chance to read this one — normally thrillers aren’t my thing, but this one was so well-written and different (LOVE Cadie’s agency so hard) that it just sucked me in and I liked it.
    looloolooweez recently posted…Book Review | The Devil You Know by Trish DollerMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      It was super cool. Obviously, it’s not something I can do often, but Trish is great.

      Thrillers aren’t really my thing either. I’m here less for the thriller and more for Cady and her feelings. It’s way more character than thriller, which I think could be a problem for thriller people, but is awesome for character readers.

  3. I was drawn to this book from the moment that I first read the synopsis, so I glanced over your review. This is a definite read for me. I have seen some mixed rating, several lukewarm.
    Suzi Q, The Book Dame recently posted…Kestrel Is Crazy Stupid! The Winner’s Crime by Maria RutkoskiMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      Yeah, I’m not surprised that there are some mixed ratings for this. People here for the mystery/thriller element could well be disappointed, but I think the characterization is fabulous.

  4. Hannah says:

    I adore Trish Doller’s work – in fact, I’m pretty sure I’ll read anything she writes. Can’t wait to get my hands on this one – and I love that it’s sex positive. I think it’s so important to portray girls as people who also have desires and agency – and call out others on their sexist crap. Rhinos indeed. Awesome review.
    Hannah recently posted…Review: The Rest of Us Just Live Here – Patrick NessMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      Yessss, I love how many sex positive books there are in YA now. It’s so comforting. Trish Doller always does a great job with that, but I think the poaching thing might be my favorite quote of hers ever.

  5. Um, WOW. 5 stars!? I snagged a copy of this one and didn’t have too high of hopes but now I’m eager to pick it up.
    Bonnie @ For the Love of Words recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday – The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn BennettMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      Trish’s books really work for me. Come for the characters and less for the thrillery bits! I mean, I liked the thrillery bits obvs, but they’re not standard thriller style.

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