by Ryan Hill
My rating: 5 stars
Publication Date: October 19, 2014
Publisher: Ryan Hill
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Paperback: 644 pages
"My life is crumbling away before my eyes while I do nothing to prevent it. I have visited too many funerals, for too many friends who haunt my dreams. Everybody dies eventually, right? No, everybody dies young when they befriend me. Was I born to die young? I don't think so. I'm the only one here with the nerve to stay alive. I can't be left alone. Not with that hollow man, the one who hides his face. That's what he wants, me to be alone, because once I'm alone he's going to kill me!"
Seventeen-year-old Rosetta Harper is plagued by nightmares of a masked man. With her father’s new career move, her family has just relocated from Florida to the small New England town of Ashwood. A quiet town and close-knit community where you know your neighbors, and trouble is a word unspoken. But soon after her arrival, her world and the worlds of her classmates come crashing down.
Michael hates his family and feels alone and unloved. He only finds comfort when he's with his friends, but even they get on his nerves. Everything about Ashwood and his life bores him, until Rosetta Harper moves into town. With her as a new classmate, Michael finally gets the excitement he was looking for, but it may be at too high a cost.
Barking Madness by Ryan HillWhat was Ryan Hill thinking when he wrote Barking Madness? Whatever it was, he put pen to paper and has created one of the most intriguing and fascinating young adult dark tales. I’ll just say it right now, I loved the plot, the scenes, the action, the gore and I really, really had a hard time finding anything redeeming about one of the main characters, period. For me, Rose and her personality make for a good explanation as to why some animals eat their young. That only proves that it’s the quality of the writing and not the awesomeness of the characters that make a good read!
Rose and her family have moved to a new town and her biggest concern is how to wrap everyone around her beautiful fingers with the least amount of effort. She has been suffering from nightmares that are gruesome and dark, horrifying, really, who could know she would live one of those nightmares after getting trashed at a big party in this one horse town? How could she know that one boy’s act of bravery would cost him his life and that another boy, far less popular and not even on her guy radar would be the knight in shining armor that saves her from death at the jaws of a huge, black wolf?
Has she been bitten by a werewolf? Will she go all furry and nasty?
Until then, its school business as usual and no real regard for Michael, the brilliant and well-meaning guy who saved her. Yep, a new slant on werewolves, for sure. Has Rose become her own worst nightmare? With only Michael to talk to about it, they forge a relationship that seems to weather all that is happening in town. But even Michael has his own set of teen problems, he has great friends, all geeks or outcasts in the school hierarchy, but his feeling of hatred for his father who just doesn’t understand him is pretty excessive and he rarely shares this with anyone.
Who is the dark wolf, is he the dark man who holds sway over Rose? Are his secrets too horrendous for Rose to handle? Does it splinter her mind?
I have to hand it to Ryan Hill, he nailed the negative teen persona and nailed it hard! Like a fly on the wall, the reader is privy to teens at their best and teens at their worst, pushing the limits and living life to excess, because they are young and invincible! The language is blue, the drugs and drinking run wild and it becomes hard to separate their reality from Rose’s perception of reality. Looking for nailbiting intrigue, high teen angst and cruelty towards each other? In other words, how NOT to act?
Again I say, Ryan Hill has nailed a great read that will keep you guessing until the end, when the story is that good, who cares if the characters are that likable? Maybe that is by design in the imagination of a talented author capable of powerful writing! Not recommended for under 17, but seriously, I wouldn’t give this to my mom to read, but I don’t think anything will shock a 15 year old reader.
I received this copy from Ryan Hill in exchange for my honest review.