Release Date: January 24, 2019
It all started with a bloody palm and a promise. Words beneath the moonlight that I thought would keep us together. Forever.
Deceit. Betrayal. Vengeance.
I didn’t see it coming. I didn’t think you had it in you. But what was supposed to bury me—break me—simply remade me as something new. Something hellbent on ruining you, my love.
What happens when the people you love most betray you so deeply and so thoroughly that the fallout categorically alters your life, redefining it in inexcusable ways – ways that you would never choose nor be expected to come back from regardless of how far the need for vengeance can possibly take you.
But that’s Dante’s charge…no, that’s not even the right word to describe what he sets out to do because in order to take back his life…in order to right all of the wrongs that have been done to him by those closest to his heart, he must reinvent himself and force himself to journey down a dark and twisted path – one that he could have never imagined would be the way he would choose to live or be forced to live due to someone else’s decisions.
There’s always a risk when a writer tackles a retelling of a classic work of literature, and in Ace Gray’s case, she chose one that spans several decades, deals with an extreme level of jealousy that forces reprehensible acts to be committed and has a hero hellbent on revenge, willing to do whatever it takes to make those pay for not only destroying his life but also stealing away the love of his life without any consequence to the lies and misdeeds that were done to do so.
Pretty Young Things is Ace Gray’s take on The Count of Monte Cristo, and like the much loved tale, Gray crafts this modern version with the same kind of intense emotions as well as the same span of time that illustrates the past that Dante and his band of brothers shared and the envious reasons for the betrayal along with the present situation that he must traverse in order to right the wrongs against him and live the life that he was supposed to since the beginning.
Gray’s story contains a complex and multifaceted plot; there are several story threads to understand and mesh together and because there are multiple perspectives used to tell the various parts of the tale, readers need to be able to sift through all of the content and the varying views of the story line in order to glean the required ideas and maybe even garner their own views based on readers’ individual connections to characters’ differing experiences.
Ace Gray always writes an engaging story, and while I felt a little overwhelmed with all of the content that I needed to juggle in order to clearly see all sides of the text, I felt like she did justice to the original because she made me feel EVERYTHING that Dante and Mercy felt as they worked to overcome the obstacles constructed by those who wanted this loving couple to fall simply because others desired to covet what/who was always supposed to be Dante’s.
4.5 Poison Apples