Reviewed by Grace Soledad

Ari has always been different. With her silvery hair and startling teal eyes, she is considered an anomaly. Every year, she keeps it together by believing that her estranged mother holds the answers to who she really is.

Once Ari finds the mental institution that her mother had been in, she also has to face a horrifying truth. How could her mother commit suicide? How is it possible that the one beacon of hope she’s had all these years could be gone? Who should she turn to now?

Eventually, Ari decides to go to New 2, the dystopian city that used to be called New Orleans, a treasure trove of information, history, and paranormal activity. She needs to know who she is and why she is the way she is, and she wants more than anything to find the answers soon. In New 2, Ari meets a cast of characters, and realizes that the truth may be closer than she thinks.

What intrigued me the most about Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton was the interesting premise. A ruined city of New Orleans, a girl with silver hair, a mother who commits suicide, and a search for answers? It sounded like the perfect winding adventure.

I did love the diverse cast of characters in New 2. They each had very flavorful personalities and distinct dialogue that allowed you to identify them easily. Their backgrounds were created so seemingly effortlessly that this was one of the few elements of the book that I enjoyed.

The problem for me was that I simply couldn’t connect to Ari. Her personality wasn’t the most unique and her line of thought seemed like it didn’t translate to narration very well. This is one of those books that is either hit-or-miss. I know some who simply adored it but I was one of those people classified in the “miss” category, unfortunately.

The writing was not good enough to justify for its slow-moving plot and an irritating protagonist. The idea behind the plot became apparent as the story developed, but I felt as if the element came in too late for it to make a difference to the pacing. I wished that Keaton would have introduced it earlier, because for the majority of the book, I was waiting for everything to happen.

The ending felt rushed while the beginning and middle felt lazy, and dragged on for me. I wanted Darkness Becomes Her to be dark and intense, or simply be a satisfying story. Unfortunately, it wasn’t either.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 

Grace Soledad is a teenage bibliophile who runs the blog Words Like Silver. She is described as “antisocial” because she constantly has her nose buried in a book or a notebook. When not reading, she can be found dancing, writing, or at the beach.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Simon Pulse. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.