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I Belong


Review: Unnatural Deeds by Cyn Balog

unnatural-deedsTitle: Unnatural Deeds

Author: Cyn Balog

Genre: YA Mystery

Series: N/A

Publication Date: November 1, 2016

Format: Hardcover, 288 Pages

ISBN-10: 1492635790 (Sourcebooks Fire)

ISBN-13: 978-1492635796 (Sourcebooks Fire)

Reviewed by: Michelle

Synopsis:

A novel of infatuation and obsession, Unnatural Deeds has an electrifying ending that readers won’t see coming.

Victoria Zell doesn’t fit in, not that she cares what anyone thinks. She and her homeschooled boyfriend, Andrew, are inseparable. All they need is each other. That is, until Zachary Zimmerman joins her homeroom. Within an hour of meeting, he convinces good-girl Vic to cut class. And she can’t get enough of that rush.

Despite Vic’s loyalty to Andrew, she finds her life slowly entwining with Z’s. Soon she’s lying to everyone she knows in an effort to unravel Z’s secrets. Except Z’s not the only one with a past. Victoria’s hiding her own secrets, secrets that will come back to haunt her…and destroy everything in her path.

Quick & Dirty: A secret friendship leads to a deadly obsession.

Opening Sentence: Is thing on?

Excerpt: No

The Review:

It isn’t always easy for me to read paranormal stories. For one thing, the images stay in my mind and it may or may not lead to extra fuel for my already crazy imagination. Sometimes, those images stay in my mind past bedtime, and those nights aren’t always fun. But I was pretty excited to begin reading Cyn Balog’s Unnatural Deeds. Balog’s paranormal stories are always intense, and I was ready for a heart stopper.

Unnatural Deeds is a story about “Secrets, obsession, and murder.” Victoria Zell is a wallflower. She doesn’t socialize that much, she keeps to herself, and the only friend she mostly talks about is Andrew, her boyfriend. Until one day when Zachary Zimmerman starts at her school. He talks to her, and in turn allows Vic to open up. He invites her to lunch, allowing Vic to learn more about him. A friendship begins and develops, causing an unhealthy relationship with some unhealthy habits. But Vic doesn’t relent, she becomes obsessed, in the most dangerous ways.

Vic is an interesting main character. I do not have a lot of experience to many suspense-driven stories, but she is one complex character. She thinks about Andrew, a lot. She relays pretty much everything to him. Yet, once Z comes into the picture, she slowly obsesses about him. It is more than a simple fascination, or even a bout of lust. And it isn’t simple, because Z reciprocates many of the same feelings that Vic has begun to feel. It goes beyond this realm of love of first sight because Vic takes it to this place of eerie feelings, and it makes things uncomfortable.

Z is charismatic and alluring. Looking back through the pages, he has spun his own spell on Vic. He has gotten her to open up about certain things and do things that are definitely out of her comfort zone, all without really talking about himself. It is easy to see what Vic adores about him.

Without stating spoilers, or anything to give hints, the premise of the story is very straightforward. As a reader, I felt I was reading a story about two teenagers developing a relationship. Hearts fly about, and everything is great. But as you begin to get invested, Balog slowly throws in details to completely throw you off at the end. Basically, the rug was pulled from under my feet.

Balog’s writing is seamless, allowing for her plot points and secret details to be woven throughout the story. The ending (THE ENDING) was something that I did not see. And after rereading the last chapter, things slowly click into place about Vic, Andrew, and Z.

Unnatural Deeds is a great read for fans of suspense. I urge you to pick it up today!

Notable Scene:

I expected Mrs. Reese to launch lasers from her eyeballs and incinerate him. But her face softened. “You are Zachary Zimmerman?”

“Call me Z.” He proceeded to fill her in on the mundane details of his life, which for some reason, I found fascinating. Z moved here from Arizona, liked baseball. As he spoke, I realized he didn’t sound like you at all. His voice was too loud, too sure, like a radio announcer. Still, he had successfully diverted the wrath of Reese. And for that, I was grateful.

I thought that was the end of my story with Z. It was a short story, hardly worth reading. But I was wrong. Two seconds after Mrs. Reese turned toward the front of the room, as if she hadn’t just yelled at me for talking in class, he leaned across the aisle, still chewing nosily on the gum, and whispered, “You should come with me.”

I’d like to say that was when it began, but no. That was when it was cemented. I was a goner the second I looked into those eyes.

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FTC Advisory: Sourcebooks Fire provided me with a copy of Unnatural Deeds.  No goody bags, sponsorship, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.  

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Review: Unnatural Deeds by Cyn Balog, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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