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Publisher's Summary

Damaged, Deceptive, Dangerous, Darling.

When a group of teens wake up in the woods, these words are inked onto their skin. Are they labels? A warning? They must find the truth before a killer finds them.

While on a mandatory senior field trip, a flash flood cuts off Sera and three classmates from their group with no way to call for help. But they're not as alone as they thought....

©2016 Natalie D. Richards (P)2017 Tantor

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Less than Average of a Book

I read Ms. Richards' 'Six Months Later' and it was much better than this one; I just feel like this book could've been so much greater than it was. There were clever things in it (the synopsis made it sound so interesting), but the summary had the most clever aspects in it. I will say that I didn't know who the bad person was the entire book; usually, I'm pretty good at guessing who the bad person is going to be, whether I believe it is 50% likely or I believe it 100%. I kept guessing, but I wasn't really sure who it was. I'm not saying that the person who did it wasn't on my list, but I am saying that I never was really sure whom it was while reading.

SUMMARY: In the beginning of the story, six high school students are on a trip for school in the woods and, because of some weather, four are separated from the other two. Each group has a teacher that is watching over the teenagers. After going to bed the first night, the narrator, Sarah, wakes up feeling what she believes could be a hangover, despite never having had one. She notices that the tent flap is open, when she knows she closed it, and it is much later in the day than it should be. The group of four come out and realize that they've been sleeping all day, believing they've all been drugged. They all have been branded (I was never able to tell if this was marker or something else, but it definitely wasn't tattoo) with four words starting with the letter 'D:' Sarah, the narrator, is Darling, Emily has Damaged Jude has Deceptive, and Lukas has Dangerous (The other thing I didn't get about this was why they all had to start with that letter; I've read the whole book, thought about it, and still cannot come up with a reason for it). The teacher on their side, Mr. Walker, has been heavily drugged and isn't waking up. From then on, they notice various things happening and realize that they are being stalked by someone, who may be out to kill them. After finding the severed finger of the teacher from the other camp, they know that someone has ill intentions for them and have to find a way to get out of the forest alive.

Vanessa Johansson, the narrator, was decent with this book; I had no issues with her male voices, which is usually the problem I have with narrators. No matter if they are male or female, they can have a really annoying sound when they are doing the opposite gender. Ms. Johansson was pretty good with her male voices. As far as telling the story, I'd give her a B+. Honestly, she was the only thing that I can say was consistent and good about this book at all.

So, overall, the voice performer got a 4 from me, but she may be more like a 3- 3 1/2. I think the book was just so 'eh' that I am probably being generous on that one. Even though this premise is so much more interesting that 'Six Months Later,' I'd say for anyone deciding between the two: choose Six Months Later. It's a way better story.