ARC Review: Pretty Dark Nothing by Heather L. Reid

1It’s been twenty three days since Quinn has slept for more than minutes at a time. Demons have invaded her dreams, stalking her, and whispering of her death. The lack of sleep and crippling fear are ruining her life. Energy drinks and caffeine pills don’t make a dent. When Quinn dozes off in the school hallway, Aaron, an amnesiac with a psychic ability, accidentally enters her nightmare. The demons are determined to keep them apart, and Aaron from discovering the secret locked away in his memory. Together, they could banish the darkness back to the underworld for good, unless the demons kill them first.

My Rating:  1.5 cupcakes

Pretty Dark Nothing has a promising start. From the first page Quinn’s struggles to stay awake and the demons that plague her nightmares are vividly depicted, setting the stage for a dark, quick-paced read filled with exciting action. Unfortunately, cliched high school and relationship drama quickly overshadow the more interesting paranormal aspects, leaving readers with a story that is nothing like what the synopsis had promised.

For a good 90% of the book, we’re treated to Quinn pining over her ex-boyfriend, flip-flopping between feelings for her ex and feelings for Aaron, dealing with catty cheerleaders, and doing nothing about the demons except for occasionally saying “no” or “go away.” Since it’s a dual POV story, we also get to see Aaron pining over Quinn for the majority of the book, though he does at least use his psychic abilities a few times.

I didn’t find myself connecting with any of the characters which made this a very tedious read. All of the characters came across as extremely one-dimensional and the supporting characters’ roles were reduced to acting as plot devices or comic relief. There was no character development either, which is unfortunate because Quinn really needed to grow a backbone and a less annoying personality.

The plot finally started to pick up again in the last 10% of the book, but by then I couldn’t bring myself to care about what happened next. The ending was composed of a lot of paranormal elements that seemed to come out of nowhere and serve as a last-minute infodump; had they been incorporated into the rest of the storyline, it would have been less abrupt and confusing. There were so many unanswered questions that I imagine will be addressed in the sequel, though I doubt that I’ll be giving it a try.

Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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