Manipulating the List

 Katherine Elizabeth Sheppard is only one heart-pounding step ahead of the Collector. A friendship of sixteen years suddenly transformed into a game of manipulation after her name appears on the Collector's list. Responding to little more than the primitive instinct for survival at any cost, she becomes a cold-blooded killer at the age of twenty-two. But her assistance in mortality can't stop there, she must continue to assist in the death of others in order to bypass her own fate.

3 STARS out of 5
Manipulating the List
AUTHOR: K.B. Lever   
GENRE: Young Adult

SPOILERS AHEAD. Read at your own risk.

First of all, I’d like to disclose that this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. I’m open to new reads and I happen to like the premise of this one. Minus the cover, not really eye-catching. To be honest, sometimes book covers influence the way I prioritize my top tbr. Anyway, this book takes the grim reaper stuff to a whole new level. This is a story about Jonathan and Katherine. A story about the weird friendship between a boy who collects souls based on a list AND the one girl who could manipulate the said list.
This was going to be the beginning of our new friendship; a friendship where he would give me clues to find his next victim and then my race would ensue to find them before the collection time so that he could bypass collecting me.
At first, this book seriously gave me the headache. 

Okay, I know how the Collector works, but I felt confused as hell with all this manipulating mumbo jumbo. It was stated that “by the end of the given timeframe, a name on the list would have to be collected."

If that’s the case, and the Collector has been doing this for decades, then what’s the point of Katherine tracking those victims? Should handling those victims on a silver platter to the Collector actually manipulates the list?

So I read on. Wondering how the heck could I actually ever enjoy reading this book.

I don’t know why I aggravate myself by reading a book out of my genre but since I was the one who requested this book for review, I thought I should give it a try and keep an open mind. Fortunately, that wasn’t very hard to do because the writing style was really good.

When finally:
I didn’t know what interfering with the Collector’s list was going to do to me. -Katherine
Hah! After that admission, I actually sighed with relief. At least, I know that the stuff which was initially bothering me will be resolved somewhere in the book. I just have to be patient.

And I’m glad I did.

This is one of those books that won’t grab your attention in the beginning. If I’ll be perfectly honest, the first few chapters were a total yawnfest.

But when things picked up, it would freaking pull you at your collar – happened just after the first two hunts, when the MC was running away from everyone. Dang! A girl on the run! By that time, I’m finally acknowledging the fact that the author has some serious writing skills. Why! She just amped up the suspense factor!

So obviously, I thought this was turning to be a pretty, exciting read.

I was wrong.

Another bad thing happened. I don’t have anything against Australians but I got bored again – this time, because of too detailed Australian back stories. It’s one thing to engage in a chat with a cab driver, but to have him recap the whole story of something he actually witnessed back in the day -- again, TOTAL YAWNFEST.

My relief totally disappeared because of one unrealistic romance found in the book. Don’t get me wrong, I love whirlwind romances. But for me, it just didn’t work with this one. It was hurried, and I even thought the romance was done as an afterthought. Maybe find another connection between Liam and Katherine other than being hopelessly in love?

Honestly, the story could do well without the said romance. (Or maybe it’s just me hoping for some twisted sense of fate that Jonathan the Collector and Katherine would get it on. Oookay, scratch that. That would be really gross because technically, the Collector died when he was 14 y/o and would definitely come off as a betrayal against Winnie, his first love and the reason why he died in the first place.)

Oooh, but the irony.

And WTH happened to the men who abducted her almost at the end? And Liam saying, “Some things are better left unanswered m’love.” I don’t like a book making me guess especially if it’s at the end of the book. Should I assume they all died since Liam was also a Collector?

And then BAM! It was finished. I’m like, seriously that’s it?? Good thing there’s a sneak peek for Book 2. Some things just needed to be cleared up before I can move on with my reading.

Overall, for a debut novel, this was a decent read.