A Malice Driven Virus and the Girl Who Must Stop It

I saw several positive reviews for Malice and decided to jump in and try to have fun with it. I enjoy time travel premises when it’s creative and doesn’t stretch its credibility too far. The title is kind of stupid though? It really was shoehorned into the story and I was puzzled why.

Did Malice hit this Fangirl’s creative sweet spot?

Many young adult books have a great premise… that is then smothered by contrived teen romance. It ruins what story there is with it’s unbalanced focus on a love that will be but a small moment in the life of the teen protagonist. Malice really surprised me by striking the perfect balance between sci-fi premise and budding romance. Despite a few thin spots the premise held up well and was an enjoyable ride.

If you feel Malice towards series, never fear it’s a stand-alone.

Setup as a mini-mystery Alice must figure out whether the voice talking in her head is telling the truth about the future it shares with her. Time travel premises are already stretching our ability to suspend disbelief, so trying to stretch this concept to more than one book would have been too much. By keeping the story contained we’re willing to rely on the facts we’re given as we know we won’t be left hanging.

If unbelievable romance makes you boil with Malice, don’t worry, in this it’s timely and bittersweet.

Romance should never feel shoehorned into a story. But how do you make young love feel important when it’s going up against a world wide epidemic? Pintip Dunn did it by using time, already an essential theme in the story to support their teen romance. And then she balanced it with a bittersweet view into its future. It’s beautifully developed and made me root for Alice and her love.

If you naturally feel Malice toward sci-fi, you’ll still want to allow Alice to win you over.

Sure this is about a girl trying to stop a horrible future by changing the present. It can’t get more sci-fi up in here. But it’s balanced well with the contemporary high school setting and sweet budding romance. We get to know all the people in Alice’s life who touch on this science driven future. And it makes for a relatable family and friend filled life. It could totally convert non-sci-fi readers to the genre.

Unexpected details make Malice feel like it could have happened.

Like any book with a mystery at its core, you’ll have guesses and twists. And you may find your guess right on. This doesn’t negate the fun reading the book. Malice had quite a few realistic and well utilized details that enriched this book world and made reading it totally worth it.

  • The bits of Thai culture from Bandit and her best friend.
  • The look at point of view and how our individual experiences change how we see truth.
  • Her brother’s bullying and social awkwardness were so real as to be heartbreaking.
  • What makes up time travel and can we really change our future.
  • The effect of love and positivity on changing a life.

While the end was a touch too sweet and maybe even unrealistic, I still really loved where this went.

Malice, contrary to its name, was a positive and uplifting look at bullying, mental health and love. Romance, mystery, time travel sci-fi all mix in a balanced young adult stand-alone read. You’ll fall in love with this fun fusion story.

3⋆ FOR ADULT READERS, 4⋆ FOR TEEN READERS.

18 comments

  1. Glad this was good. I usually like time travel if it’s done well, and nice that this struck the right balance with the relationship stuff as well. Standalones are always nice.

    I like the sound of the Thai culture bits too!

  2. I won’t lie — I never would have considered picking up this book based on the title and synopsis without reading your review. The title Malice, as you pointed out, is a bit of a turnoff. But a “positive and uplifting look at bullying, mental health and love.”? Yes please!

    Did you want this book to be part of a series?

  3. Oh, thank gosh this book is a standalone—I can’t keep up with series these days lol 😓. And I’m so glad you felt that the sci-fi and romance was well-balanced! Definitely bumping this book up on my TBR 🙂.

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