With a concept like that, how were we supposed to resist? A controlling, manipulative boy who has secretly directed our leading lady's whole life in the hopes that she'll fall in love with him through blackmail and subterfuge. While it's not exactly something a normal high school boy would do, we think it's been established that Desmond's not exactly normal. Add to that the murder of a teacher and we've got a murder-mystery slash psychotic-stalker-problem in our hands.
Desmond's been pining after Riley for a while now and makes it a point to sabotage every intimate relationship she's had. Riley is his and Desmond's going to everything in his power to make sure it happens. Riley is totally clueless. To her Desmond is her pretty boy best friend who's a great filmmaker, and a totally upstanding guy. And when Riley is bent on solving a murder involving her favorite teacher, Dez will have to show how far he's willing to go with his unhealthy obsession.
What's confusing about this book is the many themes that were thrown into it. Murder, mystery, gay fiction, romance - so much so that we're not exactly sure what to think. It has a definite murder mystery vibe going on but the lack of focus on that particular aspect was a bummer. Dez's machinations should play a bigger role in the story, given how warped his displays of affection are. He's actually a total creep, but somehow, readers are forced to tolerate him, because hey, he's the protagonist and he's somehow refreshing (if you're the type who wants to read about unconventional leads, that is.)
If you're not into protagonists you want to rally 100% with, you might not find yourself enjoying this one. Dez was downright creeptastic towards Riley, even when she seemed to be batting for her own team. But if you do find yourself interested in a different kind of protagonist, why not try this one out for size?