The Darkness Within by Lisa Stone
Review by Lauren
Source: copy from ALA17; all opinions are my own
Official Summary (add on Goodreads): When critically ill Jacob Wilson is given a life-saving heart transplant, his parents are relieved that their loving son has been saved.
However, before long, his family are forced to accept that something has changed in Jacob. Their once loving son is slowly being replaced by a violent man whose mood swings leave them terrified – but is it their fault?
Jacob’s girlfriend, Rosie, is convinced the man she loves is suffering from stress. But when his moods turn on her, she begins to doubt herself – and she can only hide the bruises for so long.
When a terrible crime is committed, Jacob’s family are forced to confront their darkest fears. Has the boy they raised become a monster? Or is someone else to blame?
Review: This was a fast read for me! There is an element of science in this book because the question is whether Jacob is changing on his own or if his transplanted heart is the reason he’s suddenly become so angry – and violent. It’s an interesting subject and makes for a great addition to a thriller. I’m sure many of you have heard about people getting transplants and suddenly being interested in new foods or hobbies. This takes that but to a completely different level, one in which there seems to be scientific proof. What do you believe though?The Darkness Within - can a heart transplant also transplant a full new personality? Click To Tweet
One thing that I wish The Darkness Within had more of is Jacob before the transplant. There is very little to go on until he has a new heart and starts to change his personality and interests. However, it’s obvious that Jacob was a mostly good guy. He didn’t give his parents trouble, he had a good job after getting out of college (until he got sick), a nice long-term girlfriend, and he even visited an elderly woman in the village. After the transplant, though, Jacob is physically, mentally, and sexually violent. It starts off pretty bad, but it definitely gets worse as the book goes on and Jacob seems to become more and more like his donor. Horrific things happen in the book and it does make one wonder if Jacob is to blame for any of it, or if it’s all the fault of the donor heart.
While most things are resolved by the end of the book, this is definitely a novel that lends itself to discussion. The very end had me wondering what would happen to Jacob’s future. Obviously, this was done on purpose, but part of me wishes it had given more concrete answers. Though, to be honest, after reading the book, most of the answers are included within, whether they are satisfactory to the reader or not. For me? I’m not so sure. Let’s discuss!
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