I like stuff with romantic elements and angst, usually YA, fantasy, paranormal/urban fantasy or variations thereof. Usually wrinkles nose at sci-fi due to unlikely tech. Straight girl who likes boys that like boys!
Despite what other reviews have stated, I did not find this all that Dexter-ish. Yes, Archer has killed people he categorises as "bad" much in the way Dexter does, but he finds no pleasure in it, and it is not an outlet for him in any way. Actually, he feels quite bad about it. Where Dexter needs to kill, Archer has a hit-list and a very personal reason for each person on his list.
Mostly this is a story about the toxic relationship between Archer and Vivian. They were best friends since they were 8 or so - a relationship that started out great, but changed as really crap life-cards were dealt to them both. By the time we meet them in college, Archer is quite introvert and a broken kid who feels unworthy of anybody's love or attention. He will do anything for Vivian, who treats him as her doormat and intermittent rescue guy from her very fucked up life. Throughout the book Vivian slowly looses her grip on reality and Archer struggles against his need to always help her. There is murder, yes, and a scrambling avoidance to get caught, but mostly I felt that this was a book about Archer trying desperately to drag himself out of the black, toxic oozing tar pit hateship he has with Vivian. He is helped along by Evan, who is this little beacon of hope that somebody, for some reason, might actually love him for him, and not just want him around as a facilitator for feeling better about themselves.
The book has a very dark undertone, and oh my GOD is Vivian a slappable selfish little bitch, but at the same time it is uplifting as you follow Archer through his struggles to free himself from Vivian. And even though I didn't like Vivian at all, I could still to some degree empathise with the panic she obviously felt when her life spiralled out of control.
The story has a fairly slow pace at the beginning, in the sense that things are still somewhat normal. It doesn't mean boring, just that things are happening at a easy pace before gaining more and more momentum until all control of events are slipping through Archer's fingers and we're standing there watching Hurricane Vivian wreck havoc on his life. But throughout all of it, Evan is still this little calm in the eye of the storm - understated and sweet, seemingly shy and a law-abiding, upstanding citizen - that somehow still thinks it is quite all right to hide his boyfriend's less savoury deeds from the police :-)
Such a great book. I also liked the nice touch of Archer's slow barely-aware refreshingly angst-less transition into realising that hey! I seem to like boys, and I somehow ended up with a boyfriend.