ARC Review – Pretty Dark Nothing by Heather L. Reid

  • Title: Pretty Dark Nothing
  • Author: Heather L. Reid
  • Series: I don’t think so
  • Source: Received for review from Netgalley
  • Release Date: 4/23/2013

Description from Goodreads:

It’s been twenty three days since Quinn has slept for more than minutes at a time. Demons have invaded her dreams, stalking her, and whispering of her death. The lack of sleep and crippling fear are ruining her life. Energy drinks and caffeine pills don’t make a dent. When Quinn dozes off in the school hallway, Aaron, an amnesiac with a psychic ability, accidentally enters her nightmare. The demons are determined to keep them apart, and Aaron from discovering the secret locked away in his memory. Together, they could banish the darkness back to the underworld for good. That is, unless the demons kill them first.


I received this book for review from the publisher via Netgalley.

I requested Pretty Dark Nothing from Netgalley because the cover and description intrigued me. The premise sounded like a really good, creepy read. Unfortunately, it failed for me.

Pretty Dark Nothing starts with Quinn fighting sleep after not having a full night’s sleep in twenty-three days. She’s using caffeine pills and loud music to try to stay awake. Next thing we know, shadows are watching her, she falls asleep, but she’s being attacked through her headboard. I think I reread the first few pages several times because I was just confused. I just didn’t get it.

When Quinn gets to school, we find out that there’s a bunch of high school drama. Her boyfriend broke up with her and is dating her enemy, and of course, they’re both cheerleaders. Quinn’s lack of sleep has led to her failing her classes, and life is just falling apart. There is also a boy, who she barely knows, Aaron, who is completely falling for her.

Over the course of the book, we watch Quinn’s drama with her enemy, Kerstin, becoming a social outcast, and having confusing feelings over her ex, Jeff, and Aaron, interspersed with some ill-timed attacks from the demons.

If you take away the paranormal demon aspect, Pretty Dark Nothing is basically a typical high school drama story, which I unfortunately don’t typically care for. Also, I didn’t find Quinn to be overly likable, so I had a hard time relating to her or really caring what happened to her. Also, Aaron seemed like a decent guy, but the timing of him bumping into Quinn always seemed a little too coincidental. Also, I didn’t feel that his amnesia was as big of a part of the story as the description implied.

I could have looked past the high school drama if the creep factor was there. The idea of the demons was really good and would have made the rest of the story fall into place, but unfortunately, they just didn’t work for me. Every time Quinn had an encounter with the demons, I found myself confused. I don’t know if I just don’t have a good enough imagination or if the scenes just weren’t executed well enough, but instead of being scared or creeped out, I was mostly confused. Every encounter was different, and I found myself constantly trying to figure out what was going on, not in a mystery kind of way, but in a confused way.

Pretty Dark Nothing was the first book in a very long time that I considered not finishing. I was just confused and not invested in the story at all. I decided to give it a chance, though, knowing that the ending of a book can really make or break it for me.

I gave Pretty Dark Nothing an extra star because there was a small section close to the end where it was creepy and fast-paced, and I found myself honestly interested. Unfortunately, it was very small, maybe 10% of the book, and the ending just ruined it for me. There was all this build up, and then I felt like it just ended too abruptly. I don’t see anything that says that this is part of a series, but I feel like it might be because the ending just felt unfinished to me. However, I can’t honestly say I’d read it if there were a sequel because I was not very impressed with this book.

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3 thoughts on “ARC Review – Pretty Dark Nothing by Heather L. Reid

  1. Jeannius April 15, 2013 at 10:13 am Reply

    I’m actually reading this for review at moment too and have to agree with your comments, all the high school drama is cringe worthy. The demons are creepy but it just doesn’t seem to go anywhere even 70 percent into the book.

    • Mommy's Reading Break April 16, 2013 at 12:59 pm Reply

      Yeah, I was disappointed. There is a decent section closer to the end, but it’s only 5-10% of the whole book! I really wanted to like it, too.

  2. […] Pretty Dark Nothing by Heather L. Reid (2 stars) […]

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