I'll be honest, at times, Ripper felt like a bit of a love square (although the fourth person--I believe--is just hellbent on Arabella and not exactly in love with her) and surprisingly, I didn't really mind. Yes, someone does end up in the friend zone and her choice might be evident, but I still enjoyed reading about both of the boys and well, I feel quite badly for the one who ended up in the friend zone. Having said that, there are definitely some cute boys in Ripper and I'm probably more taken with Max than I should be--don't worry, that'll make sense if you read Ripper. I would not, however, call the romance the driving force of Ripper as it is definitely more focused on the mystery of who the Ripper is and well, Arabella's gift and so forth.
Yes, there's--what I consider to be--a paranormal element to Ripper and no, I don't mean vampires and the like. It definitely adds to Arabella as a character and as there has to be another book after Ripper, it adds to the overall plot quite nicely. For the record, Arabella is by no means a weak girl and she knows exactly what she wants (and needs to accomplish) and although her grandmother might seem like a stuffy old woman, she definitely grew on me. (And the Reverend seemed like a complete creeper to me, but I suppose that's a bit off topic.) As for the pacing, it did feel a bit slow at times, but towards the end it definitely picked up speed and I find myself looking forward to reading more about Arabella in the future.
Would I recommend this book to you? If you enjoy historical fiction with a paranormal/fantasy twist, yes. And okay, so I find re-tellings of the Ripper story to be fascinating--if you do too, you might want to pick this one up! Overall it was definitely an enjoyable read and I find myself looking forward to seeing Arabella again in the next book.
Overall Rating: ★★★★
Ripper by Amy Carol Reeves
Release Date: April 8, 2012
* Received for review via publisher and NetGalley.