Cover Image: My Dear Henry: A Jekyll & Hyde Remix

My Dear Henry: A Jekyll & Hyde Remix

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Member Reviews

I have been a devoted Kalynn Bayron fan since her debut novel back in 2020, and when I saw that she would be writing the next book in the Remixed Classics series I freaked out!  While I am not super familiar with the original story of Jekyll and Hyde, beyond the representations of it in popular media, I knew that I was going to need to get my hands on a copy!  I was delighted by the creepy world building in My Dear Henry, and I was especially taken with the narrative voice of the story.

I will say, this book is not for readers who are squeamish about things like corpses and medical experiments.  In keeping with the original story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this book delves into the world of mad science, and can be intense at times.  If you are a reader who is not sensitive to these sorts of things, this book would be a great choice!

My Recommendation-
If you enjoy dark reimaginings of classic spooky tales, you should grab a copy of My Dear Henry!  I would especially recommend this book to readers who are feeling the Halloween spirit even now, in March!
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DNF - I love Kalynn Bayron and I love this remix series but I couldn't find anything in My Dear Henry to really care about. I haven't read the original Jekyll & Hyde and hardly know the story, so I may not be the ideal audience. Perhaps there are more call-backs to the original than I was able to catch, which might make it enjoyable for those familiar with the text. But this remix wasn't for me.
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Kalynn Byron does it again. I absolutely loved this book, especially the narrator. These books are really bring back my love for fantasy. 

What I enjoy about Byron’s writing is that there’s always a sense of education on black livelihood/history and of course the incorporation of LGBT sides.

With this particular remix I loved that it’s from the youths perspective of Dr Jekil. There is so much more I want to say but can’t without spoilers.
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Though there are so many aspects of this novel that appeal to me = historical fiction featuring a gay, Black main character, with a period science-fiction lens, written by one of my favorite YA authors - My Dear Henry failed to hit the marks that would lead me to feel any more drawn to the tale of Jekyll & Hyde. 

I found less character development than I'm used to from the author, especially in the main character whose thoughts we get hardly enough of in order to fully understand his actions. There were also plot components that held a lot of promise that seem to be wrapped up before their inclusion can bear fruit. I think those on the look for the vibe would enjoy this title most. If you're more drawn by character development and/or expansive plot, I would point you towards other works in Bayron's catalog - which I find top tier.
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I like that this one does more than just change the race of the characters to "remix" the familiar plot. It changes plenty of superficial details but all of those changes bring new intent to the plot. This goes beyond the intellectual curiosity and hubris of the original. Here we have intensity and lack of compassion driven by desperation and the desire for a better life when society is determined to keep one down. We can actually understand the motivation for these experiments far more than in the original book. This is one of the better, more compelling, retellings I've encountered and one I would easily recommend.
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Unfortunately this story wasn't for me. I struggles to connect with the story and characters and ended up DNFing at the % mark. I think that this is due to my own expectations, I thought there would be a mystery with a side of romance, but it felt like it was all forbidden romance which isn't my preference.
I'm grateful for the opportunity to read this book and will try to pick it up again in the future to see if I can connect with it at that time,
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This friggin book was AMAZEBALLS! My first time experience with this Black British Narrator was transcendent! Clifford Samuel's transitions of the characters was flawless! He brought Sister Girl's story to the main stage! I never knew/understood the full premise behind the Jekyll and Hyde made for tv episode from the 70s--it was not very cinematic in its production. This #Remix should have been the original. I absolutely loved the creation of this REMIX. This did not disappoint!
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If you tell me a book is a queer retelling I'm 100% going to read it. I'm not completely familiar with the story of Jekyll and Hyde so I don't really know how much of the retelling came from the original book, but nonetheless I was very invested in the story from the beginning and it was even better with the excellent narration.
The friendship then romance, then something entirely different, between the two main characters kept me going and I was constantly screaming at them to talk. But there was much more going on that them being found out that they were more than friends, and the mystery was interesting to follow. Also to see the side characters and their roles and how the whole story unfolded until we got to an ending I liked a lot.
Definitely going to recommend this to everyone!
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This book is a gothic, creepy and very atmospheric slow burn that is great perfect for spooky season. I would have liked if Henry and Gabriel’s relationship was showed to me instead of being told to me.
It was hard to feel the connection between the two when it felt like the relationship wasn’t fully developed. Despite that minor issue this was a good story and the ending was fast paced and held my attention. The narrator did a great job as well.
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I'm seriously in love with the YA Remix series that have been done by Macmillan. My latest is a Jekyll and Hyde queer gothic horror/romance set in the late 1800s, London. 

During a time when color, status and representation are still scrutinized and ostricized, Gabriel will stop at nothing to understand the change in Henry's isolating behavior. When Hyde comes into play it's only a matter of time before secrets start to unfold. 

Bayron did an excellent job tying in racism, queer prejudices and the gothic atmosphere of that time period. I especially liked how realistic the oppression from teachers, family and friends weighed on our two MCs. There is so much emotion and feeling that came from Gabriel's unstoppable push to find answers. 

The audio is narrated by Clifford Samuel. I really liked his cadence and inflections for the different characters. I ended up breezing through the audio and hating it was over by the time he read the last page. 

If you haven't grabbed one of these yet, I absolutely recommend them. Not only have they rekindled my love for YA and the classics but they represent authors from marginalized backgrounds. Each one expressively retells different classics from their own ethnic or cultural perspective. This was one of my faves by far. 

Thank you MacMillan Audio for the gifted audio copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. True rating 4.5/5.
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This was the queer retelling of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde that I didn’t know I needed in my life!

I will say, it took me awhile to get into this audiobook due to the narrator’s flat and unemotional performance, causing me to “not-right-now” this book for a couple weeks. But once I got past that, I absolutely flew through this book! 

I haven’t read the original book, so I don’t know how it compares, but for me I couldn’t put it down because I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see how the plot and mysteries within would all unravel.

The romance between Gabriel and Jekyll, while a bit too Insta-love for my tastes, was a relationship you wanted to root for. The mutual pining and tension between the characters made my heart break and soar in equal measure. 

Overall, I’m so glad to have been approved by Macmillan Audio & Netgalley for an ALC of this one, because it opened my eyes to this remixed classics series that has retellings of Pride & Prejudice, Little Women, and Romeo & Juliet. I know I’ll definitely be picking up Into the Bright Open: A Secret Garden Remix by Cherie Dimaline, coming out in September 2023.
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Thank you to Kalynn Bayron, Clifford Samuel, Macmillan Audio, Macmillan Young Listeners, and Netgalley for this advanced reader copy of  "My Dear Henry: A Jekyll & Hyde Remix" for an honest review. 

A fan of all things Dracula, Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights, and the lot, I absolutely had to reach for this young adult gothic retelling of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. I love that this is set on the bones of Henry & Gabriel's romance, and the sister twists and turns the novel throws at the reader (/listener) as you're chasing down the nightmares and mysteries to see what could happen to these boys by the end. 

I really love the whole metaphorical/underlying message of the end, the whole concept of the fact you can't remove any part of you without changing you are entirely, too. You have to accepted all of yourself to be whole, to be who you are meant to be. Definitely get a copy for people in you life! 

Queer Black Voices FOREVER!
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London, 1885. Gabriel Utterson, a 17-year-old law clerk, has returned to London for the first time since his life— and that of his dearest friend, Henry Jekyll—was derailed by a scandal that led to his and Henry's expuslion from the London Medical School. Whispers about the true nature of Gabriel and Henry's relationship have followed the boys for two years, and now Gabriel has a chance to start again.

But Gabriel doesn't want to move on, not without Henry. His friend has become distant and cold since the disastrous events of the prior spring, and now his letters have stopped altogether. Desperate to discover what's become of him, Gabriel takes to watching the Jekyll house.

In doing so, Gabriel meets Hyde, a a strangely familiar young man with white hair and a magnetic charisma. He claims to be friends with Henry, and Gabriel can't help but begin to grow jealous at their apparent closeness, especially as Henry continues to act like Gabriel means nothing to him.

But the secret behind Henry's apathy is only the first part of a deeper mystery that has begun to coalesce. Monsters of all kinds prowl within the London fog—and not all of them are out for blood...

A beautifully written reimagining of the classic Jekyll and Hyde story.  Byron is able to seamlessly change the main character and Jekyll's story to one of racism, homophobia, and lost love. In doing so, it brings the story into the lens of the modern reader while still having it be instilled with the prejudice of the time period. It is a great addition to the classics remix collection.
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Thank you to netgalley for the advanced listening copy of my dear Henry a jekyll and Hyde remix. By kalynn bayron. For a retelling this was just not it. I listened to this over audiobook. I thought the narrator was just putting me to sleep. It made it hard to get into the book and when I could concentrate on it the story itself just seemed to dry and characters flat
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I received a free Advanced Reading Copy via NetGalley in exchange for a complete and honest review.

One of the best books I've read in a long while.
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Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Having never read the classic, I thought this reimagining was amazing. It was written well and had a clear story line. The characters were developed well.
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<Incoherent Sputters> Whaaaaaaaa? I have to say that I didn’t know that I needed a Historical QUEER Retelling of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde until I picked up My Dear Henry. It was beautiful and sad and filled with love and fear… it was perfect! 

Everytime I say that I’m not a huge fan of Historical Fiction, then I read something that changes my views COMPLETELY!

The beginning of the book finds us in the before of Gabriel & Henry’s time at school. Before the scandal and their peers finding out that these two black men are in love. Before Gabriel is forced to become a law clerk for a horrible man. Before Henry changes completely.

In 1885 London, Gabriel is all alone… well he has his cousin and friends, but Henry has distanced himself completely. He sees him from time to time, but Henry works in his father, Dr Jekyll’s lab. He does see a boy coming from the back door with the shock white hair that he doesn’t know… and it sends him in a spiral. But Mr Hyde isn’t who he thinks he is and the more he gets to know him, the more he comes to realize he knows those kind eyes.

Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! I can’t with my love for these boys! This was just SOOOOOOOO GOOD!!!!!
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An interesting spin on the Jekyll and Hyde story. While I didn't much care for the romance brewing, I did enjoy the mysterious atmosphere and intriguing happenings. It has strong, luring elements that really pull you into the Jekyll and Hyde story.

Audiobook listeners: The quality of the audio production is top-notch, great choice for narrator, etc.
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These remixes are saving my views on the classics. I read Dr. Jekyll when I was in middle school. I was interested in sci-fi back then and my mom gave me it. I ended up liking it, but it wasn’t something I would read again unless I had to. But this time I wanted to give it a try because it’s a remix. And sure enough, it gave me a whole new respect for the story.

So for what worked for me. I LOVED the setting. Bayron has a way of making the setting feel so legit. I felt the fog like I was on London or something. She mentioned the way the cobblestones felt under their feet and the way they sounded when the person was running on them. It made me feel as if I was right there. And as someone who travels from the books she reads (remember why my blog is named this?) this was right up my alley. It made the book a little more mysterious too.

I did think this story was going to be a slog for me to get through tho. I am not a huge fan of the original because it was kinda confusing. When I read it in Middle school it was in one of those Illustrated Classics. (Am I the only one who read those?) And I remember reading it and watching a documentary and it scared the bee-jebs out of me. But Bayron made this story her own and I actually really enjoyed it.

SPOILER ALERT FOR THIS PARAGRAPH. I also liked the twist, although it made me cry. TW/CW Not gonna lie, the way his dad forced the serum on him and what it did, it really felt like the dad’s version of conv/ersion ther/apy. Like that would be the way he was trying to do it back then. And it made me sad and mad so the tears fell. It didn’t make me stop liking it, but it did make me waffle on my rating. In the end, I settled on not changing anything because I felt like anything that made me cry was something that really pulled at my emotions.

The narrator was weird tho. I liked him, but his voice was too calming? I don’t know how else to say it. I had to speed him up, but then I saw that wouldn’t work for me. So I slowed it down and then he put me to sleep. (I think that was my ADHD tho. Anything under 1.5 won’t do it for me lol) But everything else, like his tone and the inflections and stuff were fine.

This book was so good it made me break my book buying ban. (Don’t tell my husband I admitted to that lol) All of these classics are so good! I really hope there’s a lot more of these to come. I love seeing all the different ways they’ve been changed.
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My Dear Henry is a perfect example of why a contemporary re-mix of a classic is such a powerful genre. This book hits all the beats of the original story with fresh and relevant perspective. Gabriel is a young and ambitious Black man who is sent to medical school in victorian London. He falls for a classmate, Henry, whose father, Dr Jekyll disapproves of the boys' relationship. Henry begins to act strange and disappears around the same time the mysterious Mr Hyde appears. With spooky atmosphere, supportive friendships, respectability politics, queer romance, institutional racism, and much more, this story never feels bloated or bogged down. It's an exciting, propulsive read in a relatable and likable voice.
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