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

My Dear Henry: A Jekyll & Hyde Remix

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Member Reviews

I love a retelling and I've loved Kalynn Bayron's other books I've read so I was very excited to check this one out! My Dear Henry was brilliant! The whole point of this series is to subvert what we know and love about classic literature and this story does that brilliantly. I loved both boys and figuring out the mystery of the story as I went! It was both heartbreaking and inspiring and I felt so much for both MMCs. The mystery was interwoven into the story so well and I adored the way the author took everything we thought we knew about the original and completely turned it around into a brand new story. I love this series so much and cannot wait to read more Classic Remixes!

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"My Dear Henry: A Jekyll & Hyde Remix" by Kalynn Bayron presents a captivating twist on the classic tale, delving into themes of racism and homophobia in 1880s London. As an audiobook, this experience was elevated by an excellent reader who skillfully brought the story to life.

Set in misty Victorian London, the narrative follows Gabriel Utterson, a 17-year-old law clerk returning to the city after a scandal involving his best friend Henry Jekyll. The whispers about their relationship haunt Gabriel, especially as Henry grows distant and mysterious. Determined to uncover the truth behind Henry's disappearance and the arrival of a magnetic stranger named Hyde, Gabriel finds himself drawn into a deeper mystery where monsters lurk in the shadows.

Bayron's remix offers a fresh perspective on the original tale, intertwining issues of identity, friendship, and societal expectations. The exploration of racism and homophobia adds layers of complexity to the narrative, making it both thought-provoking and engaging.

Overall, "My Dear Henry" proves to be a compelling read, offering a blend of gothic atmosphere, suspenseful storytelling, and insightful social commentary. Fans of reimagined classics and those interested in historical fiction with a modern twist will find this audiobook to be a rewarding experience.

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This audiobook was truly incredible. I loved how the narrator brought each character to life and demonstrated their thoughts and actions through their voice.

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Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an audiobook of My Dear Henry in exchange for an honest review.

I’m a sucker for retellings & I enjoyed the representation included in this Jekyll & Hyde retelling! I think the author did a great job with the LGBTQIA+ subject matter; this book touches on unsupportive family members/community and hints at conversion therapy (at least that’s what I thought of while reading this).

The only thing keeping this from being higher than 3-stars is that there were times that felt a bit slow. Other than that, definitely recommend.

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DNF @ 74%

It’s a lot heavier than anticipated and I don’t think finishing it would be best for my mental health right now.

I do see myself coming back at some point in the future but I can’t see it being anytime in the next year probably. I enjoy the writing style, which I knew because I love Kalynn’s other work, that being said, this one is quite heavy and from the nature of her writing you get very intertwined with the world but with it being so emotional it’s not something I am capable of reading and appreciating at the moment

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I love Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde retellings. This one was awesome. I loved this twist on it. I loved the LGBTQ rep. The Historic Victorian feel was perfect. The villains were terrible and the heroes were flawed and wonderful. I loved Gabriel and wanted to hug him. The narration was great. Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for the arc in exchange for my honest review.

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My Dear Henry was a truly amazon reimagining of Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde! This was my second reimagining of beloved classics from this series (the first one I read being Self-Made Boys) and I am officially totally in love with them!

In My Dear Henry we follow a young Black man, Gabriel, as he studies medicine and works hard to be accepted in a society that is very unwilling to accept anyone that doesn't fit the "norm" - the norm being white and straight. At school he meets Henry, a vibrant young man with whom he connects instantly and sparks fly. But when Henry's life is turned upside down after being expelled and his father losing his job, Gabriel starts losing him. Henry starts avoiding him and with a mysterious young man, Hyde, making his way into Henry's life, Gabriel starts suspecting that something foul is afoot.

Gabriel was such a strong and amazing character - he was afraid of being himself at first, since the world was very keen to tell him that who he is was unacceptable, but with his developing relationship with Henry, he slowly starts fighting for who he is and what he believes in. This book of course deals with many important themes - two of the most prominent ones being the raging racism and homophobia present in the late 19th century (it's sad to think that these issues are still as present today - and the way Kalynn approaches them is as relevant as ever). Racism and homophobia get called out by so many different characters and it warmed my heart that despite the historical setting, there was no lack of characters that stood up for what is right - be it Henry's mother, Gabriel's cousin and his friends, as well as some minor characters that inevitably shaped both Gabriel's and Henry's life. Regardless of what some bigots want to believe, queer BIPOC people always existed and always had their communities and My Dear Henry showcases that so well.
And while all these themes are so interwoven with the story and how it progresses as well (not gonna lie, I was teary eyed for most of the second half of the book! Such mean, heart shattering plot twists that sadly also made a lot of sense too), My Dear Henry is also a love story of two young queer Black men falling in love in an unforgiving world and choosing each other in the end, despite every obstacle placed before them. I absolutely loved Henry and Gabriel's relationship and I know I will keep returning to this story.

My only complaint is that I wish this story had been longer - I wouldn't mind a 100 more pages so we got even more page time with Gabriel and Henry and all the other (nice!) characters! But all in all, My Dear Henry was a beautiful remix and I can't wait to get to the other books in this classics remixed series!

Trigger warnings: racism, homophobia, internalised homophobia, on page sexual harassment/assult and physical attack

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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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