Sins & Needles is a hard book for me to review, because my feelings about it are very…complex. All of Karina Halle’s books are dark, but with the EIT and Devil’s Metal series, I find them to be dark in a slightly addictive, like-watching-a-horror-movie-marathon-and-eating-popcorn-nonstop kind of way. Sins & Needles felt dark in a much more unsettling, even uncomfortable, very real way. I can think of a few reasons the book might have affected me so differently, and it could really be a combination of all of them, or none at all: One, Sins & Needles is the first of Karina’s books that has no supernatural element, which makes it seem a bit more “real.” Two, Camden’s and Ellie’s pasts and the way they’re described feel very raw and truly traumatic—the little things, like a snub in a high-school cafeteria, as much as the big acts of violence. And third, I got really sick while I was reading this, and I probably should have been reading something light and cutesy instead. But of course once I started this, I wasn’t stopping!In any case, around 40% in the book became so intense for me that I thought I might have difficulty finishing it. Don’t get me wrong, I was really enjoying it and dying to know what happened—but it was just so emotional and dark. As I kept reading, there were some hints of lightness, hope and humor that balanced out the really tense moments. And more than that, I realized the plot was building toward an even greater emotional intensity that was worth all the anguish. I don’t even know how to describe the way the last third or so of the book made me feel, except to say that it’s closer to the way I feel when listening to certain types of music than while reading. So maybe…more instinctive, from the gut rather than through the head? And I know the author’s references to music, and particularly her brilliant use of the song “On Every Street,” really helped here.So anyway, this is turning into a rambling and strange review…so I will just say that Sins & Needles is sure to be unlike anything else you’ve ever read, and it will punch you in the gut. In a good way.