**3.5-stars rounded up**
In this gruesome tale, set in 1990s-Milbury, Connecticut, five teens, Mick, Marnie, Vent, Chuck and Heidi, discover some urban legends are very real and very deadly.
The friends are misfits, stoners, living on the edge of society, but luckily, they have learned to rely on one another and actually have a super tight-knit group.
One night, Heidi and Marnie decide to head to a local bar that is known to serve minors. They have no idea that one choice will forever change the course of their lives.
They’re just looking to have a few drinks, listen to music, blow off some steam and maybe flirt with some guys. When Marnie sees her ex-boyfriend’s father there, she doesn’t think too much of it.
It’s strange he goes to a place frequented by people so young, but he’s harmless, or so she believes.
When he follows her out to the alley, she quickly realizes how wrong she is. He brutally beats, rapes her and leaves her bleeding out on the ground like a piece of trash.
By the time Heidi discovers her and what has happened, Marnie is barely alive. Heidi manages to get her out of there and to their friends for help.
Marnie refuses to tell authorities, or seek treatment, even though it is clear she is severely injured. The rest of the group agrees to go along with Marnie’s wishes. The last thing they want is for her to have to tell what happened to her if she is not comfortable doing so.
They know who did it. Marnie remembers and told them. She wants him to pay, as does everyone else in the group.
They are sick of taking everyone’s shit. It’s time for some vengeance. Even in her weakened state, Marnie is beyond ready to fight back.
The group hatches a plan to use the Melon Heads, a terrifying local legend, to make the rapist-POS pay. Mick insists he knows of a way to find the group of mutant cannibals, but is it legit?
From there stuff really gets crazy, but truly, this entire book is intense and I’ll say it, gross.
There were so many moments when I literally exclaimed, ewww, while reading. I can’t even tell you how many times.
Gruesome, disgusting descriptions and imagery pepper these pages. It was so fun!
I loved the way Shea formed the entire story around a local legend. Those scary stories we all hear as kids, how many of them are actually real?
There was a lot of action here as well, but some things were tough to read. I would definitely tread with caution if rape, sexual assault, or severe violence on page is triggering for you.
For me, although certain scenes were uncomfortable, they made sense in the overall narrative. It’s gory, fierce, violent as hell; in short, a complete bloody mess.
That’s what we’re here for. If you are looking for a brutal way to enter the spooky season, look no further. Misfits is it!
Thank you so much to the publisher, Flame Tree Press, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review.
I had such a fun time reading this. I was on the edge of my seat the whole way. Now Melon Heads are a new personal terror. Add them to the list!