Review: The One that Got Away with Murder by Trish Lundy

The One that Got Away with MurderThe One that Got Away with Murder by Trish Lundy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had so much fun reading The One that Got Away with Murder. I read it in a 24-hour period and clearly, it hooked me.

It was drama-filled, fast-paced and compelling. Exactly how I like my YA Mystery/Thrillers. I can’t believe this is a debut!? How is that even true?!

In this story we follow Lauren. a high school soccer star, just about to enter her Senior year. Sadly, she’s going to be doing that at an all new school, as she has recently moved with her Mom from California to Happy Valley, Pennsylvania.

Her Mom’s long-distance boyfriend lives in Happy Valley, so following a scandal at Lauren’s old school, they decide it would be best for them to make a fresh start there.

Lauren understands the reasoning behind the move, but it’s still a difficult transition and her new teammates won’t be making it any easier on her.

Prior to the school year beginning, Lauren meets a boy, Robbie Crestmont, and the two begin spending time together. Hooking up, may be the most accurate term for their relationship.

Once she begins hanging out with her teammates though, when soccer season begins, she learns that Robbie isn’t the most liked guy in Pleasant Valley. In fact, some of the girls are downright hostile towards him.

In fact, they blame him for the death of their teammate, Victoria, Robbie’s one-time girlfriend. The story is that Victoria died during a late night swim at the Crestmont’s lake house. Her friends and teammates aren’t buying the story that it was an accident. They suspect foul play.

Not helping is the fact that Robbie’s brother’s girlfriend also died a mysterious death about a year after Victoria. Two brothers, two dead girlfriends. That can’t be a coincidence. Even Lauren can admit that doesn’t seem right.

After agreeing to go visit Robbie’s family lake house over Labor Day weekend, Lauren vows that will be the last weekend she will spend with him. While there, however, she discovers some evidence that may just confirm Robbie’s involvement in Victoria’s death.

Lauren is scared. Does anyone know she found what she found at the lake house? She hopes not.

With dangers around every corner, Lauren is unsure who she can trust. As she navigates between the the powerful Crestmont family and her soccer teammates, Lauren begins to piece together the truth of the two dead girls.

As mentioned above, I had a blast reading this. It’s so compelling. It drew me in from the start.

There was something about Lauren’s character that vibed well with my tastes. I loved reading from her perspective, and learning about her. She can be a little harsh, a little cold, a little angry, but I like that…

You could tell that something fairly significant had happened in her past, but it was slowly revealed to you over the course of the story, instead of laid on you all at once.

I enjoyed how that was done. I like that Lundy took her time revealing Lauren’s full-self. She’s a tough girl, but she definitely struggles with a lot over the course of the story.

I also liked Robbie and his brothers. They were extremely wealthy and powerful in this town, but instead of being the revered golden boys, as would typically be the case in these type of circumstances, they were more like social pariahs.

Lauren looking into their family, and others in the town was very interesting and if kept me on my toes. There were plenty of suspicious actors floating about.

It’s funny, when I was about halfway through this book, I was having so much fun, I thought, I need to go read this author’s previous books! With this in mind, I went to Trish Lundy’s author page here on Goodreads and discovered, THIS IS HER FIRST BOOK!?

I was seriously shocked. This is such a well-constructed and thought-out Teen Mystery, IMO. If this is her debut, I cannot wait to watch her career over the next few years.

If you enjoy YA Mystery/Thriller authors such as Jessica Goodman, Karen M. McManus, or Kara Thomas, you have to check this out. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Thank you to the publisher, Henry Holt & Company (BYR) and Macmillan Audio, for not only providing me with copies to read and review, but also for introducing me to a talented new author to obsess over!!!

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Review: Dead Girls Walking by Sami Ellis

Dead Girls WalkingDead Girls Walking by Sami Ellis
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Dead Girls Walking is a recent YA Horror release. One that I had been very anxious to pick up. The publisher’s synopsis, as well as the intriguing cover, had my full attention.

It looks like this is a debut novel for author, Sami Ellis, and while I can appreciate the author’s creativity and ambition, the story did not work for me, unfortunately.

I considered giving it 3-stars, but I have to be honest about my experience. For me, a 3-star book is something I liked, but that didn’t blow me away and may have minor issues. I just don’t think this one reached that status for me.

I’m not going to say anything about the plot. Please read the synopsis for more info. I barely understood what was happening and had to refer to the synopsis multiple times to try to get my bearings. Because of this, I feel I have nothing further to add in that regard.

And here we come to the heart of the issue for me. I found this narrative style confusing as heck. It felt like being dropped off at a movie halfway through, taking multiple bathroom breaks, and still being expected to understand what’s going on. Spoiler Alert: I didn’t.

It never succeeded in grabbing my attention. Additionally, the cast of characters, besides our MC, Temple, all blended together for me, and by the end, I just wanted it to be over.

With this being said, just because this one didn’t work for me, doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. I have seen some great reviews, I just feel like it was a miss for my tastes.

Thank you to the publisher, Amulet Books and RB Media, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I am interested it picking up more from this author in the future. I feel like maybe a different concept could help me engage more with their writing style.

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Review: The Forest Demands Its Due by Kosoko Jackson

The Forest Demands Its DueThe Forest Demands Its Due by Kosoko Jackson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**


The first thing that attracted me to The Forest Demands Its Due was the stunning cover. It’s 100% my go-to aesthetic.

The colors, the imagery, even the font, I had to know what it was about. After reading the synopsis, I wanted it ASAP.

In this story, set in Winslow, a small town in rural-Vermont, we follow Douglas Jones, a recently enrolled student at the prestigious Regent Academy.

Douglas differs from the other students. He’s there because his Mom works there and he got in a bit of trouble elsewhere. He’s a scholarship kid. He’s not rich like the other kids, and really doesn’t expect to get the same experience out of Regent as they do.

Douglas simply wants to keep his head down and quietly make it through the year. Unfortunately, some of his peers are bound to make that goal challenging.

Douglas is on edge at Regent as it is, but after the mysterious death of a fellow student, one which only he seems to remember, Douglas is more sure than ever that something is off at the ivory-towered school.

When he meets Everett, the groundskeeper’s son, and discovers that Everett remembers the murdered boy too, Douglas decides he needs to find the truth. What in the heck is going on at Regent?

In his search for answers, Douglas uncovers a giant horde of secrets kept by the locals. Not only that, he’s awakened the horrific entity hiding at the heart of the forest surrounding the school.

Will Douglas be able to harness his inner power and defeat this formidable enemy before all of Winslow is destroyed?

He doesn’t know, but he’s certainly going to try and his new friend, Everett, plans to be with him every step of the way.

This isn’t a perfect book, but I did enjoy a lot of what the author created here. Douglas was great MC to follow and learn about. I loved his narrative voice. Additionally, the ideas behind the Horror elements were strong.

I enjoyed the blending of Social Horror with the Folk Horror-evil forest elements. The private school setting was well done and Jackson successfully set an ominous tone from the start. I think this truly deserves a higher overall rating, which is why I decided to round up.

At the beginning, it was giving me heavy We Don’t Swim Here vibes, which I enjoyed a lot, so that really helped to grab my attention early. The way Douglas was noticing things at Regent that other people either weren’t noticing, or weren’t admitting to noticing, was hella intriguing.

It felt menacing and heavy. What was going on?

I will admit, some of the plot was hard to track, particularly towards the end when the pace increased. I think some of the confusion came from the magical elements. I never felt like I had a full grasp on the magic system.

Overall though, I felt like the characters and setting were well done, and I enjoyed thinking about the different social topics explored.

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys YA Social Horror, or Haunted Forest stories. Also, if you are looking for a Diverse, or Queer YA Horror read, this is a strong recommendation.

Thank you to the publisher, Quill Tree Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I am looking forward to reading more from Kosoko Jackson.

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Review: The Bad Ones by Melissa Albert

The Bad Ones: A NovelThe Bad Ones: A Novel by Melissa Albert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Bad Ones is the latest from beloved YA-author, Melissa Albert. I was immediately drawn to this stunning cover.

It screams beautiful darkness and that’s definitely the mood that this story delivers. The dark atmosphere was a hit for me, as well as the moody, yet fluid and engaging prose.

In this story we mainly follow Nora, whose estranged best friend, Becca, goes missing at the very start of our tale. We also learn of some other residents of their town who all go missing on that same night.

While many adults in her life feel like Becca, who has had a tumultuous life, has most likely run away, Nora knows that isn’t the case.

It’s not just the cryptic message Becca left her on the night she disappeared, Nora can just feel in her heart that something sinister is afoot.

The Reader follows along with Nora as she steadfastly searches for the truth. As Nora begins her investigation, she receives what she believes are coded messages from Becca.

These lead her to examine a local legend, known as the goddess, whose forgotten origins, even played a roll in Nora and Becca’s own childhood games.

I really enjoyed this. I found the premise so interesting and enjoyed learning about the local lore that helped to build out the heart of this story.

I feel like Readers are going to be hit or miss on Nora’s narrative voice, but for me, I really enjoyed her. She’s blunt and a bit morose, but personally, I felt like that helped develop the overall tone of the story.

I did have the pleasure of listening to the audiobook and I feel like the narrator, Emma Galvin, did an incredible job bringing Nora to life. I truly felt like I was listening to this character relay her story. It was so well done.

Nora does end up making a new friend, James, who aids her in her search for truth. I enjoyed their relationship. Nora is the type of character who pretty much keeps to herself, but James was able to help break down some of her walls.

At first I wasn’t sure if I trusted him. He seemed too cool for school, but I liked the way his character was able to draw Nora out of her shell. Regardless of the ultimate outcome of their relationship, I feel like he played his part by giving Nora the confidence boost she needed in her search.

There were a couple of small things, in the reveal of the truth, that structurally, I may have preferred formatted differently, but who am I to judge how this author chooses to tell this story? I might not have written it this way, but then again, I’m not a writer, so what do I know?

I’ll be honest, not a lot, but I do know that I really enjoyed the reading experience. It delivered me the dark, supernatural vibes and ‘small town full of secrets’ atmosphere that I was hoping for. It kept me engaged and guessing throughout and it made me even more excited to read future works from this author.

Thank you to the publisher, Macmillan Audio, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

Melissa Albert continues to impress me with her captivating concepts, interesting characters and beautiful writing. The Bad Ones is available now!!

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Review: The Obsession by Jesse Q. Sutanto

The ObsessionThe Obsession by Jesse Q. Sutanto
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Obsession is an intense YA-Thriller from one of my go-to authors, Jesse Q. Sutanto. This novel was released in 2021, and I’m so happy I dipped into my backlist for it.

Totally worth it!

In The Obsession we follow two teens, Delilah and Logan. Logan falls in love with Delilah on sight. She’s perfect. Everything he has ever wanted and he will have her.

He learns everything he can about her by doing things such as watching her at school, studying her social media, and aiming a hidden camera at her house.

You know, all totally normal things.

For her part, Delilah is attracted to Logan, but then they go out on a date and he’s way too intense. Like over-the-top intense. She’s had enough of controlling men in her life. She has no room for one more.

Delilah distances herself, thinking he’ll get the point.

Logan is desperate. He feels Delilah slipping away from him, but wait, she can’t exactly get away from him. He knows what she did. The worse thing she has ever done in her life. He knows. In fact, he has it on video.

He’ll just let her know, she rethink distancing herself from him real quick. But Delilah is not going to be as easily swayed as Logan anticipates. Who will end up the cat, and who will end up the mouse?

I listened to the audiobook for this and definitely recommend that format. The dual narration provided the perfect back-and-forth for Delilah and Logan’s perspectives.

I loved how in your face both of these characters were. There’s not a lot of apologizing for their thoughts or actions. It is what it is with these two.

I flew through this story. It takes turns alternating between the two MCs and at the end of each chapter, I wanted to know more. I had to keep going. How was this possibly going to be resolved? It felt impossible.

Initially, I was so disgusted with Logan. That kept me going, but then I see Delilah come in and I’m like, eyebrows raised, okay, you’re not as sweet and innocent as you first appear. It’s hard not to root for Delilah once you hear her story.

Logan on the other hand, my feelings never changed for him, but he was an interesting antagonist for Delilah’s overall story arc.

I’ll admit, I didn’t read the full synopsis before starting and I recommend you don’t either. Reading it over now, there are some things revealed that surprised me when I came to them in the story. I feel like I would have been bummed if I had gone in knowing those things ahead of time.

This had such a satisfying conclusion for me and it actually really made me think about what makes a villain.

Sutanto never fails to surprise me. Whether it’s by jaw-dropping twists, witty banter, or thoughtful character work, I keep on coming back and will continue to do so.

I’m so glad that I finally took the time to pick this one up. It was a lot of fun. I need more YA-Thrillers from Sutanto!

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Review: A Place for Vanishing by Ann Fraistat

A Place for VanishingA Place for Vanishing by Ann Fraistat
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

A Place for Vanishing is the most recent YA-Horror novel from one of my new go-to authors, Ann Fraistat.

I actually recently read Fraistat’s debut, What We Harvest, and was so impressed with the story she created within those pages. It sucked me in from the start and never let up.

This story is similar in a lot of ways. The first being it gets started quickly and has a great cast of characters. This feels more gothic though and a bit more cerebral.

In this story we follow Libby, who has recently been diagnosed with bipolar III. The events that led to that diagnosis were difficult not just for her, but also her Mom and little sister, Vivi.

Looking for a fresh start, her Mom decides to move them into her childhood home, Madame Clery’s House of Masks, a property she has been avoiding for decades.

The crumbling gothic mansion brings the atmosphere I most crave. From the very start, I was hooked on this property and learning more about it. It’s fascinating.

There’s a prominent insect theme carried throughout the house, not just through the presence of the little beasts, but also through the various architectural details of the home, most notably the beautiful stained glassed windows.

In the local area, there are many rumors circling about the property, mainly surrounding numerous disappearances over the years. But is it haunted? Cursed? Is there actually any truth behind the speculations?

Libby befriends a local boy, Finn, who has his own interest in the house, stemming back to the disappearance of his father years before.

It’s not long before Libby and Vivi begin noticing strange things occurring around the home, including their Mom’s changed behavior. It’s soon clear that this house is more than just a house. There’s something sinister here, lying in wait just under the surface.

We follow along as the girls try to figure out the truth surrounding the property and if possible, a way for them to survive it unscathed.

I really loved this. It has such a vibe and it is sensationally carried through start-to-finish. If you are a Reader searching for atmosphere, dark and dangerous, this is definitely a story you need to check out.

Ann Fraistat is an absolute gem in the YA Horror genre.

Early on it made me think of Katrina Leno’s Horrid, just in the set-up of returning to the mother’s mysterious, gothic-feeling childhood home, full of dark secrets.

Fraistat kept this interesting by adding in numerous turns that I wasn’t anticipating. Similar to her first novel, this included some very interesting occult themes that felt historic and genuine, as well as eerie.

The House of Masks certainly lived up to its name. I really enjoyed learning more about the history of the property itself and the events that occurred there.

I think Fraistat was successful in building-out the feeling of the home so much, it actually became a character unto itself. I love when an author is able to achieve that.

I feel like Fraistat is one of the best going right now in the YA Horror space. It is important to keep in mind, this story is gothic, occult, thoughtful, emotional Horror, more than slasher, body or Horror thriller though, so it all depends what you like and what you’re looking for.

Overall, I had a fantastic time with this. It was beautiful, engaging, thought-provoking and at times, jaw-dropping. I’m so glad Fraistat is out there creating stories for us all.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Delacorte Press, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I can’t wait to see what this author comes up with next!

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Review: That’s Not My Name by Megan Lally

That's Not My NameThat’s Not My Name by Megan Lally
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

That’s Not My Name was a great start to a new reading year. If this is what 2024 has in store, I’m a happy girl!

I’ve been on a holiday for the past 10-days. My house needed cleaning, I needed to unpack, organize, it was a whole day affair. Thanks to Megan Lally, that day was a breeze.

I started this one as soon as I started cleaning this morning and could not stop. It’s super compelling, with fabulous narration for the audio. Before I knew it, it was done.

This story follows two perspectives, Mary and Drew. There are dual narrators for the audio and they were each perfect for the character they were portraying. They were convincing as teens, which isn’t always the case.

When we meet Mary, she is injured and in distress. She is taken to a police station and expresses that she has no memory of who she is, or how she got injured.

As she and the kind Officer who picked her up try to decide what their next steps will be, a frantic man arrives at the station looking for his daughter.

She doesn’t remember him, but really, she doesn’t remember anything. He is able to provide the Officer with everything needed to prove she’s his daughter, Mary Boone. He has School IDs, family photos, even her birth certificate.

The Officer leaves Mary in his care, but does promise to check up on her soon, after she’s had a chance to rest.

Drew’s whole life changed weeks ago after his girlfriend, Lola, disappeared. He hasn’t been 100% truthful about the last night he saw her, not with anyone, not even the police, and now the guilt is eating away at him.

Making matters worse, the whole town, even people he considered friends, seem to think he is responsible for her disappearance. It’s always the boyfriend, right?

Drew tries to stay positive and focused. He knows he didn’t do anything to Lola and he’s determined to find her before it’s too late. He needs to prove his innocence, but he also feels he owes it to her after what he did.

The longer Lola is missing though, the more his chances of finding her diminish. He knows that, he’s realistic, so clearly time is of the essence. Along with a couple of friends Drew begins some sleuthing of his own, following leads to a place he never would have suspected.

When I tell you I was drawn in from the very start of this story, that is not an exaggeration. Getting Mary’s perspective as she struggles to recover memories and figure out what happened to her, that whole narrative was so freaking compelling.

Then with Drew, I was equally transfixed by his story. He doesn’t reveal everything right away and you can tell he is second-guessing some things. I needed to stay with him until the end.

I love how Lally paced this out. The perspective shifts were so well done. It’s definitely a ‘one more chapter’ kind of read. Each chapter left me wanting more in such a fun way.

The intensity builds at a nice steady pace as you are given more and more information about what the truth actually is for these two. By the end, I was racing along and felt so many emotions by the end.

I loved the conclusion and am just so very pleased by the overall experience. I am absolutely blown away that this is a debut. Lally knocked this out of the park, IMO and I am super stoked to see what she delivers us next.

I would absolutely recommend this to anyone who enjoys a tense, fast-paced, emotional YA Thriller. I think this would work well for fans of Kit Frick, Laurie Faria Stolarz, Mindy McGinnis, or even Natalie D. Richards.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Recorded Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. Megan Lally is going on my autobuy list for sure. I can’t wait for more!

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Review: Tag, You’re Dead by Kathryn Foxfield

Tag, You're DeadTag, You’re Dead by Kathryn Foxfield
My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Tag, You’re Dead is a futuristic-feeling YA Thriller with a strong gaming element. Unfortunately, as great as the overall concept is, I wasn’t crazy about the execution.

This story features a live-streamed, city-wide game of tag hosted by a well-known, oft-controversial, teenage social media influencer, Anton Frazer. The prize is to become one of his assistants.

The teen’s fans are eager to compete, but what about his enemies? Certainly someone as famous and potentially contentious as Anton has many. What would they do for the opportunity to get close to him?

We follow a few different perspectives, all participants in the game. Through their POVs we also are given background into their various connections to Anton, as well as their motivations for wanting to play the game.

The contestants are outfitted with super high-tech gear that tracks them through the city over the course of the game. Everyone takes turn, being randomly selected and notified through their gear, of being Chasers and Runners.

I felt like the idea of the game was so much fun. I was really looking forward to getting into this one and seeing how the game would ultimately play out.

For me though, I felt this story was imbalanced. I’m not sure if I am wording that correctly, but I’ll try to explain my feelings as best I can.

Some of the perspectives I found really interesting, for example a mother-daughter duo with majorly toxic vibes. Then there were other perspectives that I loathed every minute reading from; mainly, Charlotte.

Also, there were moments the game felt intense and fun, but just when I would start to become truly invested, it would switch perspectives and maybe be about something other than the game, that would take me out of it.

I also had a difficult time picturing some of the scenes, particularly any involving action. There was a lot of interpersonal drama going on amongst the characters, but the setting was less well developed, in my opinion.

I am first and foremost an atmosphere girlie, so I could have used a bit more work in that aspect. This could have been set anywhere, although I believe it is supposed to be London.

Overall, I found this to be an intriguing concept that sadly, fell short in its execution. In spite of it being a mixed bag for me though, I would definitely read from this author again.

Thank you so much to the publisher, SOURCEBOOKS Fire, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I appreciate it!

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Review: One of Us Is Back (One of Us Is Lying #3) by Karen M. McManus

One of Us Is Back (One of Us Is Lying, #3)One of Us Is Back by Karen M. McManus
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One of Us Is Back is the third, and reportedly, final installment to the One of Us Is Lying series by beloved YA Thriller author, Karen M. McManus.

First things first, I just want to take a moment and say thank you to the cover designers for McManus’ books. Staying with this theme through all the recent releases, whether they are part of a series or not, is such a great choice.

I love how they all look together on the shelf!!!

I have loved this series since the very start and have been anxiously awaiting this release. It was so great to return to Bayview and be reunited with some well-known characters.

The kids in Bayview have been through a lot, but they made it through Simon’s detention death and all that went with it, as well as a vengeful copycat developing a deadly game of Truth or Dare.

Unfortunately, the chaos isn’t over yet…

When a local billboard gets hacked and is set-up to display the words, ‘Time for a new game, Bayview’, many in town take it as a bad joke. For the Bayview crew, however, it triggers a lot of bad memories and new anxieties.

Then after one of their own disappears, their greatest fears are realized. It’s clear something dangerously-fishy is going down in Bayview…again.

I had a lot of fun with this story. I listened to the audiobook, as I have for the rest of the books in the series, and definitely recommend that format. The full cast really helps to bring the characters and intensity to life.

I loved the intrigue and suspense. It was extremely fast-paced, and I flew through it in a day. I loved being back with these characters and their amateur investigations were well-plotted and paced.

I thought the baddie was creative and I didn’t see the reveal coming, but once I did, it made a lot of sense.

Overall, this was another successful thrill-ride from McManus. I love her mysteries and characters. I always end up getting so invested.

Long story short, I will pick up absolutely anything McManus writes and cannot wait to see what’s next from her. I know this is the last book in this series, but I am really hoping it’s not the last story set in Bayview.

A town known for revenge, is a town I want to read about!

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Review: Monstrous by Jessica Lewis

MonstrousMonstrous by Jessica Lewis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Monstrous is a dark, YA Fantasy story from Jessica Lewis.

I’ve heard incredible things about this author’s first novel, Bad Witch Burning, but haven’t gotten to it yet. After reading this, I know I’ll be picking it up soon.

In this story we follow a teen girl, Latavia, who due to some challenges in her home-life, goes to stay with her Aunt in the small town of Sanctum, Alabama.

From the start her Aunt institutes a lot of rules: don’t go out after dark, come home directly after church, and definitely don’t stray into the woods…

It’s strange, but Latavia isn’t here for a holiday. It’s just a stop-over for 6-weeks before she leaves for college. She’s not here to shake anything up, so she keeps her head down and tries to do as her Aunt directs.

Nevertheless, trouble catches up with her one night when she is kidnapped from her Aunt’s house, dragged to the very same woods she was instructed to avoid, and offered up as human sacrifice to the ancient monster who lives there.

Latavia isn’t going down without a fight though, and this monster may have met its match. Latavia is willing to do anything to survive, including bargain with the monster, and maybe even risk becoming one herself.

Y’all, you have to be intrigued by this set-up. An ancient monster that lives in the woods on the outskirts of a small town. Residents ready and willing to sacrifice the new girl to feed the monster’s hunger.

What the heck is going on here!?

I was amazed at how quickly I got sucked into this story. I started reading it one Saturday and then the next thing I knew, the sun had set and I was 71% of the way through.

I really enjoyed Latavia’s perspective. I love the new girl trope, especially when that is paired with a creepy small town vibe, where all the residents behave strangely. Going along with Latavia as she tried to navigate just getting by in this town was interesting.

I also enjoyed how Lewis added some more thoughtful, hard-hitting themes as well, in addition to the Darker Fantasy elements.

I liked learning about the reasons behind Latavia coming to Sanctum in the first place. She was really going through some difficult things and in one respect, it was great that she had an Aunt willing to take her in, but then, you know, the human sacrifice and stuff, so it was a bit of a mess.

Also, Latavia did have a love interest over the course of this story and watching their relationship blossom was very sweet. In spite of everything going on, or maybe because of that, they grew close fairly quickly, but it all felt quite natural to me.

At the end of the day, this story just had so many fun and interesting elements, and Lewis was able to blend them all seamlessly. The new girl trope, small town secrets, Sapphic romance, a man-eating monster and a murder cult. Seriously, what else do you need!?

I was hooked from the start, and while there were some things that weren’t perfect for me, I still had a great experience with it and found it super compelling.

As mentioned above, I am definitely planning to read more from this author, starting with Bad Witch Burning. If you like Dark, YA Contemporary Fantasy, channeling small town vibes and dangerous secrets, you absolutely should check this one out.

Thank you to the publisher, Delacorte Press, for providing me with a copy to read and review. This was a lot of fun!

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