Wednesday, September 26, 2018

ARC Review: Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

Sawkill Girls
Author: Claire Legrand
Publication: Katherine Tegen Books (October 2, 2018)

Description: Who are the Sawkill Girls?

Marion: The newbie. Awkward and plain, steady and dependable. Weighed down by tragedy and hungry for love she’s sure she’ll never find.

Zoey: The pariah. Luckless and lonely, hurting but hiding it. Aching with grief and dreaming of vanished girls. Maybe she’s broken—or maybe everyone else is.

Val: The queen bee. Gorgeous and privileged, ruthless and regal. Words like silk and eyes like knives; a heart made of secrets and a mouth full of lies.

Their stories come together on the island of Sawkill Rock, where gleaming horses graze in rolling pastures and cold waves crash against black cliffs. Where kids whisper the legend of an insidious monster at parties and around campfires. Where girls have been disappearing for decades, stolen away by a ravenous evil no one has dared to fight…until now.

My Thoughts: This horror story is told by three very different girls. It takes place on Sawkill Rock  which is the home of the rich and pretentious. It is also an island where girls have been disappearing without a trace for more than 100 years.

Marion is new on the island. She and her mother and her sister Charlotte have come to make a new start after the death of her father in a car accident. Her mother has gotten a job as the housekeeper for the Mortimer family - one of the richest and with the longest history on the island.

Zoey has been on the island for a while. Her father is the chief of police. But Zoey, being black and not wealthy, is a definite outsider. Her best friends are Thora and Grayson but Thora is one of the missing girls.

Val Mortimer looks like she has a charmed life. She is the daughter of the Mortimers. She's beautiful and the social leader. If she beckons, everyone comes - including Thora.

Val takes a liking to Charlotte and she is the next to disappear.

There are interludes from the point of view of the Rock itself who sees what's going on and needs to recruit helpers to end the terror - helpers like Marion, Zoey, and Val. Meanwhile, we also find out that Val and her ancestors have been the hosts for a demon from some other world that grows only through the deaths of girls who are brought to it by the Mortimers. Val is having second thoughts about her role as a demon procurer but doesn't know what she can do to stop it.

This story is really creepy which would target it for older young adult readers. There are also sexual scenes and discussions which would also be better for older students. I thought the scenes were well-done and filled with emotion. I could feel the aching need for connection that both Marion and Val were feeling.

Favorite Quote:
"Why do the monsters eat girls?" she asked at last. Her voice sounded small.

When Marion didn't answer, Zoey turned on her side to face her. "Marion?"

"Because," Marion answered, looking beyond Zoey to the sea, "when a predator hunts, it seeks out the vulnerable. The desperate."

Zoey's laugh was bitter. "Oh, and we poor delicate girls are vulnerable and desperate, is that what you're saying?"
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

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