ARC provided by HarperCollins via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review
Book: Sawkill Girls
Author: Claire Legrand
Genre: YA fantasy
Publication Date: October 2, 2018
My Rating: ★★★
Beware of the woods and the dark, dank deep.
He’ll follow you home, and he won’t let you sleep.
Who are the Sawkill Girls?
Marion: the new girl. 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.
I’m always game for a creepy story set on an island. Missing girls? An urban legend? That checks off all my boxes. I was so excited to receive this ARC. While I didn’t end up wholeheartedly loving this book, I still enjoyed the overall experience, and I would still recommend this book if you’re a fan of spooky adventures and female friendships.
Sawkill Island, also known at The Rock, holds a dark not-so-secret secret: Over several generations, young girls have gone missing. There’s a local urban legend known as The Collector that is believed to be the culprit of snatching these girls. But there’s never any proof, law enforcement is stumped, and the locals just accept these disappearances.
However things begin to boil over when Marion, the new girl, arrives on The Rock with her mother and sister, Charlotte. They befriend locals Zoey and Val (who, by the way, hate each other) and learn about the island’s horrible past. Soon Marion gets tangled in investigating these disappearances, and no one appears to be trustworthy.
Now I’m going to discuss what I liked and disliked.
- First and foremost, this book has amazing sexual representation. There is ace/bi rep, w/w relationships, and so many feminist themes. This book was such an awesome piece to read during Pride Month.
- I got major We Were Liars and The Wicked Deep vibes from reading this book. I love any and all books that has a spooky, mysterious tale on an island. I will always read those. I also think this book will be perfect to read during Halloween.
- The Collector as a villain. I won’t give any spoilers away, but, wow, he is… sick. He definitely made my bones chill.
- It’s a standalone.
- While I did like The Collector, I was hoping to get more information/history on him (and the island as a whole.)
- I was really not a fan of Zoey’s dad. IMO he was a grade-A idiot and his presence (along with another group of people I won’t mention because spoilers) really took away from the story and ultimately made me not enjoy the second half of the book.
- I was a bit surprised that a certain character didn’t receive much sympathy for what was going on with her family. I mean, I understand everyone was going through some personal issues, but someone was basically dead and no one else really seemed to give a crap.
That’s where I’ll leave this before things get too spoilery. This book would’ve been a 4-star read for me if I didn’t have so many issues with the pacing/characters during the last half of the book, but I still recommend this if you’re in for a haunting, atmospheric read with lots of amazing rep and badass ladies.
Buddy read with:
(thank you for the HTML code, Melanie!)