YA Feminist Horror with a wide range of sexual/racial/body type representation...can this please be a new fad because I LOVE IT.
This story was beautifully written. Every element of it. It was atmospheric, lyrical, thoughtful, edgy, bloody, and chillingly evocative. I can honestly say I've never read anything quite like it. Sawkill Girls covered so many things but I never once felt stretched thin by it. Legrand weaved this tale seamlessly together, much like a spider weaves a beautiful dew kissed web in the breaking light of day. It ensnares you and you can't help but admire the sheer beauty of it even as you're trapped in its sticky thrall awaiting inevitable doom.
I first found Legrand when I read Furyborn (book 1 of the Empirium trilogy) which I also loved. I had high hopes for this book when I picked it up, but I had no idea how vastly different they would ultimately be from one another, in the best possible way. There was an unexpected range to Legrand's storytelling I was not aware of before this. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next! Whatever it may be will be an auto-buy for me right off the jump. I don't even need a description, I'm officially a super fan and can't wait to be wowed again and again.
“Theirs was not a world that was often kind to women.”
I read the Sawkills Girls for the Goodreads Ladies of Horror Fiction discussion.
Sawkill Girls is the story of three teenage girls who come together to face an ancient evil. It’s also about friendships and families and duty and the daily aches and pains and confusion that teenagers face.
Marion, her sister and her mom have relocated to Sawkill to start a new life after the death of the girls’ father. Sawkill is an isolated place inhabited by mostly wealthy people but Marion seems ready to start anew but things go so terrible wrong.
Zoey’s best friend is one of many girls who have disappeared on Sawkill. Zoey isn’t towing the line spouted by the residents who aren’t terribly alarmed by the disappearance. They assume she fell off a cliff and leave it at that. Zoey won’t let things go even when her police officer father insists she must. She snoops and she sniffs out trouble!
Val is the town beauty. The high school Queen Bee whose “smile was made of diamonds and bee stings”. Everyone falls under Val’s spell except for Zoey. Zoey blames Val for the loss of her missing friend.
So those are the girls. How they interact and the things that are uncovered make up the rest of the story and I was hooked for the first 2/3’s. There were some truly creeptastic scenes here, especially those with the devilish little “boy”. The atmosphere is also fantastic. The island breathes dread, drips spiders (ahhh!) and the reader is kept off kilter for quite a bit. I loved that. The writing is engaging and the characters are multi-faceted and, best of all, no one person is terrible and no one person is perfect. I loved that too. The only thing that I didn’t love was the insta-love relationship between two of the characters that seemed to have no believable build-up beforehand. I get it. They’re teens and lust happens but this didn’t feel real. Give us a little build-up first! There wasn’t any attraction noted before the big kiss. That always bugs me and feels like a cheat.
Somewhere around the 2/3 mark things started to drag for me. I’m guessing it’s because the action took over and I’m not a huge action fan so this is on me and my personal preferences. I’d easily recommend it to someone looking for a young adult horror novel with well-drawn characters.
This isn't really an in-depth review so there won't be any spoilers involved, just me spraying feels after freshly finishing this book!
When I first heard about this book and read the overall premise I was instantly sold. To the point that I immediately purchased it off Amazon. Like I do I tend to hoard books that I'm excited to read so it sat on my shelf for a few months. But recently I've gotten into the habit of just reading what I want to read when I want to read it. I was not at all sorry for picking up Sawkill Girls when I did. Because it is Pride month I definitely wanted to read more books with queer representation. Not only was their Bisexual representation that actually used the word bisexual; there is also Ace representation which I've been seeing more and more lately. So already it got major props in that department add in spooky elements and multiple perspectives and you have me sold!
Having never read one of Claire Legrand's works before I was thoroughly impressed with her writing style. There was just enough purple prose without going over the top. It was very clear to me that she knew each character and showed how they differed from the next. But what most impressed me was the opening scene dealing with grief and the phrases people say to the grieving. I instantly latched onto Marion as a character, because I saw myself in her. Being someone who could relate to what she was going through.
As a reader that highly impressed me, plus it was very touching. The lore within this story had me thoroughly intrigued and had me wanting more! It was very interesting to learn about what the creature was and the generational tidbits here and there. I would say I wish more had been expanded on, but that's mostly the lore geek in me. I hope maybe we might see a sequel, even if it's not involving these characters directly. Because there's definitely more to be explored there. All in all, though there was never a dull moment for me while reading Sawkill Girls. If I hadn't been busy it would have been eaten up sooner, lol.