After her father’s untimely death, Marion and her mother and sister move to Sawkill Rock to get new scenery. There, she stumbles into the center of a centuries long curse on the island, where young girls have been disappearing for centuries.
Why this book?: I’m still looking for that one book that hits my spooky needs just right. I’ve heard this one has an ace character, so I decided to give it a try.
I have two very polarizing views on this book, and, for me, it’s pretty frustrating. On one hand, I loved the monster in this book, the gore, the general spookiness of it all, et cetra. On the other end, however, Legrand took this book in a completely different direction than what I expected, and made it into a superhero(ine) book. Everything with that part of the book felt overdone, artificial, and just didn’t fit with the atmosphere that was beautifully crafted at the very beginning of the book. Legrand tried to make this book two very different genres, and they just didn’t mesh at all.
The characters were really interesting. I loved each of their different roles, and how they were developed from their actions and small details that really let you get to know them personally. Knowing the story behind the starfish necklace Marion wears lets you know so much about her character. The same goes for the other two characters Zoey and Val. I loved how different all three of these girls were, and how they interacted. I also really enjoyed Greyson, who was Zoey’s ex-boyfriend and current best friend. I loved their relationship, and how Legrand navigated their relationship on the basis of their previous romantic relationship and how Zoey’s asexuality played into that.
Speaking of Zoey’s asexuality, that was another piece of this book that I enjoyed. I was kind of worried based on the fact that Zoey was asexual and also the ‘pariah’, which was said in the summary. However, it actually played into her character and the setting really well. Zoey was a working class person in an upper class area, so people were already avoiding her. Her obvious dislike of the popular girl, which was a huge part of the story, was also another reason she was avoided. There was also a lot of aphobia in this story–people avoided Zoey because people knew that she didn’t like sex. They also said a lot of really harmful to her because of it. Zoey isn’t the pariah in this book because her asexuality makes her dislike people and makes her stay away from them. Zoey is the pariah in this book because the people are aphobic.
Now, what really made me dislike this book is that Legrand could have taken this in many directions. There was a brilliantly developed monster and legend crafted, and Legrand could have done so many things. Instead, she decided to go with … superheroes? It’s not that much of a spoiler, really, and I honestly wouldn’t have read this book had I known this, so that’s why I’m saying it here. The superhero part of this book was badly developed and didn’t make much sense. It just didn’t mesh with the rest of the story, and I felt that it ruined all of the work that Legrand did to create and hone the story of the Collector in the first place.
Final Rating: ★★★☆☆
I really, really wanted to love this book, but the direction it went just ended up disappointing me. I wanted a spooky story, not another superhero one. I had so much hope for this one, and while the characters were brilliant throughout the entire thing, the direction it went was just … not something that I thought fit well.
Would I Recommend?
Sure, if you don’t mind your spooky horror novels having surprise superhero stories in it. The characters were amazing, and Legrand’s writing was beautiful throughout the entire thing. I also (personally) enjoyed the ace rep, and will mention that one character is bisexual (Val) and there is a sapphic couple in this book.
Published: October 2nd, 2018
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Page Count: 450
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/Horror
Synopsis: via Goodreads
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.
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