Sawkill Girls
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.

Sawkill Girls Details

TitleSawkill Girls
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 2nd, 2018
PublisherKatherine Tegen Books
ISBN-139780062696601
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Fantasy, Horror, Lgbt

Sawkill Girls Review

  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. “Decades of dead girls. Poor girls and rich girls. Black and brown and white girls. All of them Sawkill girls.” Sawkill Girls is going to be such an amazing, atmospheric, spooky Halloween read for so many. The start of this book was phenomenal, and the first half was five star worthy in my opinion. I just, didn’t love the ending of this, but I think many of you will. And overall, I completely recommend this, and I ha ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. “Decades of dead girls. Poor girls and rich girls. Black and brown and white girls. All of them Sawkill girls.” Sawkill Girls is going to be such an amazing, atmospheric, spooky Halloween read for so many. The start of this book was phenomenal, and the first half was five star worthy in my opinion. I just, didn’t love the ending of this, but I think many of you will. And overall, I completely recommend this, and I had such an amazing time reading this creepy tale. Sawkill Island has never been safe for young girls. More and more frequently young girls have gone missing, without their bodies ever being found. There is a local legend about a paranormal beast called The Collector, who hunts and feasts on these young girls, while simultaneously growing stronger himself. But we also soon find out, there is no way that the Collector is capturing these girls on his own. We are introduced to three girls, whose stories and fates interweave, regardless of what they have to say about it. And only these three girls have the power to save the island. That is, if they are willing to come together and try. “A girl with incredible strength. A girl who can vanish. A girl who burns.” ➽ Zoey - Black, bi (not on page but stated attraction to boys and girls), and asexual. Also, such a damn blessing. Recently lost her best friend to the tragedy of the island. Her father is the local sheriff. ➽ Marion - Plus sized, likes girls, but I don’t believe Lesbian, pan, bi, or any other label is said or implied. But she does start a relationship with a girl in this book (and holy shit, it’s so good)! She is also dealing with the loss of her father, while trying to be the support system for her mother and her sister while they move to this island. ➽ Val - Queen bee of the island and hiding a dark secret that she shares with her family. Also, her sexuality is never stated on page, but she talks about relationships with boys and has a relationship with a girl. Honorable mention and honorary fourth member:➽ Grayson - Zoey’s best friend and ex. My favorite character in the entire book. I would honestly die for this boy. “Tragedy had touched Sawkill, again and again and again, but after each girl’s disappearance, once a respectable amount of time had passed, everyone seemed to stop caring.” These three girls come together and try to figure out what is killing these girls and if there is anyway to stop it from happening to them. At first, this book feels like you’re reading it through a fog, where you aren’t sure what exactly is going on. But mystery after mystery is eventually answered, and a beautiful tale of friendship, womanhood, and love is unfolded. I mean, it is unfolded after and during some really dark, gory, and violent scenes. This is for sure a horror book. I really want to emphasize that this is a dark book. Please use caution and make sure you are in the right mindset while reading. Trigger and content warnings for loss of a loved one, somewhat detailed murders, violence, gore, a lot of talk of blood, grief, abuse, parental abuse, underage drinking, talk of miscarrying, sexual abuse (unwanted kissing, and maybe touching), animal death, scene with a girl purposely cutting open her palm, use of the word “fat’ negatively, and a really acephobic comment that is completely challenged and apologized for (but I know that it can still be really hurtful to read). And just to talk a bit more about it, Sawkill Girls centers around grief, trauma, and loss. It also heavily talks about how we are not the mistakes or the problems of our parents, even though they could heavily impact our own lives. Each girl has their own heartache. Marion, being forced to keep her mother and sister safe after losing their father, while never allowing herself to grieve. Zoey, for learning how to live after pushing someone who loves you away and after losing your best friend. Val, for struggling to please her mother, while being abused by her mother, while never being able to leave her mother. “There was a magnetism to the Mortimer women, and they knew it, and they used it. It was their right, this witchery; they’d given up their souls for it.” And Claire Legrand is blessing us with sexual representation in this book. Not only do we have a swoon worthy f/f romance that I was so there for from the very start, but she also gives us the best asexuality representation I’ve read in a book to date! And the word asexuality is used on page, the stigmas and stereotypes are discussed very thoughtfully, and my heart is so full. Also, full disclosure: I do not ID on the ace spectrum, but I did at one point in my life. This story also heavily discusses how girls are raised in a world that is constantly pitting us against one another. How this competitiveness is instilled in our blood, and bones, and very being by society. How men make gross jokes like “this is why girls can't work together” and other disgusting comments along those lines, because it helps reinforce these stereotypes. How we are born to waste time trying to raise ourselves above other girls, when we could come together and raise each other up equally. “Girls hunger. And we’re taught, from the moment our brains can take it, that there isn’t enough food for us all.” And this story is so very feminist, and Claire weaves the undertones, flawlessly, in every scene. I mean, this is a story about three girls, from very different backgrounds, all harboring their own individual pains and hurts, coming together to defeat a monster. But it is also about how we view girls as both the most vulnerable prey, but also the most sacrificable objects. And how if a problem doesn’t impact white, cis, dudes, the problem isn’t going to gain priority to get fixed. I won’t lie, and I said it above, but I didn’t love the ending of this book, but (just like reading) I think it will be subjective. I was really hoping for a certain ending, and I was a little disappointed when it didn’t come to fruition. I also wasn’t in love with The Collector. I mean, you’re not supposed to be in love with him, but once we learned more about him, I just wasn’t impressed. Which, again, is why I think I fell so in love with the first half of this book, because the mystery surrounding him was so good! Overall, I really enjoyed this standalone! Also, at this point, I think I’ll just preorder what Claire Legrand does next, because she’s an author that just keeps impressing me, and my queer self. Seriously, the sexuality representation in this book is such a blessing. Also, there is a moth that reminds me of Sarai, and I felt personally attacked in the best way possible. I love the entire vibe and aesthetic of this book, and I truly think it’s going to have such an impressive impact come October! Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.❤ Buddy Read with: Amy | Julie | Jules | Imogen | Ellie | Laura | Natasha | Wren | Alexis
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  • Claire Legrand
    January 1, 1970
    This is a book about girls--girls loving girls, girls kissing girls, girls being friends with girls, girls helping girls. Girls who hunger, girls who rage. Girls who fight, girls who make mistakes, girls who dream and pine. It's also about magic and monsters, family secrets and soul-friends, moths and wild horses and the churning wild sea, and trampling the patriarchy. I hope you love it as much as I do.
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  • destiny ♎ [howling libraries]
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of those reviews that I had to sit on for a while, because I had so many things I wanted to say about this book, and I just couldn’t quite figure out how to condense them into anything even remotely resembling a sensible length of review. Sawkill Girls is being marketed fairly heavily as horror, but it’s fabulism, too, with a world so gorgeously complex that I can’t ever quite determine if I adore it or am terrified of it. Come for a while, reads the sign at Sawkill’s ferry dock, and This is one of those reviews that I had to sit on for a while, because I had so many things I wanted to say about this book, and I just couldn’t quite figure out how to condense them into anything even remotely resembling a sensible length of review. Sawkill Girls is being marketed fairly heavily as horror, but it’s fabulism, too, with a world so gorgeously complex that I can’t ever quite determine if I adore it or am terrified of it. Come for a while, reads the sign at Sawkill’s ferry dock, and stay forever. At Sawkill Rock, the beauty of the island masks a terrible, dark secret: girls keep going missing, and they’re being lost more frequently every year. Nobody knows where they go, and it’s almost become an accepted status quo among the people of the island. The atmosphere of Sawkill Rock is one of the most immersive settings I’ve ever read; I felt transported so fully into the island’s grasp that I couldn’t help the dread worsening in my gut with every chapter’s passing. Claire Legrand’s writing voice is superb here—having read previous work by her, I genuinely believe that this is where she is meant to be. My little rock, her mother would say. My grave little mountain. There are three main characters to this story, with chapters alternating between their perspectives, and my favorite was Marion, who broke my heart over and over again with the loss of her loved ones and, consequentially, her slackening grasp on normality. The representation in this entire book is amazing, and Marion is bisexual and fat, which is a combination I’ll never tire of (because, hello, it’s me!). These facts are dropped so casually that there’s no room for argument—there is no homophobia or body hatred, despite an occasional very brief moment of self-consciousness on Marion’s part. Beyond her appearance and sexuality, Marion is so tough, and pragmatic, and determined to keep up a strong front. I’ve always been the same way, and so, I constantly saw myself mirrored back in her character. Don’t lose yourself to him, my darling one, Sylvia Mortimer had said. Not all of you. Keep a morsel for yourself. Though it took me a little longer to warm up to Val Mortimer, I grew fond of her, too. She first appears as this over-simplified “queen bee” persona, but we quickly get to see a side of her that’s so much darker and more haunted than anything you’d imagine (and she’s queer, though we don’t know what her label is). There are quotes in her chapters that have haunted me since the moment I finished this book, and you should be warned that her perspectives frequently depict suicidal ideation and abuse. Zoey’s laugh was bitter. “Oh, and we poor delicate girls are vulnerable and desperate, is that what you’re saying?” Finally, there’s Zoey, who is black and asexual (on page—there’s an entire facet to her back story revolving around this aspect of her life), and even more than that, she’s so determined and stubborn and absolutely lovable despite being a fairly “unlikable” character. She’s stern and feisty, and while I’m not sure if she will be everyone’s cup of tea, I was delighted by her antics and unpredictability. It did not relish tying an innocent to the burden of its ancient might. But the Rock required an infantry. Okay… I lied, sort of. There’s a fourth character, but it’s hard to explain. The Rock gets the occasional perspective chapter, and while they’re incredibly short and typically entirely vague, they may have been my absolute favorites. These passages read so lyrically and they are so incredibly haunting. I’ve never read a book where a place was given a thinking, feeling sentience to this degree, and it adds the most amazing layer to the story. “What I’m saying is that girls hunger. And we’re taught, from the moment our brains can take it, that there isn’t enough food for us all.” On top of the beautiful cast of characters and the haunting atmosphere, this story is so feminist, so empowering and bold and unapologetic. I can’t tell you how strongly this parallels the real world and the ways society casts teen girls aside, nor can I describe how badly I wish I’d had this story as a teen—a story to tell me that it’s okay to be strong, and angry, and queer, and brave, and in need of another mountain to lean on. You are mighty. You are one, and one, and one.You are fragile. You can move mountains.You are breakable. You will never break.This power is mine. And now it is yours, too. I know I said I’d keep this to a reasonable length, and I’m trying, but Sawkill Girls is one of those stories that I feel has changed me in a way. 2018 has been the year of brilliant, fiercely feminist reads for me, and this one easily joins the ranks of my favorites. I want everyone and anyone I know to pick up a copy of this gorgeous, spooky little book, because it packs such a punch, and I only hope that it will get even half of the hype it deserves.All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you so much to Katherine Tegen Books for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!You can find this review and more on my blog, or you can follow me on twitter, bookstagram, or facebook!
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  • Camila Roy ••RoyIsReading••
    January 1, 1970
    RATING: 2.75 rounded up to 3/5 Let me start by saying that I LOVE horror. Spooky, creepy and bizarre is my aesthetic. Supernatural shows are my thing; I can't get enough of them. So, when I read this book's synopsis I was definitely intrigued. Plus, Claire Legrand is the author (she wrote Furyborn, one of my favorite books of the year). As it turns out, Sawkill Girls wasn't for me. I considered raising my rating just for the sake of being polite. I didn't want other people to get discouraged fro RATING: 2.75 rounded up to 3/5 Let me start by saying that I LOVE horror. Spooky, creepy and bizarre is my aesthetic. Supernatural shows are my thing; I can't get enough of them. So, when I read this book's synopsis I was definitely intrigued. Plus, Claire Legrand is the author (she wrote Furyborn, one of my favorite books of the year). As it turns out, Sawkill Girls wasn't for me. I considered raising my rating just for the sake of being polite. I didn't want other people to get discouraged from reading this because of me. Later, I realized that I have to be honest and objective. My opinion might not be popular but that doesn't mean I shouldn't share it. What I liked:1) The LGBTQ representation was great. Asexuality is not often seen in YA. I'm happy with the way it was portrayed, it seemed very realistic. There's also a gay and a bisexual character.2) The plot wasn't very original but it was solid. I'm certain that the author put a lot of thought into it and tried her best to make it unique. What I didn't like: 1) The pacing felt off. Stuff was happening but I didn't feel excited or intrigued. I hate using the term 'boring' but there isn't another way to describe it. 2) There were three main characters: Val, Zoey and Marion. I didn't like any of them. They seemed really plain and, once again, boring. None of them had much personality. The same could be said for all the side characters. 3) The tone of the story seemed to change. First it was magical and mysterious, then it got darker and then it just got weird (and not in an enjoyable way). I skimmed the last 30% because I just wanted it to be over. In conclusion, this wasn't my cup of tea but it could be yours! Most of the people who have read this rated it 4 or 5 stars. This was just my opinion. If the premise interests you, give this a shot.
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  • Hamad
    January 1, 1970
    This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription"Beware of the woods and the dark, dank deep. He’ll follow you home, and he won’t let you sleep."🌟 To do this book right I have to admit that I went into it not expecting a horror story and by no means it was one. But I was checking GR and searching online and I saw many readers listed it as a horror book but Edelweiss -Thanks for providing a copy in exchange of an honest review- did not, so my expectations kind of cha This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription"Beware of the woods and the dark, dank deep. He’ll follow you home, and he won’t let you sleep."🌟 To do this book right I have to admit that I went into it not expecting a horror story and by no means it was one. But I was checking GR and searching online and I saw many readers listed it as a horror book but Edelweiss -Thanks for providing a copy in exchange of an honest review- did not, so my expectations kind of changed while I was reading it which was kind of bad.🌟 This book started very good and then it lost some of the magic gradually till the end. I read 100 pages when I started this in one sitting which is something I don’t usually do. I heard mixed thing about Legrand writing but I found that I liked it… At least at the beginning.🌟 Toward the end what really happened is that I felt the author was trying so hard and it was kind of slow and boring, I usually speed through the last pages in all books because I want to know what happens and fast. I found myself wanting it to end here so I was reading, not caring what could happen. The problem is that many of the twists were revealed early in the book and every thing was clear from the start so the excitement factor dissipated early and it became kind of repetitive.🌟 I also found that it was kind of confusing at some points but I didn’t know if that was the book or if I wasn’t concentrating enough due to the boredom.🌟 That being said, it was not bad as to DNF or even considering doing so. I mean it was average to good but it had more potential for sure.🌟 This is also another book that has 3 girls as the main characters and it is feminine and empowers girls..etc which I am totally fine with. But what I am not totally fine with is that girls being powerful and great does not mean that all guys are bad and smelly and stupid. Both Genders can do anything. I am bothered by this concept that I touched in this book and IRL.🌟 Summary and prescription: A good book with a wide cast of female characters. It was also a LGBTQ diverse book with many different sexualities. Great for those looking for a feminine read.And could have more potential in my opinion.“Decades of dead girls. Poor girls and rich girls. Black and brown and white girls. All of them Sawkill girls.”🌟 When I first started this I wanted to give it 4 stars, then it changed to 3.5 and after 2 days of reading I decided that 3.25 is the rating I am most comfortable with.
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  • andrea caro
    January 1, 1970
    First of all, I want to give a very enthusiastic thank you to Julie for sending me this ARC. Not only was this one of two most anticipated reads of the year for me, she also left in her tabs color-coded to thematic elements in the story so this reading experience was kind of incredible and revolutionary for me.Now, onto the review:This book is spooky, queer, feminist, and full of women and I loved it. This story follows around several points of view, three of which are Zoey, Marion, and Val. Zoe First of all, I want to give a very enthusiastic thank you to Julie for sending me this ARC. Not only was this one of two most anticipated reads of the year for me, she also left in her tabs color-coded to thematic elements in the story so this reading experience was kind of incredible and revolutionary for me.Now, onto the review:This book is spooky, queer, feminist, and full of women and I loved it. This story follows around several points of view, three of which are Zoey, Marion, and Val. Zoey is black, bi, and asexual, grieving the disappearance of her friend Thora. Marion, new to the island, is grieving the death of her father and trying to hold her family together, and starts a relationship with another girl. Val has dark secrets and dates boys, but shows attraction to/begins a relationship with a female. Interestingly enough, there are chapters written in the point of view of the island itself; this sounds kooky but it's actually really interesting and worked well for me.Sawkill Island is an island where girls have gone missing over the past century or so. Over the past few years, the number of disappearances has been increasing. Things really start to escalate when Marion, her mom, and her sister move to the island to escape grief and pretty soon after, Marion's sister goes missing. Marion's journey ends up being about grief, being a parent to a parent acting like a child, then accepting shitty circumstances when backed up into a corner; Marion did whatever it took to survive and help out fellow women.Zoey felt, to me, like a Lois Lane-type character, really spearheading the mystery behind the missing girls, particularly after her best friend Thora goes missing, just after cozying up to Val. She's got an ex named Grayson who is cute as a fucking button, but it's interesting to read about why they didn't work out. Zoey feels shamed and is shamed for her asexuality (fyi - this is immediately corrected on page; it also felt really good to read the word 'asexual' on page and have it clearly established that asexuality and romance aren't mutually exclusive things). Val's story is dark, dark, dark, and hard to explain without going into too much detail. She isn't a squeaky-clean character, but for me she was necessary, exploring the nuances of what it's like to be a woman to be manipulated by men and other women for the sake of a man. One point - I wasn't necessarily on board for the f/f romance for a big part of this book, but I very much loved it at the end.The villain(s) in this book were pretty mysterious to start off with which left the first half of the book much more atmospheric. I understand the criticisms of them made in other reviews, but as 'cheesy' as both entities turned out to be, I felt it was the right choice for this book because it was about the women, not about the men that were torturing them. There were so many little snippets in this story that felt like something I've experienced from men because I'm female that I can't really unpack them all, but this book is pretty solidly feminist and I felt seen while reading a lot of the book.So anyway, so far I'd call this my favorite read of the year.Read this if you like:- Spooky, atmospheric vibes- Women - Magic TW for: grief pertaining to loss of a loved one, gore, blood, abuse including parental, talk of miscarriages, a really ace-phobic comment that was immediately rebuffed on page, animal death, and at least discussion of sex abuse/rape.
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  • Nick
    January 1, 1970
    The cover is phenomenal.
  • Ellen Gail
    January 1, 1970
    “With prose as fierce and uncompromising as its three main characters, SAWKILL GIRLS is a fresh and unflinching exploration of female friendship wrapped in a spine-tingling page-turner. Claire Legrand doesn’t hold back--and you won’t be able to put this book down.”-- Courtney Summers She resisted the urge to run her hands over her own arms, torso, face, just to make sure it was all there. It was magnificent, this body - not because it was beautiful and strong, though it was, but because it was “With prose as fierce and uncompromising as its three main characters, SAWKILL GIRLS is a fresh and unflinching exploration of female friendship wrapped in a spine-tingling page-turner. Claire Legrand doesn’t hold back--and you won’t be able to put this book down.”-- Courtney Summers She resisted the urge to run her hands over her own arms, torso, face, just to make sure it was all there. It was magnificent, this body - not because it was beautiful and strong, though it was, but because it was hers. This is a list of things you will find in Sawkill Girls:*a compelling mixture of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, X-Men, and Elle Woods.*yes, Elle Woods. I will defend that comparison till my dying breath.*moths. so many moths.*an unflinchingly feminist narrative - it's not always subtle, but I don't think that's what it's going for*Grayson, my current and future book husband. He can come clean my kitchen any day.*hidden rooms*girls who are fierce and sad and loving and sharp*girls as prey*girls as predators"This is a book about girls--girls loving girls, girls kissing girls, girls being friends with girls, girls helping girls. Girls who hunger, girls who rage. Girls who fight, girls who make mistakes, girls who dream and pine. It's also about magic and monsters, family secrets and soul-friends, moths and wild horses and the churning wild sea, and trampling the patriarchy. I hope you love it as much as I do." - Claire Legrand Maybe it was the writer in her, who believed even the tallest tales were rooted in truth.Or maybe, Zoey thought darkly, legends about monsters weren't so funny when girls were actually dying. This is a list of things you will NOT find in Sawkill Girls:*flawless characters. Zoey could be a downright asshole sometimes, Marion was rigid to the point of shattering, and Val was...Val. No one gets a pass or has their flaws glossed over. It's okay that they're messy.*forced cheerfulness - Sawkill Girls is comfortable being melancholy, in letting its characters explore grief and pain*easy apologies*bloodless carnage - The story isn't gratuitous but it can be graphic. But it makes sure each slash of a claw or swing of a fist is impactful. Decades of dead girls. Poor girls and rich girls. Black and brown and white girls. All of them Sawkill girls. Overall, Sawkill Girls is creepy and fascinating, an emotional and brutal story of friendship, monsters, powers (both supernatural and mortal), and the infinite capabilities of girls.Big thanks to Edelweiss and Katherine Tegen Books for the drc!- All quotes come from proof copy and are subject to change -
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  • Lea (drumsofautumn)
    January 1, 1970
    ♦ Video Review ♦ “Girls hunger. And we're taught, from the moment our brains can take it, that there isn't enough food for us all.” This is such a strange little book and I had a hard time getting into it. I almost DNFed it, not because I thought it was bad but because I felt it wouldn't be for me. And the setting and storyline really wasn't for me.But at its core this story is about feminism, female friendship, and love and it made me super emotional.Let's talk about diversity!Val is queer ♦ Video Review ♦ “Girls hunger. And we're taught, from the moment our brains can take it, that there isn't enough food for us all.” This is such a strange little book and I had a hard time getting into it. I almost DNFed it, not because I thought it was bad but because I felt it wouldn't be for me. And the setting and storyline really wasn't for me.But at its core this story is about feminism, female friendship, and love and it made me super emotional.Let's talk about diversity!Val is queer and has had relationships with guys and a relationship with a girl during the book. Marion is plus-size and also queer. It is stated that in the past she had crushes on both guys and girls. Zoey is black and asexual.I loved all of the characters so much. They really carried this novel for me. The three girls at the centre of this story are all so wonderful and so different. This is one of those stories where you can probably recognize yourself in at least one of them and I love that.The way these girls work together and fight together, the way they work through their differences, through so much hard stuff keeping them apart, wanting them to fail.. it's honestly beautiful because all the odds are against them in so many ways. But they end up having the most wonderful friendship.And while this book has a whole lot of shitty men in it, there is one male character, Grayson, Zoey's best friend and love interest, who was the sweetest soft boy in the whole world and I wanna protect him at all costs. The relationship between him and Zoey was lovely and talked about some really important aspects.There is also a beautiful, so so so sossososoooo beautiful f/f romance in this book. I don't have words for how beautiful. This relationship meant a whole bunch to me and I think it's gonna mean a whole bunch for a lot of (teenage) girls out there. Bless praise Twenty GayTeen!This also features one of the best sex scenes in YA. The fact that we are living in a time where we get the gift of such a well-written, non-explicit sex scene between two girls in YA left me absolutely speechless.I would say the ace representation was overall well done and there was such an important conversation around it, but if you are on the ace-spectrum yourself, please tread carefully. There is one huge acephobic statement in this book and while it was immediately challenged and apologized for, I know this is gonna be hard to read for some people.There are A LOT of other triggers in this book and I honestly couldn't even catch them all but here are some trigger and content warnings: murder (and pretty gruesome ones), blood, gore, parental abuse, violence, sexual abuse and honestly the threat of sexual assault just kinda hangs in the air constantly. “You are a small girl. You are mighty. You are fragile. You can move mountains. You are breakable. You will never break.” I think this book is absolutely perfect if you're looking for a creepy read for October that is a little different. It will creep you the fuck out but it will also make you feel a lot of good things.Ultimately for me this book didn't score because of it's atmosphere, setting, storyline or pretty writing but simply because of how it celebrated girls. How it shows that we are stronger together, better together. Society can tell us all they want about what we are supposed to be and how we are supposed to feel, but if we stick together, we are the strongest fucking force out there.♦ Booktube Channel ♦ Twitter ♦ Instagram ♦I received an ARC of this through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review!
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  • Julie Zantopoulos
    January 1, 1970
    Claire's writing is beautiful, there's no denying that, but this story just didn't connect for me. Let's chat about the premise of this book: Girls on Sawkill island have been disappearing for generations and island legend warns of a Collector who steals away said girls and does heaven knows what with them...but they're never seen again. Then three girls come into magical mystical powers and battle a deep dark evil that only they have the power to vanquish. Sounds pretty badass and spooky...righ Claire's writing is beautiful, there's no denying that, but this story just didn't connect for me. Let's chat about the premise of this book: Girls on Sawkill island have been disappearing for generations and island legend warns of a Collector who steals away said girls and does heaven knows what with them...but they're never seen again. Then three girls come into magical mystical powers and battle a deep dark evil that only they have the power to vanquish. Sounds pretty badass and spooky...right?The atmosphere of this book had potential but fell flat for me. I blame The Wicked Deep which ruined me for all atmospheric island settings, honestly. This one features wild horses (that play an odd magical roll) and cliffs/underground caverns and woods that should be more vibrant than they end up being. The lighthouse is the only feature of the island that stood out to me, often called The Eye ala Lord of the Rings. Otherwise, the setting fell really flat for me. Characters: Zoey: Our African-American ace badass. She's lost a best friend, her father is the Sheriff and she somehow landed the love of the sweetest most amazing guy, ever. She's pretty great, tbh. I love that there is on the page ace representation and discussions!Marion: She just lost her father, her sister is taken by the Collector, and her world is shattering as she lands on Sawkill island and is immediately struck with migraines and illness as The Rock speaks to her. We never learn a ton about her as a character outside of her being the strong one of her family and a beautifully bi character in an f/f relationship inside this book. PS-her father is a tool whose actions make no damn sense. Val: Her family is tied to The Collector and she's had the shit end of the stick. You hate her, love her, hate her, and then cry for her. She's got a pretty awesome arc and some fantastic lines about claiming one's own body and mind for themselves. She's kinda amazing, tbh.Grayson: Zoey's love interest is a sweet baby angel and needs to be protected at all cost...you will love him.The Collector: started off pretty freaking creepy and ended up campy and utterly unscary. Supposedly an otherworldly shapeshifting evil bonded to a family of females who bind him to this realm...he mates with them, makes them bring him kills, and generally is evil. Yet, somehow, he becomes a laughable and forgettable villain. The Rock: The island literally is a character in this book and possibly one of the best ones in the entire book. It was a pretty unique POV that I really enjoyed. The Hand of Light: Legit a male centered cult/society whose job it is to vanquish these monsters by sacrificing young girls. Yeah, that's a thing. They're a**holes.The plot meandered a bit, there was great romances in the book, great discussions about sexuality and family but oh man did it go from legit spooky to bad Scooby Doo writing. Once the Hand of Light came in, I was out. While they serve as a catalyst for some seriously badass feminist quotes in the book and stand as a metaphor for women taking down the patriarchy...it was just too campy for me. What could have been a really powerful message was outweighed by how little sense they made. It all could have been handled so much better, honestly. People die in this book and for the most part, they stay dead. I can appreciate that. People get angry for things people say/do and aren't easily forgiven. There are discussions about shitty behavior and how to make up for it if they can ever make up for it, and that's great. There's no clean "all is well" crap when people mess up and I love that. It's real and raw and messy but still, something just did not connect with me. It was an okay read but it could have been so much more. I read this with my friends on June 9th! Can't wait to discuss this with them and read something else by Claire! Arc acquired at BookCon.Amy | Jules | Imogen | Ellie | Laura | Natasha | Wren | Alexis | Melanie
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  • mahana ✧
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars ✧ full review now on my blog ARC kindly provided by Katherine Tegen Books in exchange for an honest review. I was excited to pick this ARC up when I heard about the diversity in this book. I'm always keen to add more f/f romance to my recommendations repertoire, especially those that are from different, unique genres. When I started this, I was expecting a thriller with an underlying mystery to the disappearances of multiple girls on an island. Instead, we get a story reminiscent of  3.5 stars ✧ full review now on my blog ARC kindly provided by Katherine Tegen Books in exchange for an honest review. I was excited to pick this ARC up when I heard about the diversity in this book. I'm always keen to add more f/f romance to my recommendations repertoire, especially those that are from different, unique genres. When I started this, I was expecting a thriller with an underlying mystery to the disappearances of multiple girls on an island. Instead, we get a story reminiscent of Stranger Things (2016)and Jennifer's Body (2009), except more sapphic. Which definitely wasn't a bad thing.Sawkill Girls is a confusing book to summarise. Following three girls who live - or recently moved to - Sawkill, we watch their lives join together on this island, where many girls have previously gone missing and are presumed dead.As Zoey and Marion begin to form a friendship, while Marion and Val become something more, the girls start to wield strange, supernatural powers that might be linked to the disappearances.Overall, the plot was very slow moving and not engaging. I kept getting distracted by other books because the story didn't immediately draw me in at the beginning. However, everything picks up after the initial world building and the book gets difficult to put down.Zoey was my favourite of the perspectives. Her father is on the police force and she's recently lost her best friend, Thora, to Val, before she went missing and was presumed dead. She's also been conflicted with her identity, specifically with her romantic relationships. I liked how motivated she was to avenge the death of Thora and get to the bottom of the disappearances.Marion has just moved to Sawkill with her sister Charlotte and her mother. However, on her first day there, she gets on a horse who runs rampage and Marion ends up falling off and having a strange seizure. Also, Charlotte seems to be the latest victim of the popular girl, Val, who is known for "stealing" other people's best friends, while they subsequently go missing.Val is a complicated - perhaps, morally grey - character. Every girl Val has befriended has mysteriously gone missing - and subsequently died - after associating with her. Her perspective was the hardest to read because I couldn't tell whether she was possessed or just brain-washed. It was interesting to be in her head because she has the most complexity to her. However, I found her family "curse" interesting, particularly combined with the fact that she knows it's not morally correct, but she's obliged to do it.The author has mainly been a Middle-Grade writer before this book, and it's subtly evident in her writing. The writing wasn't the most amazing, eloquent thing I've ever read, but it was enjoyable. It has that quality to it where you have no idea what's happening, which makes it even more terrifying.When I started reading this, I couldn't tell who the main romance would be between because it was slow to develop. However, I did like Marion and Val together. I just wish it was more obvious at the beginning of the novel because all of a sudden, they have crushes on each other and are kissing. I liked that we actually had a sex scene on the page that wasn't extremely vague and poetic or a fade to black. Grayson and Zoey also had an interesting dynamic and I'm glad they had that specific conversation towards the end.There was some excellent diversity in this book for a Young Adult horror novel. One of the main characters, Zoey, is black and asexual. I'm not asexual myself so I can't speak on the representation, but I felt that it was respectful and had no ill will to this identity. I didn't like that one character had to be aphobic for her to defend herself against it though, I felt like that was unnecessary.The feminist themes and metaphors were interesting to me. Val's family "curse" had a deeper meaning for women's roles in society: only being used for sexual acts and bearing children for men. Bringing the other girls to the "beast" can probably also represent mistresses and the whole "side chick" mentality of our generation. I might be reading too much into this, but I liked how the stomach pains that Val and her mother got from the creature could be indicative of period cramps.Overall, I'd highly recommend this to anyone who loved the movie Jennifer's Body. It has similar themes, such as the "demon" and the imbued feminist themes. Otherwise, consider picking it up for the fantastic representation and thrilling story.
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  • - ̗̀ DANY ̖́- (danyreads)
    January 1, 1970
    . : ☾⋆ — 5 ★ READ THIS REVIEW ON MY BLOG!!!https://bit.ly/2OtdGSiARC provided from the publisher via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review (thank you HarperCollins & Katherine Tegen Books!!)WOW. wow. wow wow wow wow wow wow WOW!!!!the island of Sawkill Rock has seen generation upon generation of girls go missing, never to be found again. it’s been like this for decades, and not a single missing girl case has ever been solved, not a single body found, so people have mostly resorted to l . : ☾⋆ — 5 ★ READ THIS REVIEW ON MY BLOG!!!https://bit.ly/2OtdGSiARC provided from the publisher via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review (thank you HarperCollins & Katherine Tegen Books!!)WOW. wow. wow wow wow wow wow wow WOW!!!!the island of Sawkill Rock has seen generation upon generation of girls go missing, never to be found again. it’s been like this for decades, and not a single missing girl case has ever been solved, not a single body found, so people have mostly resorted to looking the other way and moving on with their lives whenever yet another girl goes missing. we meet Marion, freshly moved in to Sawkill Rock with her sister Charlotte and their sorrowful mother. we meet Zoey, whose best friend went missing last year, and whose body still hasn’t been found despite the fact that Zoey’s father works for Sawkill’s police force. and we meet Val, who has lived in Sawkill Rock her entire life, and whose beauty is her best weapon, though Val also harbors a deathly secret behind her full lips, golden hair and long lashes. at this point though i don’t think there’s anything else i can say about the plot of this book without absolutely spoiling it. if you want to know anything about it before going into it, know that it’s absolutely, to the very marrow of its bones, NOT what you expect, in the best way possible. think Stranger Things and Jennifer’s Body and an atmosphere worthy of any V.E. Schwab book you can think of. then add some AMAZING lgbt+ aspects (POC, bi, lesbian, asexual characters) and chilling horror, and you’ll get Sawkill Girls. i’ll be the first to admit though that i’m personally not a very avid horror reader, so this is an entirely new genre for me and this book might not actually be as terrifying as i’m making it sound, BUT IT WAS TERRIFYING TO ME, OKAY?? i was constantly frightened anytime i picked this up. the writing was definitely one of the highlights for me. i’ve unfortunately not read Furyborn yet, but i’m definitely picking it up now that i know i’m really into Claire Legrand’s writing style and atmospheric skills!! it took me a little to get around to warming up to all the characters, but by the end of the book they were also definitely yet another stunning facet of this story. i don’t want to say too much about the villain but—again—incredible and merciless and harrowing and god, just... insanely good. everything about Sawkill Girls is insanely good. i’d even go as far to say that it’s one of my favorite reads of 2018.this book was nothing short of incredible and bold and empowering and bone-chilling and i can’t WAIT for it to come out so i can get my finished copy!! i bet the audiobook is going to be unbelievable GOD I CAN’T WAIT!!!!! thanks again to Edelweiss+, HarperCollins & Katherine Tegen Books!!!
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  • Sophie
    January 1, 1970
    How does someone review a sample if not by telling if it did made me want to read the book right?Well my Sawkill Girls sample (that I foolishly hoped would be the whole book) was like that one lone chocolate truffle you eat after your meal with your coffee: not enough. You immediately crave for a second then a third serving. Before you realize it you've eaten the whole box of truffles!In other words: I need more words! I need the whole book!I discovered Claire Legrand's writing with Furyborn and How does someone review a sample if not by telling if it did made me want to read the book right?Well my Sawkill Girls sample (that I foolishly hoped would be the whole book) was like that one lone chocolate truffle you eat after your meal with your coffee: not enough. You immediately crave for a second then a third serving. Before you realize it you've eaten the whole box of truffles!In other words: I need more words! I need the whole book!I discovered Claire Legrand's writing with Furyborn and was instatly smitten, pulled into the magical realmshe had created.The same happened with Sawkill Girls.Claire Legrand has the knack to reel you into her stories from the first sentences.I won't speak about the plot as you can read the synopsis but rather about what the sample made me feel, expact and want.The opening of the sample focuses on Marion who lost her dad in a car accident and is moving to Sawkill island with her depressed mom and her younger sister Charlotte.In barely a few page I could already see and smell the island and its spooky atmosphere. I could portray Marion as the responsible girl, too old for her age. Shouldering responsibilities she should not. Not at her age.This is followed by an action scene sending your heart galloping as wildly as the spooked horse Marion happened to sit on.Then you have an element of mystery and horror thrown back to the mix because you are wondering "What is Val?"This! This is what I love in Claire Legrand's writing! Her mastery at changing pace in her story never losing her reader's attention and never losing him or her either, period.I predict friendship between Zoey and Marion.I predict Marion being something special too *what with her sudden headache arriving on the island and her screams of "Make it Stop!"I predict Val being so much more than the polished Queen Bee when I read sentences like: "and awoke Val's deep-gut-appetite that belonged to herself, a little, but mostly to him." I predict...a hole in my wallet LOL.Have you already read a whole ARC of the book? Or do you want to read it now?Thanks for reading!SophieFind me on:Wordpress: Beware Of The ReaderFacebook: Beware Of The Reader Facebook group : Beware Book Boyfriends Alert Instagram: @bewareofthereader Twitter: @BewareOffReader
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  • Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of those books that sounded good, but I put off a bit because I wasn't sure if I would like it.  Luckily, it was so good and it's one that will stick with me for awhile.  I've found myself thinking about it multiple times since I finished it two nights ago.Sawkill Girls is told by three girls.  Marion had just moved to the island with her mom and sister.  Zoey (my favorite), the police chief's daughter that recently lost her best friend.  And Val, the rich girl whose family is promin This is one of those books that sounded good, but I put off a bit because I wasn't sure if I would like it.  Luckily, it was so good and it's one that will stick with me for awhile.  I've found myself thinking about it multiple times since I finished it two nights ago.Sawkill Girls is told by three girls.  Marion had just moved to the island with her mom and sister.  Zoey (my favorite), the police chief's daughter that recently lost her best friend.  And Val, the rich girl whose family is prominent on the island.  Things start getting weird for Marion as soon as she arrives.  A horse got spooked with her on it and took off.  She was found unconscious and started hearing this "bone cry".  She starts seeing moths that are telling her something.  She starts spending a lot of time with Val.Zoey has been spending her time trying to figure out what happened to Thora.  She was never found and had been spending time with Val, too.  Zoey thinks that Val is somehow involved in the disappearances.  We find out early on that Val is actually involved.  Her whole family lures these girls because they work the The Collector.  The Collector is a story told on the island.  Everyone talks about him, but the deaths and disappearances are blamed on accidents."Beware of the woods and the dark, dank deep.  He'll follow you home and won't let you sleep."Zoey starts finding weird clues in her house and isn't sure if she can trust her father.  Weird things start happening to all three girls.  Val is trying to fight the darkness, but struggles.  Marion is suffering from loss and the strange bone screams.  And Zoey finds help and comfort from her ex boyfriend/other best friend.  All the teens need to find ways to work together even when the trust isn't there.This story was so creepy and is the perfect book for fall reading.  Please be aware that there are deaths that are pretty gruesome.   My only complaint with the book is that I feel like it finished in a weird way without enough explanation.  Other than that, I really loved it.  There is so much more I would love to say, but I don't want to give anything away.  Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for sending me a digital arc for review (the quote above may change in the final publication).  I gave this one 5 stars.
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  • Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
    January 1, 1970
    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight I am starting to worry that the author and I may not be meant to be. Just like  Furyborn , I genuinely liked some of the aspects of Sawkill Girls, but overall I felt like I was just slogging through. It's actually a sort of odd feeling- I can appreciate the good parts, but I can't quite connect? Well, speaking of the good parts, let's! The Things I Liked: •The atmosphere was fabulous You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight I am starting to worry that the author and I may not be meant to be. Just like  Furyborn , I genuinely liked some of the aspects of Sawkill Girls, but overall I felt like I was just slogging through. It's actually a sort of odd feeling- I can appreciate the good parts, but I can't quite connect? Well, speaking of the good parts, let's! The Things I Liked: •The atmosphere was fabulous. I mean, it's supposed to feel like a creepy island that may or may not murder you, and it really fits the bill. Even the insides of the houses had an eerie vibe to them, the kind of places you can picture in a town like this one. •The characters were really well developed. As I'll get into more in the next section, I didn't always feel a connection with them, but I felt a lot of empathy at least? And they were developed in a way that I definitely understood and appreciated their backstories, and why they made some of the decisions they made. That is always a huge plus for me. •Lots of feminism vibes! Especially in the second half of the book, some dudes try to step in and "save the day". Only, as we've come to expect from groups of old white dudes, they don't actually give any fucks about the girls. Just their own nonsense agenda. I won't say more for fear of saying too much, but I loved a lot of the discussion (and action!) it fostered. •Tons of bisexual and asexual rep! While I can't really speak on it personally, I have read a lot of positive #ownvoices reviews, and it seemed to be handled really well, so that was fantastic. And, it felt like a truly authentic part of the story, and not just like it was thrown in. Good stuff. The Things I Didn't: •It was, especially the first half, quite slow for me. I mean, I actually considered not finishing. But since I am awful at that, here we are. It did pick up toward the middle, so that's good at least. •I just never felt fully connected to the characters. I don't even fully know how to explain this. You know how sometimes you feel so immersed in a story that you "know" the characters? Well yeah, the opposite of that. (Yes, I am aware of my amazing eloquence here 😂) •I had a really hard time suspending my disbelief at times. Look, I am fully convinced that this might be a "Shannon" problem and not an actual problem that anyone else has with the book. But the whole "monster" business was a little hard for me to swallow. I haven't any idea why, again, this could be just me. •Perhaps it is the character connection, or the slowness, but I just had trouble becoming invested in the story. Again, I think this is something that's hard to qualify, since it's just more of a "feeling". Bottom Line: Honestly, I think some of the problems I had with this are just random weirdness for me, and not necessarily things that other people won't like. For me, it wasn't terrible, though not particularly engaging either.
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  • Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Edelweiss and Katherine Tegen Books for sending a review copy in exchange for an honest review. Decades of dead girls. Poor girls and rich girls. Black and brown and white girls.All of them Sawkill girls. It took me a while to finish reading this since I'm currently on vacation. The atmosphere over here in Kenya is windy and cold, and is in fact a great place to read this. Sawkill girls is an extraordinary book. I admit that the cover drew me in, but the synopsis is definitely what sea Thank you Edelweiss and Katherine Tegen Books for sending a review copy in exchange for an honest review. Decades of dead girls. Poor girls and rich girls. Black and brown and white girls.All of them Sawkill girls. It took me a while to finish reading this since I'm currently on vacation. The atmosphere over here in Kenya is windy and cold, and is in fact a great place to read this. Sawkill girls is an extraordinary book. I admit that the cover drew me in, but the synopsis is definitely what sealed the deal. If you're looking for a creepy and skin crawling read then this is the book for you!The story is narrated by three girls: Marion, Zoey and Val. And each girl has very different circumstances. What they do have in common is that they all live on Sawkill Island. An island where girls have gone missing for decades. Their bodies never found and the culprit never caught. It's up to these three girls to solve the mystery before it's too late.I can't explain how much I loved this story. It was unique and very well written. Each event kept me on the edge of my seat in anticipation. It definitely creeped me out, and caused goosebumps from time to time. The story was also very well paced. At first it seemed a bit confusing but as I got through the book more and more things began unfolding.When it comes to the characters I have to admit that my favorite was Zoey. I loved her personality and she most definitely was a badass. I loved her point of view the most. I also loved Grayson (Zoey's ex but also her best friend) he reminded me a bit of Simon Lewis (from The Mortal Instruments series) who also happens to be my favorite character. I could relate to Marion when it comes to one thing: her over protectiveness. She isn't the oldest but she is the one who always stays strong for her loved ones, and I loved that about her the most. As for Val, I spent a lot of time trying to understand her. Trying to figure her out as well as trying to figure out how I felt about her.The story comes together in the strangest way and so do these three girls. Claire Legrand did an amazing job on this one. I got approved for a review copy of Furyborn a few days ago and I'm looking forward to reading it very much!
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  • Ellie (faerieontheshelf)
    January 1, 1970
    RTC — balancing between 3.5 and 4; this had some really great bits (sexuality rep w/ central f/f and ace characters) but also some elements I thought felt dissonant in the story. ✨ Buddy read with: Amy | Julie | Jules | Imi | Laura & Mel ✨*I heard this has horses so that’s the only reason why I want to read it??? We need more horse-y novels ok
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  • Sana
    January 1, 1970
    HOT DAMN, WHAT A COVERThis is the 'angry, queer, feminist, patriarchy-trampling, moth-and-horse-filled horror novel'* that I need. *Source
  • Madalyn (Novel Ink)
    January 1, 1970
    This review originally appeared on Novel Ink.I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.*3.5 stars*Content warnings:  grief, loss of a loved one, murder, violence, animal death, gore, talk of blood, abuse, parental abuse, talk of miscarrying, unwanted sexual contact, acephobic language (challenged), scene with a girl purposely cutting open her palm, use of the word “fat" negatively (thank you to Melanie This review originally appeared on Novel Ink.I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.*3.5 stars*Content warnings:  grief, loss of a loved one, murder, violence, animal death, gore, talk of blood, abuse, parental abuse, talk of miscarrying, unwanted sexual contact, acephobic language (challenged), scene with a girl purposely cutting open her palm, use of the word “fat" negatively (thank you to Melanie @ Mel to the Any, whose review helped me fill in some cw's I originally missed!)Okay, after reading Sawkill Girls, I can definitely see this becoming one of the biggest YA releases of this fall. It's gonna be a great spooky October read for lots of readers, and with good reason. Though it wasn't a perfect read for me, I immensely enjoyed this chilling, atmospheric, queer, feminist little paranormal book.In Sawkill Girls, we follow three young women who live on a remote island called Sawkill Island. However, Sawkill has never been safe for young women-- throughout the years, girls have periodically gone missing. On the island, there's a local legend about a monster called The Collector, who hunts and eats teenage girls in order to strengthen himself. Spoiler alert: these two things are related. All three of the POV characters are slated to play a role in the destruction of this monster, making their lives irrevocably intertwined.I had a soft spot for all three of our main characters. First, we have Zoey. She's asexual, mixed race, and the daughter of Sawkill's police chief. She's always felt like a bit of an outcast on the island, because she has no desire to fit in with the wealthy, WASP-y popular crowd. Then, there's Marion, the plus-sized, queer newcomer to the island. Her family moves to Sawkill in an attempt to heal from the loss of her father, but unfortunately, they're plunged into something even more horrifying. Rounding out our POV characters, we have Val, the queen bee of Sawkill Island. Her family has lived on the island for generations and has always been at the center of the social scene, but they are hiding a dark secret. As different as these girls' backgrounds are, they're forced to come together and fight for something bigger than them. (We also get an EXCELLENT "sidekick" character in the form of Zoey's ex-boyfriend, Grayson, whom I adored.)I briefly touched on this, but the representation in Sawkill Girls was fantastic. IT'S SO QUEER AND I WAS SO HERE FOR IT. All three of the main characters are attracted to women in some way, although specific labels aren't discussed. Plus, this book had an f/f romance that made my heart sing. Even though it felt a liiiiittle instalove-y, I shipped it so hard. And Zoey identifies on-page as asexual, and all of the acephobic comments in the narrative are heavily challenged, and the characters who make them own up to their mistake and apologize. Many of the residents of Sawkill Island we meet in this book are people of color, which was a refreshing change from so many books with similar settings.This story was dark and haunting, and so, so atmospheric. The setting was perfectly described, and I completely believed that magical/paranormal happenings would be the norm on Sawkill Island. Legrand's prose is lush and lovely and endlessly quotable. I expected Sawkill Girls to be more of a fabulist novel, when it reality I'd classify it solidly in the paranormal category. This book is quietly unsettling, and it incorporates quite a few elements many readers may find disturbing, so make sure you take a look at the content warnings I've listed above before reading. All of the creepy factors really served to build tension in the narrative. It also reflects heavily on grief and loss. And I've already mentioned that this book is queer as hell, but it also takes on some wonderful feminist themes and executes them beautifully. If you're looking for paranormal YA where girls stand up for themselves and for each other, Sawkill Girls is a book for you.One of the few issues I took with Sawkill Girls was the pacing, which to me felt a bit uneven. The beginning of the novel immediately hooked me in, but after the first third or so, the plot became a bit repetitive. The middle was a struggle for me to get through; I found myself frustrated that we were learning very little new information. By the end of the story, I was skimming because I was just kind of ready for the book to end-- though, I will say, I loved the last chapter and found it very fitting for the story. Overall, though, the book felt a bit long for what it was. And while all three of the MC's have a piece of my heart because of all they went through, I still wish we had learned more about each of them. I finished the story still not entirely sure of who these ladies really were. The plot wasn't the most original thing in the world, but I do appreciate Claire Legrand taking some of the conventions of similar stories and turning them on their head in a way that smashed the patriarchy. (I'm always here for smashing the patriarchy.)Overall, I enjoyed this quiet, creepy gem of a book, and I foresee it becoming a favorite for many readers. This is my first Claire Legrand book, and I will absolutely be picking up her backlist titles, because I enjoyed her prose so very much. If you're looking for something spooky to pick up this October, I'd absolutely recommend giving Sawkill Girls a shot.
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  • Lilly (Lair Of Books)
    January 1, 1970
    ARC received from the Publisher in exchange for a honest review
  • Lauren ✨ (YABookers)
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes.Beware of the woods and the dark, dank deep.He’ll follow you home, and he won’t let you sleep. On Sawkill Rock, young girls have been going missing for decades, more frequently every year. They're never found, lost to the island. Three girls are drawn together – Marion, Zoey, and Val – as they go up against the dark evil lurking on the island, fighting against the horror that has only ever been whispered about. Trigger warnings Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes.Beware of the woods and the dark, dank deep.He’ll follow you home, and he won’t let you sleep. On Sawkill Rock, young girls have been going missing for decades, more frequently every year. They're never found, lost to the island. Three girls are drawn together – Marion, Zoey, and Val – as they go up against the dark evil lurking on the island, fighting against the horror that has only ever been whispered about. Trigger warnings for blood and gore, suicidal ideation, parental abuse, loss of a loved one, violence.I went into this with high expectations – it's hard not to when you've been very much looking forward to a book for so long, and one which the author described as 'girls loving girls, girls kissing girls, girls being friends with girls, girls helping girls'. It did not disappoint. SAWKILL GIRLS is a monstrously creepy paranormal with a kickass girl gang. It's eerie and atmospheric, with an immersive setting in Sawkill Rock, and a dynamic cast of characters. I'd also go as far to say that it's unapologetically feminist. We have three POVs in Sawkill Girls – Marion, Zoey, and Val. It's safe to say I loved them all. Marion is a shy and quiet girl, who I will say I felt immediately drawn to. She's grounded and sensible, but filled with grief, and feels a responsibility to hold her family together. She has a quiet strength about her which I really adored. She's also bisexual! Then we have Zoey, She is black and asexual, with a lovable on-and-off-again boyfriend. She's tough and headstrong and is determined to find what has been stealing the girls away. The final girl is Val, who is, at first, your typical bully with a mean girl attitude. But we're soon shown her background to actually be quite haunting, and her family holds a dark secret. She's also queer and is in a sapphic relationship, but her label is never stated on page.It's queer, it's eerie, and it's monstrously creepy.
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  • Benjamin
    January 1, 1970
    Boring af, but with the best love interest ever. RTC.
  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by HarperCollins via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest reviewI'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: Ove ARC provided by HarperCollins via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest reviewI'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.Liked:• 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.Disliked:• 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: Melanie | Julie | Jules | Imogen | Ellie | Laura | Natasha | Wren | Alexis (thank you for the HTML code, Melanie!)
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  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    "girls loving girls, girls kissing girls, girls being friends with girls, girls helping girls." the mood.✨Arc received from the publisher via Edelweiss for an honest review. [ releases: October 2018.]
  • Benjamin
    January 1, 1970
    I received ARC in exchange for an honest review. Beautiful cover + interesting synopsis = It'd better be good.
  • J.A. Ironside
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review4.5 stars"Girls hunger. And we're taught, from the moment our brains can take it, that there isn't enough food for all of us."Cards on the table, this is a weird book. If you don’t like weird or, in places, deliberately vague, if fanciful but concrete metaphors annoy you then this may not be the book for you. It was absolutely my kind of weird and I loved it from beginning to end. I can be a bit hit and miss with Legrand’s prose – really ARC provided by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review4.5 stars"Girls hunger. And we're taught, from the moment our brains can take it, that there isn't enough food for all of us."Cards on the table, this is a weird book. If you don’t like weird or, in places, deliberately vague, if fanciful but concrete metaphors annoy you then this may not be the book for you. It was absolutely my kind of weird and I loved it from beginning to end. I can be a bit hit and miss with Legrand’s prose – really didn’t like Winterspell that much, loved Furyborn earlier this year. Sawkill Girls reads completely differently which is no surprise in that it’s paranormal/ urban fantasy rather than epic fantasy. Personally I really enjoyed the imagery – when Marion is suffering headaches for example – but it’s the sort of whimsical extended metaphor that will drive some people nuts so be warned.The plot on the surface is straight forward enough. Sawkill Rock is a strange island. There’s talk of ‘the collector’ and over the centuries girls have just disappeared from the island, never to be seen again. Marion and her sister, Charlotte, move to the island with their mother after the death of their father. Strange things start to happen almost at once, could something be targeting Charlotte? And then there’s Val, island queen bee, beautiful, charming with more than natural charisma. Is there a connection between her and the missing girls? Zoey certainly thinks so. Tough, intelligent and inquisitive, Zoey refuses to let the disappearance of her friend fade into Sawkill folklore.Told in alternating POVs between Marion, Val and Zoey, this is a deliciously creepy horror story that turns the ‘girl in the refrigerator’ trope on its head. Because yes girls are seen as weak and vulnerable, yes they are told they can’t protect themselves and yes they are preyed upon – but they can also find awesome wells of strength and resilience within themselves. In the end damsels in distress can rescue themselves. There are a few things in here that get a bit Scooby-do-ish. A cult turns up for example and, rather like the watchers council in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, has a huge investment in controlling female power. Personally I think it was there as a deliberate contrast. I think the author was saying ‘here’s what girls can do when they band together, they don’t need a bunch of old white dudes to come in and hold the leash’. I applaud that but it was delivered so earnestly that it slid sideways into pastiche. In the same way a couple of bits of dialogue were too on the nose in terms of delivering the message. However that is me being really super picky. On the whole this was a very positive female led book (without being so stridently feminist in its message so that people stop listening) – especially since it’s a book about girls disappearing.I loved the concept of the Rock as a pantheistic entity in its own right. I love the way the relationships and friendships develop. The diversity representation was deftly done too. I enjoyed the monster – it reminded me of Stephen King’s IT via M.R. James and campfire ghost stories. I even quite liked the ending which is definitely a bit weird and existential. (That ending is really not going to be for everyone.) Legrand also pulls no punches with gore without ever turning it into spatter-punk. So go in expecting there to be blood.Don't believe that book. That was written by men.I was part of a buddy read for this book and found it hard to stop at the designated breaks, so the pacing is definitely on point. Really enjoyed this – best of Legrand’s books I’ve read so far. I highly recommend this as a Hallowe’en read – in fact I might reread it then myself.Buddy read with Melanie Amy Julie Natasha Laura Alexis Ellie Imogen and Wren
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  • Bethany
    January 1, 1970
    Full disclosure- I think after reading this and Furyborn, Claire Legrand is one of my new favorite authors. Also I begged for an arc of this and was thrilled when Epic Reads actually sent me one. So much more so now that I have actually read the book! So about the book...Sawkill Girls is kind of like Stranger Things meets Buffy, except more scary, feminist, and queer. So not for the faint of heart, but I also don't read a lot of horror and I LOVED this book! The story is told in first person thr Full disclosure- I think after reading this and Furyborn, Claire Legrand is one of my new favorite authors. Also I begged for an arc of this and was thrilled when Epic Reads actually sent me one. So much more so now that I have actually read the book! So about the book...Sawkill Girls is kind of like Stranger Things meets Buffy, except more scary, feminist, and queer. So not for the faint of heart, but I also don't read a lot of horror and I LOVED this book! The story is told in first person through the perspectives of three very different, very fascinating girls, all centering on the exclusive and mysterious Sawkill Island where girls have been disappearing for decades.Marion has become the rock of her family since the death of her father, but has forgotten how to take care of herself. New to the island as her remaining family seeks a fresh start, she has great internal strength but her plain appearance and social awkwardness make her pale next to her vivacious and beautiful older sister. Also, she is bisexual and for those wanting bi representation, it is definitely explored here, especially her interest in girls.Zoey is multiracial, the daughter of the local police chief, and has never fit in with the wealthy residents of the island. This has been made worse by the loss of her best friend (remember those missing girls?) and the fact that she broke up with her popular boyfriend after realizing she was asexual. (So yes, we get great rep for asexuality here as well)Finally, we have Val who is rich, popular, and gorgeous to boot. But she also seems to have some dark secrets and there is more to her than meets the eye. I'm hoping I've already sold you on this, but if you are looking for a dark and scary tale full of monsters that is about powerful girls, messy and complicated girls, and girls smashing the patriarchy, then look no further! However, for those of you who are unsure if this is the right book for you, let me give you some trigger warnings, because there are plenty of them. (and I will say, this may not be the best book for very young teens, especially if they haven't read such content previously). Also, this is not a trigger warning but a heads up on content- the book does contain a moderately explicit scene of sex between two girls.Trigger Warnings: murder, death of animals, descriptions of dismembered body parts, physical abuse, sexual harassment and abuse, abusive and scary parents, disfigurement, scenes of torture, detailed descriptions of insects, bullying related to sexual orientation, cultish rituals and descriptions of them, demon-like monsters, loss of loved ones, some discussion of suicide as a way to fix evil things happening...there may be others, but you probably get the idea. This is a dark, scary book that would make a pretty terrifying film, but it's really well-written with amazing characters, a strong sense of place, and a fascinating mythology that unfolds. (with nods to a literary classic of my childhood, which I won't mention the name of because spoilers!) But it's amazing, and ultimately, very empowering. Oh and one last thing? I LOVE that a girl who is not the physical ideal becomes a romantic heroine and total badass! Highly recommend this one.
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  • Imi (Imi Reviews Books)
    January 1, 1970
    I received a proof copy from Harper360YA in exchange for an honest review.Probably more of a 4.5-4.75 because there were a few questionable choices here and there, but overall, this book was everything I wanted. It has on-page Ace rep, Bi rep, and an F/F romance. Much like Legrand said on Goodreads this book is all about girls. Girls loving themselves, each other and their family. It’s about friendship, overcoming obstacles and realising who you are. So here’s a baseline. Someone or something is I received a proof copy from Harper360YA in exchange for an honest review.Probably more of a 4.5-4.75 because there were a few questionable choices here and there, but overall, this book was everything I wanted. It has on-page Ace rep, Bi rep, and an F/F romance. Much like Legrand said on Goodreads this book is all about girls. Girls loving themselves, each other and their family. It’s about friendship, overcoming obstacles and realising who you are. So here’s a baseline. Someone or something is killing girls on the island of Sawkill Rock, so when Marion and her sister move there, they too are drawn into the mystery and the drama along with Zoey, the daughter of the Sheriff and Val, youngest in a long line of the matriarchal Mortimer family. These three are the POVs we see throughout and, honestly, I loved them all.This book has a spoopy, halloween, paranormal feel to it, and honestly, there were times when I was slightly terrified and/or disgusted, but it wasn’t exactly horror either. I adore Legrand’s writing, but found it so very different from her recent release, Furyborn – more lyrical at times and abstract. My favourite sections were actually that of Sawkill Rock, the personified force of the island who is given brief, one-page prose sections overlooking the girls’ journey. “The Rock felt its daughters’ feet beat angry paths into its ravaged flesh, and sent out its call, and waited for them to wake up.” Also, huge shout out to Legrand’s sly mentions of smashing the patriarchy because it made me laugh out loud so many times, even in the tense moments.Buddy Read with: Amy | Julie | Jules | Ellie | Laura | Natasha | Wren | Alexis | Melanie--11th June 2018I feel like if I put all of my thoughts on paper it would be a splurge of too much feeling but I’ll give it a go at some point this week. Bottom line is, I loved this. So much.
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  • Stephanie Gillespie
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.This is the first book by Claire that I've read and I thought this book had a lot of potential,it was set up like a YA Horror, but turned supernatural. I was confused at the beginning, but I slowly got into the story. The monster was creepy and mysterious.The writing was beautiful and does a great job at setting up the creepy atmospheric vibe of the island.I loved the characters !! There is also bisexual and asexual rep ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.This is the first book by Claire that I've read and I thought this book had a lot of potential,it was set up like a YA Horror, but turned supernatural. I was confused at the beginning, but I slowly got into the story. The monster was creepy and mysterious.The writing was beautiful and does a great job at setting up the creepy atmospheric vibe of the island.I loved the characters !! There is also bisexual and asexual representation in this novel.Sawkill Girls is told is three different POV's. Told by Marion,Zoey and Val, these three girls come together when girls on the island continue to go missing.This story is set during present time. It begins with Marion and her family moving to Sawkill after their father's passing away. I adored getting to know Marion, she is a sweet girl who has gone through a lot of negative things but she continues to hold on strong. She is the rock of her family,she takes care of her mother who cannot cop with life after the death of her husband. She is pretty close with her sister Charlotte and I loved there relationship.The second girl Zoey, was my favorite of the three. She is fierce, and she is asexual. She was in a relationship with Grayson until they had sex, she realized she didn't enjoy sex and felt repulsed by it. Grayson remains her best friend and he is so sweet. Zoey is also grieving, her friend Thora was one of the girls who went missing.Then there was Val,she is the popular beautiful golden girl of the island.I can't reveal to much about her because spoilers, but i really grew to like her character. The relationships between the girls is intense,Zoey and Val are pretty much enemies.Marion's family is employed by Val's mother to be housekeepers,these three girls end up spending a lot if time together.The girls are amazing and flawed and just completely perfect.Overall, this was a fun paranormal book with strong female friendships,girls fighting monsters and a cute f/f relationship. This book comes out October 2 and will be the perfect fall read.
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  • Acqua
    January 1, 1970
    queer YA horror. Yes.
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