Unspeakable Things
Inspired by a terrifying true story from the author’s hometown, a heart-pounding novel of suspense about a small Minnesota community where nothing is as quiet—or as safe—as it seems.Cassie McDowell’s life in 1980s Minnesota seems perfectly wholesome. She lives on a farm, loves school, and has a crush on the nicest boy in class. Yes, there are her parents’ strange parties and their parade of deviant guests, but she’s grown accustomed to them.All that changes when someone comes hunting in Lilydale.One by one, local boys go missing. One by one, they return changed—violent, moody, and withdrawn. What happened to them becomes the stuff of shocking rumors. The accusations of who’s responsible grow just as wild, and dangerous town secrets start to surface. Then Cassie’s own sister undergoes the dark change. If she is to survive, Cassie must find her way in an adult world where every sin is justified, and only the truth is unforgivable.

Unspeakable Things Details

TitleUnspeakable Things
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 1st, 2020
PublisherThomas & Mercer
Rating
GenreMystery, Fiction, Thriller, Historical, Historical Fiction, Mystery Thriller, Suspense, Crime, Horror, True Crime, Audiobook

Unspeakable Things Review

  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    Another disturbing, dark, nail biter story based on true events. And I loved to spend time at Cassie’s head and seeing events at 80’s Minnesota from her eyes. She was thirteen, smart, mature from her peers, a little quirky (but in an adorable way), coming from not so wealthy and dysfunctional family, dealing with his mostly drunk, artistic father’s mood swings and anger management problems as her mother acts like they’re perfect and exampled family and nothing is wrong about them.They’re living Another disturbing, dark, nail biter story based on true events. And I loved to spend time at Cassie’s head and seeing events at 80’s Minnesota from her eyes. She was thirteen, smart, mature from her peers, a little quirky (but in an adorable way), coming from not so wealthy and dysfunctional family, dealing with his mostly drunk, artistic father’s mood swings and anger management problems as her mother acts like they’re perfect and exampled family and nothing is wrong about them.They’re living in a small community. Everybody knows everybody and their most of the secrets. But the small community’s life ruined with disappearance of string of local boys. Is it Peeping Tom as the school children gossiped about or is it a real dangerous hunter coming for boys?Do you love the dark, ominous, nerve bending atmosphere and heart throbbing stories with smart, riveting narration? If your answer is a strong : “Yessss!, this book fits for your expectations.It’s gripping, it’s intriguing and at some parts it was compelling to read the things Cassie had to witness and endure. But it was mostly quick page-turner, even though the heavy and creepy stuffs in the book made me a little irritated and gave me several jumps at my seat. I ended up sitting cross legged on the floor and consumed more wine that I can stomach. It was not stressful, agitating journey!A quick warning: If you’re dissatisfied with the haphazard ending of the book. There’s epilogue was pulled out before the release. Please visit the ww.jesslourey.com and request your epilogue so you get more satisfying answers and closure about the characters’ future stories.Overall: I loved Cassie and I loved eerie, complex, captivating writing style. Only thing I didn’t like was the ending but as soon as I checked the website, that problem is also solved. I wished the author or publishers wouldn’t pull out this part of the book. But I mostly enjoyed more than I expected.bloginstagramfacebooktwitter
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  • marilyn
    January 1, 1970
    Cassie McDowell is a twelve year old girl living in rural Minnesota in the 1980s, daughter of well educated, but poor, free living, hippy-ish parents. You might think that she and her older sister had a blessed life, but there are bad things happening to boys in her area and bad things happening in her own home. Cassie lives in fear of her dad coming up the stairs to her room at night, something she tries to fend off by writing stories in her diary. And Cassie and the entire town are concerned t Cassie McDowell is a twelve year old girl living in rural Minnesota in the 1980s, daughter of well educated, but poor, free living, hippy-ish parents. You might think that she and her older sister had a blessed life, but there are bad things happening to boys in her area and bad things happening in her own home. Cassie lives in fear of her dad coming up the stairs to her room at night, something she tries to fend off by writing stories in her diary. And Cassie and the entire town are concerned that boys are going missing, only to show up again, having been molested by a masked man. Rumors are rampant but because the boys are from the poorest side of town, next to nothing it being done about the abuse to the boys. Then finally, a boy from the rich part of town goes missing and things start to heat up. Things really aren't much better at Cassie's house. Her parents hold parties where anything goes and they don't even try to hide it from their daughters. Both girls are told they can never speak of what goes on at home, because other people won't "understand". Smart, creative Cassie is living a nightmare but not able to reach out to anyone about it. She decides to solve the mystery of who is kidnapping and molesting her schoolmates but she fears even those crimes may be way closer to home than just in her neighborhood. Her father's ever changing moods rule the household and there are so many secrets, including what happens in their dirt basement. While this might be a coming of age story, it is for sure a tension filled thriller. Every day and especially, every night, of Cassie's life, is spent in fear of the monster who is may come up the stairs and the monster who is taking young boys. Cassie's mom won't put a stop to what happens at home and in fact, turns a blind eye to it. Cassie's sister is acting out, dealing with everything in the most dysfunctional of ways. I felt for all the children, even those that take to striking out at those weaker than them, because they are trapped in a world that puts what side of town one lives in, over actual crimes that need investigating. This was a Kindle First Read choice. 
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    1980's Lilydale, Minnesota Twelve year old Cassie and her older sister Sephie grew up poor with an artist father and their mother, the sole provider, a teacher. Their world is rocked when boys in their neighborhood begin getting attacked by a man in a mask. These victims aren't the same after and Cassie wants to solve the mystery and catch the attacker. The yuck factor in this book was a bit too much for me and that has nothing to do with the boys being attacked. Are swingers and sex parties rea 1980's Lilydale, Minnesota Twelve year old Cassie and her older sister Sephie grew up poor with an artist father and their mother, the sole provider, a teacher. Their world is rocked when boys in their neighborhood begin getting attacked by a man in a mask. These victims aren't the same after and Cassie wants to solve the mystery and catch the attacker. The yuck factor in this book was a bit too much for me and that has nothing to do with the boys being attacked. Are swingers and sex parties really necessary to tell this story? Also, the culprit really comes as no surprise. Anyhoo, what really pissed me off is the ending. Or the lack of one. Apparently the author decided to leave out the epilogue in favor of readers forming their own opinion. You can access the epilogue via her website to get some sort of resolution. This was an arc that was provided to me for free but had I of purchased this book I would have been really angry that I now have to go to her website to be provided the ending in which I already paid for. I hope they change this before publication. 2 stars! Thank you to NetGalley and and Thomas & Mercer for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Kelli Wilson
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. This is really dark folks. Pretty disturbing things happening. And somehow the way the words are written gripped me and I needed to finish it out. I'm glad I did.FYI: The author did not include the epilogue in the book itself. It is available only on her website: http://jessicalourey.com/survey-two Wow. This is really dark folks. Pretty disturbing things happening. And somehow the way the words are written gripped me and I needed to finish it out. I'm glad I did.FYI: The author did not include the epilogue in the book itself. It is available only on her website: http://jessicalourey.com/survey-two
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  • Lawyer
    January 1, 1970
    It is rare that I write a full review these days. I am conscious of all I wish to read yet. The clock is ticking. I am conscious of growing older. I am well aware that time is not regained. Why this review?This title was an Amazon Prime First Read. It carries a Goodreads rating of 3.76. It deserves neither.Perhaps this will keep you from wasting your time in reading this book. It is tragically over written. While the subject matter is so significant--child abuse and exploitation--the author exhi It is rare that I write a full review these days. I am conscious of all I wish to read yet. The clock is ticking. I am conscious of growing older. I am well aware that time is not regained. Why this review?This title was an Amazon Prime First Read. It carries a Goodreads rating of 3.76. It deserves neither.Perhaps this will keep you from wasting your time in reading this book. It is tragically over written. While the subject matter is so significant--child abuse and exploitation--the author exhibits inadequate knowledge of the problem. Worse, Lourey shows she performed any research on the topic, though material sources have consistently multiplied since the 1980s. Rather, Lourey cites a single podcast related to a single case involving the abduction of an eleven year old boy whose body was boot discovered till 27 years later.What allow me to offer such open criticism of this book? I was a career prosecutor for close to 28 years. More than 20 years I specialized in the investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases, physical and sexual. I received training across the nation. And became a trainer of other professionals assigned to present these cases.Lourey blends offender types, both opportunistic and fixated, as interchangeable types. They are not. Lourey has a worried town pointing fingers at stereotypified offenders.For one example of a novel worthy of its subject matter I recommend Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison. For one novel involving the random act of the offender unknown to his victim I recommend The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy.For those interested in reference titles to offenders and victims of child abuse, a multitude of the most recent studies are readily found online.What a disappointing book on which to begin the New Year.
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  • Kristi Lamont
    January 1, 1970
    Wow was this a really good book about some truly disturbing things. Got it as an Amazon First Read so I went into it with low expectations; whipped through it in a couple of hours this afternoon. Realized as I was getting toward the end that I was thirsty, I needed to go to the bathroom, my jaws were locked and my fingers were clenching my iPad very, very hard. The sense of foreboding Ms Lourey had going on was something else. No way in the world was I getting out of my chair until I got to the Wow was this a really good book about some truly disturbing things. Got it as an Amazon First Read so I went into it with low expectations; whipped through it in a couple of hours this afternoon. Realized as I was getting toward the end that I was thirsty, I needed to go to the bathroom, my jaws were locked and my fingers were clenching my iPad very, very hard. The sense of foreboding Ms Lourey had going on was something else. No way in the world was I getting out of my chair until I got to the end.I wish Netflix or somebody would make this into a series. I see Woody Harrelson as one of the main characters. If you read the book, tell me your guess as to which one in the comments, not gonna do a spoiler here.Oh, one more thing: I'm quite sure part of the reason I really liked this book is because it was told from the perspective of a female adolescent in the early 1980s. I would've been I guess five years older than her then, more like her sister's age, but could still totally relate to SO many things (hot rollers and Farrah Fawcett hair, anyone?). But thank GOD I've never had to butcher a chicken.
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  • NZLisaM
    January 1, 1970
    In the summer of 1983, ‘evil’ exists in the small farming community of Lilydale, Minnesota. Boys are being abused by an unknown, almost supernatural, sexual predator, but the police and adults are not convinced he exists. 12-year-old Cassie McDowell is certain he does though. She already believes in monsters, lives in constant fear of her alcoholic, paranoid, domineering father, and his various mood swings, and dreads the ‘parties’ her parents sometimes throw. The boys who've been ‘taken' return In the summer of 1983, ‘evil’ exists in the small farming community of Lilydale, Minnesota. Boys are being abused by an unknown, almost supernatural, sexual predator, but the police and adults are not convinced he exists. 12-year-old Cassie McDowell is certain he does though. She already believes in monsters, lives in constant fear of her alcoholic, paranoid, domineering father, and his various mood swings, and dreads the ‘parties’ her parents sometimes throw. The boys who've been ‘taken' return angry and withdrawn, and Cassie has recently witnessed the same changes in her older sister Sephie. Cassie’s determined to help the boys of Lilydale, so she begins her own investigation to unmask his identity, and seek justice.Unspeakable Things is drama, abuse, tragedy, crime, suspense, 1980’s nostalgia/pop culture, small town life, first crush, friendship, school life, childlike experiences of summer, and coming-of-age all rolled into one. It goes without saying that there are some graphic passages relating to both Cassie's home life and the sexual abuse of her classmate's, but the focus is on her fight or flight responses, the emotional and physical toll, and psychological effects of growing up in a dysfunctional family environment. Like 12 year olds on the cusp of teenagehood, Cassie’s main goals are to act normal (at least outwardly) and fit in, and hang out, with her peers, and a large part of the plot centers around this. Due to the age and innocence of the narrator, some of what's going on around Cassie goes over her head, or is too traumatic for her to even think about or give voice to, therefore some of the more disturbing themes are barely touched on, or occur offsite. I'm loath to encourage anyone to read this if the topics are likely triggering, but as a regular reader of crime thrillers I've read a lot worse than this, particularly in police procedurals.In her author's note Jess Lourey mentions that even though this novel is based on real people and events – in particular the abduction and murder of Jacob Wetterling in 1989, and the kidnapping of boys in the midwest in the mid-to-late 80’s – the story, and Lilydale are entirely products of her imagination.Our heroine Cassie is incredibly resilient, strong, and brave. She stands up to her father as much as she can, never excuses or condones his actions, continuously begs her mother to leave him, reaches out to her aunt for help, protects her sister from her father's wraith, and is determined to bring down the person attacking vulnerable boys in her community. She is very intelligent, and often uses wit and imagination as coping mechanisms She's let down by the majority of the grown-ups surrounding her as they have a tendency to be corrupt, enablers, oblivious, scared, weak, choose not to get involved, or outright monsters. There are some good, kind adults to be found, but like most victims of abuse, Cassie has been continuously told that she won't be believed if she tells.The close of the novel is deliberately left open ended and up to your own interpretation, and after re-reading the prologue again once I'd finished, I concluded it completely worked for me. However, for those who need more of a resolution there is an Epilogue on the author's website. I waited a day before reading it, and even though it was satisfying and gave me all the remaining answers, I think I prefer the ending as is.Unspeakable Things has shot straight to the top five of my favourites list for the year.
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  • daph_pink
    January 1, 1970
    3.25⭐ I finished this book a month ago I guess so I don't remember much , because it was a pretty basic read though I remember one thing , the book is very personal for the author as it is inspired from her own childhood , the fictional story was sort of her way to express that events from her childhood so that was intersting in itself and that was the only factor which compelled me to read it apart from being a small town mystery with dysfunctional families and kids. The writing was solid and i 3.25⭐ I finished this book a month ago I guess so I don't remember much , because it was a pretty basic read though I remember one thing , the book is very personal for the author as it is inspired from her own childhood , the fictional story was sort of her way to express that events from her childhood so that was intersting in itself and that was the only factor which compelled me to read it apart from being a small town mystery with dysfunctional families and kids. The writing was solid and intriguing , there is this constant sense of suspense where you want to know what's happening and you just want to finish it to know the truth.It was quite painful to read because the subject dealt was quite dark and touching like you might have guessed from the title.Now there are a few things I disliked about this book , like the extremely slow pacing . I felt it was like ripping off a bit while I was reading it where you can't decide whether you want to go slow or fast but you weirdly wanna see what's underneath it and I dislike that feeling it's like I am only reading it because I want to finish it and I am not enjoying the storyline . Lot of things went unsaid , that you are waiting to be resolved and nothing really happens by the end and there are story notches that weren't completed and I found then really frustrating and this wasn't an open ending at all.I don't think I will recommend this not because it's bad but because my thoughts are quite polarising about this book right now!!!! TW:- sexual assault, child abuse, verbal abuse, homophobic slurs , bullying.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Unspeakable Things is out today and man you guys, this one was such a different read from the type of book I’ve been gravitating towards lately. It’s a mix between a coming of age story and suspense and is set in 1980’s Minnesota and follows a thirteen year old girl named Cassie. She lives in a small town and suddenly a string of local boys start to disappear, but most of them return quickly. They’re all changed and haunted by whatever happened while they were gone and Cassie is terrified by wha Unspeakable Things is out today and man you guys, this one was such a different read from the type of book I’ve been gravitating towards lately. It’s a mix between a coming of age story and suspense and is set in 1980’s Minnesota and follows a thirteen year old girl named Cassie. She lives in a small town and suddenly a string of local boys start to disappear, but most of them return quickly. They’re all changed and haunted by whatever happened while they were gone and Cassie is terrified by what’s going on in her town. Terrifying, right? It’s also inspired by true events making it all the more creepy!This one went super dark, and had an overall sense of foreboding, hints of menace and just the general feeling that something was off. I found it to be atmospheric and eerie and really emotional all at the same time. It almost had a literary feel to it as the author has a beautiful way with words and the angst and emotional turmoil Cassie was facing added so much depth and heartbreak to a really gripping story.The ending of this wasn’t my favorite, I was disappointed until I found out the author had originally written an epilogue then decided to pull it before publication. She has it up on her website and after reading it and getting some more firm answers I was satisfied. Don’t read it first though, there are huge spoilers for the book. Other than that minor gripe that was easily resolved for me I really enjoyed this one.
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  • Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
    January 1, 1970
    For some reason, I glanced at this book yesterday and almost set it aside as one I'd get to later, if I had time. But then something kept drawing me to it and after picking it up and putting it down a few times, something about it just called to me and I decided to pick this up.... and once I did, I didn't put it down until I was done reading. So if you have this on your shelf anywhere, I recommend you don't pass this one up and READ IT ASAP.I love novels based on true stories. As this one is to For some reason, I glanced at this book yesterday and almost set it aside as one I'd get to later, if I had time. But then something kept drawing me to it and after picking it up and putting it down a few times, something about it just called to me and I decided to pick this up.... and once I did, I didn't put it down until I was done reading. So if you have this on your shelf anywhere, I recommend you don't pass this one up and READ IT ASAP.I love novels based on true stories. As this one is told through Cassie's eyes, a 12-turning-13 year old girl in the 80s, I understood every single reference and remember all the stories of Chester the Molester and when letting your kids roam the streets on their bikes was still safe.. until it wasn't. I also remember being that age where everything frightened you and yet you were also fearless. Cassie was this girl. Innocent and yet aware of all the weird things going on around her - whether within her own family or around her otherwise. She becomes her own Nancy Drew and wants to figure out what's going on with these kidnapped boys... especially when the one that doesn't come back is the one in her romantic mind she was destined to marry.I absolutely adore that the entire novel is straight through Cassie. You instantly feel a connection with her. And all the little clues keep you wondering, with her, as to who the suspects are and what possible motives there might be. You see her grow (faster than she needs to be at that age). I will say, I understand why the ending was the way that it was.... but I was left feeling a little want... luckily, I saw @novelgossip's review and she mentioned you could get the epilogue so AFTER you've read the book, if you need some answers like I did, google Unspeakable Things Epilogue. Even with the slight abrupt ending, I can't give this book less than the five stars I think it deserves. I'll be thinking about this one for a while.
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  • Vonda
    January 1, 1970
    This book sorely disappointed me. Based on a true story, it was only about a third of the book. The crimes weren't really revealed and whodunit was easy to figure out. 2/3rds of this book was way over descriptive sentences where the author fancied herself witty. It took me far too long to read this book, dragging myself along and honestly for the synapsis it was boring. Do not recommend.
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  • Sheila Beaumont
    January 1, 1970
    This is a creepy, well-written account of the perverse goings-on behind the wholesome facade of a small town in Minnesota. The tale is narrated by a 12-year-old girl, but this is definitely not a children's book. This horrific story is based on real events from the author's childhood.
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  • Darcia Helle
    January 1, 1970
    Unspeakable Things is dark, intense, and so well written that it hurts to read this story.The entire novel is written from 12-year-old Cassie's perspective, but this is absolutely not a YA novel. I almost didn't get this book because I'm not a big fan of child narrators. Fortunately for me, the premise was too tempting to pass up. Within a few paragraphs, I was hooked. By the end of the first chapter, I couldn't imagine this story being told from any other character's perspective. By the end, I Unspeakable Things is dark, intense, and so well written that it hurts to read this story.The entire novel is written from 12-year-old Cassie's perspective, but this is absolutely not a YA novel. I almost didn't get this book because I'm not a big fan of child narrators. Fortunately for me, the premise was too tempting to pass up. Within a few paragraphs, I was hooked. By the end of the first chapter, I couldn't imagine this story being told from any other character's perspective. By the end, I was a ragged knot of emotions.A version of this story played out in the author's hometown decades ago. Another version is probably playing out somewhere else right now. Maybe knowing this makes Cassie's story more powerful and heartbreaking. Or maybe what hits me hardest is knowing that many of us, at some point in our lives, are side characters to Cassie's starring role, and like those in this book, we choose to look away.
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  • Annika Martin
    January 1, 1970
    This book is emotional and intense and just so compelling - I was flipping those pages like mad with my heart in my throat. It's out of my normal genre to read, but OMG so grateful I got an early copy. Beautifully written. Definite winner.
  • Natasha | readwithnatasha
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars. I devoured this book in two days. Young boys in Cassie's small town are being molested and she doesn't think the police are doing enough to solve this mystery. The innocent 13 year old has her own handful of suspects - the creepy police chief, her gay band teacher, the scary man called the Goblin, as well as her own father. This story is pretty dark and disturbing - molestation, incest, swinger parties, etc. and it's all told through Cassie and her innocence. A lot of the bad stuff is 3.5 stars. I devoured this book in two days. Young boys in Cassie's small town are being molested and she doesn't think the police are doing enough to solve this mystery. The innocent 13 year old has her own handful of suspects - the creepy police chief, her gay band teacher, the scary man called the Goblin, as well as her own father. This story is pretty dark and disturbing - molestation, incest, swinger parties, etc. and it's all told through Cassie and her innocence. A lot of the bad stuff is implied and covered by Cassie calling it gross.I loved Cassie as the main character. She's a child and some of her thoughts are juvenile, but I loved it. I loved the suspense throughout the entire book. I was constantly switching who I thought the molester was and was curious about the entire town in general. The reason for the 3.5 star rating is because of the ending. I didn't feel like it addressed all the questions that were raised and the ending seemed rushed. I would still recommend this book to people because the suspense had me hooked, but I'd give fair warning that not all your questions will be answered and there is a lot of vagueness where you have to fill in the blanks.EDIT: Jess Lourey has released an epilogue. She said she wanted readers to form their own ending so she left the epilogue out of the book. Here is the link to the epilogue: http://jessicalourey.com/survey-two it contains spoilers so don't read it until you're done with the book. I thought about raising my rating, but I'm not going to.
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  • patricia tiffany
    January 1, 1970
    Okay but not greatSome things just didn't fit. And what Haiti the dad? And what had the dad done? And were there other victims? What did she mean about what if I had eaten strawberries? Some stuff just didn't make sense.
  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    My favorite book of 2019!!I had downloaded this book and read just 7% at first and I knew it was going to be a fantastic story. I picked it up and read until 7:30am and it was the best all-nighter I've ever had! This story IMO seems so urgent and important for many reasons. I had to make sure the characters in the book were going to be okay. My heart broke for all the kids that were taken by the town creeper and I couldn't wait to solve the mystery. I absolutely loved the author's writing style! My favorite book of 2019!!I had downloaded this book and read just 7% at first and I knew it was going to be a fantastic story. I picked it up and read until 7:30am and it was the best all-nighter I've ever had! This story IMO seems so urgent and important for many reasons. I had to make sure the characters in the book were going to be okay. My heart broke for all the kids that were taken by the town creeper and I couldn't wait to solve the mystery. I absolutely loved the author's writing style! I could see the surroundings and smell the air and taste the foods, ect. Some of her sentences are so beautifully written that I would reread them 3 or 4 times. I had the biggest goosebumps and cried at the ending! This is definitely my pick for best book of 2019! I will buy anything and everything she writes! I also wanted to add that my absolute favorite hero is Mighty Isis and this is the very first book that I've read that mentions the Isis from the old TV show! I love all the details that made me remember the good old days of being a kid.
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  • Ruthy lavin
    January 1, 1970
    Being an 80’s kid, I always love it when I read a book set in that era which is so wonderfully visionary that it takes me right back to being 10 again - it happened when I read ‘stand by me’ and ‘It’ and again when I watched the wonderful Netflix series ‘stranger things’.This book gave me those same feelings and more.It is wonderful.A sad story based loosely on true events, the narrative is stunning. I felt like I was by Cassie’s side throughout the whole story.I would have awarded it 5 stars bu Being an 80’s kid, I always love it when I read a book set in that era which is so wonderfully visionary that it takes me right back to being 10 again - it happened when I read ‘stand by me’ and ‘It’ and again when I watched the wonderful Netflix series ‘stranger things’.This book gave me those same feelings and more.It is wonderful.A sad story based loosely on true events, the narrative is stunning. I felt like I was by Cassie’s side throughout the whole story.I would have awarded it 5 stars but I felt the ending was unnecessarily rushed and could have been better.This was one of those books that I didn’t want to end, and like Stand by me, it’s worthy of being adapted for film. It’s already back on the pile to be read again.A truly fantastic read.
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  • Crime by the Book
    January 1, 1970
    4.5/5 stars for this dread-inducing, dark coming-of-age story! WOW, this book. This is one of those books that I'm sure will provoke strong opinions on both sides of the fence, but I personally loved it. This is a truly disturbing story that explores challenging themes; readers who do NOT want to read anything involving child abuse will be best avoiding this book. Unspeakable Things follows a young girl on the brink of becoming a teenager, navigating dangers within her town and within her ho 4.5/5 stars for this dread-inducing, dark coming-of-age story! WOW, this book. This is one of those books that I'm sure will provoke strong opinions on both sides of the fence, but I personally loved it. This is a truly disturbing story that explores challenging themes; readers who do NOT want to read anything involving child abuse will be best avoiding this book. Unspeakable Things follows a young girl on the brink of becoming a teenager, navigating dangers within her town and within her home. It's a sinister blend of psychological suspense, coming-of-age story, and rural noir, and I loved it. Catch my full thoughts on the CBTB blog! http://crimebythebook.com/blog/2020/1...
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  • Shelby Dawson
    January 1, 1970
    Yet another Kindle First book with a ton of five star ratings that leave me feeling very confused.This wasn't terrible but between the writing style and the way a lot of things didn't add up to the (much too fast imo) conclusion I just don't see how this is anything more than sub par.(view spoiler)[There were so many things in here that felt like they were either never resolved or were thrown into the story for no reason. I don't know where the abuse to Sephie came in when Donny never made it up Yet another Kindle First book with a ton of five star ratings that leave me feeling very confused.This wasn't terrible but between the writing style and the way a lot of things didn't add up to the (much too fast imo) conclusion I just don't see how this is anything more than sub par.(view spoiler)[There were so many things in here that felt like they were either never resolved or were thrown into the story for no reason. I don't know where the abuse to Sephie came in when Donny never made it up the stairs. I'm confused about where Goblin's dog went? Why even mention that "story line" when we never find out if it was from Goblin himself, the Sherif, or Cassie's dad? I don't see the point of that whatsoever. I also found this to be one of those books where it is extremely obvious an adult is writing the dialogue for the child character. There were a few lines I'd read and feel like I was reading about someone much older than twelve.I feel like the ending would have been much more satisfying if we had even a slight glance at the way things turned out for Cassie and her family. It took literally until the last five chapters for me to be invested in them in any capacity so to have such a unsatisfying ending left me feeling like this read was kind of a waste of my time tbh. (hide spoiler)]
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  • Theresa
    January 1, 1970
    This book was really difficult to read. The characters in it deal with so many horrible things no child should even know exist in my opinion. Despite this, I thought it was incredibly well written and harrowing.This isn't a particularly graphic or gruesome story. The author mercifully spares us most of the details of the child abuse and sexual abuse the characters experience, but in doing so manages to create an atmosphere of such foreboding and quiet menace that I struggled to continue reading This book was really difficult to read. The characters in it deal with so many horrible things no child should even know exist in my opinion. Despite this, I thought it was incredibly well written and harrowing.This isn't a particularly graphic or gruesome story. The author mercifully spares us most of the details of the child abuse and sexual abuse the characters experience, but in doing so manages to create an atmosphere of such foreboding and quiet menace that I struggled to continue reading at times. This was absolutely haunting and left me feeling entirely drained. I have to go watch a comedy now or something.The only thing I really didn't like was the ending - you're left kind of high and dry without any conclusive ending. But the epilogue is accessible on the author's website, so at least there is some closure to be had for those of us who really need it.
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  • PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
    January 1, 1970
    Summer of 1983, boys in Cassie’s small town are being molested by a stranger in a mask. The almost thirteen year old has a number of suspects, her gay music teacher, the scary man kids call Goblin, the creepy police chief, even her own father.UNSPEAKABLE THINGS drew me in with Cassie’s wise, yet innocent voice. Jess Lourey skillfully showed the difference between what the tween understood and what certain characters in her life were actually doing. Because of Cassie’s naïveté, Lourey skirts arou Summer of 1983, boys in Cassie’s small town are being molested by a stranger in a mask. The almost thirteen year old has a number of suspects, her gay music teacher, the scary man kids call Goblin, the creepy police chief, even her own father.UNSPEAKABLE THINGS drew me in with Cassie’s wise, yet innocent voice. Jess Lourey skillfully showed the difference between what the tween understood and what certain characters in her life were actually doing. Because of Cassie’s naïveté, Lourey skirts around some of the bigger issues going in in her home like incest and sex parties.Lourey doesn’t shy away from the prejudices against gay men and a more conservative, judgmental small town mentality that I remember well from living in a small town in 1983 when I was nineteen. I assume she chose to set the show during the years of her own childhood, when similar kidnappings occurred. I remembered all the cultural references Lourey threw in the mix to remind readers of the era. The plot of UNSPEAKABLE THINGS is dreary. As good as the story starts out is as bleak as it becomes, and not because the story is dark. Cassie’s father, drunk and inappropriately sexual, controlling and erratic was much more awful than she realized (not a spoiler, readers will pick this up from the beginning). Her mom didn’t have her back, suffering under her own learned helplessness. UNSPEAKABLE THINGS uneven pace seemed to have a lot of scene fillers than didn’t advance plot or characters. I didn’t feel any tension in the story although I didn’t guess the perp, though he was among the handful of people I suspected at one point during the story.The ending of UNSPEAKABLE THINGS made me glad the book wasn’t longer. I didn’t feel much else.
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  • Alison Marie (Thrillerlovingirl)
    January 1, 1970
    If you’re picking up this book because you believe it to be some fast paced mystery thriller, you’ll be highly disappointed. To me, it read more as a little bit of mystery, and a lot more of a fiction type book, if anything. The pros:-I loved the writing. -The “parties” that Cassie’s parents had were the most disturbing yet entertaining parts of the book. (I’m not sure what that says about me) -I connected with Cassie in a lot of ways when reading this book. Character connection is a major plus If you’re picking up this book because you believe it to be some fast paced mystery thriller, you’ll be highly disappointed. To me, it read more as a little bit of mystery, and a lot more of a fiction type book, if anything. The pros:-I loved the writing. -The “parties” that Cassie’s parents had were the most disturbing yet entertaining parts of the book. (I’m not sure what that says about me) -I connected with Cassie in a lot of ways when reading this book. Character connection is a major plus for me.The cons:-I expected more thrill. There were a few times that I did catch myself holding my breath, but it was short lived.I liked this book. A lot. If I were to judge it by the fact that it’s categorized as a mystery thriller then I wouldn’t have liked it as much. I do recommend this book, but I don’t exactly know who to. If you do decide to pick this one up, drop your thriller expectations and try to go in as blindly as possible.
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  • Virginie
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 rounded up!Review to come
  • Indieflower
    January 1, 1970
    There was lots to like in this book, I loved the voice of Cassie, 12 years old and just wanting to fit in. I loved how her innocence and naivety helped her cope with a sexually inappropriate, creepy alcoholic father and a mother too busy with her own unhappiness to care. I enjoyed her stoicism and her relationship with her sister Sephie and I loved that the story was set in the 80s. However, even though I enjoyed it, there was something missing, the story was a bit random at times, things weren' There was lots to like in this book, I loved the voice of Cassie, 12 years old and just wanting to fit in. I loved how her innocence and naivety helped her cope with a sexually inappropriate, creepy alcoholic father and a mother too busy with her own unhappiness to care. I enjoyed her stoicism and her relationship with her sister Sephie and I loved that the story was set in the 80s. However, even though I enjoyed it, there was something missing, the story was a bit random at times, things weren't explained and didn't always make sense. This may have been due to Cassie's innocence, some of the less than savoury occurrences just went over her head, but it was frustrating at times. Also the story wrapped up really quickly and felt unsatisfying, weirdly though, there is an epilogue on the author's website that didn't make it into the book 🤷‍♀️. 3.5 stars rounded up and I'd read more by Jess Lourey.
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  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    After giving this novel a four star rating, I found myself questioning whether I actually wanted to give it four stars. It was hard to put down, and it was better than most Kindle first reads, but I think I'll go to three stars for the reasons below.Spoilers below:There were a few things here that left me perplexed or annoyed. When and where was the dad molesting Sephie? Isn't her bedroom down the hall from Cassie's, so wouldn't she hear everything, especially when she's up all night waiting for After giving this novel a four star rating, I found myself questioning whether I actually wanted to give it four stars. It was hard to put down, and it was better than most Kindle first reads, but I think I'll go to three stars for the reasons below.Spoilers below:There were a few things here that left me perplexed or annoyed. When and where was the dad molesting Sephie? Isn't her bedroom down the hall from Cassie's, so wouldn't she hear everything, especially when she's up all night waiting for her father to get her? What was up with the part about the strawberries? It seemed to imply that Sephie suffered more because she alone ate them, but that really doesn't make any sense since she doesn't figure out anything about the man attacking the boys, and since it didn't lead to anything new happening to her (the dad had already been molesting her for months). How old are these characters? At one point Cassie says Frank is 11, only one year younger than herself. Then when they're in the fight with the boys by the river he's only 10. She also says she moved to the country when she was 5 and has only one memory of their old home, but soon after says she began walking when they were in the farmhouse. I don't know if these were all just loose ends that the author forgot about or what, but I tend to remember little details that don't fit, and they drive me crazy! The overtone of the whole story was creepy and gross, with almost all of the male characters being complete degenerates in some way, and all of the females being unlikable for the way they condone, protect, and go along with the mens' horrifying behaviors.Overall, Unspeakable Things was hard to put down because I just wanted to know what happened to Gabriel, and to find out if Cassie and Sephie ever escape their monster of a father. I enjoyed the writing for the most part, but the above issues and maybe a few others I'm forgetting made this a mixed bag for me. Thanks to the reader that posted a link to the epilogue!
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  • Bam cooks the books ;-)
    January 1, 1970
    *3.5 stars rounded up. Inspired by the disappearance of young boys in a small Minnesotan town in the 1980s, this thriller is decidedly dark and creepy. The story's protagonist is 12-year-old Cassandra McDowell. Having the story told from her perspective often leaves the reader frustrated because the girl can't quite decipher what is happening in the mysterious world of adults. Cass is the youngest of two daughters in a very dysfunctional family. She and her sister have always been told that what *3.5 stars rounded up. Inspired by the disappearance of young boys in a small Minnesotan town in the 1980s, this thriller is decidedly dark and creepy. The story's protagonist is 12-year-old Cassandra McDowell. Having the story told from her perspective often leaves the reader frustrated because the girl can't quite decipher what is happening in the mysterious world of adults. Cass is the youngest of two daughters in a very dysfunctional family. She and her sister have always been told that what goes on at home must remain secret. Tell no one. Although it seems most of the community knows what goes on at the McDowell's summer parties. Our first clue that's there's something really bad here is that Cass spends every night hiding in her closet or under her bed.But she is a bright girl and determined to figure out who is molesting young boys in town. Is it the gay music teacher, the creepy neighbor, the sheriff? Or could it be her own dad? Why won't he let them go into the basement? The tension builds and builds to a dramatic conclusion that I quite appreciated. While I'd classify this as a 'coming of age' story, it is definitely for adults, not ya, due to its subject matter.I received an arc of this thriller from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinions. Many thanks.
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  • Elle's Book Blog
    January 1, 1970
    Release Date: January 1, 2020 Actual Rating: 3 stars Small Town | Crime | Thriller Unspeakable Things has a good concept, but I didn't care for the way the book was executed. The author left too many unanswered questions about a LOT of things that were going on in the book and I fear that some readers may become confused because of it. On the other hand, I think the author did this to show just how naïve the main character Cassie was. There were some MAJOR issues taking place in the story and Release Date: January 1, 2020 Actual Rating: 3 stars Small Town | Crime | Thriller Unspeakable Things has a good concept, but I didn't care for the way the book was executed. The author left too many unanswered questions about a LOT of things that were going on in the book and I fear that some readers may become confused because of it. On the other hand, I think the author did this to show just how naïve the main character Cassie was. There were some MAJOR issues taking place in the story and we were able to get a firsthand account of it through her eyes. A lot of reads may really like this as it’s unique, but it didn’t work for me. I wanted to be SHOWN and directly TOLD what was happening rather than trying to piece it all together. Another thing that didn’t really work for me is the books actual description. I went into this book thinking it would be all about the kidnappings that took place and the aftermath of it all yet, it wasn’t. It felt like more of a filler for the story and was fleetingly discussed. Sure, the story has the kidnappings in it but the book was way more about Cassie, her family, and their dirty little secrets rather than the abductions. I really wish the author incorporated it more in the story.Other than this, Jess Lourey does a good job with prose and pacing. I felt like I was a part of this small town and I felt shame from the secrets being kept. She sure knows how to immerse her readers into her world and for this reason I gave the book 3 stars rather than 2 like I was thinking.
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  • Monika Sadowski
    January 1, 1970
    Very disturbing book. It’s hard to imagine that it was real story.
  • Armand Rosamilia
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. Just wow. This book is such a heartbreak, emotional rollercoaster. It will make you cry, get angry and really feel for the main character. I had to put it down at times because it was so intense, and recommend this to anyone who wants to read a tragic coming-of-age tale with so many twists and turns it will make your head spin.
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