The Dead Girls Club
A supernatural thriller in the vein of A Head Full of Ghosts about two young girls, a scary story that becomes far too real, and the tragic--and terrifying--consequences that follow one of them into adulthood.Red Lady, Red Lady, show us your face...In 1991, Heather Cole and her friends were members of the Dead Girls Club. Obsessed with the macabre, the girls exchanged stories about serial killers and imaginary monsters, like the Red Lady, the spirit of a vengeful witch killed centuries before. Heather knew the stories were just that, until her best friend Becca began insisting the Red Lady was real--and she could prove it.That belief got Becca killed.It's been nearly thirty years, but Heather has never told anyone what really happened that night--that Becca was right and the Red Lady was real. She's done her best to put that fateful summer, Becca, and the Red Lady, behind her. Until a familiar necklace arrives in the mail, a necklace Heather hasn't seen since the night Becca died. The night Heather killed her.Now, someone else knows what she did...and they're determined to make Heather pay.

The Dead Girls Club Details

TitleThe Dead Girls Club
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseDec 10th, 2019
PublisherCrooked Lane Books
ISBN-139781643851631
Rating
GenreHorror, Thriller, Fiction, Mystery

The Dead Girls Club Review

  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 rounded up 3 mysterious, witch-y, reddish, mouth full of dirt-ish, supernatural, bloody but still not quite satisfying stars! As soon as I read the blurb, I thought `Oh yes this is it! Rituals for conjuring a witch, little girls’ secret murder club, a story moving back and forth between four girls who are a little obsessed about spooky things from serial killers, murderers , horror stories and Heather’s grown up version who became a psychiatrist helps the troubled children. But at the 2.5 rounded up 3 mysterious, witch-y, reddish, mouth full of dirt-ish, supernatural, bloody but still not quite satisfying stars! As soon as I read the blurb, I thought `Oh yes this is it! Rituals for conjuring a witch, little girls’ secret murder club, a story moving back and forth between four girls who are a little obsessed about spooky things from serial killers, murderers , horror stories and Heather’s grown up version who became a psychiatrist helps the troubled children. But at the beginning of the book , we may realize Heather needs more help for her well-being because she has killed her childhood friend Becca, got away with murder. But now her secret is about to reveal because somebody KNOWS what she did!!!What I liked about this book is the little girls’ relationship dynamic. Rebecca is a quite demanding leader with her amazing imagination about telling horror stories ( If she didn’t die- or did she? We don’t know till the end of the book- she might compete with Stephen King and Joe Hill with her quite riveting storytelling). Her story is so heart wrenching, her obsession about Red Lady, her relationship with her abusive mother, her confusing mind who did not know how to differentiate the real or delusion.I wish this story wasn’t about only Heather. Because her future-self really irritated me. She is mostly acting like paranoid, hysterical with her weird giggles, making herself bleed, hitting her punches on steering wheel, suspicious moods about her husband and best friend. It’s hard to empathize her ! At some parts, I thought maybe she deserved what was happening to her. Maybe three little girls might have involved in Becca’s story and later, when somebody found out and threaten them about what they have done could be a better storyline. Because it’s obvious, the author is inspired of Stephen King’s story. And most of his early King stories, children suffer from traumatic experiences with supernatural things and then we see their future selves how could they fight against their childhood nightmares ( Like “It”, “Body”)I love the pace of the story. I wanted to know who was chasing Heather! Is Becca still alive or is somebody acting like her? Is Red Woman real? So I kept turning pages to fill my void about learning the truth. Well, did ending and all the revelations satisfy me? Not, too much! There are still so many unanswered questions and I think author decided to leave like this! Let us question what if the urban legends are true, what if our worst nightmares are real !Writing is good, pacing and mystery is gripping, I couldn’t put it down! But the characters , their actions, way of talking , their development are the weakest parts they made me the cut the points and also I was expecting different ending maybe more surprise and twist. That’s what I felt! Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for advance access to this book in exchange for my honest review!
    more
  • Felicia
    January 1, 1970
    This is basically Goosebumps for grownups.First and foremost, the description for this book gives away entirely too much of the plot. The only thing not covered in the summary is the ending. Alright *clears throat* here it goes...This was an exhausting read for me and I attribute this to the writing style. The story is told in the popular Then/Now alternating chapter format, of which I'm a HUGE fan. The worst way this can go wrong is if one of those narratives is unbearable and in this case, This is basically Goosebumps for grownups.First and foremost, the description for this book gives away entirely too much of the plot. The only thing not covered in the summary is the ending. Alright *clears throat* here it goes...This was an exhausting read for me and I attribute this to the writing style. The story is told in the popular Then/Now alternating chapter format, of which I'm a HUGE fan. The worst way this can go wrong is if one of those narratives is unbearable and in this case, it's the Now chapters, told via the adult version of the main character, Heather. The MC is OVER-THE-TOP-UNBELIEVABLE in her actions and reactions. I couldn't skim through these chapters fast enough. As for the Then chapters narrated by tween Heather, there is entirely TOO MUCH DIALOGUE. If I wanted to endure tween girls bickering incessantly I'd go hang out in a middle school cafeteria. There's little to no character development of the four girls featured in this story. We're just kinda dropped into their lives and expected to connect with them.The gratuitous pop culture references are annoying. It's the 90's, we get it.The plotline led me to believe this would be a dark, creepy and foreboding read. Unfortunately that promise didn't pan out. ** I was provided an ARC by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. **
    more
  • marilyn
    January 1, 1970
    The story is told from the viewpoint of Heather, a child psychologist, who is the last person I would ever want to be treating my child or any child. Heather has a secret that she has repressed for thirty years and when she receives half of a friendship necklace in the mail, she knows her past has caught up to her. When she was twelve, she performed a ritual with her best friend, Becca, which left Becca dead and Heather not remembering how she got rid of the body. Becca's mom went to prison for The story is told from the viewpoint of Heather, a child psychologist, who is the last person I would ever want to be treating my child or any child. Heather has a secret that she has repressed for thirty years and when she receives half of a friendship necklace in the mail, she knows her past has caught up to her. When she was twelve, she performed a ritual with her best friend, Becca, which left Becca dead and Heather not remembering how she got rid of the body. Becca's mom went to prison for the murder and until now, Heather thought no one knew her role in Becca's death. With the appearance of Becca's half of the necklace she knows someone is telling her they know what she did. Heather's fragile world and psyche come crashing down as Heather tries to figure out who is targeting her and her past. This isn't really a horror story unless you are an impressionable twelve year old with an very active imagination. In the THEN portions of the book, Becca, Heather, and two other girls like to tell each other very scary stories and Becca claims the stories she tells about the Red Lady are true. The other two girls believe Becca's claims but Heather is sure that Becca is making up the stories about the Red Lady. Eventually Becca goads Heather into proving that she believes the Red Lady is real, with disastrous consequences. The NOW portions of the book consist of a hysterically paranoid Heather neglecting her patients. She doesn't even take notes during sessions because she totally zones out the children she is treating, IF she even shows up for appointments. Heather also proceeds to destroy friendships and her marriage as she won't tell anyone why she is going totally off the rails. Everybody is a potential enemy to her and it feels to me that Heather must have been stuck at her twelve year old emotional level even now as a forty year old woman. The author does a great job of portraying a desperate woman who is out of her mind frantic but Heather is such an unlikeable character that it's hard to have any sympathy for her plight. Instead I was feeling sorry for all the people in her current life. I did want to get to the end of the book to find out who did what and when and why but if I'd had my way, Heather would be on some really strong chill pills while I read the story. Thank you to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for this ARC.
    more
  • Debra
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 starsSomeone, please tell me how this is a supernatural thriller? So four 12-year-old girls form a Dead Girl's club and one tells a scary story about the "Red Lady" who is a witch in her story. Umm, that's a story. Did I miss anything supernatural happening besides story-telling?That's my first beef with this book. My second beef is that I had a hard time connecting with or feeling for any of the characters in this book except for Ryan, the husband of Heather, a child psychologist. I mainly 2.5 starsSomeone, please tell me how this is a supernatural thriller? So four 12-year-old girls form a Dead Girl's club and one tells a scary story about the "Red Lady" who is a witch in her story. Umm, that's a story. Did I miss anything supernatural happening besides story-telling?That's my first beef with this book. My second beef is that I had a hard time connecting with or feeling for any of the characters in this book except for Ryan, the husband of Heather, a child psychologist. I mainly felt sorry for him. Heather has received a necklace in the mail. It is the other half of a necklace she had when she was twelve years old. The other half belonged to her best friend, Becca (Rebecca) who was murdered.This book is told in Then and Now chapters and I have to say I only enjoyed the Then chapters. I enjoyed the Red Lady story and how Becca spooked her friends when she told the story to them. That was the best part of the book for me. I found that storytelling to be brilliant and engaging.Otherwise, in the Now sections, Heather was mainly falling apart and becoming more paranoid. IS Becca still alive? Who mailed her the locket/necklace? Why is someone doing this to her? Plus, why isn't she telling her husband anything? Because she has a secret, a terrible dark secret...but still....As Heather begins to grow more desperate, those in her life begin to take notice, but can anyone save her from her past?This one wasn't for me. But check out the other review. There are others who are really enjoying this book. I can't fault the writing, this just wasn't the book for me. Although this book did not work for me, I would be willing to read more of this Author's books in the future.Thank you to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.
    more
  • Will Byrnes
    January 1, 1970
    Is there any crueler lie we tell kids? Regardless of what happens, of how deep the scars might run, we say they’ll be okay and they believe it. They trust us. But what else are we supposed to say? Hey, kid, childhood is a bitch and she leaves marks? I may have done a monstrous thing, but I’m not a monster, I’m not. I believed that once. I wish I could believe it now. Dr. Heather Cole has a pretty nice life, a thriving practice, offering psychological therapy to kids under 18, a beautiful Is there any crueler lie we tell kids? Regardless of what happens, of how deep the scars might run, we say they’ll be okay and they believe it. They trust us. But what else are we supposed to say? Hey, kid, childhood is a bitch and she leaves marks? I may have done a monstrous thing, but I’m not a monster, I’m not. I believed that once. I wish I could believe it now. Dr. Heather Cole has a pretty nice life, a thriving practice, offering psychological therapy to kids under 18, a beautiful river-front home, and a studly carpenter of a husband who runs his own business. But one day she receives an envelope with one half of a matched pair of necklaces, the half that had belonged to her friend Becca, her bff back when they were twelve, the bff whose disappearance had never been solved, the bff she had killed. Uh oh.Damien Angelica Walters - image from her site – credit Justin AshlyeRebecca Lillian Thomas, Becca, had nearly-white hair and blue eyes. Nicknamed Ghost Girl by her peers, she had a home life that was less than stellar, featuring a mom who had issues with alcohol and self-control. Becca had the bruises to show for it. She had an invisible friend and a particular fixation on someone, or something, called The Red Lady. She was into true crime stories, serial killer stuff. Her bff was Heather, a fan of horror and science fiction. Becca’s mother worked in real estate, which allowed Becca surreptitious access to an empty for-sale house nearby. This is where Becca chilled her friends, Heather and two more of the Dead Girls Club, with tales of THE RED LADY, a local legend involving someone who was done dirt by torch-and-pitchfork sorts and vowed vengeance. Becca seemed pretty convinced that she was real, and that she spoke to her. Soooo, was Becca in need of anti-psychotic meds or was there any reality to her tales? And how gullible were her pals? Girls of that tender age are in a nether world between believing in fairy tales and knowing how to tell the difference between the real and the imaginary. Maybe they have a foot in both realms. Lean a bit this way, or turn back the other and you are in or out, with considerable consequences. What if they saw, heard, and felt things that suggested something supernatural? Can those things be explained materially? We know early on that this involvement ends badly. How did that come to be? Who was responsible?The Dead Girls Club flips back and forth between today and the time of the killing, about 25-30 years give or take. Becca’s mother, Lauren, was convicted of killing her, although that seems a bit suspect, given that Becca’s body was never found. Nevertheless, Lauren has recently been released from prison, and seems the likeliest source of the items that keep turning up to remind Heather of her dark secret. Heather turns PI, and does all she can to track down Lauren and to see if any of the surviving DGC members might be up to no good. Her memories keep seeping into her consciousness as she goes about her gumshoe labors. Her travails include her dealings with her husband, Ryan. He has a client who seems never to pay his bills, and Heather keeps interrupting phone calls he is on that cause him to hang up a bit too quickly. What’s up with that? They have a cute couples’ game that they play with each other, offering a cryptic one line summary of a movie, for the other to figure out. That offers a chance to toss in some nice filmic references. I wish there had been more of that. There are some nice elements in the book that merit mention. Memory is given consideration. …when you recall the event, you aren’t remembering the event itself, only the last recollection. A memory of a memory. And if the mind wants something to be real, it can rearrange facts and circumstances to suit. Sometimes we make up stories to explain things to ourselves; sometimes we do it to hide the truth. This is actually pretty much the case. I have memories of concrete events in my past that I know to be completely false. Makes me wonder if memories have telomeres, like cells do. In cells, every regeneration takes off another telomere, until there are no more, at which point, the cell is no longer able to regenerate itself, definitely not a good thing, buh-bye cell, at least well-functioning cell. It may be that memories have a fixed number of repeats before they degrade, as well. This introduces the question of how truly Heather is recalling her experience as a twelve-year-old. There is also a question raised of how far would you go to hang on to a treasured friendship. These invest the novel with some real-world moral, and scientific concerns. Heather is also confronted with the cost of living a lie, which adds to the real-world perspective.In reading a damaged woman-in-distress tale of this sort, it is important to feel a connection, to feel sympathy, maybe empathy. There is enough in here to like about Heather, particularly her choice of profession. But I did not feel for her the sort of interest that would raise the novel above the pack. Becca is presented only in the past tense, in a book divided between then and now, so she gets a lot fewer pages, but she is by far the most interesting character in the book, a very powerful presence. The portrayal of the relationship between Becca and Heather was a particularly strong element. The secondary characters remain just that. Heather’s husband, Ryan, seemed a plot device and was not much developed as a character. Nor were the other DGC members, or sundry supporting players. Of course, in a horror book, the main thing is whether it provides chills. For me, there were definitely some. While there is no question that there is creepiness aplenty here, both in the events of 1991 and in what Heather goes through as an adult, these didn’t cost me any shuteye. But take that with a shaker of sale. Few books do. There is ambiguity throughout as to whether there was actual paranormal activity going on back in 1991. How much of what happened can be explained? Are there occurrences that cannot?One thing about this book is that it is entirely about the females. Heather’s husband, Ryan, is a secondary character, uninvolved in, maybe even hostile to, her challenges as an adult. There are no males of note in the story of 1991, other than as back-story baddies. No white knights riding to the rescue to fret about. Heather is tough enough to take on her personal horrors on her own. While I would not put this in the top tier of horror writing, I did enjoy reading The Dead Girls Club, looked forward to finding out what was going on and just what the hell had actually happened when Heather and Becca were kids. While it may not keep you up at night, this book certainly offers several hours of escapist entertainment, and if it creeps you out more than it did me, then so much the better. “The lady. She looks hungry, like maybe she’s not a lady at all but a monster wearing a lady face. That’s how they trick you., monsters. They put normal faces on so you think they’re real, but they’re not. And when you get too close to run away, they show you their real ones,” she says, eyes serious and far too knowing. Review posted – November 8, 2019Publication date – December 10, 2019I received an ARE from Crooked Lane. And I didn’t have to kill anyone to get it. (Well, I suppose if I had, I would probably not exactly fess up about it here, so, maybe I did and maybe I didn’t.) Thanks, folks. =============================EXTRA STUFFLinks to the Walters’ personal, Twitter, Instagram and FB pagesShe is the author of the 2018 novel Cry Your Way Home, and two short story collections, Sing Me Your Scars (2015) and Paper Tigers (2016). Her work has been included in The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror and The Year’s Best Weird Fiction, and many anthologies and magazines. Interviews-----Night Worms - The Dead Girls Club: On Inspiration and What's Hiding in the Dark with Author Damien Angelica Walters - by Ashley Sawyers-----Ginger Nuts of Horror - DAMIEN ANGELICA WALTERS INVITES YOU TO THE DEAD GIRLS CLUBItem of Interest-----ABC News - Investigators in 'Slender Man' case discuss chilling interviews with 12-year-old attempted murderers - by Allie Yang and Sean Dooley
    more
  • James
    January 1, 1970
    The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters will be published on December 10th, 2019 by Crooked Lane Books. It is a psychological thriller with a hint of fantasy thrown in to keep you on the edge of your seat. The story alternates from 1991 to present day, focusing on the friendship between two teenage girls, Heather and Becca. The tale reveals bit by bit, challenging readers to decide for themselves what information is missing and what could be happening. It's not possible that the Red Lady The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters will be published on December 10th, 2019 by Crooked Lane Books. It is a psychological thriller with a hint of fantasy thrown in to keep you on the edge of your seat. The story alternates from 1991 to present day, focusing on the friendship between two teenage girls, Heather and Becca. The tale reveals bit by bit, challenging readers to decide for themselves what information is missing and what could be happening. It's not possible that the Red Lady has come back to life after centuries to get revenge, is it?Heather and Becca form a storytelling club, as the title suggests. They meet at an unoccupied house currently on the market with two other friends. All four girls love being scared, but one story seems all too real. Becca shares the history of the Red Lady, a woman scorned and out for vengeance. Dirt in victims mouth. Buried alive. Multiple random deaths. Did it really happen? In a teenager's mind, anything is possible... but this time, Becca has convinced them the woman is still alive today. The dilemma is set quite early on, yet the pertinent details seep out through the subsequent chapters. We don't know everything, and when we begin to see Heather break down in the current time period, we know something bad happened years ago.The characters are smart and witty. I liked the relationships in the book, even when they were strained or awkward. Heather's mother wants her to forget the past. Heather's husband has no clue what's going on in his wife's life, but he is generally a doting and loving partner. She's just good at hiding things from him because she thinks what's happening around her isn't really happening. Yet... she's a child psychologist and should know better. The dynamics between the past and the present are well-presented, allowing us to continue to guess. Someone knows something, but we can't figure out who in Heather's life is keeping secrets too. Then again, we wonder if she's making it all up, or is it another case of an unreliable narrator who is the guilty party herself? I bounced around trying to guess, and even in the end, there's enough room for readers to summon their own interpretation.On the whole, I really enjoyed the story. I found the plot captivating, and there were a bunch of red herrings and suspenseful moments where I kinda wanted to meet this Red Lady. If you haven't done anything wrong, she's not supposed to hurt you. I'd be okay to look her in the eyes without dying, right? Nonetheless, as an introduction to Walters work, this was great. It's well-written, concise but strongly descriptive, and full of lovely imagery. Minor concerns over plot points had me squinting from time to time, but only the kinds of things that you look the other way on, as it helps make the story more creepy. Heather was too relaxed at times; I would've called the cops or talked to someone else, rather than just try to solve the mystery myself. That's why people are different though... we do things our own way, so I'm sure someone else might follow Heather's path too.I recommend this one. It's got bunches of creepy moments, a few laughs, and tons of head-shaking 'yikes, what's wrong with people' scenes. Around 4.5 stars for making me a little anxious and obsessive about solving the mystery of a serial killer.
    more
  • megs_bookrack
    January 1, 1970
    The synopsis of this book sounds like it was written just for me. Pairing a comparison of Head Full of Ghosts with a creepy rhyme!?Yes, please.My ARC has arrived and I am so flipping excited to get it. Thank you, Crooked Lane Books!
  • Nenia ⚜️ Author of Filthy Trash and Unhinged Psychos ⚜️ Campbell
    January 1, 1970
    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest If I had to describe this book to you in a single sentence, I would tell you that it's like Gone Girl meets Darkness Falls. Told in past and present, THE DEAD GIRLS alternates between a group of friends in the 90s who become fascinated by one girl's stories of an evil witch ghost called the Red Lady, and one woman living in the now who is haunted by something terrible and menacing.Heather and Becca were supposed to be best friends Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest If I had to describe this book to you in a single sentence, I would tell you that it's like Gone Girl meets Darkness Falls. Told in past and present, THE DEAD GIRLS alternates between a group of friends in the 90s who become fascinated by one girl's stories of an evil witch ghost called the Red Lady, and one woman living in the now who is haunted by something terrible and menacing.Heather and Becca were supposed to be best friends forever. Then Becca started telling Red Lady stories, which are truly horrific. They're about a witch who was murdered by the town and then came back as a vengeful ghost. Becca has a lot of reasons to feel vengeful, and she ends up dragging her whole group of friends, including Heather, into her morbid fascination. Now, Heather is an adult, has a job as a psychologist, and also married. She's haunted by something that happened 30 years ago, and when someone starts stalking her and leaving her morbid clues, she naturally assumes it's someone from her childhood who wants to help her remember what she's tried so very hard to forget.This was really, really fun. I'm not going to pretend it's high literature, but I don't always go in for that. Sometimes I want to be a low brow basic B who reads trashy mysteries on the bus with titles that scare her neighbors. And yes, I see you woman who was staring at me and this book from across the aisle with obvious suspicion. Welcome to the Dead Girl's Club, population ME. No, but seriously, I literally devoured this in a single day. I actually read this on my lunch break because I wanted closure and it was scary enough that I didn't want to read it after dark. It's the perfect blend of Gillian Flynn-esque murder mystery and supernatural horror, even if the twist at the end is a little diet-meh.If you love mysteries about dysfunctional women and want to feel a little nostalgic about the 90s, this is a fantastic book. It's breezy, fun, and has a gorgeous cover. Do you need anything else in a book? Probably not, don't be a snob. Only I'm allowed to be a snob, and even I liked this book.Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!4 to 4.5 stars
    more
  • Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends
    January 1, 1970
    Paranormal fiction, Supernatural thriller, suspense thriller, women fiction all in one. That all went to hell in a handbasket for me. That's pretty ambition in my option for an author to take on and not something I think is easy to pull off and unfortunately, I didn't think it was here with this one. Separately I thought the elements were there for each genre but didn't really come together so well. The suspense to the story took the hit for that for me. I just wasn't feeling it. There is some Paranormal fiction, Supernatural thriller, suspense thriller, women fiction all in one. That all went to hell in a handbasket for me. That's pretty ambition in my option for an author to take on and not something I think is easy to pull off and unfortunately, I didn't think it was here with this one. Separately I thought the elements were there for each genre but didn't really come together so well. The suspense to the story took the hit for that for me. I just wasn't feeling it. There is some teenage drama and the main character can be annoying with their drama. The story starts off with some really great supernatural elements to the story and I was loving the red lady. She became an interesting character at first however near the end, I thought things switched to more of a thriller. I enjoyed the twists and even picked up on a few clues. I liked the final reveal but in a whole, it didn't come together for me. Even though My Grammarly is giving me a disapproving emoji on my tone for this review I don't want to sway anyone not to read a book because that's just not cool. So even though this one didn't work for me, I still suggest giving it a try if you are looking for more of a thriller with some creepy elements and don't mind some drama to your story.I received a copy from the publisher.
    more
  • Erin Clemence
    January 1, 1970
    Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review. As young girls on the brink of adolescence, Heather and her friends bond over their mutual obsession with serial killers and the urban legend known as “The Red Lady”. The four girls, who now call themselves “The Dead Girls Club”, share stories and try and summon “The Red Lady”, a vengeful spirit who was, supposedly, brutally murdered centuries before. Heather knows Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review. As young girls on the brink of adolescence, Heather and her friends bond over their mutual obsession with serial killers and the urban legend known as “The Red Lady”. The four girls, who now call themselves “The Dead Girls Club”, share stories and try and summon “The Red Lady”, a vengeful spirit who was, supposedly, brutally murdered centuries before. Heather knows that these are just stories, but her best friend Becca soon becomes obsessed, convinced the stories are real and that The Red Lady has made contact with her. Becca sets out to prove that the Red Lady is real- and ends up dead. Years later, Heather is a child psychologist, helping troubled children overcome their demons. When she starts to receive cryptic messages in the mail she initially brushes it off. But when the messages become more macabre, and she starts being followed, Heather begins to wonder if somehow, somewhere, there is someone who knows Heather’s secret- that Becca is dead because of her. Damien Angelica Walters has several award-winning short stories under her belt, stories acclaimed for being “weird” and “gothic”. “The Dead Girls Club” is set to be released in December 2019. “The Dead Girls Club” is formed as a result of four close friends who share an obsession and meet to perform séances and tell stories. As a pre-adolescent girl, I was always forming “clubs” and “secret groups” with my friends, desperate to have something we could share with just us, away from the outside world (too bad I didn’t have friends obsessed with serial killers. I would’ve been ALL OVER a “Dead Girls Club” of my own). That part of the novel is relatable and charming, as the friendships are challenged by angst-ridden problems and hormones, typical of any female group of outsiders. The story alternates between THEN and NOW, each chapter narrated by Heather as a young girl and as an adult. The secrets of the novel are slowly revealed, with just enough suspense in each chapter to keep you hooked. When the ending is revealed, and the truth comes out, I was slightly disappointed. The twist has been done before, in movies and books both, and it was almost unbelievable and far-fetched. That being said, there was a definitive ending which provided answers to questions that form throughout the novel. I questioned the behaviours and actions of “Adult Heather” a few times, as she seemed to sabotage her adult life and relationships more than she needed to, all to hide a childhood secret. “The Dead Girls Club” is definitely unique and creative, with relatable characters. Walters definitely has a thing for the macabre (which I appreciate, of course) and this novel is well written, compete with a spooky abandoned house and a mysterious could-be-true urban legend. Definitely worth checking out for those who are looking for a nostalgic, gothic read.
    more
  • Susanne Strong
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 Stars. Four Friends. Obsessed with ghost stories and serial killers. Their favorite story to tell was that of “The Red Lady.” She might just give you the chills, but then again, she might make you feel like you’re eating dirt. If you talk about her, chances are, you won’t survive to talk about her again. Just ask Becca.Now, Heather is a Child Psychologist who treats children who have undergone severe trauma, something she knows a lot about. Her life with her husband Ryan seems quite 3.5 Stars. Four Friends. Obsessed with ghost stories and serial killers. Their favorite story to tell was that of “The Red Lady.” She might just give you the chills, but then again, she might make you feel like you’re eating dirt. If you talk about her, chances are, you won’t survive to talk about her again. Just ask Becca.Now, Heather is a Child Psychologist who treats children who have undergone severe trauma, something she knows a lot about. Her life with her husband Ryan seems quite fulfilled until she receives half of a familiar old necklace in the mail. The half belonging to Becca, her former best friend. What happened to Becca was a secret. Heather’s secret and yet someone knows and someone is out to either scare her or threaten her. Whichever it is.. Heather is definitely scared and she better be. “The Dead Girls Club” is one weird, wild, macabre tale. I survived to read it. Will you? Only time will tell! This was a scary buddy read with Kaceey! She survived too (barely!).Thank you to Crooked Lane Books and Damien Angelica Walters for the arc. Published on Goodreads on 10.27.19.
    more
  • Gabby
    January 1, 1970
    This could’ve been so good! This book has a really interesting premise which drew me in. We follow a group of young girls in the 90’s who tell the story of this creepy “Red Lady” and then in alternating chapters we follow Heather, one of the girls from the 90’s who is now an adult as her past is seemingly coming back to haunt her.This main character drove me nuts. The present day chapters were incredibly boring in my opinion and I was skimming through them to get to the chapters when they were This could’ve been so good! This book has a really interesting premise which drew me in. We follow a group of young girls in the 90’s who tell the story of this creepy “Red Lady” and then in alternating chapters we follow Heather, one of the girls from the 90’s who is now an adult as her past is seemingly coming back to haunt her.This main character drove me nuts. The present day chapters were incredibly boring in my opinion and I was skimming through them to get to the chapters when they were younger. The best part of this book for me personally is easily the Red Lady stories. I was reading this book alone in my room really late at night and a couple of the Red Lady stories really spooked me. I don’t get scared easily, but some of the visuals from those stories I thought were pretty disturbing (in a good way, that is what I wanted from this book). Unfortunately, the story doesn’t really go anywhere. It’s predictable and underwhelming. I found myself skimming the ending just to see how it ended, and it wasn’t worth it. I really would’ve liked more about the Red Lady, that was the only aspect of this book that interested me.
    more
  • Carolyn
    January 1, 1970
    I was pleased to receive an ARC for this book, and wish to thank NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for a chance to read it in return for an honest review. Unfortunately, it just didn’t appeal to me, although after seeing the synopsis I was eager to read it. I found the characters extremely unpleasant, especially Heather, who was the protagonist and narrator.The pace was slow and disjointed at first, and I thought Heather was unwinding emotionally in the present time, becoming paranoid and I was pleased to receive an ARC for this book, and wish to thank NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for a chance to read it in return for an honest review. Unfortunately, it just didn’t appeal to me, although after seeing the synopsis I was eager to read it. I found the characters extremely unpleasant, especially Heather, who was the protagonist and narrator.The pace was slow and disjointed at first, and I thought Heather was unwinding emotionally in the present time, becoming paranoid and dwelling on unfortunate events when she was aged 12. She was frantic to discover the truth of what occurred when she belonged to a group with three other girls called the Dead Girls Club. They liked to discuss serial killers, and Becca, her best friend was obsessed with telling a folk story about the Red Woman who was a witch. Becca is killed mysteriously, and the girls parted ways. Thirty years later, Heather is a psychologist, which defies belief. She has gaps in her memory about what happened when Becca died. After receiving a couple of mementos that belonged to Becca decades ago, Heather makes a lot of wrong decisions, neglects her patients and alienates her husband and friends. Her behaviour becomes frenzied. The last section of the book was too dramatic and the revelations were far too over the top for my liking. By the finale, I no longer cared what had happened to Becca, and certainly was not invested in the outcome for Heather. Due to my annoyance with Heather and other characters, I failed to feel the suspense and thrills as intended. I notice that many readers enjoyed the story, so prospective readers should read the positive reviews and not be dissuaded by my opinion. 1.5 Stars.
    more
  • Babydimps (Suzy)
    January 1, 1970
    2 stars! And the boring thrillers continue folks!Damn this was a struggle to get through. The 4 and 5 star reviews are just mind-boggling! First off, I love this stunning book cover. Between that and the blurb, I just knew I was in for a treat. Boy, I was waaaaay off!Second, the blurb: A supernatural (really??) thriller about a group of teenage girls who form The Dead Girls Club. They are obsessed with talking about serial killers and telling stories about the Red Lady - a vengeful witch killed 2 stars! ⭐️⭐️And the boring thrillers continue folks!Damn this was a struggle to get through. The 4 and 5 star reviews are just mind-boggling! First off, I love this stunning book cover. Between that and the blurb, I just knew I was in for a treat. Boy, I was waaaaay off!Second, the blurb: A supernatural (really??) thriller about a group of teenage girls who form The Dead Girls Club. They are obsessed with talking about serial killers and telling stories about the Red Lady - a vengeful witch killed centuries ago. Sounds pretty good, huh? Nope. There are no supernatural vibes happening at all in this book. The characters are super unlikeable and Heather - the main character - could not be more annoying.Finally, as much as I love the “here” and “then” format, this just didn’t work for me. The “now” chapters, which focused on Heather, got so tedious that I simply lost interest in caring what happened to her, her friends, her marriage and the end of the book. The “then” chapters grated on my last nerve. Besides the serial killer talk and the Red Lady talk (which I loved), this overly written teenage bickering and banter was just too much. Hello junior high! I had the pleasure of reading and chatting about this book with some of my Traveling Sisters. I think it’s safe to say we all pretty much felt the same about it. Thank you to NetGalley, Crooked Lane Books and Damien Angelica Walters for my advanced copy to read and review.
    more
  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for an egalley in exchange for an honest review. Heather, Rachel, Gia, and Becca are just your average American girls. They love to laugh, hangout, and talk about serial killers. But most importantly of all is that the girls love when Becca tells them about the Red Lady. A woman who will do favors but always takes what she is owed. But it's just a story, right? Alternating between the past and present, it becomes clear that Heather is haunted by Thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for an egalley in exchange for an honest review. Heather, Rachel, Gia, and Becca are just your average American girls. They love to laugh, hangout, and talk about serial killers. But most importantly of all is that the girls love when Becca tells them about the Red Lady. A woman who will do favors but always takes what she is owed. But it's just a story, right? Alternating between the past and present, it becomes clear that Heather is haunted by childhood memories and someone out there wants her to confess. This was a mesmerizing tale that consumed my attention on Sunday afternoon. A little bit Are you Afraid of the Dark? with a healthy tug of I Know What You Did Last Summer , this was a delicious read. My 2019 nominee for gorgeous cover Goodreads review published 04/11/19Publication Date 10/12/19
    more
  • Lori
    January 1, 1970
    Four childhood friends, now tweens, get together regularly in the basement of an empty old house to talk about serial killers and other stuff. Heather loves horror novels, her BFF Becca true crime. All four enjoy a good scare, even better with a side of gore.Becca named them The Dead Girls Club after a novel Heather was reading. Becca, who has an alcoholic mother who abuses her, is the most intense of the four. It is she who tells the story of The Red Lady, who Damien Angelica Walters has given Four childhood friends, now tweens, get together regularly in the basement of an empty old house to talk about serial killers and other stuff. Heather loves horror novels, her BFF Becca true crime. All four enjoy a good scare, even better with a side of gore.Becca named them The Dead Girls Club after a novel Heather was reading. Becca, who has an alcoholic mother who abuses her, is the most intense of the four. It is she who tells the story of The Red Lady, who Damien Angelica Walters has given a creative, creepy backstory. Is she real, is she an urban legend or an invention of Becca's troubled mind? Becca becomes increasingly obsessed with The Red Lady and begins conducting rituals for the four friends to summon her. And from the beginning, present-day Heather tells us that she killed Becca. Did the Red Lady make her do it?I don't usually prefer first-person present tense but here it's the best choice to tell the story. In the present someone knows what Heather did and they're tormenting her. In the chapters that take place in the past Heather unspools the story of what led to her killing her best friend, for which Becca's mother went to prison. And now Heather, who is married and a child psychologist, becomes increasingly unglued as the menace escalates and she's not sure if she's being taunted by a ghost or gaslighted.There's more mystery than horror but the atmosphere is chilling. Although the title is perfect it could have been called I Know What Heather Did That Summer. It's a quick read and very enjoyable. The Red Lady is a great new scary character and if Walter writes a series about her, I'm in. I won't say more about "The Dead Girls Club" because of spoilers, only that at young Heather's age it's a book I would have devoured and now that I'm older I had lots of fun reading it.
    more
  • Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
    January 1, 1970
    The Dead Girls Club has everything I love in a good solid mystery. From heart pounding scenes to a protagonist that isn't quite trustworthy, it truly was a wonderful story that will keep you turning the pages and wanting to know more about what happened and who the Red Lady is.Never knowing who could be trusted, what memories and scenes really happened and if things were all that they appeared to be, Dead Girls Club was an interesting story where twists and turns and darkness always liked to The Dead Girls Club has everything I love in a good solid mystery. From heart pounding scenes to a protagonist that isn't quite trustworthy, it truly was a wonderful story that will keep you turning the pages and wanting to know more about what happened and who the Red Lady is.Never knowing who could be trusted, what memories and scenes really happened and if things were all that they appeared to be, Dead Girls Club was an interesting story where twists and turns and darkness always liked to lurk around every corner and you never knew quite what to expect next. *ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
    more
  • Amy Imogene Reads
    January 1, 1970
    1.5-2 starsThis pains me - DNF. I've tried 4 separate times to get into this ARC, and I think myself and the writing style are just not meant to be friends. The premise sounds great on paper: then/now timeline, girls who messed with darker things and ended up with a dead body, the works. But if you can't push through the writing itself to absorb the story, it's hard to enjoy what may or may not be there in the story. I'm giving this 2 stars because I feel like this book might be okay for another 1.5-2 starsThis pains me - DNF. I've tried 4 separate times to get into this ARC, and I think myself and the writing style are just not meant to be friends. The premise sounds great on paper: then/now timeline, girls who messed with darker things and ended up with a dead body, the works. But if you can't push through the writing itself to absorb the story, it's hard to enjoy what may or may not be there in the story. I'm giving this 2 stars because I feel like this book might be okay for another reader. It just wasn't for me. Darn!Thank you to Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley for an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • MissBecka
    January 1, 1970
    I thought the story idea was brilliant and for the most part I enjoyed it.I kind of hated Heather. A LOT.She was rather reckless and ridiculous in both time lines of the book.Most of the things she does (or doesn't do) had me shaking my head and rolling my eyes.This did pique my interest for checking out the authors other work.Thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for my ARC.
    more
  • Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
    January 1, 1970
    I have read a fair amount of short fiction from Damien Angelica Walters and have never been disappointed. I'd also like to highlight the fact that she has been nominated twice for the Bram Stoker Award. So when I tell you that I was anticipating a full-length novel from her, just know that the anticipation was REAL! THE DEAD GIRLS CLUB could not have a more appealing set up for me. First, I love reading coming-of-age horror. BONUS: When the protagonists coming-of-age are girls! (We don't get I have read a fair amount of short fiction from Damien Angelica Walters and have never been disappointed. I'd also like to highlight the fact that she has been nominated twice for the Bram Stoker Award. So when I tell you that I was anticipating a full-length novel from her, just know that the anticipation was REAL! THE DEAD GIRLS CLUB could not have a more appealing set up for me. First, I love reading coming-of-age horror. BONUS: When the protagonists coming-of-age are girls! (We don't get enough of those)Secondly, I have an affinity for books told in the present and the past. BONUS: When each chapter goes back and forth from "Now" and "Then". I love books like that because something will happen in the present tense and end with a cliffhanger, then go back to the past and you cannot WAIT to get back to the present day story to see what happens, right? And then the past narrative will have a cliffhanger too! So before you know it, you have two stories in one and both are page-turning, unputdownable, thought-provoking thrillers that demand answers!THE DEAD GIRLS CLUB is exactly this scenario, there's no way I could choose which narrative was more compelling, both had me totally invested, so I was flying through this book.In the story from 1991, 4 friends form a Dead Girls Club where they get together to talk about true crime stories, serial killers and, well...dead girls. They also talk about parents, music, movies and their changing bodies. It felt authentic as several of the discussions hit on topics that concerned me and my friends when we were in junior high. Even though the girls all hung out in a group, our story focused on the best friend relationship between Becca and Heather.It's abundantly clear to the reader that Heather's home life is healthy and Becca comes from an unstable household where there are acts of neglect and abuse.Becca becomes fixated on telling her friends stories of The Red Lady at their Dead Girls Club. Ultimately, it's her obsession with The Red Lady that leads to a tragic and mysterious event-ending club meetings and friendships.30 years later, Heather--Becca's best friend--is suddenly haunted by the past. Even though Heather is a bit of an unreliable narrator, I could empathize with a series of bad decisions she makes in order to keep painful secret things, secret. I think everyone can relate to that kind of reasoning. One lie told to protect yourself from exposure generates more lies and more lies until suddenly, everything is spinning out of control.Heather's paranoid thinking leads her down a path that ultimately costs more than she bargained for.As this book begins unraveling at the seams to reveal the truth readers have been waiting for, I began to suspect the conclusion would be anti-climactic.While I didn't dislike the ending, I didn't love it either. I felt like the author left some pretty obvious smoking guns lying around in the story and the way they got triggered felt...unlikely in my opinion.I was hoping for something else.I recommend this book to fans of coming-of-age stories, authentic female protagonists, rich-detailed storytelling, fast-paced thrillers with horror elements and unreliable narrators with a big mystery to solve. I had a fun time with this one.
    more
  • Blair
    January 1, 1970
    (3.5) In 1991, teenage BFFs Heather and Becca started the Dead Girls Club. The two of them, plus their friends Gia and Rachel, were true crime fans, and the club was supposed to be a discussion group focused on their favourite topic: serial killers. Until Becca hijacked it with a gory folk tale about the 'Red Lady', a vengeful witch. As time went on, she grew more and more obsessed with the Red Lady, who she always insisted was real. By the end of that summer, the Club had disbanded and Becca (3.5) In 1991, teenage BFFs Heather and Becca started the Dead Girls Club. The two of them, plus their friends Gia and Rachel, were true crime fans, and the club was supposed to be a discussion group focused on their favourite topic: serial killers. Until Becca hijacked it with a gory folk tale about the 'Red Lady', a vengeful witch. As time went on, she grew more and more obsessed with the Red Lady, who she always insisted was real. By the end of that summer, the Club had disbanded and Becca had disappeared.In the present day, Heather is a child psychologist who's tried hard to move on from her memories of Becca, around which she has plenty of guilt. That's jeopardised when (in tried-and-tested psychological thriller style) someone starts sending her strange objects in the post. As she digs into her past, Heather is increasingly drawn in several strange directions – including, once again, the mystery of the Red Lady.The Dead Girls Club reads very much as a love letter to Stephen King's work, with numerous King books directly referenced within the story. I can imagine it appealing to fans of the two recent It films – take the dynamic between the younger girls, add the palpable terror of the supernatural threat, and you have a very similar story in terms of general vibe, if not in exact details. It's a consistently compelling yarn, with cliffhangers in every other chapter. I'm not sure which storyline worked best for me, but I'm leaning towards the 1991 strand simply because the characterisation has such depth. The teens are believable teens – jealous, competitive and kind of disgusting – and the last part feels particularly notable because I think it's often forgotten (or deliberately left out) in stories about teenage girls.Adult Heather's behaviour gets annoying at times; the present-day plot is so fast-paced, it's difficult not to focus on how negligent she's being at work. And some of the description, in aiming for more interesting language, becomes vaguely ludicrous. (Two instances in which Heather putting her hand to her face is expressed bizarrely: 'I fingertip a temple' and 'I knuckle a cheekbone'. Obviously they're very brief lines, but even so, they stood out to me as so ridiculous that I couldn't stop thinking about them for days. What other parts of hands and faces could you put into those sentences? I nail an eyelid? I fist a nostril?) It reminded me of The Dark Net and John Dies at the End – that pulpy genre style that somehow always results in physical actions being over-described.My overall impression of The Dead Girls Club, though, was as a purely fun and gripping book, perfect for winter nights – and especially Halloween. Walters balances the horror and thriller elements really well, ensuring there's always an unnerving haze of uncertainty around the question of whether the Red Lady is real, while maintaining the snappy pace.I received an advance review copy of The Dead Girls Club from the publisher through NetGalley.TinyLetter | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr
    more
  • Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 StarsThe best aspect of this novel was easily the relationship between the girls. Walters perfectly captured the intensity of female friendships, specifically between best friends. The narrative was very realistic and reminiscent of many of my own childhood experiences. Given these aspects of the novel, I think other female readers will most strongly connect to this story although it could certainly be enjoyed by anyone.As a piece of nostalgic story about female friendship, this book 3.5 StarsThe best aspect of this novel was easily the relationship between the girls. Walters perfectly captured the intensity of female friendships, specifically between best friends. The narrative was very realistic and reminiscent of many of my own childhood experiences. Given these aspects of the novel, I think other female readers will most strongly connect to this story although it could certainly be enjoyed by anyone.As a piece of nostalgic story about female friendship, this book reminded of me of My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendix. While not the exact same story, readers who loved that narrative will likely enjoy this one as well. While this had aspects of horror, this novel read much more like a psychological thriller. Personally, I prefer the horror genre over the thriller genre, which affected my overall enjoyment for this book. Unlike other thrillers, this one is less dependant on a giant twist ending. Instead, this was more the kind of slow burning suspense story where the reader slowly learned how the characters got to the situation revealed in the present day.This is my second time reading Walters and she is now well on her way to becoming a favourite author of mine. I have previously read the her short story collection, Cry Your Way Home, and absolutely loved it. She is a strong writer with a talent for writing strong female focused narratives like this one. I look forward to reading her future work, which will hopefully lean a bit more heavily towards the side of horror.I would recommend this one to readers who enjoy thrillers centered around friendships and female coming of age narratives. Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher, Crooked Lane Books.
    more
  • Selena
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free e-copy of The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters from NetGalley for my honest review.This was an interesting read but the writing fell flat for me. I enjoyed the beginning of the book a lot more than the last half of the book. Heather and her best friend Becca, along with two other friends are obsessed with serial killers. Becca loves to tell scary stories. One story in particular, The Red Lady, keeps getting revisited. A story of a witch who was murdered by her own I received a free e-copy of The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters from NetGalley for my honest review.This was an interesting read but the writing fell flat for me. I enjoyed the beginning of the book a lot more than the last half of the book. Heather and her best friend Becca, along with two other friends are obsessed with serial killers. Becca loves to tell scary stories. One story in particular, The Red Lady, keeps getting revisited. A story of a witch who was murdered by her own town and not even her friends did anything to help her. The story continues that the whole town ended up dying afterwards. Becca believes the story and convinces all her friends as well except Heather. But then something happens that makes her doubt herself and her friend Becca. Heather decides to help Becca prove the Red Lady is real until Becca turns up dead. Now 30 years later and strange things start to happen. Someone knows what Happened all those years ago. Is Heather's life in danger? What really happened to Becca and who knows the truth?
    more
  • Elaine
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to NetGalley for a Kindle ARC of The Dead Girls Club. ** Minor spoilers ahead ** Heather Cole has a secret. When she was a tween, she killed her BFF, Becca, as part of a ritual for an urban legend called The Red Lady.Years later, Heather is a respected child psychologist who receives something unsettling in the mail.Is Becca still alive? Does she want revenge?The narrative takes place between the past and present, and the author does a good job of recapturing what it was like to be a Thanks to NetGalley for a Kindle ARC of The Dead Girls Club. ** Minor spoilers ahead ** Heather Cole has a secret. When she was a tween, she killed her BFF, Becca, as part of a ritual for an urban legend called The Red Lady.Years later, Heather is a respected child psychologist who receives something unsettling in the mail.Is Becca still alive? Does she want revenge?The narrative takes place between the past and present, and the author does a good job of recapturing what it was like to be a tween, the angst and confusion of adolescence, the ability to switch friendships and alliances in the blink of an eye. It reminded me of my own youthful digressions.I especially liked the inclusion of The Red Lady urban myth, which the four friends are fascinated by, not unlike Slenderman that captivate today's youth and contributed to shocking violence.Readers are drawn into Becca's obsession with The Red Lady, and you don't have to be a psychologist to understand the reason for it, an escape from the horrors of living with an abusive and alcoholic parent.When Becca's obsession turns deadly, Heather is drawn into her BFF''s macabre devotion, and there will be no turning back.In the present, Heather begins to unravel when she believes Becca may still be alive. Strange things begin to occur, causing a rift in her marriage and colleagues, causing her professionalism to suffer in the workplace.Her investigation forces her to reconnect with her former friends, one friendly, the other not so much so.Heather is a decent character. I liked her though at times I found her frustrating. Some of the things she does weren't sane, but as humans, we make mistakes, more so when we are stressed and living on the brink of sanity.I figured out the twists long before the ending, but only because I read so many books of this type. This was a decent read, and I would recommend it to readers who want a little scare but not too much.
    more
  • ✨Brithanie Faith✨
    January 1, 1970
    3/5 stars e-ARC provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review!The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters is an upcoming thriller that follows Heather Cole as the secrets shes kept for nearly 30 years threaten to destroy the life she has built for herself. When Heather receives a necklace in the mail; a necklace she hasn't seen since the night she killed her best friend Becca, she comes to the conclusion that someone else knows about that night, and that someone 3/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐e-ARC provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review!The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters is an upcoming thriller that follows Heather Cole as the secrets shes kept for nearly 30 years threaten to destroy the life she has built for herself. When Heather receives a necklace in the mail; a necklace she hasn't seen since the night she killed her best friend Becca, she comes to the conclusion that someone else knows about that night, and that someone seems to be determined to make her pay. While I didn't love this one as much as I was hoping to-there was still plenty that I did enjoy! I loved the glimpses we were given of the past; especially the friendship dynamics, and the mystery of the Red Lady (which I could probably read an entire story about all on it's own). I wasn't the biggest fan of Heather as a character, and the ending unfortunately didn't do it for me! I would still be interested in reading more of this authors work in the future, and I'm looking forward to hearing everyone else's thoughts going forward!
    more
  • Dennis
    January 1, 1970
    Review to come.
  • Stephanie (That's What She Read)
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this book! There was a great atmoshere, and I loved that this was about a girl looking back on her childhood memories including the complicated relationship she had with her childhood friend who went missing. I also appreciated that Walters didn't lead us along. I really felt that she as the author delivered on what was promised in the book!
    more
  • Caroline Bertaud
    January 1, 1970
    This book had me at its beautiful cover and promising premise, and lost me before the end of chapter one because of its pace and writing style. “What do I do next? I have to do something. But what? What?” the main character, Heather, wonders. And it feels like it’s coming straight out of the author’s mind. There’s so much repetition and meaningless small talk filling the empty pages of this book it’s barely bearable—like, what should I wear, what should we do for dinner, what’s my next move? Oh This book had me at its beautiful cover and promising premise, and lost me before the end of chapter one because of its pace and writing style. “What do I do next? I have to do something. But what? What?” the main character, Heather, wonders. And it feels like it’s coming straight out of the author’s mind. There’s so much repetition and meaningless small talk filling the empty pages of this book it’s barely bearable—like, what should I wear, what should we do for dinner, what’s my next move? Oh shoot, I stepped in dog crap. Seriously??Sometimes it felt like the author was writing some outline ideas—that should have stayed just that, ideas, because they were out of character: I mean, Heather has read tons of books (horror, true crime, and such) and likely watched as many movies with her husband and now she’s like, quote, “I’ll have to go back to the field. And I’ll have to take a shovel.” It makes no sense to me. Wouldn’t she know that’s how the bad guy gets caught, by returning to the crime scene? All the time? I can't make sense of it. Nor of the ending.Given the number of great reviews, I’m sure the book will find its rightful audience, but I wasn’t in it. Thanks to NetGalley and the author for the opportunity.
    more
  • Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars.Twelve-year-old Heather and her three best friends have a fascination with serial killers and horror stories. They get together to discuss all things creepy as members of the Dead Girls Club. Heather's BFF Becca begins a series of spooky stories about the spirit of a witch known as the Red Lady who seeks revenge on her killers. What starts as nothing more than an entertaining story for thrills soon becomes much more sinister when Heather realizes that Becca actually believes the Red 3.5 stars.Twelve-year-old Heather and her three best friends have a fascination with serial killers and horror stories.  They get together to discuss all things creepy as members of the Dead Girls Club.  Heather's BFF Becca begins a series of spooky stories about the spirit of a witch known as the Red Lady who seeks revenge on her killers.  What starts as nothing more than an entertaining story for thrills soon becomes much more sinister when Heather realizes that Becca actually believes the Red Lady is real.That strong belief leads to traumatic uncertainty for Heather when Becca is killed and her mother is sentenced to thirty years in prison for her murder.Heather is now a happily married child psychologist.  She's been harboring a terrible secret since Becca's death and her anixety grows when she learns Becca's mother has been released from prison.Then a necklace arrives in the mail... a friendship necklace that Becca was wearing the night that she died.  Heather knows this because she was there.  She knows what happened---and now someone else does, too.This was a creepy read perfect for the Halloween season.  I enjoyed the alternating timeline between 1991 and the present, especially the authentic dynamic of friendship between pre-teen girls and the atmosphere of the early 90's.Present day Heather started mostly calm and collected but quickly spiraled. Readers begin to understand the evidence of trauma that is triggered only when the necklace arrives in the mail.  This book really kept me guessing, I honestly had no clue what the twist was going to be!  One part of the twist felt ridiculous while the other was a nice touch.  Overall, The Dead Girls Club is a fun read with some spooky vibes and a couple surprises!Thanks to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.  The Dead Girls Club is scheduled for release on December 10, 2019.For more reviews, visit www.rootsandreads.wordpress.com
    more
  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    The Dead Girls Club is a supernatural thriller full of nostalgia. It flashes back and forth between the present moment with Heather, as her past catches up with her, and flashbacks to moments shared with her best friends when she was 12. It brings back memories of sleep overs and sneaking out after dark, telling ghost stories in the dark, and playing games like Bloody Mary or Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board.The author nailed the character of 12 year old girls, the fights, the love between The Dead Girls Club is a supernatural thriller full of nostalgia. It flashes back and forth between the present moment with Heather, as her past catches up with her, and flashbacks to moments shared with her best friends when she was 12. It brings back memories of sleep overs and sneaking out after dark, telling ghost stories in the dark, and playing games like Bloody Mary or Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board.The author nailed the character of 12 year old girls, the fights, the love between them, the back and forth chatter. She had me remembering things I hadn’t thought of in ages. Overall I liked most of the characters and felt they were pretty fleshed out. I did grow frustrated at times with Heather’s inability to communicate with her husband and friends, as well as her increasingly erratic behavior, but it makes sense in the context.The writing style felt very heavily stream of consciousness, which isn’t always my thing and grew a little tiresome here from time to time. Otherwise the writing and dialogue were fine.The pacing never feels slow, (I’d actually describe it as quick) but the actual action doesn’t really ramp up until the very end. It’s more of a slow burn, strange things happening throughout, each becoming more brazen and mysterious. I often found it hard to put it down, no matter which storyline I was following. The spooky parts are sufficiently creepy, but it doesn’t veer too far into horror territory.The ending is not predictable (I sure didn’t guess it, I don’t think anyone else will either) but it also isn’t surprising, I don’t want to say it’s been done before, but I feel like things like it have been done before. There was no definitive OMG I can’t believe it! Moment.Overall a solid entry into the thriller genre with mass appeal. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an electronic copy for review.
    more
Write a review