Thank you to Netgalley for providing an ARC! Publishing August 7th, 2018.
TW: mental illness
I went through a requesting spree on Netgalley a few weeks back and this is one of the books I requested. The reason why I requested it is because it sounded interesting to me.
Marianne has something going on with her. Something wrong. Her parents are divorcing. Her mother checked herself into a hospital. Her father’s MIA. Her best friend has abandoned her. She’s alone.
And, to top it all off, there’s something wrong with her. Things are breaking around her. She hears things. There’s a dark presence there.
Now, I love horror. I love a good possession story. One of the first horror movies I watched was The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Still one of my favorite movies of all time. When I requested this book, I knew that since it was YA, it wasn’t going to be as scary or hard-hitting as most horror stories are.
But, this one really fell flat for me.
I loved the characters and how unambiguously queer they were. Marianne’s sexuality was never stated, but it didn’t need to be. It only mattered that she was into women. There was no need to label it. Then, her new friend, Rhiannon, was also queer and her sexuality was never stated. I kind of wish there had been more prelude to their relationship, but it was sweet and I loved how it went from friends to something more.
What really did me in was the plot. There were tense moments, but I wasn’t scared by it. I didn’t think I would be, but it really petered out. The pacing was really off for me. It felt drawn out. It needed more going on in it because it felt like things were just being repeated over and over again without anything new being presented to the story.
I also wasn’t a fan of the ending. My reaction was “seriously??” It just didn’t work for me, although I’m sure it would work for others. The message of it was good, but I wanted a full-on ghost/possession/demon exorcism rather than this introspective message.
This is a very good debut — I mean, I liked the characters and writing, even if I wasn’t crazy for the plot — and I will definitely read Bérubé’s next novel, but the bulk of the book didn’t work for me.
What’s the book that scared you the most?
If you’ve read this, what did you think?