The internet is terrible, but also has been great for one amazing thing: helping me realize my childhood was, in some ways, not as insane as I think it is when I look back on it. Thank you to Edelweiss, Crooked Lane Books, and Damien Angelica Walters for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
The Dead Girls Club
Damien Angelica Walter
Published Date: December 10, 2019
Read Date: December 4, 2019
Format: ebook galley
Genre: Thriller, Supernatural, Mystery
Rating: 3/5 Moose
In 1991, Heather Cole and her middle school friends were obsessed with urban legends and serial killers. Summer nights called for sneaking out to meet to try to scare each other the most.
Sometimes the urban legends are obviously fake. Sometimes they’re real. And sometimes they come back to haunt you thirty years later.
Red Lady, Red Lady, show us your face…
Rants, Raves, and Reviews
I was a macabre child. The internet has helped me realize I could have been so much darker, and that while I am weird, I wasn’t THAT weird. After reading Christopher Pike’s Chain Letter series in sixth grade, I tried to start one around my friends.
Thankfully it got stopped quickly.
Still, this makes me a sucker for books that make my childhood feel like it could have had a darker, supernatural aspect. Especially given that my childhood is definitely done.
This book is being promoted in the same vein as A Head Full of Ghosts, which okay. I get the need to compare books to successful books, but I rarely find them to be good comparisons. That being said, I think my biggest issue with this book came from expecting a slow burn, but instead we are dropped immediately into 30 years later with Heather receiving an odd letter. We have no connection with our character yet, so it is a bit jarring and hard to get on board at first. I’ll be honest, I think it took me a good thirty pages or so to realize our main character’s first name was Heather even, without rereading the synopsis. We go in knowing that she killed her best friend as a child, which I think is, in part, a big mistake. Because of this, the stakes in the book are about if or when someone will find out, thirty years later, as Heather descends into madness.
However, this causes the book to stall a bit. I couldn’t quite get behind the intensity of what was going on because the main mystery of the book (IS the Red Lady real?) just wasn’t enough for me. The flashbacks to the early 90s also cut into the story strangely for me, which they shouldn’t have — I should have expected them. But rather than revving the tension, it just made me hate Becca? I just wish there was more of one way or the other. Either give me early 90s pre-teens being macabre, or a descent into madness in your 40s. Because both just don’t quite mesh here.
In the end I am glad I finished this book just to see if the Red Lady was real. And while the middle lags, I did overall enjoy this book. I think in the end I’m still leaning that YA and Middle Grade horror books frighten me more, but I do appreciate this book for reminding me more of why that works by remembering my childhood.