“Theirs was not a world that was often kind to women.”
I read the Sawkills Girls for the Goodreads Ladies of Horror Fiction discussion.
Sawkill Girls is the story of three teenage girls who come together to face an ancient evil. It’s also about friendships and families and duty and the daily aches and pains and confusion that teenagers face.
Marion, her sister and her mom have relocated to Sawkill to start a new life after the death of the girls’ father. Sawkill is an isolated place inhabited by mostly wealthy people but Marion seems ready to start anew but things go so terrible wrong.
Zoey’s best friend is one of many girls who have disappeared on Sawkill. Zoey isn’t towing the line spouted by the residents who aren’t terribly alarmed by the disappearance. They assume she fell off a cliff and leave it at that. Zoey won’t let things go even when her police officer father insists she must. She snoops and she sniffs out trouble!
Val is the town beauty. The high school Queen Bee whose “smile was made of diamonds and bee stings”. Everyone falls under Val’s spell except for Zoey. Zoey blames Val for the loss of her missing friend.
So those are the girls. How they interact and the things that are uncovered make up the rest of the story and I was hooked for the first 2/3’s. There were some truly creeptastic scenes here, especially those with the devilish little “boy”. The atmosphere is also fantastic. The island breathes dread, drips spiders (ahhh!) and the reader is kept off kilter for quite a bit. I loved that. The writing is engaging and the characters are multi-faceted and, best of all, no one person is terrible and no one person is perfect. I loved that too. The only thing that I didn’t love was the insta-love relationship between two of the characters that seemed to have no believable build-up beforehand. I get it. They’re teens and lust happens but this didn’t feel real. Give us a little build-up first! There wasn’t any attraction noted before the big kiss. That always bugs me and feels like a cheat.
Somewhere around the 2/3 mark things started to drag for me. I’m guessing it’s because the action took over and I’m not a huge action fan so this is on me and my personal preferences. I’d easily recommend it to someone looking for a young adult horror novel with well-drawn characters.