Disclaimer: I received this book from Once Upon A Book Box Club as a part of their April 2021 box. Thanks! All opinions are my own and support your authors!
Book: The Mary Shelley Club
Author: Goldy Moldavsky
Book Series: Standalone for now
Diversity: Latinx MC and character, pansexual character mentioned, m/m romance and character.
Recommended For…: young adult readers, thriller, murder mystery, horror
Publication Date: April 13, 2021
Genre: YA Thriller Horror
Age Relevance: 16+ (Home Invasion, bullying, fatphobia, gore, violence, murder, stalking, drugs mentioned, language, grief, death, underage alcohol consumption, sexual content, romance, sexual assault, PTSD)
Explanation of Above: The beginning of the book shows a home invasion and the events of the traumatic incident replay in the MCs head throughout the book. There is a lot of bullying in the book and some mentions of fatphobia in the form of a term of endearment (the endearment term from the MCs mother means ham in English). There is gore, violence, and murder in the book, as well as stalking and death and grief. There is some cursing in the book. There is a scene where teenagers drink alcohol and drugs are mentioned a few times in that scene. There is some romance and small sexual content. There is also a very small sexual assault shown in the book where a character is touched without permission on her breasts.
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Synopsis: New girl Rachel Chavez is eager to make a fresh start at Manchester Prep. But as one of the few scholarship kids, Rachel struggles to fit in, and when she gets caught up in a prank gone awry, she ends up with more enemies than friends.
To her surprise, however, the prank attracts the attention of the Mary Shelley Club, a secret club of students with one objective: come up with the scariest prank to orchestrate real fear. But as the pranks escalate, the competition turns cutthroat and takes on a life of its own.
When the tables are turned and someone targets the club itself, Rachel must track down the real-life monster in their midst . . . even if it means finally confronting the dark secrets from her past.
Review: The book was really good! I loved this murder mystery thriller book. The twists were well done, the book had a great storyline that kept me guessing, and that ending was a WTF from me. I feel unnerved by the book but also curious as to what happens next and I hope the author makes a book 2. The characters are well developed and the world building was well done. I also loved the horror movie references and I firmly believe if you’re a horror movie lover than you need to read this book.
There were some issues with the book while I was reading it. There was a moment where I was uncomfortable with a description of a female presenting teenage body as “grown” and that “she was definitely on the menu and he was starving”. The book has a weird POV switching when the fear tests are shown. The ending also doesn’t have a lead-up but I think that makes it even scarier.
Verdict: I love it! Highly recommend.