By: Estelle Laure
This book is being pitched as a YA feminist mash-up of The Lost Boys meets The Craft- and the minute I saw that I knew I wanted to read it!
A thousand thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing a free copy as part of the book tour.
It’s 1987 and Mayhem (great name) and her mother Roxy are fleeing an abusive stepfather returning to Santa Maria. Roxy’s childhood home in which her family have lived for generations and have a special pull over the sleepy beach town. Mayhem was too young when they fled in grief to remember it.
Almost immediately she’s pulled into a mystery with the 3 foster kids who live with her Aunt concerning a man snatching girls from the area.
Mayhem also learns that the female line of her family inherit a strange and potentially dangerous magic that can be used to protect the town… if she can wield it and if she isn’t taken away from it again.
There’s a lot of issues in the book among them abuse (including child abuse) suicide, drug use, serial killing, etc. The author includes a note in the beginning talking about how she came at this from a period of trauma and how writing it was very important to her.
Overall I enjoyed Mayhem. The atmosphere of the town is great. I liked the characters quiet a bit and I did think the stuff with her stepfather and the descriptions of growing up around that kind of abuse and then (in a very harrowing scene) being victim to it was well done and exceedingly harrowing.
The “magic” as a drug was an interesting idea as well.
And about halfway through this book I was thinking I can’t believe how fast this book is reading! I am flying through it which brings me to the point where I started to realize it wasn’t my reading so much as the story. It’s almost too fast. Everything is warp speed and I think it could have actually benefitted by slowing down and taking a breath because due to the speed it feels like nothing is really hitting as hard as it could.
Still it’s a fun read and a really good summer winding down kind of read at that. I will definitely check out future work by this author.