REVIEW: Here There Are Monsters by Amelinda Bérubé

The Official Description: The Blair Witch Project meets Imaginary Girls in this story of codependent sisterhood, the struggle to claim one’s own space, and the power of secrets

Sixteen-year-old Skye is done playing the knight in shining armor for her insufferable younger sister, Deirdre. Moving across the country seems like the perfect chance to start over.

In their isolated new neighborhood, Skye manages to fit in, but Deirdre withdraws from everyone, becoming fixated on the swampy woods behind their house and building monstrous sculptures out of sticks and bones.

Then Deirdre disappears.

And when something awful comes scratching at Skye’s window in the middle of the night, claiming she’s the only one who can save Deirdre, Skye knows she will stop at nothing to bring her sister home.

My thoughts bit: This book is a roller coaster ride through dark monster filled woods and the human psyche! Bérubé has woven an intricate story in Here There Be Monsters.

The story hits the ground running when Skye is woken in the middle of the night to find out that her younger sister Deirdre is missing. Deirdre is more than just typical-little-sister-annoying: she’s been challenging her whole life. She is unruly, wild, doesn’t want to bathe or comb her hair and it happier outside up to her knees in mud than anywhere else. Skye, on the other hand, wants to be normal. They’ve just moved to a new town and Skye wants to start over… reinvent herself.

At first, Skye thinks that her sister is off somewhere in the woods and just wants attention but soon enough, she realizes there is a lot more going on. There is something in the woods… and it’s creeping up on Skye…much like her own past.

What I loved about this book is that the story isn’t just about the monsters we come up with in our imagination. The monsters in this story are very real and very dangerous. As Skye tries to play the game the monsters want her to…she has to come to terms with her own past and the possibility that she is also a monster.

I don’t want to give away the plot of the story. Bérubé does a wonderful job of unfurling the tale at just the right pace.

If you’re a fan of Young Adult horror then you should definitely pick up a copy of this book. The writing is dark and descriptive, the characters compelling and complex. The main character is sixteen years old but keep in mind this is a scare book and there is a fair amount of violence.

The warnings bit: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: self-injury (bloodletting), discussions of frightening wood creatures, descriptions of dead and rotting animal corpses, bullying (physical and verbal), underage drinking, physical assault.

If/Then: If you liked these books, you will probably enjoy this one!

I received an ARC of # by # from # via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

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