It’s 1987 and unfortunately it’s not all Madonna and cherry lip balm. Mayhem Brayburn has always known there was something off about her and her mother, Roxy. Maybe it has to do with Roxy’s constant physical pain, or maybe with Mayhem’s own irresistible pull to water. Either way, she knows they aren’t like everyone else. But when May’s stepfather finally goes too far, Roxy and Mayhem flee to Santa Maria, California, the coastal beach town that holds the answers to all of Mayhem’s questions about who her mother is, her estranged family, and the mysteries of her own self. There she meets the kids who live with her aunt, and it opens the door to the magic that runs through the female lineage in her family, the very magic Mayhem is next in line to inherit and which will change her life for good. But when she gets wrapped up in the search for the man who has been kidnapping girls from the beach, her life takes another dangerous turn and she is forced to face the price of vigilante justice and to ask herself whether revenge is worth the cost.
Thank you to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for a copy of the e-arc in exchange for an honest review.
This book looked interesting to me both from synopsis and from the cover. The cover is so beautiful, and I was excited to start reading it. I will say this, I have never seen/read The Lost Boys or the Craft, so I had nothing to compare it to. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into in regards to that. Anyways, overall, it was okay. I really didn’t love it, or more specifically, I really liked the beginning of the book, but by the time we got to the middle I was no longer interested, and by the end I was bored.
So, I think the writing is excellent. There is little I have to complain about the writing. I think the format of the book was lovely, we get past and “present” in this case 1987. So sometimes it made me blink to realize it wasn’t in present day. Although I feel like there could have been some benefit of it being set in present day. Overall, I think the writing was good and it worked.
The pacing was good at first, and then about halfway through the book it felt like everything changed, and then the book lost its momentum. It just felt awkward to me, and I didn’t enjoy the pacing all that much.
Part of the problem with the pacing I think, comes from the plot. The plot is there, but I felt that a) the first part of the book was more entertaining before we even get to the meat of the “plot” and b) the actual plot took place in the last 20% of the book. Which is why the pacing felt awkward to me. If the book had been more plot focused I think it would have worked better. As it stands, it feels like it was supposed to be plot and character driven, and unfortunately, I think it fell down in the character section as well.
I liked Mayhem at first. I think she was the best character of the lot. The rest of them were just…I don’t know. I felt that if the plot wasn’t actually going to be the main focus, and the character driven arcs were, we should have had more character development. We don’t really get that. For the most part the characters are static, and it is just okay overall. I liked Mayhem, and I think she was a good character. Overall, I felt that it was lackluster in terms of characters. I didn’t particularly really like anyone aside from Mayhem and to an extent Kidd.
It was an okay book. I think 2.5 stars, closer to 3 is about what I would rate this book. So strong at the beginning, and then it fell off. It was a huge disappointment to me. I was excited for it, but it just…didn’t do anything. I felt lost, and underwhelmed overall.