Book Review: Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

Paperback Edition Published in 2019 by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers

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Genre: Young Adult Horror Fiction, Fantasy, Suspense.

Trigger Warnings: Murder, Violence, Gore, Acephobia, Mentions of Sucide Attempts, Loss of family members, animal death.

Page Count: 447

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

Beware of the woods and the dark, dank deep.

He’ll follow you home, and he won’t let you sleep.

Who are the Sawkill Girls?

Marion: the new girl. Awkward and plain, steady and dependable. Weighed down by tragedy and hungry for love she’s sure she’ll never find.

Zoey: the pariah. Luckless and lonely, hurting but hiding it. Aching with grief and dreaming of vanished girls. Maybe she’s broken—or maybe everyone else is.

Val: the queen bee. Gorgeous and privileged, ruthless and regal. Words like silk and eyes like knives, a heart made of secrets and a mouth full of lies.

Their stories come together on the island of Sawkill Rock, where gleaming horses graze in rolling pastures and cold waves crash against black cliffs. Where kids whisper the legend of an insidious monster at parties and around campfires.

Where girls have been disappearing for decades, stolen away by a ravenous evil no one has dared to fight… until now.

My Review:

I had been curious about this one for a good while now, pretty much everything since I saw it on an Asexuals in YA Fiction Book List and with it being Asexual Awareness week recently, what more perfect timing to pick it up!

Rep aside, I must admit I really didn’t know much about Sawkill Girls before diving in, but honestly, I’m so happy that I read it, this book was completely such a chilling, suspenseful, atmospheric and wonderfully diverse read, I loved every minute of this wonderfully unique read! It was honestly so eerie and unnerving at times, there were moments when I had to put the book down and take in what I was reading!

Honestly, as far as Val’s character went, I really had my initial judgement regarding her, I mean, Zoey’s initial shrewed hatred of her aside, it was pretty clear from her narrative and learning about her family that her, her Mum and Grandmother were crucial to the Monster’s growth and development, that Val might’ve actually had something to do with those disappearances of those girls, including Zoey’s own once best friend, Thora. My heart! Honestly, throughout Marion and Zoey’s chapters, even Val’s I’ll admit, just had me feeling so much for these three amazing narrators!

Each girl was written so well, their very different emotions were so vividly across the pages! When the reader first meets Marion, you can’t help but feel her grief for her Father and her feeling of always having to be there to comfort her Mum and Sister, Charlotte. As much as the three lean on one another, it honestly just felt like Marion was having to carry everything on her shoulders, which of course no one should have to do! I loved how she was the new arrival on Sawkill Island, it really was immersive reading about the island and it’s inhabitants and her initial impression of everything!

The pacing of Sawkill Girls was absolutely fabulous, it was just constantly suspenseful and really kept me on my toes throughout, wondering what would happen next! Especially where the growing friendship (maybe even something more, I’m keeping the relationships that developer throughout the plot of Sawkill Girls elusive so as to not give anything away!), but definitely as other characters’ grizzly fates were bring revealed and as characters felt themselves being drawn closer together, I was being left on tender hooks to see how everything would resolve – to say things were definitely getting tense wouldn’t be an understatement!

Zoey was easily my favourite character though, purely because I felt she was the most relatable and honestly I felt like she was the one written so honestly! I’ve read so few books with ace representation, Loveless by Alice Oseman being an obvious favourite, but I love how Zoey’s asexuality was written in this book, how Claire Legrand writes that Zoey lays awake at night, wondering how broken she is for not enjoying sex, I just haven’t read anything like it! I absolutely also loved how fierce and unafraid Zoey was in regards to questioning Authority, her Father being Chief of Police on Sawkill but she’s weary of what happened to her best friend and as she learns more, she just boldly doesn’t shy away from the danger!

In turn, Zoey and her ex boyfriend had such a beautiful relationship, you can easily tell he worships her and would bend over backwards for her, honestly there’s a scene where Zoey reflects on a once intimate night of theirs, where Zoey admits she’s not into sex and Grayson says he doesn’t mind! Their bond was so beautifully heartwarming and they just worked so brilliantly throughout and I love how he stuck by her throughout and defended her later on after Marion made a blatantly rude comment about Zoey being asexual! Honestly, their bond is just one of the sweetest I’ve ever had the joy to come across!

Honestly, Sawkill Girls possessed such a unique reading experience for me, I honestly feel like I hadn’t read anything of its vogue before (although I suppose in its own fashion, Wilder Girls by Rory Power evokes similar feelings) and daresay I won’t read anything of its unique, dark, fierce female friendship (and more!). An ethereal island and a completely dark and horrifying monster lurks, with three completely unique and memorable and completely fierce narrators await and I completely recommend this wild ride! It’ll definitely be lurking in my mind for a good while yet!

Happy Reading,


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