Sawkill Girls Book Review🐴🦋

[I am taking part in the first level of Blogoween hosted by an array of bloggers! Here is a link to the original announcement sign up Clo at bookdragons247 did, with all the host prompts and information about the event!]

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uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu   Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

Katherine Tegen Books, October 2018

447 pages

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads, Amazon, Wordery

[I was provided a copy of this through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review]

 

 

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.

 

One thing about me that I think is pretty clear when you see what I read is that I don’t really read new releases. Any arcs I get tend to be for children’s books or backlist books, and generally I don’t buy American books until a year or two after their initial release due to the prices [UKYA is, thankfully, cheaper, as they are made available in paperback].

After reading the first 3 chapters of Sawkill Girls, I was willing to buy a physical copy, which shows just how much of an impression it made on me. Luckily I managed to get a hold of the book through Edelweiss, but that in no way influenced how much I ended up loving this book.

The writing in Sawkill Girls is stunning, engaging and beautiful. One of the best parts of this novel is how well written the girls and their individual POVs are. Zoey’s is very quick and full of action, moving between trains of thought as she tries to figure things out; Marion’s is full of self reflection, with a sort of ache in her words as she hopes for a time where she can let go and feel free from her grieving; and Val’s is angry and violent as she goes through horror after horror, forced to do terrible things to stay alive. Character wise, Val is the most intriguing- she’s unlikable to begin with, but she grows on you, and I ended up loving her character and I wanted to hide her away until all the bad things stopped happening.

Each of them offer a different view on the state of the island, with all of them privy to information that ultimately brings them together. Which brings me on to one of the best parts of this book: the female friendships. Their coming together is ultimately a lesson in overcoming adversity together and finding forgiveness in spite of the bad they do, because in the end, it’s not their fault. There were a few moments where I actually started crying over how soft they could be- hugging, holding hands, just comforting each other and looking after one another when nobody else would. It was SOFT and I loved it!

There are complicated family relationships- Zoey and her dad; Marion, her mum and sister; and Val and her mum. If I’m being honest, it feels like Marion’s suffering is more on-the-page and present than anyone else. You begin to feel like she’s losing everything that matters, and it’s heartbreaking.

I really ended up rooting for the romantic relationships in this, and was very pleased that this had a happy ending! There’s a relationship between a guy and a girl, and another between two girls, and both felt very real and grounding. Although they weren’t the main focus, the dramas within the relationships weren’t brushed aside and left to grow into something unhealthy.

Another thing I loved? The horror. There’s body horror, intense moments where the characters risk being caught doing something they really shouldn’t be doing, and the threat at the centre of this novel feels so real. At some points there is nightmare inducing imagery- that terrifying bit in the corner of the room, the horse hair. It’s terrifying, and I love that! This is a horror story about violence against women and taking down the ones who commit these violent acts, and the ending is so satisfying.

Sawkill Girls is about these three girls coming together to defeat threats that see them as weak and helpless, showing that they are a force to be reckoned with. It’s supernatural, terrifying, but also heartwarming, with friendships that matter as much as family, and makes a case of seeing abusive family situations for what they truly are. I highly recommend this!

Have you read Sawkill Girls? What do you think about the horse hair scene?

Thank you for reading!

5 thoughts on “Sawkill Girls Book Review🐴🦋

  1. Clo @ Book Dragons

    Oooo this intrigues me…I may put it on my TBR but I have a question, the horses…do they get hurt? Like…I actually can’t cope with animals getting hurt in books :/

    Lovely review though ❤

    Like

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