Title: Delicate Monsters
Author: Stephanie Kuehn
Genre: YA, Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: Raincoast Books/St. Martins Griffin
Release Date: June 9, 2015
Buy: AmazonCA| Chapters Indigo| Kobo
Received for review from Raincoast Books
From the Morris-Award winning author of Charm & Strange, comes a twisted and haunting tale about three teens uncovering dark secrets and even darker truths about themselves.
When nearly killing a classmate gets seventeen-year-old Sadie Su kicked out of her third boarding school in four years, she returns to her family’s California vineyard estate. Here, she’s meant to stay out of trouble. Here, she’s meant to do a lot of things. But it’s hard. She’s bored. And when Sadie’s bored, the only thing she likes is trouble.
Emerson Tate’s a poor boy living in a rich town, with his widowed mother and strange, haunted little brother. All he wants his senior year is to play basketball and make something happen with the girl of his dreams. That’s why Emerson’s not happy Sadie’s back. An old childhood friend, she knows his worst secrets. The things he longs to forget. The things she won’t ever let him.
Haunted is a good word for fifteen-year-old Miles Tate. Miles can see the future, after all. And he knows his vision of tragic violence at his school will come true, because his visions always do. That’s what he tells the new girl in town. The one who listens to him. The one who recognizes the darkness in his past.
But can Miles stop the violence? Or has the future already been written? Maybe tragedy is his destiny. Maybe it’s all of theirs.
This is my first Stephanie Kuehn book and I was immediately thought that Delicate Monsters is one of the most unique books I have read. I will be definitely be looking out for more of her books because I read it so quickly even with my crazy schedule this summer. I was scared a little because I normally don't read thrillers. It was definitely disturbing during some parts and really dark.
In tradition of Courtney Summers thrillers where the characters are more twisted and that ending was more open than leaving the reader speechless and wanting more. Kuehn explores how deep a teenagers mind can be destructive and addictive. The novel has sex, abuse, craziness, and mental illness that can be deeply described.
The story is told from 3 perspectives: Sadie, Miles and Emerson. I thought each of their voices could not confuse you when you are reading. Immediately meeting Sadie, we know she is trouble, and is very angry with her life. She is rude and can corrupt. Definitely a character I found interesting as the story develops. Emerson starts out like a normal guy until his darker side comes out. Lastly, Miles is different than the others from the start. He is sick and mentally unstable when he talks about random stuff (like the future). This book is out of the box and most times in a creepy way. But the ending was unexpected.
Overall, this is one crazy brilliant read that will make you think. Kuehn is not afraid to let readers go through this story to see how mental illness needs to be looked at. I will be definitely looking into more of her books because I'm intrigued by her characters and crazy plots! Get this crazy psychology thriller!
Question with the author:
What is your writing process when you begin writing ? I usually start with a question or conflict that’s fairly abstract. I’ll mull on it a while and search for the right character and the right voice to explore that original question with. Once I have the character, a character I understand and who is compelling to me, then I can start writing. I’m not much of an outliner, so I do a lot of free writing of different scenes until I get an opening that works.
Author: Jennifer Mathieu
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press/Raincoast Books
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Rachel Walker is devoted to God. She prays every day, attends Calvary Christian Church with her family, helps care for her five younger siblings, dresses modestly, and prepares herself to be a wife and mother who serves the Lord with joy. But Rachel is curious about the world her family has turned away from, and increasingly finds that neither the church nor her homeschool education has the answers she craves. Rachel has always found solace in her beliefs, but now she can’t shake the feeling that her devotion might destroy her soul.
*Review will be posted separately*Question:What did you find difficult while writing your book? For me, I had trouble discovering Rachel's character at first, which was really weird for me because normally I struggle with plot, not characters. I think the problem was I had done so much research on the Quiverfull movement (on which Rachel's family life is based), that I wanted to dump all that info in the book. It started to sound like a Quiverfull book report. The character of Rachel could have been any girl. I ended up having to do all these character and voice exercises until Rachel's personality began to make itself known to me. Once I did that, the rest of the book came more easily.