I know it has been a minute (or many minutes) since I last posted on here, and I sincerely apologize for that! I have had a lot on my plate and my blog unfortunately had to take a back seat to some of my other obligations.
That being said, I’m back and, hopefully, better than ever!
Today I have a review for Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand!
Goodreads Rating: 4.11/5
Pages: 447 Pages
Genre: Fantasy, YA, Horror, and LGBTQ+
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Published: October 2nd, 2018
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.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
“I’ll tell you what I’ve lost, she wanted to say, and then open up her chest so they could see the hollow pit where her heart used to live. It was stuck in a state of collapse, this pit-a tiny, organ-shaped singularity, sucking down the bleeding ravaged bits of who she used to be.”
The characters in Sawkill Girls were some of my favourites characters I’ve read in a long while. I found myself relating to each and everyone of them, including the Rock. There was so much depth to each of the girls stories and it was incredibly interesting to see their progression as the novel went on.
Marion was a character that really interested me from the start. Her maturity from the beginning was something unexpected, especially being displayed from a young girl in her teenage years. You could definitely see how she had been forced to grow up quick so she could take care of her mother and sister following the death of her father. I didn’t quite expect Marion to show as much character progression as she did throughout the novel. Seeing as how she was already such an advanced character. Marion was definitely my favourite character, this was really cemented for me as we got closer and closer to the conclusion of the novel.
Val was obviously not the most likeable character in this novel. She is sort of an anti-hero for me for a majority of this novel. I did respect the need for her character in this novel because she did play a huge role in how things transpired. It was incredibly interesting to read from Val’s POV and see all the thoughts flowing through her head and the internal conflict going on. I don’t think Val is ever a character I could grow to love, but she is one that you can grow to live with, and that’s good enough for me.
We also were lucky enough to see some LGBTQ+ representation in this book through Marion and Val. Their relationship in this novel was something that you definitely get caught up in. It was amazing to see how this relationship wasn’t seen as a “big deal” in the world of our novel. I do have to say that there are some graphic scenes in this novel so if you’re a younger reader I’d be aware of that!
Zoey was one of the characters that I saw the least growth in. That’s not to say she had no growth whatsoever, but her characters progression was definitely not as advanced as Marion and Val’s. Despite that, I definitely loved reading from Zoey’s POV. I loved the determination and drive that she displayed. Zoey had the drive to keep going when anyone else would have given up, which is something I’m sure everyone strives to do.
“It had happened again. And it would continue to happen, over and over-here on the Rock, and elsewhere throughout the wide-reaching world. The Rock would feel every meaningless death like a stab to the flesh of its great old aching heart.”
I’d also like to give an honourable mention to the Rock. This was our fourth “character” whose POV we got to experience. Personally, I loved seeing the thoughts of Sawkill Rock and how this effected the progression of the story. It was a magnificent addition to the story.
“Black spiders, fat and thin-legged, scuttled up Jane’s cheeks and into her hair. They crawled down Jane’s collar beneath her top, and they skittered across Harry’s lips. They gathered in clumps, seeking entrance.”
The writing in this novel was so haunting and perfect for the month of October. There were moments, like the passage above, in which I found myself so unsettled and freaked out, and that definitely made me love this novel all the more. Having a novel put you on the edge of your seat and make you second guess reality is a sign of a good book, and this book did both of those things for me.
After reading the passage with the spiders, I found myself constantly looking around and rubbing my arms because I felt as though the spiders would come out of the book and after me next.
There are so many moments throughout this novel where I found myself very spooked out, especially with how Claire Legrand created the atmosphere to match what was taking place in this novel. The setting of this novel was so well written, it made me feel the same way I’d feel if I were to watch a horror movie alone in the dark.
“”What I’m saying,” Marion said, now looking right at Zoey, her gray eyes bright, “is that girls hunger. And we’re taught, from the moment our brains can take it, that there isn’t enough food for us all.”
The last, and probably most important, thing I want to mention in regards to this novel is the feminism. This novel features so many strong, independant, courageous female characters, and I lived for it. The quote above is one of MANY quotes littered throughout this novel that really cements the fact that women are groomed to be weak and useless their entire lives, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t break out of that shell.
When you read this novel it makes you proud to be a woman. There are definitely moments in which you see disgusting acts from male characters, but it’s worth it to get through those moments to see the women fight through and get out on top.
Claire Legrand did an amazing job using her voice to show the strength and resilience the female species has, and it was an honour for me, as a female, to read this novel.
That concludes my review for Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand!
Thank you so much for reading, don’t forget to follow my blog as well as my other social media sites linked in the side bar!
Until next time,