Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand
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.
Well, can I just start by saying wow.
Seriously, this book totally blew me away. Having read and loved Furyborn earlier this year, I thought I might give the author another try. This one is a kind of fantasy horror mystery mix set in our own world, and I think it was just the perfect Halloween time read to sink my teeth into.
The book follows three main female protagonists– Marion, Val and Zoey. Each of them has a really distinctive voice and character that I think is the essence of the book’s charm for me. I loved being able to know, even without seeing the name at the top of the chapter heading, whose head I was about to dive into. It was so easy to tell, because each character was so different. And considering I’ve recently been struggling with YA books which have the same characters over and over again, especially when it comes to female protagonists, it was so nice to see a book which dealt with it so masterfully.
There’s also the super-creepiness factor. Oh boy, did this book have me nervously clawing at the walls trying to turn on the lights before I entered a room. There’s a lovely slow-build up to the main course of terror, and I can’t help but be reminded of Stephen King’s style of building suspense like a rollercoaster here. There are moments in the lead up, where lots happens, but it was definitely more of a savour it type book than anything else. That’s not to say that I wasn’t itching to find out what happens next. There’s some great and suspenseful events right at the start that immediately hooked me, but I do feel the book is more of a slow build rather than quick and punchy. The middle did lag a touch for me. However, if you’re willing to stick with it, Sawkill definitely delivers an amazing pay-off at the end that is worth hanging on for.
The whole thing does just flow together seamlessly. The characters are brilliant and life-like and complex and the language simply sings on the page. I would happily sneak into Legrand’s head and steal her ability to write such gorgeous descriptions if I could, because honestly I couldn’t get enough of them. For the lyrical language alone, this book is worth a read.
Overall then, I’m giving Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand a 10/10 stars. There were times when there was a little lull in the pacing, but the descriptions were to die for, the suspense grabbed me and didn’t let go, and the characters were so realistic that I totally went and fell in love with this book. I can’t recommend it enough!
Has anyone else read Sawkill Girls or plans to? What did you think of it? I’d love to know your thoughts and feelings on it, so please feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below ❤
Until next time,