I have another blog tour for you today, this one hosted by TBR & Beyond Tours! And this book is the perfect kick off for spooky season. It’s a creepy, spine-tingling young adult horror that definitely reinforced my dislike of swimming in lakes: The Girls Are Never Gone by Sarah Glenn Marsh! This was an intense read and I can’t wait to talk to y’all about it!
But, first, we must get the thank yous out of the way. First, thank you to TBR & Beyond Tours for giving me a spot on this fabulous tour! If you’d like to check out the other bloggers and bookstagrammers participating along the road, you can find the schedule here. I would also like to thank the publisher, Razorbill, and Netgalley for providing me with a free e-ARC in exchange for my participation in this tour and an honest review. It is, as always, much appreciated.
And, now, let’s talk about this wild ride of a book!
“The Conjuring meets Sadie when seventeen-year-old podcaster Dare takes an internship in a haunted house and finds herself in a life-or-death struggle against an evil spirit.
Dare Chase doesn’t believe in ghosts.
Privately, she’s a supernatural skeptic. But publicly, she’s keeping her doubts to herself—because she’s the voice of Attachments, her brand-new paranormal investigation podcast, and she needs her ghost-loving listeners to tune in.
That’s what brings her to Arrington Estate. Thirty years ago, teenager Atheleen Bell drowned in Arrington’s lake, and legend says her spirit haunts the estate. Dare’s more interested in the suspicious circumstances surrounding her death—circumstances that she believes point to a living culprit, not the supernatural. Still, she’s vowed to keep an open mind as she investigates, even if she’s pretty sure what she’ll find.
But Arrington is full of surprises. Good ones like Quinn, the cute daughter of the house’s new owner. And baffling ones like the threatening messages left scrawled in paint on Quinn’s walls, the ghastly face that appears behind Dare’s own in the mirror, and the unnatural current that nearly drowns their friend Holly in the lake. As Dare is drawn deeper into the mysteries of Arrington, she’ll have to rethink the boundaries of what is possible. Because if something is lurking in the lake…it might not be willing to let her go.“
About the Author
Sarah Glenn Marsh writes young adult novels and children’s picture books. An avid fantasy reader from the day her dad handed her a copy of The Hobbit and promised it would change her life, she’s been making up words and worlds ever since.
When she’s not writing, Sarah frequents the pottery studio, volunteers her time to sighthound rescue, and raises awareness about her autoimmune disease, Type 1 diabetes. She often enjoys pursuits of the nerd variety, from video games to tabletop adventures. She’s never met an animal or a doughnut she didn’t like. Sarah lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and their tiny zoo of four rescued sighthounds, two birds, and many fish. She is the author of Fear the Drowning Deep, the Reign of the Fallen series, and several books for younger readers.
“After all, ghost stories are human stories, brimming with life, with history, drama, and personality. They’re as enduring as we are.”This is taken from an uncorrected proof; it may change in the final version.
You know what I realized as I read this book? That I definitely went into this thinking it was mystery (don’t ask me why…), but I was not at all mad that it was actually a horror novel. This is the second YA horror novel I’ve read in the past few weeks and, I have to say, this book makes me want to pick up more!
We’re following the story of a young woman named Dare Chase. Dare has signed up for a summer internship to help restore an old mansion at the edge of a lake. But the real reason that she volunteered was to investigate the possible haunting of the mansion and the mysterious drowning that happened there twenty years ago for her new pararnormal investigation podcast, Attachments. Dare doesn’t believe in ghosts, but she knows this is just the sort of thing her audience would love. As she searches the house for clues with the help of the owner’s cute daughter, Quinn, and the other summer intern, Holly, she begins to realize there may be more to this haunted house than she thought.
Y’all, when I say this book creeped me out, I say that with my entire chest. Sarah Glenn Marsh should write for horror films because the imagery was on point! There was a moment in this story where I legitimately felt my stomach fall (has to do with a ceiling… you’ll know when you get there) and I freakin’ loved it. The overall atmosphere of this story was perfect; it was dark, haunting, frightening, and definitely gave me a few chills. I love a horror novel that nails the spooky feeling of that which scares us, and this book did it magnificently.
Beyond the creepy feels, I really enjoyed getting to know the characters, as well! Dare is such a compelling main character, with her skepticism and her determination. The fact that she also has Type 1 diabetes plays a pretty big role in this story, as well. I can’t speak to the rep as I don’t have the disease and have only ever known people with Type 2, but I liked that it was a big part of the book because it’s a big part of Dare as a person. She isn’t her disease, but it isn’t ignored, either. I loved how intense she is and how fiercely she’s willing to protect people she cares about. She’s such a strong main character which made this book even more compelling. The other characters didn’t snag quite as much in my mind, probably because we spend all of our time from Dare’s point of view. And I will say that the romance between her and Quinn felt a little insta-lovey… but what summer romance isn’t? Even if this one had a heavy backdrop of ghosts and death.
As for this plot of this haunted tale, I found myself guessing pretty early on where it was going. But I still really enjoyed the ride! This was a well-paced, well thought out novel that had my heart hammering for several pages at the end. I got completely swept up in the mystery and, if that isn’t a sign of a great book, I don’t know what is!
Final thoughts: This was such a gripping tale and I’m glad I read it now because it has put me in the Spooky Mood! The atmosphere was top-notch, the main character is incredible to watch, and the plot had my heart racing! I thought the other characters felt a little lacking and I did guess some pretty big twists early on, but I still enjoyed this book thoroughly. If you like YA horror (or horror in general) that has a dash of romance, a dash of mystery, and plenty of frights, I think you would enjoy The Girls Are Never Gone!