Sawkill Girls

464p. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Bks. Oct. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062696601.
OrangeReviewStarGr 9 Up—Girls have gone missing on Sawkill Island for so long that the wealthy residents have learned to carry on with a stiff upper lip when it happens. As the disappearances ramp up, three local girls with close ties to the missing young women, and varying degrees of intimacy with a sinister presence on the island, start to take action. Prickly Zoey and dreamy Marion have had loved ones disappear, and their investigations lead to queen bee Val, whose family is involved in a dark cycle she can't seem to break. Legrand's lush and pensive prose matches the murky, dangerous, and beautiful island setting, and shifting perspective among the three protagonists keeps things clipping along. When the truth of what's terrorizing the island gets out in the open, things move from a shadowy mystery to a full-on war between good and evil, with three strong teens at the center. Val's story is especially well done, unspeakably creepy and hopeless, with a spark at the center that will keep readers rooting for her. Several queer relationships lift this otherwise dark, loamy horror story into the light.
VERDICT Rich and earthy horror for readers who wanted Laura Ruby's Bone Gap to be a little scarier make this an essential purchase.

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