I had a really hard time deciding what I wanted to rate this book. On one had I found it to drag on, but on the other hand the concept was interesting. Ultimately I gave it 2.75 hoots but rounded it up to 3 hoots, which means it was just okay. I feel like the author was trying really hard to make the reader feel uneasy and shocked in parts, but she just could not pull it together. Please keep in mind that the creepiness of a book is fully subjective, but for me this was kind of a miss.
Full disclosure, I did receive a free copy of this book from Netgalley, but as you already know that doesn’t mean I pull my punches. I thought the concept was incredibly interesting. Right off the bat the main character, Heather, admits that she was the one that killed her childhood friend. You then find out that there was more to it than it appeared….the Red Lady made it all happen. Who is the Red Lady you ask? Why she is the woman who haunts this group of girls after they perform a ritual to call her.
I did enjoy the portions of the story that had the Red Lady. Was she real? Were the girls really being haunted? What was really going on? Of course Becca, the girl that was murdered, was the one who told her friends about the Red Lady in the first place. She was the one that appeared to be the leader of the Dead Girls Club, their group where they discussed murderers etc. These girls were definitely the kind of people I would have loved to know when I was younger.
Anyway, back to the Red Lady….Becca summoned her because her mother was being abusive and she wanted to get help to escape. The Red Lady was talking to her and the other girls and things really started to escalate until that fateful night when Heather murdered Becca.
I honestly tried to like this book but it was really hard. There were portions that just dragged, were uninteresting, or just plain pointless. I mean seriously, one of the ways the Red Lady manifested her power was by forcing their period to start. I kid you not! They all seriously felt cramps and then bam, period. It was ridiculous. The pacing of this book also missed the mark for me, at times it was challenging to keep reading.
Overall, this was not the type of thriller that I enjoy but it might be better suited to someone who prefers to read books full of teen angst. For me it just didn’t work. The “then” portions of the book were almost painful to read and the “Now” portions just left you with Heather fumbling to figure out who is trying to mess with her. The ending itself and the final reveal was not very satisfying for me. If I had to recommend it to an audience, I would say it is better suited for a younger YA reader than an older teen.
I am very grateful that netgalley allowed me to have a copy of this book, I just wished I had a more positive review to give. It is just that I have to be honest, I just wish I liked this book better.