book review: the mary shelley club, by goldy moldavsky

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New York Times-bestselling author Goldy Moldavsky delivers a deliciously twisty YA thriller that’s Scream meets Karen McManus about a mysterious club with an obsession for horror.

When it comes to horror movies, the rules are clear:

x Avoid abandoned buildings, warehouses, and cabins at all times.

x Stay together: don’t split up, not even just to “check something out.”

x If there’s a murderer on the loose, do not make out with anyone.

If only surviving in real life were this easy…

New girl Rachel Chavez turns to horror movies for comfort, preferring stabby serial killers and homicidal dolls to the bored rich kids of Manhattan Prep…and to certain memories she’d preferred to keep buried.

Then Rachel is recruited by the Mary Shelley Club, a mysterious society of students who orchestrate Fear Tests, elaborate pranks inspired by urban legends and movie tropes. At first, Rachel embraces the power that comes with reckless pranking. But as the Fear Tests escalate, the competition turns deadly, and it’s clear Rachel is playing a game she can’t afford to lose.

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Get to know more about the author!

Goldy Moldavsky was born in Lima, Peru, and grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where she lives with her family. She is the New York Times–bestselling author of Kill the Boy Band and No Good Deed. Some of her influences include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the esteemed works of John Irving, and the Mexican telenovelas she grew up watching with her mother.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

Hello, friends! I am very excited to be taking part in the book tour for The Mary Shelley Club, as an own-voices reviewer since this book does have South-American rep (yes the one I constantly scream about wanting more of).

Trigger warnings: descriptions of home invasion, gore, violence, murder and stalking

  1. The characters – aka the Mary Shelley Club. I think the characters in here played very well in some well known horror movie tropes – the outsider (Rachel), the smart and cold one (Felicity), the jock (Bram) and his preppy girlfriend (Lux). Still, they had an interesting dynamic and it was very easy to connect with them, mostly because we also want Rachel to have a friend group and something she can be a part of.
  2. The horror elements were on point. This book is SCARY, y’all. In the first chapter, we already have a scene that had me on the edge of my seat, where one of the character keeps telling “scary stories” to others at a party. I did not expect to feel super scared right away, but it happened, and the suspense got more intense as the book went on.
  3. Discussions of economic disparity and trauma. Rachel went through something in her past that still affects her to this day, and I appreciate how the author talked about this as an on-going issue that shows up in the form of nightmares, sometimes visions and intrusive thoughts. Rachel is also not rich like her peers, which made the dynamic between her and Freddie – the only one in the group who’s also Latinx and poor – even more believable because of the way they related to one another and thought of themselves as a “team” amongst the group.

I think my issue with the book turned out to be the pacing. I feel like the middle dragged and I wish the ending had been more fleshed out, but then again, it may be because there’s a sequel on the way. I wouldn’t be opposed to it, as I feel like there’s still a lot to explore within the Mary Shelley Club and what we grow to learn about it by the end of the book.

I also think there was potential for the exploration of grief on top of Rachel’s thrauma.

IMG_7178Overall, I was surprised by how much I was able to take from the story. This reads sometimes as a love letter to horror movies, so if you’re a fan of those, you’ll probably enjoy this one even more than I did, as some references really went over my head, lol.

As far as the Latinx representation, I appreciate how the author touched on it (with the dynamic between Rachel and her mom, as well as Rachel and Freddie being the ‘outcasts’ of the group), but also didn’t make this the only trait of either one of the characters and they had much more to offer.

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Make sure to check out the other stops of the book tour down below! Thank you so much for Colored Pages to offering me an e-ARC of this book!

March 1st

Jainny Reads – Review Only

Unconventional Quirky Bibliophile – Favorite Quotes  

 

March 2nd

Pastel Writer – Review Only

A library of my own – Review Only 

 

March 3rd

Books and Dice – Favorite Quotes

Mel Reads – Reading Vlog 

 

March 4th

A Cup Of Nicole – Reading Vlog 

Bookishplants – Favorite Quotes 

 

March 5th

The Bookish Skies – Review Only 

The Book View – Share an excerpt

 

March 6th

Sanjariti – Favorite Quotes

Loveless Degrees – Book Recommendations Based On Book 

 

March 7th

By My Shelf – Review Only

A Reader’s Reaction – Reading Blog 

Naturemamareads – Mood Board

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