ARC Review: Here There Are Monsters by Amelinda Bérubé

Title: Here There Are Monsters
Author: Amelinda Bérubé
Genre: Horror
Source: Sourcebooks Fire via NetGalley 
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire 
Publication Date: August 1st 2019 

The Blair Witch Project meets Imaginary Girls in this story of codependent sisterhood, the struggle to claim one’s own space, and the power of secrets. Sixteen-year-old Skye is done playing the knight in shining armor for her insufferable younger sister, Deirdre. Moving across the country seems like the perfect chance to start over. In their isolated new neighborhood, Skye manages to fit in, but Deirdre withdraws from everyone, becoming fixated on the swampy woods behind their house and building monstrous sculptures out of sticks and bones. Then Deirdre disappears. And when something awful comes scratching at Skye's window in the middle of the night, claiming she's the only one who can save Deirdre, Skye knows she will stop at nothing to bring her sister home.
"She was all the queens and none of them. She belonged there." 

I been working with Amelinda the past couple of weeks for an interview on Here There Are The Monsters so I was really excited when Soucebooks had approved me on NetGalley for an eGalley. Here There Are The Monsters was brilliant and memorizing. But as where Amelinda's writing was beautiful the story was also bone chilling and thrilling. 

Skye has been Deirdre's protector for as long as she can remember, but now with a move across the country and a fresh start Skye has washed her hands of being the protector. Deirdre's is thirteen now, it is a fresh start for her to make friends and be normal. Only she isn't. Deirdre lives in these make believe worlds with make believe characters, but soon becomes obsessed with the woods behind their new home. Where Skye is thriving and making friends Deirdre is withdrawing. But one night, Deirdre doesn't come home. 

The first half of the book was slow but incredibly interesting. It alternates between when they first moved to their new home and to the now when Deirdre's missing. But Amelinda uses this time to build her characters and show the complexities of their relationships. Deirdre's character is complex and in the alternating chapters you can see the codependency that Deirdre has for her older sister, but Deirdre also acts a lot younger then her actual age. In the first half of the novel we see the subtle but quick changes in Deirdre's personality. Her desperate need of protection from Skye, the with drawing, her disdain of William and the other "invaders." Deirdre wasn't normal to begin with but seeing her decline was haunting. 

I loved Skye's character. The complexity of her relationship with her sister is a big focal point of the whole novel. Skye is done with Deirdre's childish games and she is over having to be the knight in shining armor all the time. Her sister is old enough. Skye is thriving in their new home: making friends, going out and even hanging out with her charming neighbor William, learning how to shoot a bow. We watch Skye make challenging decisions and sacrifice so much in the span of the second half of the book. At the end of the day Deirdre needs Skye's protection and Skye realizes that and will stop at nothing to find and bring her sister home. 

I'm going to brush over the monsters and creatures that take up the second half of the novel so I don't spoil anything for anyone: but they were creepy as hell. I went back and reread the introduction of them a couple of times to make sure that I fully understand what I was reading because they were twisted as hell. They really gave this book the spooky horror feel that Amelinda was going for. The ending of the book really gave me a run for money, I had convinced myself that it wasn't going to end on a certain note and it didn't. At all. 

Overall I really loved Here There Are Monsters and I can't wait for the world to get to experience the horrors that are waiting with in the pages of this novel. 

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