Here There Are Monsters, by Amelinda Bérubé

furcoatrhonda's review

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dark mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


sunny_pipes's review

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This is the first time in a long while that I'm not able to rate a book. It was good but I didn't like it. I especially didn't like the ending, or maybe more accurately the last half of the book.

The characters started out promising, but there wasn't much to like about them in the end. I guess it's accurate in some ways, like Skye being a self absorbed teen who wants to fit in. The biggest issue was that we never really got to know them that well. One was hinted at as lesbian, one of the sisters as having a disorder/issues and so on, but they didn't take it anywhere beyond mentioning it. They didn't use it, it was just page fodder.

I usually love YA thrillers, horror and unlikable characters but here there was just not enough follow-through to make it good.

penguininabluebox's review

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dark emotional mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

annarella's review

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The book is creepy and it's got the right horror factor but unfortunately I couldn't care about the characters and the book fell flat.
A well written book but not my cup of tea.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.

loreofthebooks's review

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Skye's sister, Deidre disappears one afternoon. Skye is determined to find out what happened to her younger sister. Beneath this veneer of civility, something dark awaits...

I should help. I should do something. But the thought is distant, muted, like it's trapped under a thick pane of glass.

To be clear, I saw the cover, saw the description and went "ooooooh!" in excitement. Also to be clear: this was not a bad book by any stretch of the imagination, I just didn't really like it. It was an okay book.

I like to end on a high note, so I'm going to start with the things I disliked.

The middle half of the book on was a mess. It wasn't even a good, confusing mess, it was just a weird, odd mess. I was at about 68% and it was losing my interest fast. I had been taking notes up to that point -- but by about then I was ready to quit so I stopped taking notes. It wasn't nearly as complicated as it seemed at first.

And the one thing I really hate, and don't get why horror/thriller etc writers do it is
Spoilerkilling the cat/other animals
. It doesn't build tension, all it does is make me want to put the book down. I was hoping for more from that.

The characters weren't particularly strong at any point. In fact most of them were annoying and I didn't care about them at all. None of them. I didn't find a single one of the characters likable.

All the ending and climax was...lacking. Severely lacking for me.

All the kingdoms were ruled by queens.

I get that this was supposed to be a creepy/spooky book, and it certainly had a great atmosphere and felt like that at first. But again, at about 68% it really felt like the book lost that tone and went on a weird trip to another dimension. There were clues dropped throughout the book about the ending, and when I read the ending, I understood it.

I really thought the plot would have been a good one had it stuck with the beginning plot, instead of deviating.

The book itself though, was beautifully written. I think it was great writing, and great creation of tension and atmosphere, but unfortunately, it was let down partway through.

Overall, I think people will like this book. It is perfectly creepy and spooky, and a good fall read.

kelseywho's review

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Bleh. DNF.

I got this as an ARC from NetGalley and I was excited for some good, YA horror. I kept seeing people saying that about halfway through, it gets really wild and the true weirdness kicks in. However, I could not even make it that far. The main character's sister, the one who goes missing, seems truly awful and I think I would have just left her in the woods and cut my losses.

Anyway, this is for somebody but that somebody is not me.

jesskylie's review

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ARC copy was provided by sourcebooksfire for free review, so huge thank you to source!!

Okay, I haven't written a review in a hot minute, and even though this doesn't come out till August, I uh... I have some thoughts.

First off, this cover is stunning and quite fitting. Second, this book is quite creepy and if you don't like creepy children, maybe I don't recommend this? We follow Skye as she looks for her sister Dierdre who has gone missing. Throughout the book, it alternates between the present and the past which I really liked because you get a feel for Skye and Deirdre's relationship, and let me tell you I absolutely LOVED that. I love books that have a sole focus on sibling relationships, so that was a winner for me.

However, I found my feelings for this to be quite similar to Dark Beneath the Ice. Where it starts off strong, and it all goes down from there. It's like there is this huge amazing idea when it comes to the horror/creepy element, and then the author doesn't know what to do and then rushes it to end it. If that makes ANY sense.

Another thing I didn't really like was Skye and Deirdre and how people (especially skye) acted towards Deirdre. Yes I know it's normal and typical, and entirely realistic, it just rubbed me the way and if you've read this (or when you do) you will understand. And Skye? I'm sorry, but she was a bitch to everyone, especially her family, and especially to Deirdre. I get how little sisters are annoying, but how she was... was too much for me.

Now with the horror element, again like Dark Beneath the Ice, I wish it was done so much better because the idea is there, and it's great, but the execution was poor.

theappalachianbookworm's review

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The Appalachian Bookworm

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Skye has always been the knight in shining armor that her little sister Deirdre needed. After moving clear across the country, she hopes for a fresh start in their new, remote neighborhood, leaving behind the childish games she and her sister used to play for new friends. But Deirdre is being weirder than ever, fixated on the swampy stretch of woods behind their house and constructing terrifying and monstrous sculptures out of sticks and bones.

Then Deirdre disappears and one of her creatures, now animated by some unknown force, comes scratching at Skye’s window in the middle of the night. Skye knows that nothing will stop her from bringing Deirdre home, not her new friends, well-meaning parents or the secrets she’s been keeping. Although she tries to keep herself from getting wrapped up in the fantasy world her sister has created, she is eventually drawn into something dark, creepy and all-together unexpected.

Flashing between past and present, Here There Are Monsters by Amelinda Bérubé was dark and intriguing from the very start. Although this isn’t the type of book that I would normally read, I’m glad that I gave it a chance. I truly enjoyed the writing, even when it made it hard for me to leave the bed to just use the bathroom. It was just so creepy. Especially the creatures that Deirdre created - the descriptions of them gave me goosebumps every single time!

My biggest problem with the book was that I didn’t really care much for Skye or Deirdre. Skye was kind of awful and Deirdre wasn’t any better. I think most of the time, Skye used her sister being weird and needing protection as an excuse to get away with doing terrible things. Plus, for the whole first half of the book, she didn’t even care that her sister was missing. And Deirdre was so selfish and rude. She didn’t want Skye to have any friends outside of her. I’m all about co-dependency but this relationship was a bit much for me, even when they weren’t exactly speaking to one another anymore. Fortunately, I don’t need to unconditionally love a character to enjoy their story.

With good pacing and smooth writing, Here There Are Monsters was a quick and enjoyable read. I would definitely recommend it to fans of creepy atmospheres and thrilling dark tales. Especially ones about how easy it can be to get wrapped up in your own fantasy and how quickly those fantasies can become nightmares if allowed.

hooksmart's review

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I received this ARC for free in exchange for an honest review.
I have not read anything like this before and I dont even know what to feel right now. It was a rollercoaster of emotions from start to finish, for me. Deirdre is a complete enigma. Mental disorder? Or is it reality? Is the basis of your questioning throughout the whole book. I actually liked that I was still questioning for a long long time what the hell was going on. Well done and beautifully written.

hnmoore's review

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5 stars. There's no way I could possibly write a review. This book was absolutely haunting.