A review by theappalachianbookworm
Here There Are Monsters, by Amelinda Bérubé


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.