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The Mary Shelley Club
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.
New girl Rachel Chavez is eager to make a fresh start at Manchester Prep. But as one of the few scholarship kids, Rachel struggles to fit in, and when she gets caught up in a prank gone awry, she ends up with more enemies than friends.
To her surprise, however, the prank attracts the attention of the Mary Shelley Club, a secret club of students with one objective: come up with the scariest prank to orchestrate real fear. But as the pranks escalate, the competition turns cutthroat and takes on a life of its own.
When the tables are turned and someone targets the club itself, Rachel must track down the real-life monster in their midst . . . even if it means finally confronting the dark secrets from her past.
-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.
Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.
“I’m just trying to say that fear is kind of this important thing in our lives. It’ll always be there. And if you let it, fear will hold you back.”
(3.5 / 5) I’m still waiting for all the pieces to fall into place. But while I’m still processing this, it was a bit underwhelming.
When I read horror (not often) I fully expect a creepy feeling. I had the creepy feeling very few times throughout this book. It was a book about high school and friendships with horror movies and cruel pranks thrown in.
The reasons behind Rachel being targeting are not defined enough for me. I needed a definite smack of “Oh. OH!” And I never got it. I’m still trying to make the pieces fit so it makes more sense.
From what I’ve learned about thriller/horror books, the best are the ones where I did not see the twist coming, where I’m slammed with the realization that I missed so much along the way. This killer was too obvious. I wanted it to be a side character that flew under the radar or someone I doubted. So while I was entertained, I wasn’t scared and I wasn’t wowed. It felt more like a horror movie that makes you laugh instead of scares you. The scary moments had the element of not being realistic.
Content Summary: The language is high with 20 F words. There is drinking and drugs at many teen parties. While there is not sex, there are crude comments throughout. The pranks take on a bullying vibe before they turn sinister.
Thank you to Fierce Reads for the copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This book releases April 13, 2021.
Detailed Content Review
Derogatory terms etc-
Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking
Teens are drunk at a party. One drinks vodka.
Two young women drink beer at a party. They both get buzzed.
Drinking is at many teen parties.
Wine is served at a party and a young man drinks a glass. Another young man does too. One gets very drunk. Vape and cigars are smoked. “Baggies and vials” (different drugs) were passed around. Whiskey is chugged by many. Many teens are drunk and continue drinking. A young man puts a pill on a young man’s tongue as a gift.
Intimacy, Sex, Immodesty
*Very minor LGBTQ+ aspects included*
A young woman grabs a stranger and kisses him.
A young woman makes clay accidentally look like a phallus (erect penis).
A young woman bites and nibbles a young man’s ear. She sits on his lap and they kiss passionately.
A young man strips to underwear and runs down the street.
A young man and young woman are making out in the back of a car. “Are we gonna screw?”
“…he took her … to bone… he obviously couldn’t get it up.”
“The only thing (he) has ever tried to beat is—we now know for sure—his nonfunctioning dick.”
A young woman and young man kiss multiple times while watching a movie on a bed.
A young woman and young man make out at a party.
A young woman and young man are making out on a bed. He unhooks her bra and runs her fingers through his hair. He talks about “poking her” and about his “dick.” He swirls his tongue in her mouth.
A young man is known for only drawing or sculpting “boobs” in art class.
Two young women make out in front of a young man as a gift to him.
A young man cups a young woman’s breast. She hurts him because of it.
Violence, Weapons, Crime, Blood
A story tells of a woman killing her husband with a cleaver then killing herself.
A young woman plunges scissors toward a young woman.
**SPOILER** A young woman fought off a man. He had a knife and she was able to kill him with it. It haunts her and it is referred to many times.
A young man finds a young man face down with blood. He saw bloody footprints. A man jumps out with a knife.
Someone shoves a young man. He kicks them with steel toed boots and hears ribs crack.
A young man punches a young man, splitting his lip.
A masked person and young man fight on the floor. A young woman hits the person with a heavy object.
**SPOILER** Someone stabs a young man in the back, making a “squelch” sound. He slowly falls to the ground. The person runs for a young woman but she hits him, knocking him out. A young man holds a knife to a young woman. She knees him in the groin and hits him with the end of a knife, breaking his nose. A young man stabs a young man, blood oozing through his fingers and pouring out of his mouth. A young man plunges a knife into a young man’s back.
Potentially Intense Themes
Two men are in a young woman’s house with white masks over their faces. She runs but one grabs her.
A group of teens has a seance.
A young woman has nightmares of an attack, many times. She sometimes dreams she is killed.
A young woman hears many sounds at night and finds a man with a mask. She runs and he chases after her, grabbing her. She falls down stairs.
A person in a mask is seen many times. It chases teens.
**SPOILER** A young woman falls from a large height and is lifeless, blood pooling. It is debated many times whether she fell, was pushed or jumped.
**Any quotes from the book are taken from the advanced copy and therefore may not be fully accurate or correctly compare to the final copy of the book.
**As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.