Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Sawkill Girls // the stabby queer feminist book of my dreams

Sawkill Girls is a wonderfully creepy tale that is equal parts eerie and fierce. It's a story about disappearing girls and dark evils, all cloaked in a glorious atmosphere of looming forests and otherworldly magic.

The story revolves around three girls: Marion, Zoey, and Val, and how they all find themselves entangled in the supernatural disappearances on Sawkill Island. The mystery behind this story is thrilling to uncover, and the characters and their relationships are so messy and flawed that it's difficult not to fall just a little bit in love with them.

Maybe it was the writer in her, who believed even the tallest tales were rooted in truth.

The writing itself is so vivid. The setting thrums with so much life. There were scenes that felt utterly dreamy, and others that made my skin crawl. I'm not a horror fan in the slightest, but by blending the genre with fantasy, Legrand has created a novel that is impossible to put down.

Moreover, the author deals with themes of girlhood subtly and powerfully in a way that I've not seen another fantasy novel do before. The story addresses how girls hunger for the things they're told they cannot have, and there is so much symbolism to unpack about how men often dominate the narrative in ways that sometimes go unseen. What is particularly brilliant and unsettling is how the antagonists of this story could easily be the protagonists of another. But this book pretty much says screw that. Women aren't there to be the victims of your story. They exist to be the heroes of their own.

"Screw that book," said Val. "It was written by men."

I loved seeing these girls be strong and bold and scared and brave. They fight for family. For knowledge. For themselves. Irresistibly dark and haunting, Sawkill Girls is the stabby queer feminist book of my dreams.

Thank you to Edelweiss for providing me with this ebook in exchange for an honest review.


YA Fantasy/Horror


Black and Asexual protagonist; Bisexual protagonist (label not specified in the text); Queer protagonist (label not specified in the text)

Implied drug abuse, gore, animal gore, suicidal thoughts, violence, domestic violence, acephobia, death, implied rape, self-harm

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