Cover Image: Little Darlings

Little Darlings

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Member Reviews

Just as promised, Little Darlings is compulsive, creepy, and inspired by some of our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking—and rechecking—your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe.

Great storyline and well-crafted characters make this a must read.
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Melanie Golding is a new to me author! Ooooh! This book was a delicious creepy mix of psychological thriller and supernatural folklore. I mean, who doesn't love that recipe??

This book was strange and different and devoured it! There were short sections with traditional folktales that made the novel even darker. Overall, I enjoyed it and recommend it.
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I’m not sure how to classify this book – it’s a police procedural, contemporary fiction, mythical/fairy tale, fantasy, and even a little suspense/thriller mystery all wrapped into one. We meet Lauren right after the birth of her twins, and her struggle to care for them by herself in the hospital ward. She’s exhausted. On the second night, a strange, dirty woman shows up in her room, threatening to swap twins with her (mythical changelings) – and no one will ever know the difference. DI Harper is pulled in after Lauren dials 999 in a panic to prevent the woman from stealing her babies.

As I was reading, I had a lot of questions. Is this a book actually about postpartum depression? Is Lauren going mad? Is this truly just in the fantasy genre? By the end of the book I still didn’t have an answer. (But I do think it’s a fantastic look into postpartum depression, and how overwhelmed mothers can feel. I can’t even imagine twins!)

For me, the book was a little slow moving in the beginning. We spend a lot of time in hospital with Lauren trying to navigate this new world of motherhood with two brand new babies. But once Lauren gets home the pace picks up and it’s a page-turner to the end. And the last chapter? I wanted to know more! I could have used more at the end for sure, I felt very invested in the characters at that point.
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The changeling trope in fairy tales has always been one of the creepier elements in literature. Golding is able to play with this theme in a really creative and creepy way in this book. Seriously - I got super creeped out by several sections in this one.

Lauren gives birth to twin boys at the beginning of the story. Events ensue that lead Lauren to believe that her babies have actually been switched out for other evil-spirited ones. The descriptions of the babies crying in sync or whispering was enough to make my skin crawl. Golding plays a great tight-rope so that the reader isn't sure whether to truly trust or believe Lauren or not. Some of the POV is told from a cop's perspective who's investigating Lauren's claims - these sections tended to drag on a bit for me. The action and drive for the plot was much more involving and captivating from Lauren's POV.

My only other complaint is that I wish there had been a little less ambiguity in the end. I wanted to know more! Otherwise, this is a fast-paced thriller with some interesting horror and folklore elements.
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This tale was a bit slow moving, in my opinion. The narrative was awkward and strained.  I didn’t hate the book, the subject matter being interesting, so will try this author again. 
Thanks for the ARC opportunity.
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Melanie Golding's debut thriller novel, Little Darlings, is one that immediately caught my attention. Thanks in part to a brilliant cover (I'm a sucker for this particular aesthetic) but also due to the description.

For many, the phrase 'mother knows best' evokes an image of a caring mother who knows the best way to care for her children. That, or they're picturing Mother Gothel's song. Now, that phrase is about to take on a more sinister twist.

Lauren Tranter may be exhausted – having twins will do that to a woman – but she knows what she saw. She knows that a woman snuck into her hospital room and attempted to swap out her children. What she doesn't understand is why nobody will believe her.

“She had to play the game, even before she knew what the rules were.”

In my book, there's little better than when a thriller novel pulls in fantasy elements, such as what happened here in Little Darlings. This is one of those tales that all changeling fans will love, even as they try and put the pieces of the puzzle together.

When this book promised to add a haunting twist to 'mother knows best' – they really weren't kidding! That phrase has already been a little warped for me (thanks, Disney), but now it's taken on a whole new meaning.

Is it bad that I'm rather digging it? It never occurred to me to try and blend that phrase with the concept of fae and kidnappings, but Melanie Golding has forced a perspective shift on my part. It's clever and horrifying all in one.

The way Golding's writing carries the story along is so perfect. It's creepy and feels off – in all the right ways, naturally. Readers can instantly tell that something is wrong, but it's harder to peg if what the mother saw was real – or a fantasy. That is until you keep reading.
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I am sorry for not reviewing fully but I don’t have the time to read this at the moment. I believe that it wouldn't benefit you as a publisher or your book if I only skimmed it and wrote a rushed review. Again, I am sorry for not fully reviewing!
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A psychological horror thriller inspired by fairy tales. I had huge expectations for this book, and also ended up preordering a finished copy as I was so sure I was going to like it. "Little Darlings" was a big buzzbook when it was released, and is also going to be a big motion picture. In the book we meet Lauren, who starts to believe that her newborn twins have been replaced by changelings. "Little Darlings" puts a spin on every parents worst nightmare. Twins are a well used trope in legends and the paranormal. 

Parts mystery and parts horror, this is a pageturner and a well written novel. I did expect the novel to be way more darker than it turned out. I also did not find it creepy, more interesting and I was curious to find out where the story would lead. "Little Darlings" is an entertaining read about what we would do to protect our children from an author I wish to read more of in the future.
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Thank you netgalley, the publisher and author.
I did not like this novel, I had a difficult time with the characters and story line.
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This is a twisty, dark, trippy (in a mental way) tale that leaves the reader with questions. Is it real, or just an overtired new mother's postpartum fears?
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Not the biggest fan of this one, although I feel it's mostly because of the fairy tale retelling to which I am unfamiliar with. I think back to when I read it and don't have good vibes (who really would, when it's about a woman who has PPD and is being told she is seeing things when she believes another lady is after her twins)...I flew through it basically to find out what the 'real deal' was. I also feel that the 'crazy woman' troupe has been done so often that it's hard to keep reading book after book with that as a central theme. I did like her writing style although it took a little while to be fully engaged in the story. Fans of modern-day retellings may really enjoy it!
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4 big stars! This book was inspired by a Welsh fairytale. This book fits into the mystery/thriller/horror/police procedural category of books. If you love creepy books, this one's for you. I certainly loved it!
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I am not leaving a review due to the fact that this book did not interest me enough to finish the story.
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Little Darlings was absolutely creepy, maybe moreso as a mother.  I feel this book had more of a dark fairy tale vibe opposed to a psycologial thriller, although there were plenty of pschologial aspects!!  Alternated between audio and ebook, and the audio brought a while new level of creepy to the book with the broken sounding music and the lady's voice.
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I wanted to like this book. Truly I did. And it did hold my interest. But again, I think authors think they know what readers want to see but in the end fail to capitalize.
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Dark, devastating and intense. This one reeled me in and never let go. I couldn’t put it down. Fantastic storyline and detailed characters. A definite winner.
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Thanks for the opportunity to read this book, it's not my usual genre so was bit unusual but was a good change. Would recommend it to you
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There was much to enjoy here, but I found I couldn't connect with it. I'd read more from this author in the future though.
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This is a spine chilling thriller.

It kept me on tenterhooks all the way through. 
So was the mother who just gave birth to twins suffering from some sort of psychosis? Was the traumatic birth what sent her over the top?

This is a deep psychological thriller that will make your teeth rattle for sure.
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Creepy, engaging, unfinished.
Lauren is afraid. But is she unhinged?
Patrick is a cad. But is he calculating? 
Did Harper believe?
Are the answers coming or is the reader to draw their own conclusions? 
I’m all for a good mystery but I want a defined ending.
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