Cover Image: Unspeakable Things

Unspeakable Things

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Member Reviews

This had a creepy and well done atmosphere and characters. I liked the age of the MC, because it added to the atmosphere - as a kid, she didn't pick up on some of the nuances of adults that the reader does. You spend so much time worrying and trying to decipher her world (since she is a kid and is either missing things or completely misinterpreting it). 

But around 75%, this story started to feel flat. The atmosphere that felt so oppressive and scary completely went away and instead of fearing the outcome and the answers, I almost wanted to stop. And sure enough, the actual ending was a let down. Not only is there not closure for a lot of the threads you've been worrying over and wondering about, but the ultimate bad guy felt like one of the easy ones to pick. It was still a very well done story and I did feel pulled in for at least the first half.
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This is a very dark and disturbing mystery story with an extremely fitting title.  Maybe not the best pick for the very faint of heart but an extremely engrossing, slow-burn of a book for hardcore horror fans.
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Cassie in small town Minnesota, a young girl growing up in a dysfunctional family where everything is just a little bit different. The story is dark, the people even darker. However I missed the general line in the story. It is very clear that Jess Lourey finds herself amongst the better writers out there though. This is anything but a bad book.

Cassie is interesting as a character, I got to like her. However most of the other characters never managed to get to life for me.  In the end I was left with more questions than I started. But who knows, maybe this was the intention?

Why are the people the way they are? What happens with them when they are out of view? What is really going on behind closed doors? Are these swinger parties just to create shock and awe in the story or is there an actual reason for it? Why was the creep from page 1 in the end the actual culprit? Why is everyone so damn weird but we never find out what they are actually up to?

All in all I didn't really enjoy this book as much as I hoped it would.
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I love coming of age books and this was made even better with multiple creepy characters, a possibly unreliable narrator and lots of twists and turns. Would definitely recommend!
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This was hard to read. Disturbing, sick, and sad- and I have a strong stomach for themes like these.
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I downloaded Unspeakable Things as I am deeply fascinated with true crime. With everything going on in the world right now, this book was been put aside due to its heavy nature. I haven't found it in myself ready to pick this up so I'm going to rate it a 3 without having read it.
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Thank you to net galley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Unspeakable Things is written from the perspective of Cassie, a 12-13 year old girl growing up in Lilydale, Minnesota where there are rumors swirling about a string of attacks on young boys leaving the town and Cassie in constant fear for the children of their town. I really enjoyed this book, it was well written and held my attention, a great story. My only criticism would be character development. Most of the things/people Cassie described being so afraid of throughout the story (no spoilers sorry) I was never able to understand exactly what she was so afraid of or why. I had hoped the ending might resolve some of those questions, but it didn't. I would have actually liked to have more than just Cassie's perspective (her mom or Sephie possibly) so I could have sympathized or at least understood better why she felt many of the things she did about some of the other characters. Other than that it was an excellent book which I would def recommend to friends and family.
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started this book but found it really wasnt for me so was a DNF at 15% - apologies for the late posting
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This novel was suspenseful from the very start! I had no idea where the story was going and it kept me on toes. I read this book in just a few sittings, would definitely recommend.
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Engrossing. I was comsumed by this book. It's dark and twisted and, although it's fiction, could be a news headline in our current world. The culprit was a bit predictable and the ending vague.  I'm sure that was intentional. Overall I enjoyed it
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Jess Lourey does it again. Dark magic and evil things send a shiver up your spine. You won't be able to put it down until you finish.
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Thank you Netgalley and the publisher’s for an advanced copy of this book for an honest review.

This book is narrated by 12 year old Cassie the youngest daughter of an obviously dysfunctional family . This book is a slow burn with hints of abuse and fear of the controlling father . It’s also the story of a town in fear as boys have been abducted and sexually attacked. This town has many dysfunctional men and each suspect has their own history to contend with. Sadly this book was based on truth. It was well written with many uncomfortable secrets to tell and because the story is told by a 12 year old it’s up to the reader at times to work out what is happening especially at home. The book was well written but not for the feint hearted and lives up to its title.
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An interesting premise for a book and it delivers. A great storyline and great characters, cery glad I requested this one :)
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Unspeakable Things
A Novel
by Jess Lourey


Thomas & Mercer

Thomas & Mercer
 General Fiction (Adult) 
  Mystery & Thrillers 
Pub Date 01 Jan 2020


I am reviewing a copy of Unspeakable Things through Thomas & Mercer and Netgalley:



Cassie McDowell’s life in 1980’s Minnesota seemed like a perfectly wholesome life.    She lived on a fam, loved school and had a crush on the nicest boy in her class.  But her parents have parties and there is the parade of deviant guests that come in go, but she has become accustomed to those.




But everything changes when someone comes hunting in Lilydale.


Local boys go missing one by one, after they are returned they are changed.  The boys have become violent, moody, and withdrawn.   What they went through became subject to wild rumors and speculations.  And the accusations of who was responsible are just as wild, but in this dangerous town secrets begin to come to light.  





Cassie’s sister also goes through the dark change, and if she is  going to survive.  Cassie must figure her way in an adult world where every sin is justified, and only the truth is unforgivable.



I give Unspeakable Things five out of five stars!



Happy Reading!
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This book focuses on Cassie and her family (mom, dad and her sister Sephie). The book is told from Cassie's pov and I actually enjoyed her as a character. She's only 12 and the things she's experiencing in her family and in her town are at times heartbreaking. In the home, Cassie and Sephie are dealing with a father that really should not be around children at all. He was an all around detestable human. Outside the home, the boys in the community are being assaulted. Cassie is contending with monsters at home and in her community.

There are several things happening in this book that are really horrible and may be difficult for some people to read. I am generally okay with tough topics as long as the book holds my interest. The book, and Cassie in particular, did manage to hold my interest. There is this interesting mix in Cassie where she is very naive in ways that you would expect from a 12 year old, but in other ways she knows more and has been exposed to more than she should have at her age. Watching additional layers of her innocence fall apart was at times hard to read, but I wanted to know how things were going to turn out for her. I also wanted to know who was hurting the boys in the town.

Unfortunately, that's where the book fell flat. The person who was revealed to be harming the boys was not at all satisfying. The culprit was just too expected. There were other options that would have made for a more satisfying reveal. More importantly, I don't know what happened with Cassie and her lack luster mom and monster of a dad.
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Unfortunately, this book left a lot to be desired, thus my two star rating. What I can say is, I enjoyed Lourey’s writing and would probably read another novel by her, but the real action didn’t take place until the last 10%. 

Every few chapters, I was left on the edge of my seat waiting for something to really engage me and keep the story moving along, but alas, it never really came. I guess it’s good it was at least suspenseful, but when the ending did finally arrive, it was a bit lackluster. The culprit was easily guessed, and overall, I would’ve liked more insight into Cassie’s relationship with her dad and the abuse that was clearly taking place into her home. It’s only hit very surface level.

I will say I enjoyed the setting. Lourey really drops you into the 1980s Minnesotan summer the book takes place in. It’s easy to imagine yourself there, and you may even find yourself thinking back on your own childhood.

Special thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
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This was what I would consider a “slow burn” book but I still enjoyed it. The writing was accessible and I kept coming back for the story even though it was incredibly dark subject matter. I would recommend this book as long as people are fully aware of the dark themes and the trigger warnings. I look forward to reading more work from this author.
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I chose this book because it took place in Minnesota and is based on real events. Cassie McDowell is a 12 year girl who grew up on a farm in rural Minnesota.  Bad things started to happen when boys started to go missing. Cassie has two things to worry about...she worries about her dad coming upstairs in the middle of the night, and she worries about the monster who is taking boys around her community.

This was a quick read. It kept me on the edge of my seat and I read it in an afternoon. I would recommend this book. Thank you to NetGalley for the advanced copy for my honest review.
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You will find plenty of suspense in this novel based on true events from the author's hometown.
Cass and her older sister Sephora have grown up with parents who appear to love each other despite enjoying an unusual lifestyle.  For as long as Cass can remember she has lived in fear of the sound of her father's footsteps on the stairs.
Cass fancies herself as an amateur sleuth and takes up the challenge when local police fail to catch the person responsible for the murders of several local boys.  She discovers all the boys caught the same school bus and considers police are ignoring something vital to the investigation.  Her continued interest may become a threat to her own life.
Even though I ended up caught up in the story line I felt it took a while to get to the point.  That might have been more due to my impatience ie wanting to know what was going on and who was behind it all than any fault of the writer.  Several suspects will be delivered along the way and I made the mistake of thinking I knew who was behind the crimes. Also it felt like there was a little missing from the ending  I wanted to know what happened to the girls father and Sergeant B.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of the uncorrected proof in return for an honest review.
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The book jacket description of Unspeakable Things implies some kind of strange (supernatural) aspects at work.  The book is intriguing and made me want to keep reading to find out what was going on, but it never really paid off.  There is a lot of description from the main character, Cassie, of her father climbing up the stairs to their bedrooms.  There is a lot of insinuation about what happens to change the boys, and also what Cassie's father is doing to both her and her sister, but the ending leaves the reader feeling as though the questions aren't really answered.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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