Cover Image: Resurrection Girls

Resurrection Girls

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Member Reviews

3.75 Stars

I received an eARC of this book via Netgalley and the publishers in exchange for an honest review.
Full disclosure - I did some research on the author afterward and I'm trying my best not to let that research cloud my judgment of the book itself.

Characters *** I wasn't the biggest fan of Kara, but I get why she is the way she is. I do like Olivia and her journey throughout the novel.

Cover **** I mean come oooooon, there's a skeleton hand! How could I not love it?!?!

Pace **** I felt like this moved pretty well. I read it fairly quickly over a couple of free evenings.

Plot *** Ok here's where it gets a bit sticky. There are some amazing parts to this. The view of grief and loss and how it affects people differently and what death can mean for those left behind. It was just, so hauntingly, beautifully done. But the paranormal aspects were just off a bit.

Writing **** I love the way Morgyn weaved her words together. Again, just hauntingly beautiful.

It wasn't the pills she was addicted to. It was the grief, the simultaneous struggle to clutch her pain to her chest as she once had my brother and to push it as far away as possible, as though by gaining distance from his loss she could make it less real.

Enjoyment **** While there were parts of this that I was just like "What the actual F*** is happening right now" I enjoyed it as a whole.

Cry * I sobbed. But that was more from the research portion but I'm giving Morgyn the point anyway because I think she deserves it
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4 stars⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

"𝓘𝓽’𝓼 𝓷𝓸 𝓵𝓸𝓷𝓰𝓮𝓻 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝓵𝓸𝓼𝓼 𝓸𝓯 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝓹𝓮𝓻𝓼𝓸𝓷 𝔂𝓸𝓾 𝓶𝓸𝓾𝓻𝓷, 𝓫𝓾𝓽 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝓵𝓸𝓼𝓼 𝓸𝓯 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝓱𝓪𝓾𝓷𝓽. 𝓐𝓷𝓭 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝓪𝓫𝓼𝓮𝓷𝓬𝓮 𝓲𝓼 𝓪𝓵𝓵 𝓽𝓱𝓪𝓽 𝓲𝓼 𝓵𝓮𝓯𝓽 𝔀𝓱𝓮𝓷 𝔂𝓸𝓾 𝓻𝓮𝓪𝓬𝓱 𝓯𝓸𝓻 𝔂𝓸𝓾𝓻 𝓹𝓪𝓲𝓷."

𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐬: Sixteen year old Olivia's life hasn't felt the same since her little brother drowned in the pool three years ago. Her mother and father are each dealing with the grief in their own, destructive ways. When Kara moves in across the street with her mother and grandmother, Olivia quickly realizes that the family is a little different, but she could never guess just how much.
𝐏𝐥𝐨𝐭: Character-driven, doses of magical realism, grief-centric
𝐖𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠: Lyrical without being flowery, un-put-down-able
𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬: Imperfect, a little complicated, but realistic

-Easy and fast read
-Interesting concept to imbue a story hinged on grief and death with elements of magical realism
-Simple, beautiful, and un-putdownable prose
-Great investigation of grief and tragedy

-There were hints of the magical realism throughout but the end suddenly just opened up the floodgates on it and it felt very jarring
-Kara serves as a bit of a manic-pixie-dream-girl character

𝘐 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘦𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘯 𝘢𝘥𝘷𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘱𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘣𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘶𝘣𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘪𝘯 𝘦𝘹𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢𝘯 𝘩𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘪𝘦𝘸.
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I could not stop reading this book! It was mysterious with a little bit of weird and magical too. The writing was wonderful - the way the author described things just perfect. There were some darker and sadder aspects to this novel but they were well written and added so much to making the characters real. Overall, if you are looking for a fast paced and engaging read I would recommend
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I just couldn’t get this no matter how many times I tried the reason I’m giving it 3 stars is because of the cover alone
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Thank you to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for a honest review! If I’m honest, I really enjoyed this story. The characters were dynamic and complex, and the writing style overall was good in my opinion. However, towards the end of the book, I ultimately just became very confused. I understand that there was tension between Kara, Prescott, and Olivia in terms of them all having feelings for one another, but Prescott and Kara almost sleeping together when Olivia is scared to death of what Kara is insistent on doing (meeting someone who’s connected to one of the prisoners she’s written to) and asks Prescott to check on her? Once this came into play, the end of this book just felt like a completely different story to me and brought my levels of enjoyment I had had with this story down.
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Cool cover, disappointing read. 
Only a chapter into this book, I could tell I was in for a boring ride. These characters... they weren’t flat, but I just couldn’t bring myself to care about any but one of them, which was frustrating. The setting was all in one place, apart from one scene, and the ending was just plain weird, confusing, and incredibly rushed. 
The whole story was oddly put together, and though it did well represent grief, I couldn’t bring myself to appreciate any other aspect of this book.
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this spoopy book was perfect for this halloween season. i loved it! i loved all the things. the characters. the setting. the writing. it all was amazing and i spooped my pants!
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While there are a few hints of something supernatural in the early parts of this novel, I found the final chapters an entirely different tone than the rest of the book. I think the problem comes with the perspective character. We have one girl failing to cope with grief, another facing a family curse. Since the perspective is that of the grieving girl, the reveal of the curse comes basically out of nowhere. While dealing with the weird family next door forces the protagonist and her family to address their grief, it doesn't leave much room for addressing the curse.
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This book was a very interesting paranormal book that I think YA readers, as well as adult readers would enjoy. The writing has a bit of a dark feel, but it adds to the story.
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Every year, I try to get out of my comfort zone and read something a little spooky for Halloween. So, when I saw Resurrection Girls by Ava Morgyn floating around my bookstagram feed I thought I’d give it a try. I’ll admit I didn’t know anything about it, but the cover has a skeletal hand, which to me screams “spooky season”. Guys, I was wrong. This book does have its moments that left me feeling uneasy, but overall it is just a depressing and confusing story.

Resurrection Girls is mainly about the aftermath of tragedy, and how people try to cope with loss. Olivia is a 16-year-old girl, who lost her three-year-old brother in a drowning accident three years prior. Olivia has not dealt with her grief and stays holed up in her bedroom, unable to face the world outside. Her mother pops prescription pills for anxiety, depression, and pain. They do not help her in any way, and instead she has become a zombie-like drug addict. Olivia’s father works long hours and tries to sweep the pain and suffering under the rug. No one in this family has faced their grief head-on or in a healthy manner, and the family is suffering. The parents do not have a relationship with each other, and Olivia, too, feels alone in her grief. She craves her parents’ attention, even if it is negative.

When a new family moves into the home across the street on the anniversary of her brother’s death, Olivia is sent over to welcome them to the neighborhood. There, Olivia meets a family, consisting of three generations of women. There is the strange grandmother who is blind (but seems to see Olivia more clearly than anyone has in years), the mother, and then there is Kara. Kara is the teenage daughter, and the best way I can describe this girl is reckless. She lies, steals, and always gets her way even if it’s at the expense of other people’s feelings. We all know those people. They are so magnetic, but deep down you know they’re no good for you. Well, Olivia knew, but at the same time, Kara was pulling her out of her grief, encouraging her to find answers, and leading her to confront her parents about the death of her brother — as well as confronting them on how they were doing a pretty crap job at parenting and overcoming their own grief. So in the process, she overlooked Kara’s shortcomings.

There’s a whole second storyline surrounding Kara and her odd family that I barely touched on because I don’t want to spoil this book, and yes, it includes the letters, but I’m not even sure the letters were necessary to the plot. This storyline just baffled me, and in my opinion, should have been scrapped. To me, it seemed that the only important story that needed to be told was that of overcoming grief and tragedy. But then again, that’s just my opinion, and someone else may read this same book and hope for the opposite, because this book is honestly two tales twisted together. Yes, there are moments where they collide, but it isn’t seamless, and mostly left me feeling uneasy and confused.

In the end, I definitely believe there is someone out there that will think this book is a five star read, especially if they enjoy dark reads dealing with death, but y’all, that just isn’t me.

Thank you to NetGalley and AW Teen for providing me with an e-arc copy for review.
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Rating: 3 stars

This book was average, but had an interesting plot. Not a lot of young adult books tackle how people handle grief in a REALISTIC way so I think the book did that well. The genre was marketed as magical realism so I was really excited to read it. Everything was set up well for an eerie horror yet youthful novel. Unfortunately, that went down the drain as I read it.

FIrst of all, the 80s can be a really exciting setting or a really boring one depending on how you write it. Guess how this one went. In addition, none of the characters are particularly likable. I  am all for a morally grey/rude/crazy characters as long as they are well done and feel real. Which these ones didn't Kara felt like an overbearing friend and Olivia's quietness went from a cute bashfulness to pathetic. I also wish the plot progressed faster. However, I was able to finish the book and I definitely didn't hate it.
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Note: I received this book from the author/publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

*3.5 stars*

Resurrection Girls has the potential to be super spooky and gothic but was ultimately missing that piece that took it to the spookiest it could be. The author does a great job capturing the feelings and trauma of losing a family member, the grief is palpable and felt so realistic (Ava Morgyn lost a child during the writing process so she was able to pour her feelings and experiences into this book, I certainly appreciate her raw look at grief). But ultimately, there were aspects that were left unresolved or wrapped up too quickly. The pacing was just a little off for me and it let me down. The ending was really just rushed and not great. Bonus points for that gorgeous cover though!
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This is a powerful book that is poignant, brings tears to the eyes and tells a tale that will reach a younger reader, all at the same time. 


Already this author has been commended by others for the accurate portrayal of grief.  I want to add something more to this. 


The author does more than portray grief. Grief is portrayed in the complicated way that grief is. There is no one way a person is to grieve, and no person grieves the same way. Some choose to ignore the pain, some try to drown it in alcohol or cloud it with drugs. Some choose to try to believe it never happened.  And for fun, those are but a few of the ways people try to deal.  More fun is people are allowed to mix and match and do as many as there are minutes in a day. 


The portrayal of the family dealing with Robby's death was heart wrenching, painful, difficult to read at times, shocking, even offensive, but throughout simply honest.


Along with this important message is a story of teen angst, growth and relationship ennui not seen since Joey climbed out of Dawson's room because Jen just moved in next door.  There were times I thought this book reminded me of Dawson's Creek, then of Charmed.  Finally, I believe this book's teen story line is Dawson's Creek meets Charmed with Charmed having evil witches.


The book is a hard read but a very rewarding one.  I can recommend it to anyone who has ever dealt with grief or knows someone who has been impacted by grief.  Top it off it is also good for people who like the complications of teen romance.


My Rating: 5 stars
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Did Not Finish this one. Read 60%. I was put off by the cast of unlikable characters. I was also disgusted by the theme of the girls writing to convicts in prison for thrills and profit. Not for me.
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Review: Overall this is a story more about grief than magic. The day Olivia’s younger brother died, so did the rest of her family, just in their own way. Then one day Kara and her family move in across the street and life is never the same.

Let me say while this is a YA book, I recommend it for older readers. Triggers from drug use to suicidal thoughts to the death of a child and more

To me there was very little magic in this book and the whole magical element could have been left out with little to no effect on the story. And what a great story it is. We grieve with Olivia and her family. We see how much she wants things to be normal again. Kara is far from normal but maybe a little Wild is what she needs to be alive again.

When this book ended I still wasn’t sure what I read but that’s not always a bad thing. Maybe the good ones leave you wondering. 🌟🌟🌟🌟
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Three years ago, Olivia's little brother drowned in the backyard. Since then, her family is falling apart. Everything changes when Kara's family moves into the house across the street. 

This book has so many elements going for it. A really creepy atmosphere, a compelling basis, and an interesting question that runs through the story.  

There was hinting at a queer romance and I was on board until the end when (SPOILER WARNING SPOILER WARNING SPOILER WARNING) Kara was raped by Death (who is also her dad?) and Olivia ends up with the male childhood best friend character who I honestly don't care about enough to even remember his name. 

(MORE SPOILERS: Actually, having Death be a character at all is so strange when he's basically a plot device. Why not have Kara's dad actually be a murderer and have her dealing with that while Olivia deals with Robby's death? That would have been so much more compelling.)

At the end, a lot of potential that was thoroughly wasted. 3/5
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The family never got over the death of 3 year old Robby Foster. Never properly grieved for, he was always there, looming over his family like a fog.
When 3 generations of women move in across the street Olivia finally lets herself think of something other than the fact that her baby brother is gone. 

This book started off really spooky and strong, I was hooked right away. 
The three women, the spooky grandmother, with her vague one liners, and that jar of jelly. 
But then nothing happened. I was expecting a strong supernatural presence based on that grandmother ... and the jelly.
But the grandmother didn't get must face time and the jelly was never really explained.

In fact a couple things were not explained.

I guess the author tried to tie it all up in the last few chapters, but I would have liked a more solid explanation. 

It felt like a regular book, about regular teenagers doing weird teenager things, book ended by a really cool science fiction / supernatural beginning and a rushed but still science fiction / supernatural ending.
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I loved this book and would highly recommend it. I'm amazed by the quality of the stories coming out in the YA category. The characters were well-developed, the story felt fresh and I was drawn in to the plot from beginning to end. 

Review was sent to amazon but it is not posted yet.
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What a weird, yet beautiful, little book. I went in expecting something a little creepy, a little sad, a little quirky, but I closed the book (er, Kindle) with the sense that (a) I had just read a painfully real look at grief and loss, and (b) I just observed one of the most bizarre endings I had ever read. No, that isn’t a spoiler; trust me when I say it is not one you couldn’t predict even if you tried.

So let’s start with the plot:

“In the beginning, the dead are always with you. It’s almost as if they aren’t even gone, as though you could round any given corner and see them there, waiting.”

Olivia is not dead, but she might as well be. Since the death of her younger brother three years ago, she has wandered in a cloud of apathy, grief, and guilt. She isolates and sometimes self-medicates, while her father stays out late nearly every night doing who-knows-what and her mother is deeply addicted to pills that numb the pain.

“When we try to hold on to the dead, we lose pieces of ourselves.”

Enter Kara: confident, sometimes cruel, and kind of morbid, a girl who is Olivia’s age but acts far older. When she moves in across the street with her mother and her blind, very-creepy grandma, she is quick to take Olivia under her wing. Soon, Olivia is stepping just slightly past the bounds of her misery, rekindling her friendship with her childhood best friend Prescott Peters, and helping Kara with her weird hobby of writing letters to inmates on death row. But as Olivia gets swept up in Kara’s orbit, she begins to question just what she needs to do to save her family…and save herself.

“Kara was my resurrection girl, my messiah, and I was Lazarus, rising from the grave at her command. But there was something unnatural in it. Was I to be a miracle? Or simply an abomination?”

It’s hard to find a good starting point for my thoughts. I guess I’ll start by reiterating that this is not a light book. It deals with a lot of heavy topics, especially death and unhealthy coping methods (see my list of trigger and content warnings at the end of this review). Yet it was still a very quick read for me, due to a combination of its accessible language and its generally quick pacing. Sometimes the pacing was a little too quick, with events spiraling out a little too quickly and not enough connective narrative tissue to hold them together, but as a whole, it balanced itself well between Olivia’s numb, self-doubting internal monologue and the blistering reality that is her life.

“‘Life goes on.’ But it’s no kind of life and my parents and I hardly qualified as living.”

The dynamics between the three main characters were equal parts absorbing and painful to watch. Kara is a masterful manipulator–that much is apparent from her first interactions with Olivia–but she oscillates between carefree confidence and a nearly-malicious need for control. She plays both Olivia and Prescott like fiddles, and they both seem happy to let her do just that. She’s one of those characters who you kind of hate, because she makes terrible choices and does awful things to the people who trust her, but you have to grudgingly appreciate because her machinations bring about a much-needed change.

“He’s dead, I thought again. We all are. How silly of me to forget.”

Olivia’s narration of all of her hurt, the shouting matches and stony silences with her parents, the self-blame and isolation and guilt, is visceral and moving. Her character development over the narrative is uneven, but this is entirely believable–human progress, especially in coming back from a horrible event, is rarely linear. We see this not just in Olivia as an individual, but also in her parents, struggling to come back from their worst nightmare, and in her rocky path back to friendship with Prescott, who has some serious skeletons of his own. I think that was one of the details that struck me most about this story: nobody’s life is perfect, and there are no golden boys and girls here–just people with unhealthy ways to cope, some of which are more visible than others. And, in a move that so many novels fail to make, this one pointedly examines the very real consequences of those coping choices.

“The story I am trapped in…never crests, crescendos, peaks, and dips back down into a resolution we can settle happily into. Instead, it slithers, bucks, and then slides along, dragging us with it.”

But, lest you think this is just a nonstop stream of sadness, I do want to stress that this story is as much about healing as it is about pain. It is a movement from wallowing to walking to running–emotionally speaking, of course. There is a tiny hint of romance, causing some turbulent waters surrounding all three main characters (and yes, there is a queer component to the…er…”love triangle” isn’t quite the right word…). And the ending had one super wild twist that I still don’t fully understand, one that really amped up the “creepy magic” element of the book to a new level.

“I think anyone is capable of love, but broken people love in broken ways.”

Ava Morgyn tells the story with impressive depth and realism (and a hint of magic), and her language manages to hit several emotional home-runs. In fact, there were a LOT of beautifully quotable lines, both in Olivia’s narration and in the dialogue between her and Kara; I highlighted entirely too many of them in my Kindle, and they’re distributed throughout this review, as you could probably tell.

“There are a thousand kinds of pain. We don’t have names for them all, but we know them individually, each by its own unique ache.”

Now, this wasn’t a perfect story. Like I mentioned at the start of this review, the pacing is kind of off, with some plot points that don’t seem to quite go in a logical order. There isn’t nearly as much time spent on Kara’s death row pen pals as there could have been; there was a lot of potential to explore more ideas on morality and mortality there, but I suppose that those themes were sidelined in favor of brevity. And, well…the ending felt out of place. It wasn’t tonally consistent with the rest of the book. Or rather, it was still dark in tone, but a specific moment (you’ll know it when you read it) made no logical sense and shattered my suspension of disbelief for a bit.

In short, this was not the sort of spooky read I was anticipating, and it gave me a heck of a lot more feelings than I expected. But, sad though it was, I’m quite glad I read it. (As an aside, the book takes place in the summer, and I think it may be a better read for a melancholy, lazy summer day than for a brisk autumn one. Perhaps, if you decide to read it, that would be a better time to do so.)

Trigger/content warnings: prescription drug abuse (by both adults and minors), alcohol abuse, addiction, death of a child, grief, depression, mention of sexual assault (in context of a criminal’s charges)
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I went into this book thinking it would be creepier than it ultimately was. This is definitely a contemporary with some speculative, dark undertones. I loved what this book had to say about grief. The way we see the three family members cope (or not cope at all) with their loss was really well done. However, not much else worked for this book. I didn't quite understand the ending, and I felt like Kara's family could have been explored much more.
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