Cover Image: Resurrection Girls

Resurrection Girls

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Resurrection Girls by Ava Morgyn:

“Olivia Foster hasn’t felt alive since her little brother drowned in the backyard pool three years ago. Then Kara Hallas moves in across the street with her mother and grandmother, and Olivia is immediately drawn to these three generations of women. Kara is particularly intoxicating, so much so that Olivia not only comes to accept Kara's morbid habit of writing to men on death row, she helps her do it. They sign their letters as the Resurrection Girls.
But as Kara’s friendship pulls Olivia out of the dark fog she’s been living in, Olivia realizes that a different kind of darkness taints the otherwise lively Hallas women—an impulse that is strange, magical, and possibly deadly.”

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

From the beginning I knew the trama of the book would be messed up. Started weird and ended weird. I don’t even know on which genre this book is on (definitely fiction, but which in specific, I have no idea).
The main character felt off durning the entire book, but it somehow felt necessary so her development was more noticeable. The character of Kara is super odd and extrovert, it made me feel a bit awkward. In my opinion, the most normal character was Prescott.
As the story continues it becomes less predictable and random oddities start to pop. I have to admit that de strangeness kept me hook (so hooked that I read 40% of the book in like 3 hours). Those events also unravel de story behinds Robby’s death and you began to understand more about Olivia and Kara’s personalities.
The twist and turns of the story were massive, but the author makes them sound like as if that was part of the day life, so it takes time to make sense of them.
Even when at the end everything kind of solves in a way, it didn’t answer all my questions and because the main character is okay in not knowing the answer of some of them, I doubt there would be a sequel or prequel.
The book was kind of dark and describes death in many ways, it also has “fantastic" events so I would recommenced it to teens.

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The cover is gorgeous, the blurb enticing, and over all a great read.

This isn’t my typical genre choice, however once I read the blurb I was hooked and had to have this book. I can’t wait to read it again and again once I get my hands on a finished copy.

Such a great read it was incredibly well written with plot points that kept me hooked and craving more.

I can’t wait to see what this author comes up with next.

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An intriguing debut about loss and moving on. At times the writing felt a bit forced and the story dragged a bit. Otherwise it is a great debut. Olivia Foster lost her baby brother three years ago when he drowned in the backyard pool. Her family is still dealing with the grief when Kara and her family move in across the street. Kara and Olivia become fast friends but Olivia soon realizes there is something strange, magical, and dark about the Hallam women.

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This was one of the hardest books I’ve read in a long time and I really don’t know how I managed to get through it without crying but every other line broke my heart and I felt the tragedy for the characters in a way that I don’t think I’ll be able to shake off in a long time.

Resurrection Girls is about loss. It’s about family trauma and how the aftermath permanently fractures relationships to the point that people blind themselves with pills and with magic potions so they do not have to feel, or exist in the real world. If there was a medication or shot to stop simply feeling I’m sure most if not all of us would readily take it.

Olivia is three years past the tragic drowning of her 3 year old brother Robby and her family still lives in a haze. Olivia herself goes through life monotonously and it is only when new neighbors move in that that monotony ends. The Hallas family are 3 generations of women - grandmother, mother, daughter and right away they stand out. Kara is Olivia’s age and it is pretty much instantaneous when they begin to hang out. This is when the Resurrection Girls comes to play. The writing of prison pen pal letters sealed away with candy kissed hearts and illicit intention.

The writing in this book is stunning, Ava Morgyn is a fantastic writer and draws you into the story and doesn’t relinquish you until the very bitter end. The characters are realistic and alluring. There are many instances where I absolutely hated one character but also sympathized so much.

The plot is easy to follow but there are a few hiccups particularly the very end, I was left wondering out loud if that was really it but it did not ruin my love for this book. It’s well done and hauntingly beautiful. It is the perfect read for the start of autumn when it is expected to come out. A truly witchy, magical book that forces you to look death and grief in the face and take both head on.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher all opinions are my own.

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Fr0m the description. I was hooked, I'm glad I requested this one as it was really good. I loved the concept and the characters in the book.

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4.5 stars

I just stayed up to finish this book and all I can say is wow. Although I have never felt the depths of grief that are shared here, the author did an incredible job of giving us a glimpse of what it probably feels like to those who have lost a child. I seriously thought this book was going to be about the supernatural and the horror that often accompanies it. But although there is clearly a supernatural thread that is woven through this story, this book is about grief and how those who grieve go through different stages and process it similarly and uniquely. This book absolutely tore my heart apart, but it also brought healing at the end.

This appears to be a debut novel for the author and I am very impressed. There were some editing issues here and there in this ARC, but overall, it wasn't too bad, although there were a few places (3?) where suddenly in the middle of sentences appeared a couple of words that didn't seem to have anything to do with the book. I'm not sure what those were (Easter eggs?), but they were a bit odd. Still, I found this story to be riveting and emotional to read.

Special thanks to NetGalley, Ava Morgyn, and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review. This was well worth it!

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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. Super cool cover... Super weird book I didn't enjoy. I liked the message the author was trying to send that one must cope with death and not hide from it. But the rest of the story just got too weird for me. Writing letters to creepy and gross convicts who raped and murdered people? Yuck. And the super unnecessary twist at the end just weirded me out even more 🤣 definitely had potential but just wasn't my type of weird.

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**spoiler alert**

My initial reaction to Ressurection Girls was "wow, this is dark." And the story is very heavy at the beginning. You can almost feel the weight of the characters' grief as you are reading. But as the book progresses, the weight gradually lifts thanks to a well-crafted plot.

Thank you to NetGalley for my preview copy of this book in exchange for my review.

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Review: Resurrection Girls
By Ava Morgyn
Genre: YA Fiction
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
Release Date: October 1, 2019

This is my 5th draft of a review for this book. Sometimes books are put into our lives that we just KNOW we were meant to read. Those rare ones that you never know how to put into words. Here we are... on the struggle scooter.

Truth is, I’ve been avoiding everything this book made me feel for a long time now. I’ll explain later.

This book is about a girl named Olivia Foster whose little brother drowned in the backyard pool 3 years ago, pretty much taking the whole family with him.

Her mom is a shell of a person, barely existent, drugging her feelings away on any prescription pills she can get her hands on.
Dad is nonexistent, working late nights and emotionally unavailable.

As for Olivia? She’s just... there.
She acknowledges her desolation constantly, but her numbness keeps her from connecting it as a feeling.
Her house has become a tomb, 3 hurting people, so overwhelmed with grief that they’ve disconnected from every aspect in life, including each other.

I already knew from chapter 1 in this book that I was in trouble. I had to tame my fight or flight urge to push it away.

See, I WAS Olivia. I AM Olivia. I was Olivia when at 15 the only close family member I had decided to shoot himself at school and my family refused to talk about it because it’d upset my grandma who had already lost a son to suicide. A few months later, she suffered a stroke that left her unable to walk or speak and I was expected to watch her disintegration for 6 years acting strong so I didn’t upset her up until she died. She was the only mom I ever had.

Everything Olivia thought and how she reacted was like looking back at a mirror of myself. My heart hurt for her.

In the book, a family of women move in across the street including a girl Olivia’s age named Kara. She’s mysterious and risky. She’s a bad influence, keeps serial killers as pen pals and is obsessed with death. Instead of repelling Olivia, she’s drawn in. Why? Because FINALLY! Someone not afraid to talk about it!!!

It’d be really easy to be judgmental and say that Kara is a toxic friend. (She is, but I mean, she’s flawed. Like us all.) She’s manipulative, sometimes cruel; but she has a PURPOSE in Olivia’s life: to bring her back from the dead.

I think it doesn’t matter so much the means by which we start to awaken again, even if we DO make some really bad choices, or veer off track for a bit. Because those are human mistakes.
And when you’re wrapped up in your PTSD cocoon of numb indifference to everything, you may as well not be human.
Trust me, I know. I’ve been fighting to come back to life for a while now. My last Apocalypse took everything I was and tossed it into the ether. Including the old me. The new me hides from feelings and fights off the numbness every day.

We all need a Kara to shake things up sometimes. I guess in a way this book was my Kara.
This book is a raw look at the cataclysmic destruction that trauma and grief can do to a family, and strangely, the beauty of clawing your way through it. Only the REAL way. Not the pretty way.
Ava Morgyn has a poetic style of writing that gets me right in the feels. I love that.

I would recommend this to anyone who has actually experienced REAL pain and loss. I feel like this is a book you’ll either really get, or you won’t.
As for me, I REALLY got it. I mean, I’m pretty sure she wrote it just FOR me. 😉
🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤 5 black hearts.
#resurrectiongirls #netgalley

Review will be posted on my blog, Goodreads, and Instagram after I edit to fit. Links below.

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There was so much tangible sadness resonating from the narrator. I feel like this book will hit home with a lot of readers from various age groups.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to review this book.

Olivia's life has been desolate since the death of her 3 year old brother, Robby. Her father is absent, living at home but distracted. Her mother has sank into depression and pills. Everything is static until 3 mysterious women move in across the street. Olivia and Kara hit it off immediately, and as they let each other in, they begin to reveal their secrets. Together, they begin writing dangerous criminals locked away in prison under the name "Resurrection Girls" But what happens when the darkness that surrounds Kara and her family threatens to take over?

I did enjoy this book. There was weight to it, which I found appropriate. Towards the end, things got a bit muddled and confusing. I think I wanted more certainty as to what was happening at the end, and some details cleaned up. Other than that, it was a good book.

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Three years ago, Olivia Foster lost her brother when he drowned in the backyard swimming pool. She feels like her family died that day. Her mother is addicted to medication. Her father rarely comes home on time from work. Olivia feels like she is drowning too.  That changes when a house across the street suddenly gets new neighbors. The Hallas family is strange. The grandmother smokes cigars on the porch, the mother spends her time collecting antiques, and the daughter writes letters to serial killers. The daughter, Kara Hallas, is on a mission to bring Olivia out of the depths of despair and back into life. Olivia and Kara find ways to break the rules, and begin to sign letters to killers as The Resurrection Girls. 

Resurrection Girls is intended for teenagers, but it is super dark. The Hallas house was once the site of a suicide. Death is everywhere in this book, and there are a sheer lack of healthy coping mechanisms. However, I absolutely loved this book and flew through it late one night when I was supposed to be sleeping. Ava Morgyn's writing was worth my lack of sleep. Resurrection Girls features a strange ending, but one that was deeply satisfying.

Resurrection Girls is available October 1, 2019 from Albert Whitman & Company. It is a great Halloween Month read.

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** I was provided with an electronic ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for honest review.**

Actual rating: 3.5 stars

Ava Morgyn's debut novel, Resurrection Girls, is a hard-hitting novel of grief and all that comes with it. Our main character, Olivia, has had her world ripped apart by the accidental drowning death of her three-year-old brother Robby. When a new family moves into the house across the street, Olivia meets Kara, who is the first person to have an impact in dragging Olivia out of isolation since the event.

I expected this novel to be more fantastical based on the synopsis, which reveals that there is a generational curse on Kara's family, and the cover which suggests some kind of spookiness. However, this book swerves hard away from true fantasy and settles into the realm of magical realism. Even the magical realism parts of the novel aren't nearly as prominent as the coming-of-age and coming out of grieving portions of the book.

While I realized that this book involved the death of a toddler, I did not realize that the entirety of the story would revolve so firmly around Robby's death and the destruction it wrought on Olivia's family. Coming from a family impacted by infant death, some of these scenes were particularly hard-hitting for me and I wish that there had been more of a warning about how integral to the story that death would be.

Morgyn's writing style was one that flowed very naturally with the story, and I felt that it was easy to become invested in Olivia and her friends. I expected the plot to center more around the letters to serial killers, and while they were very important in the end, they weren't nearly as much of a center point as I had thought.

Overall, I felt this book was a good first showing for Morgyn and I would definitely be willing to read whatever book she produces next.

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Hello, I will adding my review to Instagram, Goodreads, and my blog on September 25th, 2019. I will be adding the links to the reviews once they are posted. Thank you!

Title: Resurrection Girls
Author: Ava Morgyn
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: October 1st, 2019
eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: "Olivia Foster hasn’t felt alive since her little brother drowned in the backyard pool three years ago. Then Kara Hallas moves in across the street with her mother and grandmother, and Olivia is immediately drawn to these three generations of women. Kara is particularly intoxicating, so much so that Olivia not only comes to accept Kara's morbid habit of writing to men on death row, she helps her do it. They sign their letters as the Resurrection Girls.

But as Kara’s friendship pulls Olivia out of the dark fog she’s been living in, Olivia realizes that a different kind of darkness taints the otherwise lively Hallas women—an impulse that is strange, magical, and possibly deadly." (Goodreads)

My Review:
You ever read a book and the first thought that pops into your head after you finish is, "What the heck did I just read?". Well, this is how I am feeling! It's not in a bad way but the whole book just caught me off guard.

The main character of this book is Olivia and the plot focuses around her family and how each one is dealing with the loss of her little brother. Grief is a terrible thing and can take over our life and can lead us down a path of bad decisions. The way that grief plays out in this book is unique and adds a touch of supernatural. It breathes life into their family once again.

I enjoyed reading about Olivia as well as the quick friendship she finds herself in with Kara. Olivia is more timid and focuses on the bad while Kara is wild, careless, and wants to pull Olivia out of the grief that is consuming her life. Kara brings out another side of her and things get quite interesting when they start being pen pals with murderers!

The plot was more interesting than what I had expected and the added plot twists were  either bizarre or just shocking, but I was definitely here for it.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and if you are intrigued by the synopsis or my review, definitely check it out!

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This book was an incredibly addicting and super fast read. The story goes quickly and has a satisfactory ending. Add in a bisexual main character and I was hooked from beginning to end.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. My opinion has not been affected by the free book.

I'm sorry, but I have to put this on my DNF pile at 45%. I'm not sure what I thought I was going to read when I requested this book, but it certainly isn't what I got. I like to leave my reviews on a positive note so I'm going to talk about what didn't work for me in this book first.

I knew from the premise these girls were going to write to men on death row, but what I didn't know was how detailed this book would get on the crimes. It makes for some pretty uncomfortable and disturbing reading if you don't expect it. I think what makes this even more uncomfortable and disturbing is that the girls are teenagers, and the men they're writing to are professing love and saying they're beautiful and so forth. Then it gets even worse when one girl is giving them her picture and real name, and selling things from these letters as "murderabilia". Now, I realize that this is a practice that goes on in real life, but that does not make it any less uncomfortable and creepy to me.

I can appreciate this book for diving into grief and a couple losing their child, and I was glad when Olivia finally blew up at her father. But again, it was a little frustrating to see these parents expect their child to act more grown up and pulled together than they were when she was grieving too and should've been allowed to do so. I'm hoping they learn to grieve in a more healthy way later in the book.

Honestly, I think this comes down as the wrong type of book for me. I'm sure there are readers who will like the story. I couldn't get past the uncomfortable and creepy details of the men on death row.

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**3.5 Stars**

What an odd little book.

“Resurrection Girls” finds Olivia going through the motions of life following the drowning death of her little brother 3 years earlier and the fallout of her family life as her parents deal with their grief in distant and self destructive ways when new neighbors move in offering something new and dangerous while showing just how interesting the cycle of life can be.

This is such a strange book because for a good portion I thought it was going to be one thing less rooted in the paranormal/fantasy elements before it jumped into something else where it plays into the maiden, mother, crime dynamic rather well. The women across the street all have a role to play in Olivia’s journey through her grief as well as have an eye out for when it’s their turn to move on to the next stage of life and embrace that change when it comes because at the end of the day it’s something you can’t fight as death comes for us all.

I’m not sure how I felt about the romance element I think the story would have been better with the side character added and just have it be a story about these two young women and the changes in their lives without making it a trio as it just made them revert to this rather juvenile fight over a boy when they offered and became so much more to each other.

The entire descent into grief the Olivia goes through is written so beautifully as we see her move through each stage and confront her parents about their absence in her life following the accident and how her strength to come out of it and face the world post Robby is enough to make them confront their own demons and I think that was probably one of my favorite aspects of the book as it’s something so real and heartbreaking.

This book is okay and a pretty fast read but just a wuick trigger warning it does discuss accidental death, murder, rape and substance abuse.

**special thanks to the publishers and netgalley for providing an arc in exchange for a fair and honest review**

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