Cover Image: The Dead and the Dark

The Dead and the Dark

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Member Reviews

3.5 stars. Rounded-up as the queer representation is excellent. 
Queer ghost hunters. Need I say more? 
Okay I guess I can also tell you about The Dead and the Dark. 

Let me first be clear, I really like Courtney Gould's delivery in most areas. I would definitely read another book by her and certainly wouldn't want my review, that has some not so good moments in it to deter someone from giving this newer author a try. 

Overall, The Dead and the Dark is quite different. A bit of a whodunnit mystery, with some teen romance (bi, lesbian, and gay representation) thrown in, add a spooky (but not scary) premise, some missing (or dead?) teens, a small town of relatively one-dimensional people; and you pretty much have most of what this story entails. The Dead and the Dark is overall a good read. I didn’t think it was amazing, or anything too special necessarily; but it’s a solid read. Overall, for me, it lagged a bit in the middle, mostly when it was Ashley’s point of view (I wish they’d focused more on her attraction to both boys and girls, instead it just being an unsaid fact; I need more bi-representation!!). Our other lead gal, daughter to two gay married ghost hunters; is far more interesting. I felt empathy for her situation with her Dads, the awkwardness, the constant travel (no real home base), and the lack of real friends she has because of the transient life of her Dads travelling ghost hunting TV show. 
 
If the premise or representation intrigued you then I’d say this is worth a read. If you're only mildly interested then I wouldn't don't read it; as it is good. But maybe don't put it at the top of your list? In fairness, someone I really trust (who is a good 10+ years younger than me, non-binary) really, really enjoyed it. So this could be one of those times (sad sigh) where I have to admit that my age is perhaps getting in the way of connecting with a YA book. Thus, I want folks to try this one out; and why I will definitely pick-up another book by Gould. This is after all a debut novel and there is always room to grow.
 
Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.
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This one was okay. I would have liked more of a backstory and development of the "Dark." The characters helped propel the story along, but the end was somewhat lackluster.
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This turned out better than I initially thought. Good storyline, but a little slow at parts. 
Ashley really drove me nuts a lot of the time. 

Brandon and Alejo’s story was really intriguing. I wish there was more of their relationship. But this focused more on Ashley and Logan. 

I cried. A lot. Multiple times through this. Heart touching and heart wrenching. 

LGBTQ+ rep: gay, lesbian, mentions of bisexuality 

Check content warnings. 

Special thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press, Wednesday Books for this digital ARC.
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This book was so fun! It was gay and spooky and amazing! I loved the characters and their relationships. The cover is insane and I can't wait to read more from Courtney Gould.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for an ARC of The Dead and the Dark! I truly appreciate the opportunity to read and review this title.

Courtney Gold's The Dead and the Dark follows Logan Ortez-Woodley and her paranormal-hunting tv star fathers as they return back to her fathers' hometown, as murder and disappearances pop up upon their arrival. As Logan begins to uncover her and her fathers' roots in Snakebite, she meets Ashley Barton and fellow friends, who have been the first hit by these disappearances. Ashley's boyfriend, Tristan is the first to go missing, yet she still feels his presence and has seen his ghost. The unlikely pair of Ashley and Logan pair up to uncover the truth and throw themselves into the darkness that lies in Snakebite, all the while, feelings arise between the two. The novel explores the distance we go for those we love, the homes we find in people rather than places, and all that lurks in the darkness.

To start off- This cover is stunning. Breathtaking. It's easily mesmerizing and is one I could stare at and enjoy for the simple art and beauty of it. Likewise, it does a wonderful job depicting the eery and mysterious town of Snakebite which the reader is thrown into.

Gold does a wonderful job bringing to life a divisive town, unwilling to conform to change in their own community. The life of Snakebite parallels the ominous vibes perfectly as our main characters explore the land and history of the town. I really appreciated the eery setting and being uncertain about what would occur next. I truly was left in the dark about how this would conclude and what was behind the mysteries.

Things I didn't like as much..
I felt very icky about Brandon and Logan's relationship, and how rough it was, particularly when it was first introduced. I feel that it was a bit unrealistic that he would be so cold toward his daughter, even considering the explanation later provided. It also rubbed me in a weird way in the way it particularly represented an mlm parenting duo toward an adopted daughter.

I feel as though while the mood was very eery and led the reader well into the novel's setting, there were many plot holes or unexplained aspects of the supernatural in this world.

I believe in particular there was a lack of convincing reasoning behind why a police officer would be behind it all.

Things I did enjoy...
I really loved Logan's slow integration into the town, particularly the beautiful depictions of family relationships between her cousins and other extended family.

I loved the supernatural being a reflection of the real world, in particular the emotion of loneliness. I think the depictions of emotion were vibrant and relatable, bringing the reader face to face with the darkness and deep chasm of emotions that humans are capable of.

Suppose you enjoy a book capable of hitting many genres (mystery/thriller, romance, paranormal) and important topics such as tense familial relationships, pain, small hometown drama and trauma, and more. In that case, this book is for you!
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Source: Electronic Copy from Netgalley / Physical Copy from Library
I liked the idea of this, I just don't know if I was in love with the journey or the pacing. I also don't know if I really needed this to be dual perspective. I don't think I did.
The horror aspect of this was very interesting. I liked what it was trying, but it needed a little more oomph. I needed more answers to my questions. Everything also gets resolved a little too neatly in the end. The weird goings on in Snakebite definitely had potential.
Snakebite also had potential, but I don't think it every fully got there. There were multiple sections telling how bad Snakebite was, but you didn't really see it. It felt just like any small town. Some of the residents maybe weren't the nicest, but would that make a place really evil? I saw no.
Our duo of Ashley and Logan were subpar when it came to investigating the situation. It mainly just served as an excuse for them to hangout. They didn't really find out anything. They didn't do any kind of research. They didn't follow up on questions they did find. Or if they did follow up, they'd give up very quickly.
This also had weird time jumps that just got to be a little irritating. It was always two weeks passing. Why two weeks? What was annoying about it was that we would get some big happening at the end of a chapter, and instead of the next chapter showing those consequences, it would instead be two weeks later with nothing really to show for it.
Logan, to me, didn't really feel like she had parents. They didn't treat her like their child, more just like their little sister, niece, cousin, or something. Alejo and Brandon didn't really keep track of her. They were always off doing mysterious stuff or just lounging in their motel room. They didn't seem to care what Logan was doing with her time in Snakebite. I don't think she had much structure.
Ashley's switch flipped too fast. Maybe even Logan's too. I felt a whole lot of nothing when it came to their relationship. It wasn't insta-love, but it sure had no real development. Logan getting mad and jealous just didn't really fit for me.
I also was very annoyed with Logan because she didn't push for answers when it came to anything. This book would have been a whole lot more enjoyable if secrets were revealed a whole lot sooner. Then it could have really been an investigation into the goings on in Snakebite with Ashley, Logan, Alejo, and Brandon. There could have been relationships built and more character growth.
I also questioned why Ashley wasn't more freaked out when it came to seeing ghosts. Why does she even have this talent?
I enjoyed the last bit of this book because that's when everything really came together. The final battle was a tad anticlimactic though.
This book was just okay for me. It had the potential, but it didn't quite reach it. It had good story bones.
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I didn’t have time for this book when I was approved. I plan to read it in the future though. Looks fun!
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Before we begin my review I want to say a big thank u to Wednesday Books and Netgalley for sending me an e-arc of this Ya thriller that is a standalone! Let's jump into this review shall we??
 So I had an e-arc of this since June of 2021 and just never got around to reading it until now and I'm kind of mad about it because this Ya LGBT+ standalone thriller was amazing! Before I forget let me tell u my rating 5/5 stars! So I was shocked that this was the author's debut novel because the writing was so beautiful and easy to follow along and easy to imagine everything Courtney have wrote in this book! Another perk about this book was that the chapters are short so I flew through this in 3 days! It was also a fun time for me because I don't read a whole lot of thrillers and I was buddy reading this with my friend Donna from @momsbookcollection 
 Anyways this was a fun standalone novel full of twist and turns but I would say check the trigger warnings before reading this one, as there is homophic stuff because our main character Logan is a lesiban and she have two dads as well! There's also a lot of talk about death and greif and I really loved how the author handle these topics and one thing that made it a five star read is the interludes those were creepy! Especially when I was reading this at night too! 
 Thank u again to Wednesday Books and Netgalley for sending me an e-arc of this one I really enjoyed it and can't wait to check out more from Courtney Gould! Five out five stars!(:
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A perfect read for Halloween-season. It was spooky and creepy, and I loved the romance. It was surprising in all the best ways.
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I was given this book by the publisher in return for an honest review.

So this book is kind of like ghost Whisperer with an LGBTQ vibe. I would just like to note that the story is based in an unchanging and unaccepting small town so if this is a trigger for you please avoid this book. 

Our main Character Logan can't figure out why one of her Dad's is distant. They come from a small town called Snakebite where they were not accepted or wanted. They go back there to explain some odd phenomenon (as her Dad's have a show).

Weird things have been happening since They arrived in town a teenager is missing. The town obviously thinks it's the returned townsfolks fault. 

The story is good, the plot keeps you guessing. The main charter is just likeable enough. She bands with the local golden girl to clear her family's name.

Some of the twist I didn't see coming, some of them I did. Over all it was enjoyable and really engaging.

I recommend checking it out especially if you're looking for LGBTQ characters!
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This was an almost perfect paranormal/ghost hunter story.

We follow two main characters. Ashley has recently had her boyfriend go missing in her small town, but she feels like he is still there with her. Logan is the daughter of tv show ghost hunters who are originally from this small town, and might be the cause of the disappearance. 

I liked that this book didn't pull any punches with the darkness that was going on in town. There were scary things happening, both of the paranormal variety and of the homophobic small-town variety.

I really loved the spooky atmosphere, and really didn't want to put the book down. There were twists that I did not see coming that I really loved.

However, I didn't fully get the ending. It came together so quickly and neatly that I felt a bit cheated because the rest of the story was so good. I really wish the climax/ending would have been a bit longer and more explained... or at least less of an easy out.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing the E-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Logan's dads are the stars of a popular ghost-hunting TV Show. When her father wants to return to his hometown it quickly becomes apparent that Snakebite, Oregon is as eery as its name suggests. Logan meets Ashley, who's boyfriend went missing, and now his ghost is haunting her. Ashley and Logan must team up to investigate what exactly is happening to Snakebite,  and along the way secrets about their families and themselves come to light.

This one reminded me of the Cassidy Blake series by Victoria Schwab but for an older audience. So basically Cassidy Blake meets Riverdale? It was a definitely a fast-paced novel with mysterious characters and plot twists. I enjoyed reading about the dynamic of Logan who has two dads, and how growing up in an unaccepting town affected them. The author did a great job portraying the town and the hate bursting from its boundaries. I wasn't;t sure about the dual perspective.at first since the story with Logan's family seemed much more centered, but I grew to like having Ashley's too. Although at first, I really didn't love Ashley and her small-minded tendencies, but of course that was the point. 

My one criticism is that the story became a little too convoluted at times. I enjoys the different mysterious plots, but having to many directions left the best ones being slightly underdeveloped Overall, this is a great debut mystery with unique characters and spooky atmosphere.
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Alternative title: Supernatual, but with a gay family instead of queer baiting. 

Can a book that is literally so dark it’s about “the darkness” still be considered fun? If so, this is a fun romp through small town America in a land that’s nearly frozen in time. Filled with implicit warnings about stopping progressive evolution, the depiction of Snakebite definitely has a slant, but since I agree, I’m here for it. The romance between Logan and Ashley feels a little underdeveloped (honestly like they just start having the hots for each other with no real build or chemistry), but meh. I’ll even accept that. Sometimes these things can be very sudden. 

I will say, the story did leave me with some questions that I think needed to be answered (how is _______ still alive?), but this kept my attention and left me more content than not. What else could you want?
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The Dead and the Dark was such an incredible mix of YA horror/thriller and just the barest inkling of magic/spirituality. I was really interested in this book from its first pages and I really enjoyed getting to know Logan and Ashley throughout its pages, and maybe it's because of my age now, but I found myself so immensely interested in learning more about Logan's dads. I really enjoyed any moment I got to learn more about them, and I wish there had been more of their story interwoven within the greater plot line. 

I found the progression of Logan and Ashley's relationship to move really quickly. I can deal with bits of magic in a story like this, but it weirdly irked me to see two people hate each other then not hate each other so quickly. 

Overall though, I really love this book and thought it was written really well. Gould knocked it out of the park, and I'm excited to read more from her.
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Thank you netgalley and wednesday books for sending me this ARC in exchange for my honest review. This one had all the spooky vibes. Death, ghosts, secrets, small town what more could you ask for. It took me a bit to get through it (life ya know) but it was a quick read. I would definitely recommend.
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rep: f/f romance, lesbian m/c's

tw: violence, drowning, attempted murder, murder, homophobia

Logan Ortiz-Woodley is the daughter of two of the most popular ghost hunters, and due to this, she travels around the country, always on the move. When her family arrives at Snakebite, Oregon it is just another stop for another episode. What Logon didn't expect was the frost reception she and her two dads are met with. Soon there is murder, darkness, upheaval, and a web of secrets.

The Dead and the Dark is deliciously creepy, eerie, haunting, and full of secrets and ghosts and romance. I enjoy a good haunting full of mystery and darkness and The Dead and the Dark does it well. There is an f/f enemies-to-friends-to-lovers romance. It's an unlikely friendship/relationship which draws a lot of negative attention in the conservative town of Snakebite. Both girls are flawed and realistic and are fighting against an invisible and dark supernatural force with brings them closer and threatens to tear them apart.

Highly recommend.
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Full review to be posted soonish.

I would like to thank the publisher and netgalley for providing me a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
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This was an interesting, well-written novel. Unfortunately I had trouble losing myself in it and that kept me disconnected. Not my thing, but I can see others enjoying it!
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I got more than I expected in this creepy and intriguing story. It was the perfect mix of scary, romance, and paranormal. I loved pretty much all the characters and their roles in the story. All the characters were detail vividly and easily imagined. The author did amazing job with the writing in this book and I would highly recommend it!
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3.5

This book was OK until the second half of the book, then it got much better.  The ending was great! 
 The whole book reminded me of Sawkill Girls, so I would recommend it to those who liked that book.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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