Cover Image: Starlings

Starlings

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Member Reviews

Okay, first of all this cover is absolutely gorgeous. Now that I’ve got that out of the way, I loved Starlings. Such a good fantasy debut, and just dark enough without getting too cringey. I highly recommend this and I’m excited to read more from Amanda Linsmeier!

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This is the perfect dark YA fantasy to read in the winter months. You'll be chilled to your core as Kit discovers more secrets while uncovering the real story of why her father lied. It's a slow burn type novel but the second half will pull you in and keep you on the edge of your seat. Great debut novel!

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for granting me free access to the advanced digital copy of this book.

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Starlings is, in a lot of ways, one of many. This is a book that fits into well received trends, and doesn't work that hard to reshape or add to them. However, that doesn't mean it isn't an enjoyable read.

As I said, this book definitely plays off of a popular trend- Midsommar, creepy small towns, feminist horror. From that alone, I do genuinely think people who search out these areas in horror will like this read. It knows what it's doing, and does it fairly confidently.
The festival and its roses add a level of eeriness and uncertainty that I enjoyed, and there are moments of prose and well created visuals that are incredibly effective.

However, I did expect- particularly since the concept on its own isn't that unique- this to be more character driven. None of the characters felt multi-faceted or fleshed out, beyond maybe Agatha. The flatness of the characters made the whole story feel flatter.
The horror element, too, was not that strong. This was certainly more of a light horror novel than a heavy, dark one- which may be what you're looking for.

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Did not finish the book. Stopped at 27%.
I really wanted to love this one, but honestly, I was so bored. I felt like I had a pretty solid idea of where things were going, and after looking into spoilers I saw I was right & decided to DNF. I don’t love when books are easy to predict & nothing was overly sucking me in with this story. The characters felt flat and extremely naive & the entire setup was too convenient and easy for me to believe. Younger YA readers or those who aren’t avid readers may enjoy this more, but it felt unoriginal for me.

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This book is absolutely beautiful, I just couldn't get into it. I might have to try it again later, but it's a DNF for now.

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Definitely not what I expected! Just the right amount of creepy and intriguing. I was blindsided by the twist and on the edge of my seat until the very end!

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This was requested when I first found out about NetGalley and I had requested so many ARCs that I could not get to all of them before they were archived. I really wanted to get to this one, as it seemed interesting. If I can find this somewhere for a reasonable price, I will try to get it! I am giving this book three stars, as I don't want to give it a good or bad rating, since I did not get to it.

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I adore all things dark and gothic, including this. Very atmospheric and consuming. House of Hollow is one of my all time favorites and an apt comp for this.

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Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House Children’s/Delacourt Press for the e-arc to this in exchange for my honest review.

If you loved House of Hollow or Small Favors, you will love Starlings. The tale of Kit Starling, a young woman searching for answers about her family.

Ms. Linsmeier does an amazing job weaving the tale about Rosemont, the town where father grew up with the grandmother Kit never knew existed. She is hesitant to trust, skeptical of the interest of Bear, her “guide,” entrusted to escort her around town.

Definitely a novel you can finish in one sitting, and you will not regret it. The suspense, the tension, the eloquent imagery that provides the allure of the work and the mysteries within, are worth every page.

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This didn't catch my attention but I am not the target audience. I wouldn't suggest it for libraries though because there are better books in this genre. The cover is eye catching though so it might be a good addition for larger collections if there was interest in horror.

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Welcome Back!

It has been a rainy fall weekend/start to the week where I live and I used a lot of that time over the weekend to do some reading! I read a handful of mangas as well as finished an audiobook and started another! Low-key fall days are some of the best reading days. I wanted to start the week out by talking about a book I pre-ordered and was super excited about. It came out not all that long ago and I really enjoyed my time with this story. So today, we are going to talk about Starlings!

SPOILERS AHEAD

Kit is going to meet her paternal grandmother for the first time ever. Kit’s father recently passed away and her entire life she has been told that he has no living family but himself. He told Kit and her mother that both his parents and sister had passed. But since his passing, Kit and her mom learned that was not entirely true. Now they find themselves in the car on a very early morning drive, headed towards her grandmother. When they get there she is very nice and things look interesting in the town but stuff gets super weird super fast. First Kit’s mom starts not feeling well nearly daily. Then she leaves and just leaves Kit a note saying she needs space. Kit refuses to believe her mother would ever do that to her but if that is true, that means something awful happened to her.

I really enjoyed this book. I listened to most of it on audio and the narrator was amazing. They were able to make the setting seem eerie at times and a bit lighter at others. Without spoiling too much of the story, I was thrown off by a few things that happened along the way but in the context of the overarching story they made sense (it just was not what I thought was going to happen). Outside of the story, I absolutely loved the cover. This cover is absolutely gorgeous and will be a display book on my shelves! Let me know down below if you have read this one or are thinking about picking it up!

Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars

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This book was great! Starlings follows Kit as she truly goes through it (I couldn't help myself). It's the perfect slightly spooky YA for this season.

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Starlings is a beautifully atmospheric story, filled with mystery and betrayal that will keep readers turning page after page until the very end! It's what envisioned Stars Hollow could be if the town had a haunting secret. The characters are well written, & memorable. I would highly recommend this book to others!

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thank you to netgalley for the advanced reading copy. I really enjoyed this and will be getting copies for my shop.

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Starlings is a wonderful story! I highly recommend this book. would honestly love a sequel. I hope the author continues!

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I loved Starlings so much! It was a fun fantasy with an eerie and creepy undertone yet never crossed the line to keep you up at night scary. The world building was wonderful and I loved the characters.

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On the one hand, this is a solid example of the familial curse in narrative. It fails to make us understand the villain, the primordial evil. He is not especially charming, so while we get some exploration of assorted members of the family and their relationship with the curse, we are left with little doubt about the right way forward. The ending is rather abrupt with little closure in the character side.

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I loved this book! My favorite kinda book is the edge of creepy without over all full on scary. I loved the main character and thought the story building was amazing! I would highly recommend this book!

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The first half of the novel was extremely engaging: we are constantly learning new information, secrets are revealed, and a creepy town setting is explored. The big twist is pretty solid, and there were enough breadcrumbs to make it believable, but after that it drags just a bit.

The writing style is pretty solidly YA and well done, very engaging. The MC was written pretty realistically: someone's always attractive, and she makes decisions that make sense for her age.

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