Cover Image: Starlings


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Member Reviews

This is a spooky tale that will keep your attention all the way through. At first everything seems to be prefect in this small town but things quickly turn for the worse once the new Starling arrives. Watching her unfold the mystery to find out what happened to har mother is a story worth reading.
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“Rosemont is a mouth and it’s going to swallow me whole.”

✔️ Monsters
✔️ Bi Protagonist
✔️ Fantasy/Horror
✔️ Generational Trauma
✔️ Small Town Lies & Secrets

By the first sentence of this book I was hooked in. By the first few chapters I was getting Midsommer vibes which I absolutely loved. By the end I was enchanted by this book that is a mix of fantasy and horror that kept me guessing until the end!

Kit was a strong young woman that had just lost her father and after years of thinking she had no family on his side, she finds out she has a grandmother. To find the truth Kit and her mother visit her grandmother in her hometown, Rosemont. Rosemont is picture perfect but the longer Kit is there the stranger things become and Kit has to uncover what secrets they are hiding. The writing at times felt a little juvenile to me but it is a YA centered around a teenager so that can be expected! The romance was pretty surface level because it was a young teenage girl but it was not the focus of the story and the secrets of the town were the main focus which I adored.

I absolutely loved the plot of this story! The big reveal is something that I was not expecting and it was very interesting to discover the small clues with Kit and then figure it out at the end. The pacing of the story was great and I never got bored with all of the small things that kept going wrong to lead up to the major conflict at the end.

Overall, I definitely recommend this book if you like fantasy, horror, mystery, suspense, found family, small town secrets, and monsters. This is a pretty short and easy read that kept me flipping the pages until the end!
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This novel has wonderful writing and the writing was atmospheric. The way the author was able to provide beautiful scene while always giving some creepy/odd things going on in the town was excellent. The mystery was done well and kept me wanting to read. Highly recommend this book.
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I tried to read this but it was kinda boring and reminded me way too much of another book that I loved.
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This dark but uber-compelling blend of fantasy and horror with a touch of fairy tale will keep readers glued to their seats, devouring this in one sitting.

The base story is somewhat familiar - parent keeps their family secret from child, child is key to some age-old ceremonial activity, child kicks ass and breaks curse. 	In the hands of a lesser skilled writer, this could be second-rate drivel, but Linsmeier is no second-rate hack. Her plot is well-constructed and very clever, and her narrative prose is lovely and horrifying at the same time.

Fans of fantasy-horror will adore this.
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This wasn't quite the five star I hoped it would be, but it was a great read! The setup for this was great, and as things were revealed in the narrative some things definitely clicked into place for me as the reader. I wish it had been a little more unhinged, but I had a blast.
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Tell me why this book was soooo good!!! 5/5
I loved the slow build up and it all felt somewhat cinematic. I was deeply enthralled by what was going to happen next and slowly hooked.
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Such an interesting story! I think that the main plot point that was a surprise was kind of predictable. But more in a way that I knew the vague details but not exactly how it was going to go. I was pleasantly surprised with the direction it took. I wasn’t the biggest fan of a weird one off love story being added in towards the end, I felt like the same story could have been done without the romantic aspect. I enjoyed every other part of the book though! Definitely a unique way to present a story that has been told before!
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The book has a promising plot and while I was definitely hooked in the beginning, as the book went on and on, it took me a while to finish it. It wasn't a bad book, but it did fall flat in some parts for me.
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3.75 stars

This book is marketed as being for fans of "Small Favors", which was one of my favorite reads of 2022, so I was excited to dive in! There are similarities in the vibes, but "Starlings" is definitely its own story.

Kit Starling is 17 and reeling after the death of her father, and excited for the distraction of visiting her estranged grandmother, Agatha, and seeing where her dad grew up. Rosemont is picturesque but isolated, and as Kit says, "a little Stepford-y". All of the townsfolk are friendly, but they seem weirdly reverent of Kit and her family. Apparently, the Starlings' ancestors saved the town, but everyone is tight-lipped on the details. 

Kit is wary of her grandmother, who her dad had said died years ago, but is making the best of exploring the town and learning of her family history--including befriending a cute neighbor boy--when suddenly her mom disappears. The quirks of the town as a vacation spot begin to look a lot more ominous as her stay is extended.

I really liked this story (and the twist), and don't have anything negative to say--I actually wish it had been longer. The last 1/3rd was really gripping, and I think if I'd had a little more time to settle into the world I may have connected with the book more and rated it higher. I had fun reading this and enjoyed the lore, but don't think it will stick with me in the same way "Small Favors" did. I recommend this if you're looking for a standalone, YA, fantasy-lite book with eerie vibes.

Thank you to NetGalley, the publishers, & the author for the advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
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4 stars A horror novel that was not scary but exciting. Set in a town that seems to not have aged and technology does not work well. It features a mother, daughter and grandmother as the main characters. With the loss of a loved one binding them together or so they think. The grandmother hid secrets the her son knew that effected the daughter. Will she make it out? I think the suspense of the story was well written but it took a while to get into the main plot. If one can stand the slow beginning it is a good read.
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This was one of those books where I definitely didn't see the twists coming. When Kit arrives in her father's hometown, it's clear that this isn't a normal place. Kit's family, the Starlings, seem to be revered and well-known, but I wasn't sure why. As we learned the history of the town and Kit's heritage, things get pretty crazy. 

I liked the mystery of what was happening and the creepy parts of town history. I wasn't totally a fan of the reveal and there was some romance happening that was odd and not super relevant to me. I also thought the ending happened too quickly and easily for a horror novel. This is fairly short, so maybe if the author had taken more time to really explore everything I would have enjoyed it a bit more. 

Although this wasn't my favorite horror story, it was different and engaging and I would read another book by Linsmeier. 

I voluntarily read and reviewed this book. All opinions are my own. Thank you to Delacorte Press and NetGalley for the copy.
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I'm honestly not sure what I just read. This was confusing and strange. The secrets that get revealed about Rosemont and Kit's family were not what I was expecting. 

Overall I have no idea what this was all about and maybe one day, after everything settles, I'll come back to update this review. For now this is a beautiful cover with a strange strange story inside it's pages.
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Starlings is your next read if you love House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland or twisty fairy-esque tales along the line of Erin Craig. Starlings is a captivating read about a young girl who just lost her father; her life is more upturned after moving and unearthing more family secrets. The town of Rosemont is also full of it's own dark lies. As this book develops through a deep theme of Mother-Daughter bonding, the audience finds strength in this as Kit uses this to persevere. Ultimately, this book covers all the bases for readers: mystery, romance, and thrill. The cover alone should make you want to pick it up and read; I definitely recommend this story.
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Starlings by Amanda Linsmeier

A dark YA fantasy debut perfect for fans of House of Hollow and Small Favors. In the wake of her father's death, a teen girl discovers a side of her family she didn't know existed, and is pulled into a dark—and ancient—bargain she is next in line to fulfill.

Kit’s father always told her he had no family, but his sudden death revealed the truth. Now Kit has a grandmother she never knew she had—Agatha Starling—and an invitation to visit her father’s hometown, Rosemont. 

And Rosemont is picture perfect: the famed eternal roses bloom all year, downtown is straight out of the 1950s . . . there’s even a cute guy to show Kit around.

The longer Kit’s there, though, the stranger it all feels. The Starling family is revered, but there’s something off about how the Starling women seem to be at the center of the all the town’s important history. And as welcoming as the locals are, Kit can’t shake the feeling that they're hiding something from her.

Agatha is so happy to finally meet her only granddaughter, and the town is truly charming, but Kit can’t help wondering, if everything is so great in Rosemont, why did her father leave? And why does it seem like he never wanted her to find it?


This review is only a 3-star review.  It was well written and very well edited the reason for the 3-star review I struggled to connect with the characters and the book was easy to put down and walk away from it sometimes for a few others until the next day. A good book grabs you from the first chapter a great book grabs you from the very first page. This is just an Ok book.  It was refreshing to see the quality of editing, as so many books nowadays have way too many errors.

Would I recommend this book to others?  NO
Is this book priced correctly?  Yes, the E-book is overpriced.
Is this book a full-length novel or novella?  Full-length novel
Would I read other books by this Author?  NO

 I received this copy free for my honest review from NetGalley

   I'd also like to add that I'm very sorry this review is late.  Storms in Oklahoma have been playing with my internet and still is but at least I can come online right now.
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this was great!  Amanda Linsmeier is a great author!

Thanks to the publisher and netgalley for the review copy.
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STARLINGS is the perfect choice for those who desire a spookier Stars Hollow experience, as Amanda Linsmeier's captivating and mysterious tale kept me enthralled, eagerly uncovering all the dark secrets of Rosemont. Undoubtedly, this author has become an auto-buy for me!
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I enjoyed this tale and how it unfolded. The twists were satisfying and the creepiness of a town full of Lottery-esque people will never get old.
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Amanda is a brilliant writer. This story was so fabulous. I read it it so fast. I wanted more of it. 
10/10 would recommend it.
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Special thanks to NetGalley, Random House Childrens and Delacorte Press for an e-arc of this novel which was released 6-26-2023.

It's a dark YA fantasy.   Kit’s father always told her he had no family, but his sudden death revealed the truth. Now Kit has a grandmother she never knew she had—Agatha Starling—and an invitation to visit her father’s hometown, Rosemont. 

And Rosemont is picture perfect: the famed eternal roses bloom all year, downtown is straight out of the 1950s . . . there’s even a cute guy to show Kit around.

A quick read, keeps you guessing for the most part.  I enjoyed it.
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