Cover Image: Starlings

Starlings

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Member Reviews

okay hear me out. i really wanted to like this book. truly, i did. but alas, it did not work for me. i'm so sorry! but i'm so thankful to netgalley for allowing me to read it early!!!
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Thank you Netgalley and Delacorte Press for allowing me to read and review Starlings! All thoughts and opinions are my own.

First off, the cover is gorgeous, it's very eye-catching, and it reminds me of the film Midsommar starring Florence Plough.

Secondly, Starlings is an enticing young adult mystery read.

Kit Starling is grieving from the loss of her father when she arrives in a new and overly friendly town called Rosemont, to meet her grandmother for the first time. Kit has never known of her father's family and he had always claimed his mother was dead. Kit will discover that the town of Rosemont is not what it seems and why the Starling name and its legacy is revered by the townspeople.

Starlings is an eerie, slow-burn mystery with a dash of romance and an unsettling atmospheric writing style. I highly recommend if you've read and enjoyed House of Hollow, Where Darkness Blooms, Dark and Shallow Lies, and the film Midsommar.

The only nitpick I really have is the pacing. Some chapters were almost too slow and towards the end it was almost too quick and rushed. I did enjoy the build up and the little hints of there being 'something-not-right' and the oddness of the town and it's people.

On a personal note: I've been having a hard time with most YA mystery reads recently but Starlings is definitely one of the good ones.

4 stars.
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I got to read an ARC of this thanks to NetGalley.  The description sounded pretty good so I figured I'd try this book out. 

Katherine, Kit, Starling is on her way to meet the grandmother she didn't even know was alive until a little bit ago.  She arrives with her mother in Rosemont, the city of perpetual roses, and starts to realize things just aren't right.  Almost no technology works, everyone seems to know her and worship her family, and things are just hinky.  Then her mom goes missing and the mystery really starts.

The premise was fun, but the execution was lacking.  Kit obviously has boundary issues because she super bonds to any other adolescent that so much as makes a move on her.  The similes are kind of odd, and there are other really awkward descriptions.  

I think this author has some great potential, she just needs help with editing.

This review is also on Goodreads but I can't figure out the link on my phone.
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I will be the first to admit that the cover is what made me snap this one up. The insides didn't quite capture my attention nearly as well as the cover did as well. The storyline was interesting enough, but the beginning dragged so much I almost DNFed. All I can say is push through that slow start!
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This book is a deliciously creepy read that blends suspense, mystery, drama, and romance. It delves into dark themes such as death, suicide, depression, and anxiety, but the author handles them deftly, not allowing them to overwhelm the plot or leaving them unaddressed without discussing healthy coping mechanisms.

While it shares some similarities with House of Hollow, This Poison Heart, and Dark and Shallow Lies, it also stands out as a unique story. However, I would rate it 3.5 stars due to its slow start, which made it challenging to connect with the plot initially. The story picks up once Kit arrives in town, though, and takes readers on a thrilling ride with numerous twists and turns, spine-tingling suspense, mystery, and monsters. Once I got invested, I couldn't put it down, finishing the book in just two days.

However, my primary issue with this book is its ending. While it did provide closure, it failed to live up to the tantalizing build-up and did not deliver the satisfying redemption arc that I anticipated. The conclusion felt rushed, leaving many loose ends and unanswered questions, which left me feeling somewhat disappointed.

Despite these flaws, I would still recommend this book and even read it again.
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This fast-read horror fantasy novel is fun and creepy but not gory. I enjoyed the character and environment development. I think that teens who like shivers, but are not ready yet for Stephen King, will enjoy this story.
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Cute small town meets horror movie. After her father's death, Kit and her mother travel to the small town of Rosemont, her father's hometown, and to meet the grandmother he always claimed was dead. When they arrive the town seems charming and quaint, but Kit quickly realizes that the town has secrets...and they center on her family.

I found this story to be slow starting, but once I hit around 30% things really began to take off and secrets began to unravel. It activated a lot of latent teen/feminine rage about not being believed and wanting to burn something down that you never agreed to. I found the underlying premise pretty interesting and unique. This is going to go great on my gothic/spooky shelf. 4 stars.
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STARLINGS is worth your time. Amanda Linsmeier breathes fresh life into creepy YA with this thrilling, unsettling paranormal mystery. I loved it, and you will too. 

*Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC.*
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I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The words and opinions in this review are entirely my own.


This book is a wonderfully creepy book full of suspense, mystery, drama, and romantic flings. This book includes topics of death, suicide, depression, and anxiety. Personally I think the author does a great job at incorporating these topics without making them the whole story or talking about them without addressing healthy ways to deal with these mental health issues. 

The story has very similar vibes to House of Hollow all while being incredibly different. (It felt like a mixture of House of Hollow, This Poison Heart, and Dark and Shallow Lies) However, I personally would rate this book as a 3.5. My reason for this is that the start of the story is slow and hard to connect with. The story does pick up relatively quickly after Kit arrives to town. This story has tons of twists and turns, creepy suspense and mystery, and monsters. Once I got into this story, I could not put it down. I finished this book in 2 days.
However, my problem with this book is the ending. There was so much build up. So much leading up to a fantastic twist of an ending with a beautiful redemption story. That ending just never showed up. :( 
Don't get me wrong, this book does have an ending and is concluded, it just wasn't the ending I was expecting and hoping for. The ending felt kind of rushed and left me with disappointment. There were so many unanswered questions. I had so many questions that the book pointed out as you read, however, they were just left completely unanswered and ignored with the ending. Unfortunately :(

However, I would definitely read this book again and recommend others to read it.
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This cover is absolutely stunning. I really enjoyed this! I was hooked by the super cool synopsis, so I was really hoping the contents would live up to those expectations. My expectations were largely satisfied. There were definitely parts that felt a bit under-explained or rushed through, that really would have served the story better had they been fleshed out. I loved Kit as a main character, and the overall spooky vibes were really solid and fun. A solid read and I cannot wait for my library to get physical copies of this! I can't wait to promote it!
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Starlings is such a great read. This book will be added to my monthly October read fest. The vibes are spooky and we are here for it.
I would give it a solid 3.7 stars and rounded up because the cover is stunning.

The storyline is great but there are parts I felt were rushed or not explained out as well as I’d liked. What I did love about Kit was her tenacity and she really became such a strong character by the end of the book.
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#Starlings #NetGalley
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the E-Arc copy of this novel. Great book for the teens in your life.
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OMG, this book! 

This is the perfect blending of a small town with things that go bump in the night. This gave me Stars Hallow but spooky and dark and I was HERE FOR IT. 
The mystery grabbed me right away and wouldn't let go until the very end. 
The creep/dark factor is just perfect and I will be purchasing this book to have on my shelf (thank you NetGalley for the arc) trophies. 
Basically, if you love a dark creepy mystery that will have you guessing until the end, and even with guessing you are still SHOCKED? This is the book for you!
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This book exuded such creepy and mysterious vibes.. Consumed by grief over the recent loss of her father, Kit is hoping to discover answers when she arrives in Rosemont to visit her grandmother who she has never met. Instead she finds that she has even more questions, Like why does the town of Rosemont hold the Starling name in such high regard and what is the "family legacy" that her grandmother is referring to? Not only is her family full of secrets, the town of Rosemont has some dark secrets of its own.

Overall, this was a book that I enjoyed reading. I found the ending to be a bit rushed though, I liked the character of Kit and her loyalty to the ones that she loves. There were different things in the book that I wish the author would have elaborated on more, such as the "creatures" that are briefly mentioned in Rosemont. I would give this book 3.5 stars and I would recommend it to readers who liked "House of Hollow."
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I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. (via Netgalley)

I didn't really enjoy this one. The pacing was off for me and it felt like the end kind of rushed things. Also not a fan of how instaloveish the relationships the main character had. (They were there a week!!!)
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I really enjoyed this book!  It was fast paced and full of mystery.  I thought Kit was a well written, strong willed main character.  I love the authors writing in the way that the book flowed.  This book is definitely creepy and would be a great book to read in the fall!  I look forward to reading more from this author!
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Starlings tells the story of Kit Starling, a girl with a family legacy that delves into horror. When she and her mom visit her grandma’s small town, something isn’t quite right. It’s paranormal and eerie, feeling like a modern-day girl-snatched-by-the-goblin-king myth. It’s perfect for fans of Small Favors by Erin Craig.
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"The Starlings" was a fascinating read with a couple of unforeseen plot twists. Personally, I am not a horror reader, and this definitely had a creepy vibe to it. Despite my preference, I did have trouble putting the book down, especially since the love interest has a dark twist.  I am sure those who like horror will enjoy this. I did get frustrated at times with the lack of explanation of how some of the dark magic developed in the story. Otherwise, I did find it a story difficult to not finish.
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This book was good. I really liked the trippy aspects of it, and I liked the majority of the characters. I wasn’t a huge fan of the whole plot, as I felt it was a little rushed at times. However, the story itself reminded me of my favorite movie, so I did enjoy it!
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Overall, I give this 3.5/5 stars. 

Starlings by Amanda Linsmeier is an entertaining book about Kit Starling, who—after the sudden loss of her father—visits the grandmother she thought was dead and finds herself in a bit of a horror story. The book addresses themes of human selfishness: a town’s horrid history of murder and cannibalism finds its parallel in the residents’ traditional sacrifice of young women in order to maintain their own wealth and comfort. Over and over, they continue the cycle—‘others must die so that I can live. So that I can live as I would like.’ And all the while, they treat the Starlings with a disingenuous reverence. There is a lot to talk about thematically with this book. The twists were a bit predictable, but there is a compelling depth to the story, and Kit is a fairly well-written main character.

Additionally, the author handles the aftermath of suicide well. She explores Kit’s struggle with feeling abandoned by her father, a realistic feeling after the suicide of a loved one, and she does it without casting him as a villain.  

The primary problem with this book was the pacing. The romance between Kit and Bear happens really fast, and then the relationship between Kit and Sabelle is even more jarring. I ended the book feeling like these two characters didn’t even know each other well enough to form a friendship, much less to start kissing in the woods. The ending is just as abrupt. The climax passes quickly. The denouement just drops you on the floor like a rag doll. It’s not falling action. It is plummeting action. Literally, Kit’s mother wakes up from being asleep, is told that a demon kidnapped her and tried to take her child as a bride, then learns that her daughter murdered the demon, and just kind of says, “By the way, I promise to stop parentifying you now. How about we get some therapy?” The story ended on a really strange note, and it felt like the resolution was an afterthought. 

We also never got some answers to conflicts that seemed pretty important but then were just abandoned. How did Juliet die? Was Jack killing the Starling women when he was done with them? Did Daniel really never tell his wife about Rosemont? Why would the mom actually agree to take Kit there to see Agatha? It seems like an irresponsible choice, whether she knew or not. If she knew, WTF?!?! If she didn’t know, she still knew that her husband had claimed all his life that his family was dead and then been haunted by monsters from his past to the degree that he ended his own life. I would never have taken my child there. And so what if Agatha threatened to reach out on her own? Let her. I would still never take my child there. We never get an answer, and I waited for one until the very end.
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