Cover Image: Starlings


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Member Reviews

Thank you to random house children’s for the opportunity to read this arc. It is available June 27,2023.

This book was creepy. Atmospheric and almost like the movie The Wicker Man except it is a teenaged girl who must make the sacrifice. Kit’s father inexplicably dies so she and her mother go see a grandmother they never knew in a town stuck in the 1950s but hey there’s a cute boy named Barret to show her around. Think Stepford wives where everyone is super nice but really creepy. This town reveres the Starling family especially the women. As Kit navigates this twilight zone weirdness she falls for Barrett aka Bear and that is where the cracks in the town begin to show.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a fun creepy quick read.
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This was very entertaining and I enjoyed it very much. 
I just reviewed Starlings by Amanda Linsmeier. #Starlings #NetGalley
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This was a super cool and original story! The writing and atmosphere drew me right in and I couldn’t put it down until the very end when I had to.
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Starlings had me encaptured with the first page. Kit, suffering through the burn of her father's passing, only to find out she had a secret grandma, a piece of her dad back. The moment we're introduced to Rosemont you can feel something is wrong. Everything is just too perfect. The plot twist was well done. I didn't see where it was going but I must admit there were moments that felt out of place or out of character and a bit too cheesy. However overlooking those few flaws, the plot held together strong and kept my interest. So much so , I finished in one day. Thank you for allowing me to read Starlings, it is definitely a top favorite of the year!
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I devoured this story. First lets talk about how wildly gorgeous the cover is! It is PERFECT and after reading the story I love it even more. Amanda has done a brilliant job at writing a darkly atmospheric story about a teen girl struggling with generational trauma in search of answers she's not yet ready to face. The characters were fleshed out and the world was painted so vividly I felt as though I was right there along with Kit, freaking out with her with every twist thrown her way. I could not put this down and I'm so happy I got the chance to read it! So excited to own a copy and scream to everyone I know about STARLINGS! Highly recommend for lovers of dark YA fantasy. I will never look at roses the same way again. So good.

Thank you NetGalley and Random House Children's for providing an advanced copy!
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Starlings by Amanda Linsmeier was an absolute blast to read! 
From the first sentence I was drawn in to a unique and wonderful story.
The plot was well-paced and captivating from start to finish. 
The characters were well-developed; complex, and intriguing. 
And the storytelling was thoroughly enjoyable. 
Her writing was phenomenal and kept me hooked from start to finish. 
This was a great YA fantasy debut. And I'm looking forward to reading more from Linsmeier in the future.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own."

Thank you to NetGalley and Delacorte Press for my ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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Starlings was an interesting read that was part cult type feel and part rebellion against traditions. I personally felt like there was a lot lacking for this book. Mainly I felt disconnected from the characters, they weren't very lovable or complex, I liked the idea behind the old traditions and the Starling family holding up a horrific legacy for generations. The main idea of having to appease a cruel form of nature to keep the town thriving was really interesting and I really did like the history of Rosemont and the secrets it kept. I just didn't enjoy the present day story or how the characters played their roles.
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This was a really good read. I was not expecting the twists and turns and darkness in this book but i enjoyed all of it. There is a great story line in this from Kit and her journey in figuring out where she comes from and how she exactly fits into her family history. The creepiness of the reality of that will haunt your thoughts until the ending. The only flaw I found in this read was the connection of real world and fantasy. It is almost like all of the sudden there are fantasy aspects when it needs to be intertwined better. There could have been more of a world build on the fantasy side of this story.
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Thank you to the publisher for allowing me to read this eARC!

I LOVED this book! The characters were well fleshed out, Rosemont actually felt like a real place, you can tell the author took a lot of care with the details and plotting. This book had a chokehold on me from the beginning and did not let go. It was such a good mix of horror and fairytale and will live rent free in my head.
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Starlings is the type of book that pulls you in from the start and doesn't let you go until you are done with the story—or until the story is done with you. Kit is the ideal YA protagonist; she has the true voice of a teenager while also appealing to readers of all ages. And the setting, Rosemont, is written with such care and detail that it feels real, despite all the ways it defied nature. Overall, Starlings' best element is its awareness of genre, both in terms of horror and fairytale. It strikes a perfect balance, appealing to readers such as myself, who adore dark, grotesque fantasy stories. While my knowledge of this genre allowed me to guess plot twists slightly early, I would by no means say it was a drawback. In terms of theme, there are many YA novels that try to tackle the idea of generational curses and the specific type of violence passed from mother to daughter; Starlings is one of the few that not only does it well, but sets a new standard. Even after I turned the last page, it took time for me to let go of Kit and Rosemont. I'm still not sure I ever will.
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I don’t read a ton of books in this genre, but I absolutely loved STARLINGS! It was super intriguing and well-paced, the characters felt fleshed out, and I loved the villain. If you’re a fan of YA horror or fantasy, then I’d definitely recommend this book to you!
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This book felt really similar to a lot of YA horror that's come out in the past couple of years. It was fairly similar to What We Harvest, Where Darkness Blooms, and Horrid, just to name a few. I do really enjoy this genre, but I think maybe I've been reading too much of it because this one didn't stand out to me at all. It wasn't bad or poorly written whatsoever, and Jack was such a cool villain, but it just didn't set itself apart from the other YA horrors that are really popular right now.
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This stunning book cover definitely earns its shiny five stars! Welcome to Rosemont looks like a film set town from 50’s,  which is famous with its magical roses blooming even at the end of December, giving you extra creepy vibes with its scrutinizing, prying townies! 
  After losing her father, poor Kit finds about the existence of her grandma! Her father thought that he was orphan. Why did he lie about his parents? 

  17 years old Kit decides to learn more about her estranged grandma for honoring her late father’s memory, taking a trip to the eerie town she’s been living alongside her grieving mother.

  But as soon as she takes her first step into this ominous place giving red flags to her for going back where she came from, she thinks her instincts play games with her. 

  Even though townies act like she’s the reason of their existence, calling her with full name as Katherine. It seems her family name Starling also carries extra power in this town. Her grandma waltzes like an empress as each person is ready to bow in front of her. 

  Why her father left the town at the young age by cutting his connections? Why is the Starlings powerful in town? Why her mother’s health deteriorated since she arrived the town? Who is exactly her charming tour guide named Bear? Why is he so interested in her? 

There are so many questions blurt out from her mind but as Kit starts getting those answers, her mind blows away! She realizes she finds herself in more dangerous situation than she can ever imagine! Her plan to stay at town for 8 days is doomed to fail!

  Midsommar meets House of Hollow is alluring concept. This is riveting and absolutely dark, intense YA fantasy reading you can devour in one sitting.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House Children’s/ Delacorte Press for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts.
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This was a great fantasy debut from Amanda Linsmeier, it was what I was looking for from the cover. I enjoyed the concept and the plot going on. It worked really well with the story and the characters within the world. The characters were what I was hoping for and I enjoyed getting to know this family. I'm excited to read more from Amanda Linsmeier.

“I have to. I’m . . . Someone needs me now,” she says abruptly. “It may be late, before I’m home. Tomorrow we’ll talk about everything. I promise.” I open my mouth to protest, and she repeats, “Tomorrow, Kit. A long and important conversation cannot be rushed. I’m sorry, but there’s nothing to be done about it now.” Her hands shake as she picks up her bag. I catch a faint red mark on the side of her neck, a scrape. “Order a pizza for supper if you like. Tell them to put it on my account.”
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Starlings is a hauntingly dark and atmospheric YA fantasy-horror novel centered around a seventeen year old girl named Kit, whose father's sudden death uncovers the existence of her paternal grandmother who invites her to the sleepy small town of Rosemont, where she is expected to fulfil her birthright in an dark and foreboding ritual. Not everything is as it seems in Rosemont and although Kit intends on finding answers in Rosemont, the longer she is there, the more questions she has and the stranger things seem. Why did her father leave Rosemont in the first place and why is she only learning about her grandmother now? Who can she trust--if anyone? And the most important question of them all--will she ever leave?
I loved this story and was absolutely thrilled to receive a copy to review. I was absolutely fascinated from the very first page. Amanda Linsmeier is greatly talented as an author and I am completely in awe of this book. The characters were interesting and had life to them, making you invested in their motives and ultimatums. The writing had a unique voice that brought the story to life and was dynamic and visual. I could really picture everything clearly and play it out chapter by chapter. I didn't want it to end! A great debut novel!
**I received an advanced copy from the publisher and am leaving this review voluntarily. **
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I devoured this book!🖤 I love Kit and her determination even in her darkest moments. The beginning hooked me on how vividly the world is painted. I felt like I was in Rosemont, alongside Kit, going through all of the heartbreak, betrayals, and twisty turns with her. I never saw the twists that came towards the middle of the book, and it blew me away!! This is definitely a must read for someone who loves dark YA fantasy & paranormal🖤
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4.25/5 stars! Y'all THIS COVER!!!! It was so beautiful. I love dark YA fantasy books so I was excited to read it. This book is so creepy and intriguing and I read it in one sitting. Little did Kit know that after her father's death, she is trapped in a generational bargain. After she got to Rosemont, everything was just a little too perfect. I loved reading Kit's story and watching her figure out all the twists. The ending was great and paid off in the dark fantasy genre.

I received an advance review copy for free through NetGalley, and I am leaving this review voluntarily
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I absolutely Loved this book!! The characters were very interesting and relatable. I really loved how the author kept the story moving without it slowing down and getting boring. I will be recommending this book to all of my friends and family.
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