Member Reviews

This review I considered not writing for a long time because I don't like writing negative reviews. I know I know how hard it is to write a book and how much work goes into it and the last thing I want to do is hurt anyone's feelings. This is a very ya story I was intrigued by the cruise boat setting thought it would be a really fun spooky book I saw on Amazon that they had it placed in the Greek mythology so I was super excited because I was born in Greece and I'm a huge Greek mythology nerd. With that being said it is the first book I wish did not have Greek mythology in it it came out of nowhere I don't feel like it helps the story in any way it didn't even feel like it belonged in the story the story was super confusing and oddly paced. I think a young adult would be confused by this book I'm an adult and I certainly was I feel like the book needed more time I feel like the author rushed a bunch of ideas and squished them into a book this could have been a series of books with everything that was just in the one and just written better and explained more

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The concept behind this was fun, but the execution didn't fully work for me. The packing was a bit too uneven for me, with some parts too jam-packed and other parts dragging. The atmosphere was creepy though.

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An engaging read that I thoroughly enjoyed! Modern folklore/myth was exactly what I was after. Highly recommend and will purchase several physical and digital copies for library collections. Thank you!!

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"Those We Drown" is a chilling and atmospheric horror debut that plunges readers into a world of mystery and suspense aboard the luxury cruise ship The Eos. With its ocean-drenched setting and eerie atmosphere, the novel keeps readers on the edge of their seats from start to finish. Liv's journey to uncover the truth behind the disappearances is riveting, and the dynamic cast of characters adds depth to the story. With its blend of psychological tension and supernatural elements, this book is a must-read for fans of suspenseful and atmospheric horror.

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Rating: 4 stars
A delightfully eerie experience. I thoroughly enjoyed this YA horror, finding its level of creepiness quite commendable. Considering it's the author's debut, I'm impressed and eagerly anticipate her future works.

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“Those We Drown”, with its dark, haunting cover and strong premise, was a fun read but was ultimately pretty forgettable. It stars Liv as she begins a study abroad program aboard a luxury cruise ship. As soon as she arrives there is an eerie atmosphere on The Eos, and she quickly discovers the all-expenses paid opportunity she’s just embarked on may not be the gift she thought it was. As strange disappearances affect the ship and vivid nightmares plague Liv, only time will tell what further secrets the trip may hold. And time seems to be running out.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, but it was a tad predictable and the characters didn’t really click with me. The promised atmospheric horror was minimal. It just didn’t have that extra chill that really pulls you into a story and produces just a bit of unease in the pit of your stomach. If it had, I think I would have been able to push aside some of the plot decisions and character arcs, ultimately enjoying the book a lot more.

I would still recommend this book to the right person and I'll be on the lookout for any promising future releases by Goldsmith.

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This was an interesting book concept. A horror/thriller set on a cruise ship. An all-expenses paid semester-at-sea, what could go wrong? This book hooked me from the beginning! I could not put it down, and the story kept me guessing the entire time. The cover is very pretty, this is what originally drew me in. The atmosphere is so haunting but beautiful. Thank you netgalley for an arc.

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Liv, an ostracized student, lands a scholarship on the luxurious "Eos" for a semester at sea. But her dream trip crumbles when her best friend, Will, disappears mysteriously. Fueled by a mix of grief and suspicion, Liv embarks on a desperate search for the truth, uncovering secrets and facing the darkness that lurks beneath the seemingly perfect facade of the ship.

"Those We Drown" is a captivating debut novel that blends coming-of-age themes with chilling horror. It's a perfect read for those who enjoy atmospheric mysteries with a touch of the supernatural. However, readers seeking a fast-paced story with clear-cut answers might find it lacking in certain aspects.

This book is recommended for fans of YA horror and thrillers, particularly those who enjoy stories with a sense of claustrophobia and unreliable narrators. Be prepared for an unsettling and thought-provoking journey, but keep in mind the potential for a slower pace and an ambiguous ending.

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This book is a lot of fun. I think teens will really enjoy the vibe it gives off. It almost feels like it should be a Freeform or CW show. It doesn't do anything crazy, but it really doesn't need to. It does what it said out to do.

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This is a novel about a teenage girl who goes onto a ship, hoping for a summer adventure and to reconnect with her estranged best friend, and instead is met with an atmospheric, gothic setting and the mysterious "disappearance" of the one person she truly wanted to be around.

This book just wasn't for me. The setting wasn't as gothic horror as I thought it could be and the plot seemed to drag. None of the characters - not the MC, not the best friend, not the romantic interest, and certainly not the entire boat full of bullies - were likable. When the characters aren't likeable, the author has to rely on the plot to bring the reader along, and I just didn't feel like that was there.

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Liv is the only scholarship student aboard the cruise ship, Eos, for an educational program called SeaMester that could be her ticket into a good college. The first night, her best friend, Will, becomes sick enough to be quarantined. The more days pass without hearing from him, the more convinced Liv becomes that something terrible is happening on the ship– and that Will may no longer be aboard at all. As her paranoia increases, she fears that even the staff and her cohort may be part of a conspiracy of human sacrifices and old gods. I received a free e-ARC through NetGalley from the publishers at Delacorte Press. Trigger warnings: human sacrifice, abduction, injury, illness, gaslighting, classism, threats, bullying, underage drinking.

Everything about this, from the title and the description to the tentacles on the cover, said this book should have been for me. Watching The Beast (1996) as a kid with my dad instilled an early love in me for water monsters. Unfortunately, Those We Drown promises way more than it delivers. What little ocean horror we have is sadly underutilized, and the plot is much more focused on spiraling into paranoia and conspiracy than it is on diving into its world-building in any depth. By the time anything remotely full of teeth and tentacles appeared, not only did I no longer care, I had no idea what basis it even had for being there. Something something old gods and sacrifices. If you have a giant squid on the page and it doesn’t attack anyone, what was even the point?

Instead, most of the page-time is devoted to Liv hating her rich cohort, obsessing about her ill-fated romance with Will, obsessing about yet another love/hate potential romance in Con, and chasing around increasingly ridiculous conspiracy theories. Does she have good reason for that? Yeah, absolutely. There is something nefarious aboard the Eos. But the reader came into the novel with that knowledge, and the whole is she being gaslit or is she genuinely unhinged cycle gets tired quick. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: paranoia is a difficult mood to sustain for any length of time, and it didn’t endear me to Liv. Pull it together and have a little dignity, girl.

On a writing level, it reads like a first novel. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and the target YA audience probably won’t be put off by it. Adult readers like myself might struggle a bit more. The descriptions are frequent and a bit forced, and there are some grammar and continuity errors. The first I can never help noticing (sentence fragments for days, and not as a style choice), but the second have to be glaringly obvious for me to pick up on them, since my general attitude is that time is more like a soup than a line. It makes Liv’s character seem wildly inconsistent at times, though, when she walks into a glittering party going yes, this opulence suits me, to scorning it the next morning.

As I said, there’s little coherent explanation of the supernatural elements, and the finale is left hugely open-ended, as if Goldsmith got so deep into her plot conspiracies that she couldn’t write her way out of them. Given the complete lack of closure or explanation, I would say it reads more like the first book in a series than a standalone, but it’s not billed or listed as such. Regardless, if books don’t have plot closure, they should at least have thematic closure, or some general sense of why the readers and characters went through all of this. Those We Drown has none of those.

I review regularly at brightbeautifulthings.tumblr.com.

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I had pretty low expectations going into this one which probably helped me enjoy it a little more than I would’ve otherwise. The premise is great but our characters are annoying, the plot was predictable, and the ending was lacking.

I will give the author another shot because her atmosphere was fantastic.

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This was a slow burn mystery aboard a cruise ship, and when I say slow burn, I mean a slow burn. It didn’t really work for me as far as any character development, and I didn’t connect with any of the characters. It was a decent storyline and the twist was pretty nice.

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Once again I’m thinking YA thrillers are not for me anymore, this is yet another one I had to Dnf.

Thank you to NetGalley and to the publishers for giving me this arc in exchange for my honest review.

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This was such an interesting read! Those We Drown was about two friends who apply to go on a semester on the sea together, but when one goes missing, the other must find out what happened to him. I found the main character, Liv, to be really compelling and interesting. Her panic was real, and it was just as frustrating for me that no one would listen to her as it was for her. I never knew who I could trust outside of Liv, which made the whole plot that much more engaging.

I did struggle with the ending, as there were a few plot points that were built up but never answered. I found the ambiguous ending to be intriguing, though, and I was definitely dying for more even though I knew I wouldn't get it. I really enjoyed this read overall and would definitely try more of Goldsmith's books!

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When Liv secures a remarkable opportunity to study abroad on the luxury cruise ship, The Eos, for a semester with all expenses covered, she can hardly believe her good fortune. The prospect becomes even more enticing as it promises a chance to reconnect with Will, her former best friend, who has distanced himself since a pivotal night altered their friendship forever.

However, as Liv steps onto the ship, she quickly realizes the magnitude of the challenge ahead. Her interactions with Will and her fellow Semester students, including the enigmatic Constantine with potential ties to The Eos, prove more complex than anticipated. The presence of the Sirens, three glamorous and mysterious influencers with apparent control over the ship, adds another layer of intrigue.

While this young adult horror story offers a delightful and entertaining experience, its mature themes may resonate more with an older audience. The writing and storytelling exhibit excellence and Liv emerges as a dynamic character, occasionally inducing anxiety with her teenage impulsiveness—a trait that aligns with her limited life experience. The visual portrayal of the creatures is both terrifying and fitting for the eerie oceanic setting. Each character is intricately detailed, contributing to the story's richness.

The narrative deserved a five-star rating but encounters a hiccup in the final chapter. While not inherently unfavourable, the ending prompts questions about the author's approach to concluding the story, creating a slight ambiguity that left me thinking.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for sending a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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I really enjoyed this book was completely hooked from the first page and couldn't put it down definitely recommend

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I really wanted to get to this one, as it seemed interesting. The downfall was that I requested so many ARCs that I could not get to all of them before the book was archived. If I can find this somewhere for a reasonable price, I will try to get it!

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The central question of Those We Drown becomes "what would happen if we get what we want?" In this locked room mystery thriller, Those We Drown has an immediate sense of disease. Is it just me or would going on a boat be terrifying? There's something primordial about the sea, the danger hiding just underneath the waves. And Those We Drown emphasizes these whispering siren calls, the eeriness of darkness on unsettled waves.

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This book was a page turner from beginning to end. She won a scholarship to go on a prestigious cruise with her rich best friend. And what turns out to be a privileged group of other students. She immediately feels uncomfortable. Then her best friend and her get in a fight - he disappears, and she cannot find him. Then weird things start to happen. Who do you trust when you don’t really know anyone. This book has so many twists and turns it had me guessing until the end. Amazing writing. Would highly recommend. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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