Cover Image: Midnight Is the Darkest Hour

Midnight Is the Darkest Hour

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Member Reviews

Ashley Winstead does it again. She has written another story that will keep you up at night wanting to finish and keep you guessing till the end. It is very hard to classify this book, part mystery, part horror, part romance, part thriller and lots of gothic vibes. You will care and root for both main characters, Ruth and Everett, despite their imperfections. It is difficult to review this novel without spoiling the story, so go read it! You will not be sorry! Thank you to the publisher and net galley for allowing me to read and review this wonderful book.

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Loved this book so much. The character development was phenomenal! Ashley Winstead is a wizard at suspenseful pacing!

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Overall this book kept me interested, but felt a bit far fetched and long in places. The plot could have been sped up a bit, but I enjoyed this read.

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Ashley Winstead is an incredible writer with an incredible range. Her way of portraying gray areas and red flags never ceases to amaze me. Midnight Is the Darkest Hour definitely had a crazy plot and the ease at which certain things happen felt a bit YA, which was also an issue in The Last Housewife. But despite that, I found the reading experience to be truly enjoyable. I will continue to read everything Winstead writes!

What appeals to me the most in Winstead's thrillers is definitely the writing. While her plots have twists and shock value, there is always something about her academia background that shines through for me. I especially love the Q&As with her at the end of the book, providing a great discussion section. I feel like she's observed the world and questioned things intimately and I like that she sets her novels to explore an idea and clash different ideologies against each other. I also love the flow of the words. I ended up enjoying the plot in this one better than The Last Housewife and thought the Twilight (and it's definitely not something I was every big on) side of things was an entertaining addition along that went well with the ideas she explored. I also did love how she ended it.

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This was the first book of Ashley Winstead I have read and I have already bought two of her other books to read. This was such a wild ride in the best way possible. I didn't see some of the twists coming and I didn't see how the end was going to be. I was happy about that so I was actually surprised. The characters are well written. I would definitely recommend this book!

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This was okay. I figured it out super quick and I didn’t love any characters specifically so yeah. I liked it but didn’t love it.

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I loved the southern gothic setting of this, and thought it was a very fun fall read. Ashley Winstead is a really strong writer, and shows so much range with her books. The characters in this one weren’t my favorite, but I always appreciate her writing and sometimes in Halloween season, you just need something to enhance the ambiance!

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This one is HEAVY. don’t take the content warnings for granted. I really appreciate that they were included. This is by far my favorite book of hers so far, and I have loved everything she has written.

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I really enjoyed the first half of this book, the small town Bible thumping vibes were well written. Unfortunately, the book didn't go in a direction that I enjoyed. When everything was revealed and certain characters were confronted it seemed very unrealistic.

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I have loved every book that Ashley Winstead has written, and Midnight is the Darkest Hour is no exception.

I struggled to put this one down. The power, potential, and threat of teenage girls is at the heart of this story – but so is the story of Twilight, just to wrap it all together! While the ending at first frustrated me, I realized fairly quickly how perfect it was for Ruth and Everett's story and I wouldn't want to see it end any other way.

Part of what I love about Ashley's writing is that each book truly immerses me in the town she has created – no matter how horrifying. It's absolutely incredible and I can never get enough of them.

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In the deep South, can Ruth, the daughter of a preacher, break free and find a life of her own when she's been raised to be obedient and docile? What happens when she shares a secret with the town's bad boy? I enjoyed this book and the vibes were spooky and full of intrigue. I will say, I could have done without the multitude of Twilight references, but I understand what the author was trying to accomplish. Ruth has dreams that will take her out of her town and out from under her father's thumb, but first, she digs deep to find the true history of all of the unexplained deaths that are coming to light, including one she is responsible for. I loved watching Ruth develop and grow into her own woman. As I said, I was tired of hearing how deeply she is Team Edward, but what can you do?

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This book is for the twilight girlies, like myself 💁🏻‍♀️
I loved the romance between Ruth and Everett, this book has me NEEDING a paranormal romance after this one. I loved the slow burn, and their friendship is just very sweet.

The mystery is solid. There are a lot of twists, and the tension is pretty consistent as well. So that aspect was great. My only complaint was that it wasn't AS deep into the religious trauma as I was expecting, which is probably a plus for a lot of people. There definitely is some southern christian small town tropes in here, with all the hyper-judgemental townsfolk, and the small town gossiping; but it just didn't quite get as dark in that aspect as I was hoping for. But I was still glued to this one the entire way through. Would definitely recommend to anyone interested!

I also really enjoy that Ashley Winstead's thrillers all are very distinct from each other. She has some serious range. She was already an auto-buy author for me after The Last Housewife, but the variety in these stories has me very interested in what's coming in the future.

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As soon as I heard this had Twilight Vibes, I had to snag it and it did not disappoint! Definitely recommend.

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Ashley Winstead is already one of my favorite authors so I was really anticipating this read - and it delivered!

Set in a small southern town, Midnight is the Darkest hour just immediately draws a reader in and doesn't let go. This propulsive read will have you turning pages so fast. I loved the setting, the atmosphere, the Twilight vibes, and the characters.

Perfect for fans of Stacy Willingham!

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I really wanted to love this book. I really did. Instead, I just kinda liked it. I've read other Ashley Winstead books in the past and enjoyed them. That's why I was disappointed when Midnight fell flat for me.

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wow this was disappointing. after loving ashley winstead's other two thrillers this........was just straight up boring. at no point was i worried about any of our characters and the ending felt ridiculous. i was so excited for it too. here's to hoping her next thriller release will be better! i havent written her off yet.

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I loved this book! Everything that Ashley writes is a hit for me. I’m ecstatic that I had the opportunity to read this book early.

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Thank you to the publisher & Tantor Audio for gifting me the audiobook!
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I want to preface by saying Ashley Winstead is one of my favorite authors and her two previous books were solid 5 stars for me. But sometimes a book from your favorite author doesn’t resonate with you and I feel that’s what’s happened here.

I found the story to be all over the place with a lot of heavy themes, religious extremism, toxic relationships and YA romance all mashed together into this one book. I’m not even sure which genre this book tried to be. Thriller? Horror? Literary fiction? YA Horror/Romance? I love me a genre bender but I felt this book didn’t fit anywhere although tried to fit into a mold.

I get the feeling the reader was supposed to appreciate Ruth and Everett’s friendship but I found them both to be somewhat toxic, if not downright weird with each other. And the Twilight obsession mix added in was just…awkward. That scene where Ruth thinks Everett is possibly supernatural? Huh?

I think the audiobook was the redeeming factor that allowed me to finish the book faster than I would have, had I only read it in physical format.

All this being said, you know damn well I’m going to hit that request button when Ashley’s next book shows up. My opinion of this book is in the minority so I hope my review doesn’t detract you from picking up Midnight Is The Darkest Hour.

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In My Dreams I Hold a Knife was one of my favorite books last year so I was very excited to get my hands on this title. It had also been touted for fans of Verity - which is one of my all-time favs! I see absolutely no connection between this book and Verity - I'm not even sure where the Goodread Gods even made that connection?!?! This book was just not for me though I waffled between liking it and disliking it (mostly because the middle was long and boring and the ending was much more interesting). I found that it read very YA which isn't really my preferred read. I think it reads that way because Ruth is very naive but also because there is just too much discussion of Twilight - there was one Twilight-esque exchange between Ruth and Ever that gave me STRONG second-hand embarrassment. My opinion is that this is a mash-up of Twilight, Where the Crawdads Sing, and Bonnie and Clyde.

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Many thanks to my friends at @bookmarked @netgalley @tantoraudio and @librofm for the #gifted copies of this book.

A dark, twisty read with cultish vibes and Twilight references.

That’s the kind of synopsis that gets my attention, even more so with Winstead being an author I’ve been excited to try.

But sometimes high anticipation creates a letdown.

Gosh I wanted to love this read. Outsiders for main characters. A swampy setting where a skull is found. An examination of religious zealotry. This is a story frame I generally find captivating. Yet something in the execution fell short, never creating that necessary connection for me.

What did work:
👍🏻 dark depiction of a small, southern town
👍🏻 people behaving badly in the name of religion
👍🏻 well placed Twilight references

Ultimately, the one-dimensional characters and drawn-out plot stilted the well-executed elements alongside my enjoyment. And then THAT ENDING. Ugh. That ending. It’s rare that I fully hate an ending. But this one, I did.

Still, I’ll seek out Winstead’s next book. I know her writing is wildly loved for a reason.

🎧 Set in Louisiana (read: Lou-see-ann-uh), this book begs an authentic southern drawl. As I listened, I found myself utterly perplexed that the publisher chose someone with a fake accent. It’s not just kind-of-fake. It’s bad-fake! So, if you’re queuing this one up, my southern roots prohibit me from recommending the audio. Stick with the print.

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