Cover Image: What Stalks Among Us

What Stalks Among Us

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Member Reviews

I got an ARC of this book.

I started recommending this book to people by 30%. At 50% I was posting about it on library pages and spreading. By 80% I was texting everyone my reactions pretty much page by page. By 100% I feel so many feelings.

There are literally no bad things that I can say about this book. So onto the good. The MC is a fat bi girl dealing with lots of emotions. She lost her two closest friends, but the reason why isn’t made fully clear until further into the book. She is dealing with her break-up, but in more ways than are clear at first. This is really a great book when it comes to the complex emotions around abusive partners. When you break up, the feelings don’t just go away. You can miss your abuser, even if you know what they were doing wasn’t ok. You can miss the way they made you feel when things were good. You could miss so many things. It doesn’t make the abuser better, it doesn’t mean there was less abuse or no abuse. I love how this book also tackles that friends can be toxic, not just romantic partners.

The plot! The setting! The villain(s?)! SO MUCH WONDERFUL. I just don’t even know how to talk about the book without giving big twists away and without just gushing the whole time. It was just yes. So much yes. I was worried a bit that the repeating the maze would get tedious or I would lose track of time loops, but it really wasn’t difficult to follow. The characters don’t remember everything either, so missing a detail here or there doesn’t really change how the book progresses. The important things are repeated in ways that don’t drag down the story and kept me caught up. It was really well done and well paced.

One of the best books I have read this year, without a doubt.

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Thanks to NetGalley for this one. I enjoyed this YA horror immensely...after a while. For me it was a bit of a slow starter and it took a few time loops to get into it. The premise is both simple and complex at the same time. Sadie (who's first person point of view we're in) and her bestie Logan decide to play hookey from the school field trip to the amusement park and end up in a strange corn maze because that's an October thing and it's early spring when they find it.

This is a hard one to review without spoiling things so I'll keep it to the blurb. The maze functions almost like a video game where it resets itself and Sadie and Logan have to fight to keep their memories of the previous time loop because they've found their own dead bodies and if they keep dying they know they'll never get out of the loop. The maze has more secrets than that but those are best left to the reader to discover on their own.They're worth it. As a content warning there is a crap ton about abusive relationships and domestic violence in this. Most of it is not on page but it is discussed a lot. The resolution of the story felt right and was satisfying (because it would have been easy to go off the rails on this one)

Sadie and Logan are good characters with a lot to like about them but I did have a few problems so I can talk about that without spoilers. For one, Logan doesn't feel like a truly formed character in some ways. Maybe it's because it's in first person pov or that there is a sameness to them. Both he and Sadie are ADHD, anxious and bisexual. The major difference is Sadie is an overweight girl and Logan is an Asian/Caucasian male. But there is so much the same that it feels like Logan isn't entirely his own man. True many of our friends are very much like ourselves but in ways Logan felt like his only role was to be Sadie's bestie and to validate all her feelings which seems to be Logan's main function. I wish he had a louder voice in this because No Sadie without Logan/No Logan without Sadie was repeated ad nauseum in this and I wanted Logan to have a few more quirks to call his own.

The other issue for me is Sadie herself and this is dangerous ground to tread on because the author's note says how much of herself is in this. As for me the reader/reviewer, I too am an overweight woman with anxiety and ADHD and we're in the your mileage may vary territory. Most of Sadie's thoughts are about how fat and anxious she is and how much she wished she was more fat positive like her cousin. You know what, fine, that absolutely needs addressed. But that seems to be the end all be all of Sadie and yes, I know that there are overweight women out there who might spend all day every day thinking about it.

I personally don't. And it's in every chapter. It's every few pages. Some of it is the repetitiveness of the early time loop stuff. But Sadie never really moves beyond that. It's her main thought right after how do we get out of this maze. Her weight issues and the anxiety from them play into the abusive relationship as well. Don't get me wrong, some of that is needed. It helps shine a light on what people go through being that overweight. On the other than, she exhausted me because that's about all she seems to think about. It wasn't a deal breaker for the story but I really wished there had been more to her than that because about the only other things i remember about her is she thought she was good at mazes and she lost her friendships over her gas lighting emotionally abusive boyfriend.

The last compliant is to be taken with a grain of salt because I know from first hand experience how little an author has input on covers. I barely recognized Sadie was overweight from that cover. Her own description has her unable to sit in chairs with arms and the reason for not going to the amusement park is she's too fat for the rides. I know how big I am (bigger than the girl on the cover) and I fit in chairs/rides so I can guess how big Sadie must be and it was a disappointment the publisher didn't use cover art with a truly obese character on the cover (especially when we have books like the Faith Herbert series out there with an obvious plus sized protagonist)

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I received a free copy of this book thanks to Netgalley and HarperCollins; all opinions are my own.

Fantastic read, with more depth than one might initially think. Hollowell does a great job of letting us see Sadie's mind while keeping the action moving. Highly recommend this as a YA thriller with a soul!

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What a stunning, creepy, unsettling book. What Stalks Among Us drops the reader directly into the action with very little preamble and never lets up from there. Fast pacing, engaging characters, and a mystery that isn't afraid to keep asking questions and changing expectations. I was genuinely unsettled by the narrative.

Though this starts as a creepy corn horror novel (and very much is that throughout), it is also a complex look at grief, trauma, and anxiety. I don't want to say anything that will spoil it, but the way these themes are woven together is something I will be thinking about for a long time.

This is also a perfect example of excellent representation - queer, fat, race, metal health. These characters exist fully within their identity and it affects who they are, but without the sledgehammer of representation that we sometimes get. The conversations and mentions that they make about their identities feel incredibly realistic in their casualness, while also indicating how intwined these features are with their identities.

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Sadie and Logan are best friends in high school and decide to ditch their end of the year fieldtrip in favor of taking a short road trip together. When taking a backroad, they stumble across a giant corn maze, which is odd as it’s much too early in the year for fully grown corn. What starts off as a fun adventure turns disconcerting as they begin to find evidence that they may have been in this maze before. And then they stumble across people that appear to have been killed intentionally. They realize they have no clue how to leave the maze, and no idea who is hunting them or why – will they be able to survive?

I really wasn’t sure where this book was going to go, but I liked where the author took it. I was a little concerned when the time-loop aspect began as it can get repetitive and drag depending on how it’s approached. But the author did a decent job with balancing the repetition with incorporating new information. There were some points that got a little dull due to the repetition, but it didn’t happen too often. Not to mention that there were some odd and unsettling aspects incorporated seamlessly, and the setting is a seemingly endless corn maze. The setting and these aspects highlighted the author’s creativity and made for a unique read.

I liked the two main characters. They felt like real people, had compelling personalities, and I enjoyed the personal struggles that the protagonist had. I did find the secondary characters to be a little lacking; they never came alive for me, which did end up detracting from some of the suspense/tension that could have been incorporated.

This is an odd read that I have mixed feelings about but was so unique and weird that I had a difficult time putting it down. If you enjoy YA slow burn horror, then you’ll likely enjoy this one. My thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins for allowing me to read this work, which will be published September 12, 2023. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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This book took me for a loop and I am gonna re-read this during Halloween. Lol I think I’m gonna scare myself during this time. But this was wonderful written, drained me in from the get go and oh so creepy. I highly recommend.

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This was such a weird and twisty story. I'm not sure I ultimately loved everything that happened but I also could not put this down simply because I needed to understand what was happening. This story was so confusing and bizarre. The idea is definitely interesting but there were also a lot of strange events that didn't end up feeling resolved in the end and I'm confused as to what those things meant if they weren't important reveals for the ending of the story. I think I just would have wished for a little more in the story and also a lot of parts ended up feeling too repetitive by the end but that might just be part of things that are any way related to time looping.

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Creepy, time-loopy, mysterious and tense. Fast-paced with a great plot. But what I loved even more were the characters!

Fantastic character development. Diverse characters. And... Yes! This one had me silently cheering. Finally, a plus-sized heroine whose weight isn't addressed as a one-line aside. Hollowell really delves into the trauma and prejudices that many overweight people face. So relatable and well done.

I know this one will stick with me for a long time.

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This book was scary, confusing, and so damn good. This book took me on a wild ride and I didn't want to see it end.

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3.5? 3.75?

thank you to netgalley and the publisher for this ARC!

So this is my first book by this author, but her debut has been on my TBR for a long time, and I just haven’t been able to get a copy of it. So I was really excited when I was approved for this ARC, and I’m happy to say that I really enjoyed the book! (and I’m definitely going to find a copy of her other one). For me, YA thrillers/mysteries/horrors often fall flat, because I find that they don’t balance tension and emotion that well, and the pacing becomes off as a result. But I was really impressed with this one, because while I do think the pacing intention, go off track a little bit at parts, it never lessened my enjoyment of the novel. I adored both of the main characters, and I thought the work done with the side characters was also really well done. I also feel like this is a book that I will probably think about for quite a while because it just seems that it’s going to have that lasting impact on me.

Also, I loved the way this is a love letter to the Midwest, both in a positive and negative way. We don’t see a lot of Midwest environments in books, especially ones that feel warm and true-to-life, so I enjoyed that.

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I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I mean, you've got a corn maze that keeps changing, you've got dead bodies (some of which are our main characters'), you've got creatures, and an overall creepiness that you just can't shake. There's even a jump scare, which my readerly brain absolutely loves. What more could a girl want?

Well, whatever it is, this book probably has you covered, because...

Bisexuality rep? Check. Fat heroine rep? Check. ADHD (and maybe audhd) rep? Check. Heavy metaphors for emotional trauma and healing? Oh yeah, you better believe it, check!

Also, if there's anyone out there who likes Cube (the series of sci-fi horror movies), this has a very similar feel, so seriously... Read it. Read. It. Now.

I honestly do not have any complaints. From start to finish, this book wouldn't leave me alone. I felt anxious every time I put it down. I couldn't even sleep. I wound up finishing it in a DAY. This is unheard of for me. I haven't finished a book in a day in years! Needless to say, I fully plan on reading more by Sarah Hollowell, if this kind of read is what I have to look forward to.

To end this, I have changed my mind. I do not merely recommend this. Instead, I implore you, shamelessly beg you, to read this book. I need you to read this book. I need everyone to read this book, because I need the author to write more books. I need everyone to meet Sadie and love her as much as I do.

Despite wanting everyone to read this, I also want everyone to be forewarned about the contents, so...

Content Warnings for: abuse (physical and emotional/psychological), mention/threat of suicide, one scene of graphic self-harm/cutting, other (very minor) self-harming throughout, lots of blood, gaslighting, abandonment, murder/death, broken bones, mention of missing teeth, scars, mention of miscarriage.

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I just finished reading What Stalks Among Us and couldn't put it down! The suspense and horror had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good scare this Halloween season . Sarah has done it again. Her debut book, A Dark and Starless Night, had me wary of walks through the woods. Now with this story, I am declaring her Queen of Plant Horror.

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I was so excited to get approved for an ARC of What Stalks Among Us because Sarah Hollowell is local to my area and I love supporting local authors, but... I was not expecting to be as obsessed with this novel as I am! It was easy to get immersed in the book and lose track of time. I cannot wait to get my hands on a physical copy!

Best friends, Sadie and Logan, decide to skip the end-of-year trip in favor of cruising the Indiana backroads. The duo is shocked when they come across an impossible cornfield towering tall in May (knee high by the fourth of July, is a common Hoosier saying). Not only is it impossibly high for the time of year, but a corn maze cuts right through it. So the two curious teens enter and quickly realize that the maze is unlike any they've done before. Unable to leave, the maze shuffles them through increasingly odd "rooms" as they find that they've been there before... many times, and something it hunting them.

No more is being said about this book on my end other than that it is such a fantastic read, a horror novel with a surprising and welcome theme that I am not going to spoil!

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I ended up, not quite enjoying this book. I had high hopes for it, and I have read book by the author before, so I hoped to enjoy this one. I will check out more from this author in the future, however.

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A twisty take on a common rural, autumnal sight--the corn maize--that's both terrifying and heartfelt. Teen readers will appreciate the reflections on healing from traumatic relationships, hopefully gaining tools on how to support their friends and themselves.

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Thank you to Netgalley and Harper Collins for sending me an advanced copy in return for my honest review.

What Stalks Among Us was not the book I was expecting - I do recommend checking the trigger warnings before diving in, because I went into this book expecting to read a campy thriller about two teens stuck in a corn maze, and was (pleasantly) surprised by the very emotional turn it took. I think a lot of people will relate to the main message of this story, and beyond being a super fun thriller, it really packs an emotional punch right to the jugular.

I highly recommend this book.

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If you like the die, resurrect, repeat style of Edge of Tomorrow and the creepiness of being stuck in a field like In the Tall Grass, this is for you. It also has representations of ADHD, anxiety, bisexuality, PTSD from trauma, and fat rep. However, if you're someone who's triggered by mentions of past abuse or don't like books that have very internal MCs, this may not be for you.

Ultimately, I like the concept of this book and the theme it represents. It sends a message that it does take time o get out of our old loops--both in a messed up cornfield and in abusive relationships (friends, partners, etc.). I also like the focus that sometimes finding "your person" isn't about romance, but the person (Logan, in this case), who gives you peace. Who understands.

However, even though I have an anxiety disorder, have experienced abuse at the hands of a partner, and am on the plus-sized spectrum, it was hard to relate to the main character and really "see" the maze in my mind's eye in the first 20-25% of the book. As other people have pointed out, there are areas that jump back and forth in time, like the epilogue, that's a little hard to follow at first.

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Highschool seniors Sadie and Logan skip their class trip to a theme park to take a drive to enjoy the wide open sky of Brown County, one of their favorite pastimes. However; what they don't expect to find is a corn maze that seems to have appeared out of nowhere..... in May. As if that weren't creepy enough, upon entering the maze they come across multiple corpses of themselves and quickly realize that they are trapped in a nightmare.

This needs to be on everyone's tbr for spooky season. My anxiety was all over the place reading this and I still devoured this in 24 hours. It constantly kept me on my toes and trying to guess not only how they kept dying but how they are to get out IF that is even an option. This story was brought full circle and I enjoyed every second. I think this a great YA horror that also tackles topics such as domestic abuse (other than physical), fatphobia, biphobia, grief, ADHD and the importance of friendship. I would just like to say that Sadie and Logan were not scared enough for me lol! Like you guys are finding several corpses of yourselves, this maze has rooms that will assist or work against you, you're trapped and oh yeah did I mention FINDING SEVERAL CORPSES OF YOURSELVES!! I would have fainted SEVERAL times from all the twists and turns if I were them.

I went into the story thinking I had it all figured out, but boy was I wrong. My absolute favorite part of the story was Sadie and Logan's friendship. We all could use a friend like Logan to remind us that we're loved and matter. The only thing I did not care for was the constant NPC style thoughts of the main character. The first time was funny, but every time after that was annoying. Then after doing it several times the characters compares the maze to a video game -___- like no thank you. Also due to the trippiness of the maze some things were a little repetitive. Other than that this was a really good story that I'd recommend to anyone who is a fan of horror with plenty of twists and likeable characters.

A very big thank you to NetGalley and the publisher HarperCollins Children's Books for giving me the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

**4.5**

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When Sadie and Logan decide to skip the waterpark and cut school they go to Brown County and find a cornstalk maze and despite it being late fall and not the time for corn they go to investigate it anyway. They continuously run upon Logan‘s dead body who at first they think is a corpse then they run into a girl who’s been there since 1932 they find a room with peoples items that they’ve left behind but it is the girl from 1932 who teaches them the most about the maze. She is even the one who inadvertently introduces them to the corn monster. All Sadie wants to do is for her and Logan to get out of this maze but from what they find throughout their mini loops to the same identical rooms is that they been there a very long time but will they get out that is a question. This is one of the strangest books I have ever read I love teen horror stories but cannot decide if I love this book or I hate it it was a lot of repetition with only slight differences I think visually this would be a great movie but as a book I DK. I didn’t Haidet just don’t know if I love that it is a definite book I recommend in a solid three star read it’s not a four but I definite three. I received this book from NetGalley and the publisher but I am leaving this review voluntarily please forgive any mistakes as I am blind and dictate my review.

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This was a really fun (and trippy) ride. Sadie and Logan forgo their school's fieldtrip to explore Brown County (a super rural area) and they end up at a corn maze that is fully grown even though it is out of season. Then they find a *dead body* that they assume at first is just a mannequin or a prop. But, then they realize the dead body is actually the body of one of the two exploring teens! (All of this happens in the first and second chapters, by the way). This was super trippy and timey-wimey and fast paced. After their discovery, the maze gets even wilder with doors appearing and new turns and crazy events. I read this so, so quickly and yearned for more even after it was done. I am so excited for my library to get physical copies of this--I just know our teens will absolutely eat this up, and I am always super excited to introduce great YA horror to the collection!

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