Cover Image: Dead Girls Walking

Dead Girls Walking

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Member Reviews

Dead Girls Walking is a dark and twisty thriller that will leave horror fans on the edge of their seats. Ellis does an excellent job of delving into the past of our main character, while maintaining an ominous vibe throughout the novel. Perfect for fans of You're Not Supposed to Die Tonight, this book is sure to be a hit for your patrons who are seeking to delve further into the YA horror genre.

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This YA horror book had me feeling all the creepy crawlies, making sure the lights were on, and checking over my shoulder. The banter in this book was pretty humorous and enjoyable.

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This book is not for everyone. There is graphic, disturbing, violence throughout, and the main character deals with horrific trauma. That said, for readers who love horror and are okay dealing with the trigger warnings, this could become a new favorite, especially those who are interested in overcoming generational curses.

The book follows Temple, the daughter of a serial killer, as she takes a position at a queer horror camp that is held on what used to be her father's land. In doing so, Temple hopes to sort out the clues her incarcerated father left behind for her, and also figure out how new murders are happening on the property.

The results are GRISLY, but compelling. Temple is not perfect, and has to face the harms she caused to other people, but she is good and she is trying, and she's learning bit by bit to overcome her trauma. The reader gets attached to her, as well as to other characters from the camp. The book is also darkly funny, and SPOILERS, Temple has achieved some hard-won and definitely deserved peace, connection, and healing by the end.

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Temple’s father is an infamous serial killer, and he finally confessed to her that he killed her mother. Now Temple is a counselor at an LGBTQ+ WOC camp in her father’s former hunting grounds, determined to find her mother’s body. But those woods contain far more than Temple could ever have seen coming, and soon she and the campers are being hunted.

This is one very spooky book. While I wasn’t always sure I completely understood the rules of the world Ellis created, I got more than enough to be scared. The plot is very compelling too, and all the main characters are LGBTQ+ WOC. I would recommend this book.

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Unfortunately I had to DNF this book. I read up to 45% and I couldn't connect with the characters or the story. I also found many things to be incoherent within the story and that distracted me greatly.
I hope other readers enjoy this story more than I did.

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Temple’s father is infamous as the North Point Killer. Convicted for murdering 20 people and marking his victims with a brand, Temple knows evil runs in her blood, but until his death row confession, she never thought her father actually killed her mom.

Now, her father’s former hunting grounds has been turned into an overnight camp for horror enthusiasts. Temple needs answers, so she poses as a camp counselor to investigate the woods. When a body is found in the woods, Temple fears a copycat killer and must keep the campers safe, all while discovering maybe there’s something more sinister than just a killer in the woods.

I love a good YA horror, and the black characters, community, and folklore are so good! I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It’s an interesting take on the classic slasher story. It moved quickly and kept me guessing. It was a fun, quick read to escape into in between working and watching films all weekend.

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The first thing that drew me to this book was that stunning cover. It’s absolutely gorgeous.
Unfortunately, this book didn’t work for me as well as I hoped it would. The summary sounded right up my alley and on paper, I should’ve loved this. But I just couldn’t connect with the main character so it really hindered my enjoyment.

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This is a good book to read if you want to diversify your reading. The author is a black woman, and the main character is also black. In fact, pretty much all of the characters are female, black, and queer.

The book starts with Temple as a camp counselor for a weekend retreat for female black, queer, horror fans, where she is attempting to find her mother’s body. Her father is a convicted serial killer, and he told her where she could find what happened to her mother, which is at his old hunting grounds, right where the camp is. The only problem is that her father is a bit of an unreliable narrator. And people are still dying, even though he’s incarcerated.

I think the book starts off a little slow, but when it picked up, it’s did hold my attention, especially the later in the book I read. Dead Girls Walking did not go in the direction I thought it would, but even though it wasn’t what I thought it was going got be, I did enjoy and was entertained by it. I would think I knew what was going on, but it kept surprising me.

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I was looking forward to this one but it just fell flat for me. Too much jumping about and I had no idea what was going on. The premise was fab it just didn't work for me.

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This was a third person book that desperately wanted to be a first person book. I couldn't connect with Temple because the point of view made me feel too removed. Instead of being in her head and experiencing the struggle it was just an entire book of Temple saying she's a bad person and being difficult.

I felt like I was thrown into the middle of a story without any information. I wasn't really sure about Temple's background or her families struggle. All the supernatural stuff didn't really make sense because I had no context or backstory to really work with. There was no explanation about where the demon came from or where it went because the Cold never came back in the end. I just felt like I was left hanging on so many things.

The other characters in this book drove me nuts. Like people were getting brutally torn apart and possessed by supernatural creatures and some girl was just painting her nails and being bitchy. That took me out of the story and killed all the the tension.

All in all, this was a lot of story with no answers or real pay off.

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Temple’s dad is a serial killer, and though he admitted to killing her mom, Temple can’t bring herself to believe him. Deciding to find answers, she returns to the abandoned family farm that has since been turned into an overnight camp for queer, horror-obsessed girls. Temple doesn’t like anyone, so signing up as a counselor might have been a bad idea, but it was the only way she could think of to gain access. But when some strange things begin occurring at the camp, Temple realizes she may have just bitten off more than she can chew.

The book is written in an interesting way, with voices and sounds interspersed throughout the narrative that highlight everything constantly running through Temple’s mind and odd things that she hears. Temple is an angry protagonist, so angry that I did find it off putting and her inner dialogue became quite repetitive. It made it difficult to connect with her as a protagonist. The secondary characters were all quite difficult to tell apart as well as there was almost no development given to them.

The setting was well written and brought to life through detailed descriptions. It helped to add to the atmosphere of the read. There are also multimedia elements to this book, including an excerpt from an interview and posts to forums, that are scattered between some chapters.

This book got weird, especially in the last portion. There was a lot going on, and it didn’t take the direction I thought it was going to based on the blurb. Instead, it was more supernatural/magical realism that became pretty odd. I had a difficult time being drawn in by the things going on, which made the resolution a little less punchy than I wanted it to be.

If you’re looking for a YA supernatural horror with great representation that explores multigenerational trauma and has an angry protagonist, you’ll likely enjoy this one. My thanks to NetGalley and Amulet Books for allowing me to read this work. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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I absolutely love Black horror, and this sparkling debut absolutely delivered. Please don't let my late review discourage you from picking this one up, because the cover alone had me obsessed!

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Dead Girls Walking had all the squirmy feels that a horror novel should have. For those that like ghosts, blood and gore, this is a great book to have in your arsenal.
Temple is a queer black teen that has a morbid back story. Her father is dubbed the North Point Killer as he is convicted of killing 20 people and burying them on their generational farm. Temple is told by him that he had killed her mother so she applies as a counselor for a girls camp designed for horror obsessed queer black girls. The camp just happens to be on the north point property that she grew up on. Her only goal is to find her mother’s remains so she can have closure.
Temple is an angry, unforgiving and isolated teen. She has no friends and makes sure that no one gets close to her. She is convinced she is “bad” like her dad. The dad she has a hard time loving and hating at the same time.
The creep factor starts fairly quickly when murders begin to happen. It intensifies with gory murder scenes, ghost reincarnations and possessions.
I liked the pacing of the book except towards the end where i found myself drifting off. It got fairly slow. There definitely was a lot going on. My favorite characters were Yaya and Cali who you would want at your side no matter the situation. They were undeniably the ride or dies that Temple needed during the most difficult time of her life.
I want to thank #netgalley #amuletbooks #samiellis for an ARC of #deadgirlswalking

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I loved the badass queer representations (that was the best thing about this book). The horror camp for black and queer kids was such a cool concept, but I wished we got to spend more time there before things went darker.

Unfortunately, The story was all over the place. It got better in the middle but the pacing dragged towards the end, and I felt like the book could have been 50-75 pages shorter.

I did not like the pieces of media that we get at the end of some chapters... they were not well integrated into the book.

The writing style didn't click with me, and the ending was a bit underwhelming ...at least we get some much-needed pieces of information about the main character's family history...

I give this book 2.5 stars.

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I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that i was so close to DNFing this book.. the first 50% is really difficult to get into and for me, really confusing where every single character was introduced at once. I started this as the e-book and finished it as the audiobook because I wasn’t wanting to read it due to the storyline feeling complicated and me having to reread bits over and over to fully comprehend what was going on.

This sold me with the description (a summer camp slasher full of queer women of colour) and the second half was exactly what’s described, but the scene setting went on a little too long in my opinion. With a slasher, I prefer to get straight into the action. When you do get to it though, it was fast paced and kept me hooked.

Temple was quite difficult for me to connect with for the majority of the book, but as her character grew I began to get less and less frustrated with her. A lot of the other campers and camp counsellors did blur into one unfortunately where they were introduced in such quick succession, but Cali and Yaya were a great addition at the end of the story (when they weren’t screaming, whining or throwing up).

All in all this wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read, but it wasn’t the best either… It does read like it would make a great TB show/film though so I will give it that.

Thank you to NetGalley, Abrams Books and RB Media for the proofs in return for an honest review.

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Thank you NetGalley for a copy of this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

As someone new to horror, I was nervous going into a camp slasher story sure to have plenty of gore. And boy did it! But following Temple and her growth alongside the girls at camp as they struggled to survive mysterious killings proved to bring plenty of humor, heart, and horror that I definitely shouldn’t have read so late at night.
If you want to be grossed out, horrified, and laughing along the way, Sami Ellis is the author for you!

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Temple grew up with a (now infamous) serial killer father, who is currently in prison for his crimes. One of the casualties may have been Temples mother and in order to get her answers, Temple will need to return to the scene of the crime... her childhood home

Over the years, the land has been turned into a Camp for horror obsessed teens, and Temple has to join the group to get near the place, but making friends has never been her strong suit

Temple cannot imagine the horrors she and the other girls will come to face over the course of the trip, and what memories and horrors will being back there unlock

Interesting take on the Slasher genre, took a bit to get into the action but once it did it was fast and a bit relentless

As the author says... hope you read with the lights on....

Thank you to NetGalley and Abrams Books for the early copy, out in the UK 25th April

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A slasher horror with a decidedly supernatural element. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and this is very different from the stuff I usually read, but this was an entertaining read.
Temple Baker is used to seeing dead bodies. Her father is the infamous North Point Killer, and she knew some of what took place on her family’s land. Now a teen, Temple has been tasked with returning to her home to find her mother’s body. Only her home is now a camp for horror obsessed gay girls, so she has to find her way in with care.
The book throws us straight into the action, and Temple is not the easiest of characters to warm to. Initially I wasn’t overly impressed with the book, but once the campers discover a dead body things get a lot more intriguing.
While there’s plenty of graphic slasher-style violence, this didn’t trouble me as much as I’d expected. However, once Temple starts to work out what’s going on I admit to being quite creeped out.
Not everyone survives, but there was a clear sense of wrongs being righted here. Thanks to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this.

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Dead Girls Walking was a creepy, fear-inducing read that I really enjoyed. This story gave me all the Friday the 13th, teen summer camp horror vibes. I think this would be the perfect book to read during the summer. It felt like I was watching a horror movie while reading this book.

Temple was a kick-ass main character who did not take crap from anyone. She knew how to defend herself from not only the mean girls, but also from the undead and her crazy family.

There’s some gore in this book, so be prepared for some disgusting imagery. I really liked the author’s descriptive writing.

This book is aimed at young adults, so there were was a lot of teen drama that I didn’t care for, but I still think adults will enjoy this story. If you love teen slashers or zombie flicks, definitely pick this one up.

3.5 bloody stars

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Dead Girls Walking is a recent YA Horror release. One that I had been very anxious to pick up. The publisher's synopsis, as well as the intriguing cover, had my full attention. It looks like this is a debut novel for author, Sami Ellis, and while I can appreciate the author's creativity and ambition, the story did not work for me, unfortunately.

I considered giving it 3-stars, but I have to be honest about my experience. For me, a 3-star book is something I liked, but that didn't blow me away and may have minor issues. I just don't think this one reached that status for me.

I'm not going to say anything about the plot. Please read the synopsis for more info. I barely understood what was happening and had to refer to the synopsis multiple times to try to get my bearings. Because of this, I feel I have nothing further to add in that regard. And here we come to the heart of the issue for me. I found this narrative style confusing as heck. It felt like being dropped off at a movie halfway through, taking multiple bathroom breaks, and still being expected to understand what's going on. Spoiler Alert: I didn't.

It never succeeded in grabbing my attention. Additionally, the cast of characters, besides our MC, Temple, all blended together for me, and by the end, I just wanted it to be over. With this being said, just because this one didn't work for me, doesn't mean it won't work for you. I have seen some great reviews, I just feel like it was a miss for my tastes.

Thank you to the publisher, Amulet Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I am interested it picking up more from this author in the future. I feel like maybe a different concept could help me engage more with their writing style.

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