The Dead and the Dark
by Courtney Gould
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Pub Date 03 Aug 2021 | Archive Date 28 Jan 2022
St. Martin's Press, Wednesday Books
"Imagine Riverdale crossing streams with Stephen King's The Outsider and you'll get a sense of this gripping supernatural mystery...Gould's debut begins as a snappy paranormal yarn and unspools into a profound story about the complex interplay between grief, guilt, and identity." - Oprah Daily
Courtney Gould’s thrilling YA debut The Dead and the Dark is about the things that lurk in dark corners, the parts of you that can’t remain hidden, and about finding home in places—and people—you didn’t expect.
The Dark has been waiting—and it won't stay hidden any longer.
Something is wrong in Snakebite, Oregon. Teenagers are disappearing, some turning up dead, the weather isn’t normal, and all fingers point to TV’s most popular ghost hunters who have just come to town.
Logan Ortiz-Woodley, daughter of TV's ParaSpectors, has never been to Snakebite before. But the moment she and her dads arrive, she starts to get the feeling that there's more than ghosts plaguing this small town. Ashley Barton’s boyfriend was the first teen to go missing, and she’s felt his ghost following her ever since. Although everyone shuns the Ortiz-Woodleys, the mysterious Logan may be the only person who can help Ashley get some answers.
When Ashley and Logan team up to figure out who—or what—is haunting Snakebite, their investigation reveals truths about the town, their families, and themselves that neither of them are ready for. As the danger intensifies, they realize that their growing feelings for each other could be a light in the darkness.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 759 members
The Dead and the Dark is the perfect read for those who love shows like Ghosthunters. The story follows Logan, whose dads are TV’s popular ghost hunters from the show, Paraspectors. When Logan and her parents arrive in Snakebite, people have been going missing and the small town seems like it’s full of secrets.
The story is told from Logan’s perspective, and Ashley, a girl whose boyfriend is one of the missing people. The two team up to try to figure out what is happening. This book is atmospheric. It perfectly captures the small town vibe as well as the cheesiness that comes with a ghost hunter show. I highly recommend this book if you love ghost thrillers.
I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Holy cannoli Batman! The Dead and the Dark was beyond addicting. I don't even watch the paranormal ghost hunting shows because I don't believe in ghosts but this book was just wow - so good. From the very moment, it sucks you in. The dark is mysterious and at one point, I just thought the entire town was the dark. Or somehow connected to it because they were all a bunch of narrowminded self-centered assholes who hate gays.
Oh, I wanted to throat punch all the little douche bags in this town. I'm not even going to lie about that because I did. This whole town needs a huge wake up call and a good dose of karma.
In it, you will meet snarky and sassy Logan. She questions anything and everything - especially when it comes to her dads being so secretive in a town stuck in the middle of no where. She knows from the moment she steps out of the car that her parents are welcomed and it just baffles her.
Besides Logan and her dads, you meet Ashley. At first, I didn't like it because she was just like everyone else in this dumb redneck town. Even though I knew she was going through something terrible.. she still didn't need to be a sheep like everyone else. Eventually she started to hang out with Logan and realized that she was just a normal girl.. who liked girls. Nothing wrong with that at all.
Then on top of this town being full of judgmental assholes, we have a murderer running wild and killing people. Eh details. All I'm going to say is that the entire mystery and the big reveal were sort of a shock to my poor brain because things didn't click until almost the end. Sad but true.
In the end, I loved this book and will look forward to purchasing the physical!
THIS BOOK! I've been interested in reading it since I first read the blurb, and boy does it hold up to my hype! It's every big as gorgeous and spooky as the cover, with a great slow-burn romance and a chilling mystery. I don't want to get into spoilers, so I'll just say if you're looking for a paranormal/horror mystery, I couldn't put this one down!
Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC of this book. All opinions are my own!
I don’t know if I have words? I love dark and twisty, but this was next level.
TW: child death, talk of death
This was absolutely spell binding. I was encapsulated from the first chapter. The concept behind this book is so different and so well executed. Also the yearning? Top notch. I can’t get over that. The tropes within this book are very specific, but right up my alley.
This book follows Logan as she heads with Alejo, one of her fathers, to meet her other father Brandon in their hometown Snakebite. But, going home brings darkness and it doesn’t seem as if there’s any light in sight.
What beautiful character building. Each one of these characters were complex, but understandable. The plot was well thought out and executed. The words flowed well together, connecting the characters, the plot and everything in between. I absolutely ADORED this!
Gays ghost hunting? Yeah. Sign me up. Every single time.
True rating: 4.5/5
This is such a haunting debut and I'm so happy I got the opportunity to read it! I don't always lean towards paranormal books, but I love horror and TDATD does horror so, so well. It is engaging, and I love how I was immediately drawn into the setting. Having never lived in a small town, I loved how Gould weaved the characterization of not only the residents, but the town in such an accessible but creepy way. It was alive on the page. A highly recommended read!
Oh myyyyyyyyy.... I couldn’t even finish my sentence! This is sooooooooooo darrrrkkk!
This is disturbing! This is uniquely mind blowing! That’s the earth shattering, WTH I just read, head spinning, inner demons summoning novel I was looking for so long!
My moviemaker mind worked overtime during my reading because I truly saw the scenes in my head!
Something eerie, terrifying, extremely ominous, haunted is watching you behind at each chapter! It slowly gets under your skin, captures your mind, paralyzes you! You get speechless and numb! That’s what I felt when I was reading this book or watching it in my mind!
It was like the mash up of best Supernatural episodes meet Stephen King’s Outsider with amazing LGBTQ representation! Especially the conservative, hostile, agitated townies against ghost hunter reality show producer gay couple ( once upon a time they were two of them, they were born and raised at this land! ) and their adopted 18 years old girl who is also gay is a delicious story line to hook you up!
But that’s not the main story: darkness lure around the town, hunting young adults, sucking the last drip of hope and happiness from its people’s hearts!
Two main feelings you get when you read this stunning, original story: loneliness and pure hatred!
Logan Ortiz-Woodley, dragging from town to town because of their fathers’ longtime popular show and cheap motels become her second home.
She feels so lonely, her fathers keep secrets from her: she can feel it! And their last stop Snakebite made them feel like they bit more than they can chew. It could be literally their final stop as something so dark and dangerous hunt the young population of town!
Logan wants to clear her fathers’ name because entire townies think the disappearance of Tristan connected with their return to town!
Logan teams up with Ashley Barton who is girlfriend of Tristan, seeing his ghost, feeling his existence which make her friends worry about her. Logan gets used to witness irrational things and she wants to know what happened to Tristan because searching the secrets of town may help her to learn more about herself.
Ashley and Logan forms an unconventional friendship which gets negative attention of townies. And another young boy gets disappears! Things get more heated! Are two young girls ready to fight against the invisible monster? Maybe the real monster is already at their inner circle and they’re so clueless about the danger lurking around!
Prepare to scream and hide under your bed as like I did during my read. Even after finishing the book, it took two hours to leave my hiding place!
It’s brilliant, twisty, surprising reading which earned my full, eerie, creepy, bleak five stars!
Special thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press/ Wednesday Books for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts.
Something is wrong in Snakebite, Oregon. Teenagers are disappearing, some turning up dead, the weather isn’t normal, and all fingers seem to point to TV’s most popular ghost hunters who have just returned to town. Logan Ortiz-Woodley, daughter of TV's ParaSpectors, has never been to Snakebite before, but the moment she and her dads arrive, she starts to get the feeling that there's more secrets buried here than they originally let on. Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to read this amazing book. I highly recommend reading this book.
This book was INCREDIBLE. It’s YA horror at its finest (with a satisfying f/f romance - YES!) My trip to the fictional town of Snakebite was an eerie, edge-of-my-seat, and wildly entertaining ride.
The suspense in THE DEAD AND THE DARK was phenomenal - I love books that make my mind whir, trying to get to the answer before something awful happens. I was so invested, and when all the pieces finally fell into place I was truly stunned (can’t say more because of spoilers!).
And the quietly surging exploration of homophobia in a small town starts low then swells as Gould spins her way to the book’s finale, elevating this book from pure horror to something much meatier and more important.
This was one of the best books I’ve read this year, and I’ll be anxiously awaiting future novels by Courtney Gould!
If you’re a fan of Buzzfeed Unsolved and The Haunting of Bly Manor then buckle up because you’re in for a wild ride!
There’s something bad happening in Snakebite and the arrival of Ghosthunters don’t make things easier especially when the two have a personal connection to the town and a teenage daughter Logan digging into the past as she forms an unlikely alliance with local Ashley to find out what happened to the missing boy and solve the case before the bodies start adding up.
I enjoyed every second of this book!
The atmosphere is perfect as we enter a small town with questionable values as their distaste for Logan and her fathers are evident from day 1 and it only goes downhill from there. Trigger warning there is homophobia and mention of slurs facing our trio as they try to do their job and it may be hard to read for some. I think it’s a difficult conversation to have especially in today’s climate if you’re calling a place like this home as the risk of going from the golden boy to the outcast for simply loving your truth is the most heartbreaking thing imaginable but to see those moments where these two men were happy as a family make up for that.
Each characters was perfect and I loved everything about Logan as she carried herself with the kind of attitude I wish I had while also wanting the most basic thing which was to be loved and I wanted to hug her the entire time! Ashley too is one who from the first page is going through it and while dealing with the fact that her boyfriend is missing, she has to deal with the new feeling that grips her when around Logan and what that could mean for her future.
The concept behind the Dark was very cool and I liked the little insights into its mind as it lingered in the shadows over the course of the book and I felt that the explanation was pretty sound as well as the reveal behind it all which is always a good thing!
I can’t recommend this book enough my only regret is that I finished it so soon!
**special thanks to the publishers and netgalley for providing an arc in exchange for a fair and honest review!*
This is a deeply emotional, atmospheric, stunning debut.
Gould has developed two wholly relatable girls weighted with grief and strength. Logan and Ashley were such a joy to read; for me, they were the showstoppers. It was so easy to fall into the heat of their uncertainty and vulnerability. Even in a story fraught with ghosts and heartache, their moments of light and humor still shine. (I seriously adore Logan; her arc is just WOW.)
Gould's depiction of small-town Snakebite is both familiar and totally fresh. Coming from a small, at times problematic, town myself, I was so enthralled to see the nuanced depiction of the love that lives there—and, of course, the dark. And the paranormal plot seamlessly weaved with Logan and Ashley's emotional journey so well. This book is so much all at once. A tender exploration of grief and longing, and a tightly-paced suspense with a fantastic and satisfying finale. I devoured this book in one day. And I'm so excited to see what Gould does next.