Title: The Mary Shelley Club
Author: Goldy Moldavsky
Genre: Thriller, Young Adult
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Fear tests. They can be born from movies, but the Mary Shelley Club brings them to life.
Rachel Chavez is recovering from a home invasion and neglecting her PTSD. Her mother has transferred them both from their former world in the burbs to a new one in NYC (which I’m unsure how she affords on a teacher’s salary). This life is a delicate new existence where Rachel tries to gently poke at her past when she’s comfortable doing so and avoid doing so whenever it’s possible. Until she sees something unusual happen at a party.
“I, too, crave chaos.”
Her new friends in The Mary Shelley Club are your horror movie archetypes. The jock, the outcast, the nerd, the comedian, and her–the traumatized girl with a past. And it’s the same dynamic where you never know if they are your best friends or your worst nightmare; one of them is clearly the ‘killer’ in the scenario, though.
The Mary Shelly Club is a nod to horror fans everywhere with name-dropping and fangirling or fanboying genres and films from the well-known to the mega-obscure. It’s a treasure-trove for pop-culture buffs, and even us book nerds can get some love here.
I found this a great suspense and a real heart-pumper at that. I view a lot of the moves as telegraphed, though, and very easy to see coming. I think that could very well be a nod to the horror genre when you know that the killer is in the next room or who he is when the people don’t. The payout for the story I didn’t see coming until way late, though, but I did have this constant niggling.
One of the things that made me laugh was that the author describes girls’ hair ridiculously. Like whipped butter. Like honey. I couldn’t help but chuckle over it all.
About Goldy Moldavsky:
Goldy Moldavsky was born in Lima, Peru, and grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where she lives with her family. She is the New York Times–bestselling author of Kill the Boy Band and No Good Deed. Some of her influences include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the esteemed works of John Irving, and the Mexican telenovelas she grew up watching with her mother.
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