The Mary Shelley Club
Published by: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date: April 13th 2021
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult
New York Times-bestselling author Goldy Moldavsky delivers a deliciously twisty YA thriller that’s Scream meets Karen McManus about a mysterious club with an obsession for horror.
When it comes to horror movies, the rules are clear:
x Avoid abandoned buildings, warehouses, and cabins at all times.
x Stay together: don’t split up, not even just to “check something out.”
x If there’s a murderer on the loose, do not make out with anyone.
If only surviving in real life were this easy…
New girl Rachel Chavez turns to horror movies for comfort, preferring stabby serial killers and homicidal dolls to the bored rich kids of Manhattan Prep…and to certain memories she’d preferred to keep buried.
Then Rachel is recruited by the Mary Shelley Club, a mysterious society of students who orchestrate Fear Tests, elaborate pranks inspired by urban legends and movie tropes. At first, Rachel embraces the power that comes with reckless pranking. But as the Fear Tests escalate, the competition turns deadly, and it’s clear Rachel is playing a game she can’t afford to lose.
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.
The Mary Shelley Book Club is a contemporary YA thriller saturated with a love of all things horror. I was honestly not expecting to love this book as much as I did, but my horror nerd heart was warmed by all the horror movie references, as well as all the horror easter eggs weaved into the plot.
This ownvoices novel features LatinX protagonist Rachel Chavez. In the first few pages of the book she is home alone when her home is the target of a home invasion. Consequently, she is transferred to a new school in the city where she meets and becomes a part of The Mary Shelley Club, a group of her peers obsessed with horror movies and scaring their fellow srudents.
I would love to sit down and a have a coffee with the author. Her love of horror and the role it can play in the world of it’s fans resonated deeply with me. As someone who turns.to horror for comfort and to help manage my own anxiety disorder, Rachel’s own infatuation with the genre was profoundly relateable. I lived for the movie nights with the Mary Shelley Club and even discovered some movies that I definitely need to watch.
At the heart of the story is a mystery that lurks in the shadows and goes bump in the night, even as Rachel and the club prey on the fears of their classmates, secrets lurk in the shadows that lead Rachel to believe that more than just their staged scenarios are playing out. While I guessed the twist at the end, it did not take away from my overall enjoyment of the book. I really appreciated the first person narrations from those targeted by the club as well. Honestly, those might have been my favorite chapters.
If you can’t tell, I adored this book and gave it five, edge of your seat, heart pounding stars. I would recommend it for those who love all things horror and readers who can’t get enough YA thrillers like those of Karen McManus and Courtney Summers.
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What About You?
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