Tuesday, April 16, 2019

#Review - Dreaming Darkly by Caitlin Kittredge #YALit #Thrillers #Suspense

Series: Standalone
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Release Date: April 9, 2019
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Publisher
Genre: Young Adult / Thrillers & Suspense

This teen Gothic mystery novel takes readers to the cold, creepy island of Darkhaven, where a girl with unexplained blackouts grapples with secrets from her dead mother’s past and a legacy of murders that have been committed by her family. Perfect for fans of Madeleine Roux and Lisa Maxwell.

Ivy Bloodgood’s mother is dead, and she should probably be sad about it.

But she isn’t. Myra Bloodgood was a confusing mix of protective and abusive, a manipulative personality who never told the truth—about where she came from, who Ivy’s father was, or why they were living their lives on the run.

Now that Ivy has been sent to Darkhaven, an island off the New England coast, to live with a rich uncle she didn’t know existed, she is forced to reckon with her mother’s past. Ivy can tell right away there are long-held family secrets buried within these walls, but when she wakes up from one of her nightmares covered in someone else’s blood, Ivy fears that whatever demons her mother battled while she was alive have come to roost in her own mind. Scared that she can no longer trust what she sees, Ivy seeks the help of a boy who thinks her episodes are connected to the sordid history of Darkhaven—but what they don’t know might kill them both.

A moody and twisty Gothic mystery with an impossible romance, Dreaming Darkly is an atmospheric, fast-paced page-turner written by comics veteran Caitlin Kittredge.

Dreaming Darkly is a story about cursed families, dead bodies, feuding neighbors, and scary mansions that hold all sorts of mysteries. 16-year old Ivy Bloodgood (will be 17 during the story) has just lost her mother, and now finds herself on a creepy island called Darkhaven along with an uncle she's never known, a house keeper who is straight out of a creepy horror novel, a mansion that is crumbling into the ocean, and a neighbor who is eager for Ivy to run as fast as she can away from the Darkhaven and its bizarre history before it's too late. 

Ivy suffers from blackouts that might be linked to a hereditary illness—or an evil curse placed on her family. Ivy’s instability makes her the perfect anchor in this mystery, but she’s no wilting flower. She’s got tons of attitude, and she's not going to let something as silly as a family curse prevent her from getting answers about her mother, her family, and whether or not she is two steps away from being sent to an asylum for the rest of her life.

Thanks to a rough childhood which has seen her and her mother move any time her mother gets into trouble, Ivy is older than her 17 years. Her mother's suicide has done nothing to bring her any real sadness just anger. After all, her mother didn't really have that loving feeling nor did she act as though she was a mother who cared about her daughter. As Ivy takes in her new surroundings, things go from strange to the bizarre. In fact, her mother's past is ripe with mystery that is key to unlocking her own future.

Starting with the Ramsey family which has lived on Darkhaven as long as the Bloodgoods and takes up have of the island. There is a serious feud that has gone back generations. Of course, Ivy immediately wanders the island without considering its property lines and runs into Doyle Ramsey, the resident cocky high school guy and sworn enemy of her family. The same guy who spends more time telling her to run, than explaining what is really happening.

If you like the idea behind an unreliable narrator, then Dreaming Darkly will proved you plenty of entertainment. The ending of this book was a bit on the cliché side and ruined the creepy vibe that was built over the course of the story.Also, the who Romeo and Juliet vibe the author may or may not have been attempting, didn't work for me. Otherwise, the mystery is pretty good with the final revelation coming at the right moment in the book.


1 comment:

  1. I was eyeing this one recently too. I started reading the first chapter and was intrigued. Though I figured there's be a R&J romance, I had hoped for something more to come from it. But I guess this is another one I might keep an eye on. Maybe try going to my library one of these days! Nice review!