After a car accident takes the life of their parents, three sisters find themselves torn from city life and thrust into the backwoods of Bavia, a small town with a deadly secret. A late night bike ride into Ravens Hollow leads them to an abandoned cottage where a tale of treachery and deceit has left its stain. (Amazon)
I’m not normally one to go for spooky YA fiction, but I was very excited when Ravens Hollow was released. Jenny, the author, and I were in the same writing program in college. The nights she would bring her manuscript excerpts for review were some of my favorite classes.
I guess this is the “disclosure” part: Yes, I’ve known Jenny and her husband for (holy geez) almost 10 years now, and I love their work. She didn’t ask me to do this review, doesn’t know I’m doing it, and won’t give me anything for it.
Anyway, I’ve been waiting YEARS to find out what happened to Reina, Ember, and Jilly. And it was totally worth the wait. Now, the creepy factor may have been enhanced by the fact that I only ever got to read this one while I was tending Baby G in the middle of the night. But whenever I’d get to a stopping point, I’d have to shake off the heebie-jeebies before I could go back to sleep.
My deep-seated loathing of spoilers is battling with my desire to give you a full scope of what I enjoyed about this book. There’s some teenage romance, which – I appreciate – stayed within the realm of believable teenage romance and not Twilighty “Let’s go die together” epic romance. The sister-drama is realistic without being too teenage-angsty-annoying, the mystery is compelling, and the dénouement was pretty shocking. And as much as I like being able to figure out whodunnits before the solution is revealed, I like as much the endings that I didn’t see coming (but not in a “Murder by Death” way).
And I guess this isn’t really so much a whodunnit as it is a mysterious-legend-ghost-story-fantasy-something else I can’t quite put my finger on. It was a great ride and hit all the marks for me.
Ravens Hollow is available on Amazon in both Kindle and print (Prime!). If you like a good ghost story, I highly recommend adding this to your pre-Halloween reading list!