Saturday, May 8, 2021

Book Review: "The Mary Shelley Club" by Goldy Moldavsky

The Mary Shelley Club is an excellent YA thriller about a group of horror movie-obsessed students, with dashes of Gossip Girl thrown in for good measure.

“There’s nothing more visceral than being scared. It’s why some people love watching scary movies. I love being scared.”

Rachel is a scholarship student at tony Manchester Prep. It’s a fresh start after a tragedy forced her and her mother to leave their old home. But rather than dwell on traumatic memories, Rachel has taken to watching horror movies for comfort.

When her proximity to a prank involving a popular student gains her the kind of notoriety she doesn’t want, she also catches the attention of the Mary Shelley Club, a small group of students obsessed with horror movies. She’s thrilled to finally be a part of something, after feeling like she was on the outside looking in for so long.

The club conducts Fear Tests, elaborate pranks designed to significantly scare someone. Each club member gets to design a Fear Test, and all club members must participate in everyone's tests. But it’s not long before the tests seem to veer out of control and become dangerous, with components that seem to awaken the horrors Rachel has tried so hard to hide. Is someone in the club targeting her? Is someone else?

Man oh man, The Mary Shelley Club was so good. It’s rare that a nearly 500-page book is so addicting but I didn’t want to put it down. I loved the conversations about movies and how they foster a shared sense of belonging, and I loved how all of the horror movie tropes were played out—and I’m not even a horror movie fan because I’m a total chickens—t.

I hope there will be a sequel to this one. I loved discussing this during my buddy read with my friend Phil. We finally found a book we loved!!

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