Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand – ARC Review #7

I’m trying to write my review and the words aren’t coming to me.

Sawkill Girls is beyond description, because however I put this, I won’t be close to doing it justice.

Claire Legrand created one of the creepiest reads I have ever completed, and I loved every second of it. At some point, I did have to go and sit outside in the sun when I was getting too many chills, because I needed to remind myself that I wasn’t actually going to get murdered any time soon. So I went outside, and, of course: the book came with me. It’s been everywhere with me these past two days, and I can’t believe how fast I devoured it. Or, maybe I can – seeing as a lot of monsterous devouring goes on in this book.

If you know absolutely nothing about this upcoming book, what I can tell you is this: don’t read it at night. (Unless you enjoy scaring yourself shitless?) Save this one for the brighter days so that you are still able to enjoy your nights. By sleeping. Because once you start this book? You aren’t going to want to stop. Captivating, heart-racing and completely terrifying, I was hooked from the beginning. I fell in love with the characterisation, the story line and the writing. Though completely out of my usual genre, this fantastical thriller mystery had me on the edge of my seat, sweating and equally desperate to turn the page – whilst also wanting to never get to the end.

I went in completely under prepared. I expected to get my heart broken (spoiler alert: I did), I expected it to be dark. I didn’t expect for my pulse to pick up, the hairs on the back of my neck to stand up – I didn’t expect to be pulled so completely into the world of Sawkill Rock that when I resurfaced I was left gasping for air, drenched and horrified. Claire Legrand collides the real world with the horror genre in the form of The Collector, Sawkill’s resident spine-tingling monster. Monster is too nice of a word for it. Monster sounds like something from a children’s book, talking about the creatures that walk at night. The being in this book? It was a terror. A ravisher. Thirsting for blood and pain and screams.

I finished this book late at night, and though I usually leave my reviewing until morning when this happens – I’m sat here, far too warm, uncomfortable and, honestly, a little bit frightened. I’ve got my window locked shut just in case something comes in for the night. The Collector targets young females. And nothing stops him until he’s torn them apart. Literally.

The representation in this book is beautiful. We have such strong girls who show their strength in different ways. One who has suffered great loss, one who only knows perfection. One who walks in the dark, and one who walks on the edge. One who holds the light in their hands – and one who holds the world. We have POC represented as main characters (which doesn’t happen enough!), we have an asexual character – and a guy who loves her for who she is. We have a girl who loves girls and wants girls and can’t be without them. And she’s not ashamed of it. She’s proud of who she is.

As she should be.

Sawkill Girls is one for the ages. As a very heavily-biased fantasy lover, I did not expect to fall into this story as much as I did. But I did.

With every heart beat, I did.

And I can’t recommend it more.

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