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Dead Girls Walking - Review


I received the physical copy from Amulet Books and an audio copy from RB Media. All reviews are my own.


Horror and thriller books are on the rise and are becoming a popular theme of this year's debuts, and I am eating it up. I had a grand ole time with The Black Girl Survives in This One, and now I have a new title to add to the list of spooks. From debut author Sami Ellis, we are all presenting Dead Girls Walking to you!


"Temple Baker knows that evil runs in her blood. Her father is the North Point Killer, an infamous serial killer known for how he marked each of his victims with a brand. He was convicted for murdering 20 people and was the talk of countless true crime blogs for years. Some say he was possessed by a demon. Some say that they never found all his victims. Some say that even though he’s now behind bars, people are still dying in the woods. Despite everything though, Temple never believed that her dad killed her mom. But when he confesses to that crime while on death row, she has no choice but to return to his old hunting grounds to try see if she can find a body and prove it.
Turns out, the farm that was once her father’s hunting grounds and her home has been turned into an overnight camp for queer, horror-obsessed girls. So Temple poses as a camp counselor to go digging in the woods. While she’s not used to hanging out with girls her own age and feels ambivalent at best about these true crime enthusiasts, she tries her best to fit in and keep her true identity hidden.
But when a girl turns up dead in the woods, she fears that one of her father’s “fans” might be mimicking his crimes. As Temple tries to uncover the truth and keep the campers safe, she comes to realize that there may be something stranger and more sinister at work—and that her father may not have been the only monster in these woods."

               

I had a chance to check out this story via audio, and it is narrated by one of my favorite audio hosts, Tamika Katon-Donegal. She is the same one who did the Echo Knight series, and I am excited she blessed us with another reading. This was a great 11 hours of listening.

               

If you follow me on Instagram (@TheLittLibrarian), you already know how I feel about this book. I had a great time, y'all! I thoroughly enjoyed my confusion to the end. DGW is an actual horror book filled with generational serial killers, cults, ghosts, possession, and you can't forget the slashers. OH, IT WAS SUCH A GOOD TIME! I haven't read too many "horror" books because most aren't horrifying. However, with all these elements DGW provides, it is hard to deny its presence in the community.



Now, I mentioned that I was also confused about the story. Some bullet points made me question the reason for an outcome or how we got there. Chapter 7 was the biggest one of them all. I am trying to understand why that chapter is there. But it did not deter me from putting the book down. I noticed minor disconnects were leading into situations and revelations. It's not about how we got here, but more of what I see where you're going with it, but it doesn't quite fit. It's like having pieces of a puzzle and trying to make two shapes fit together that aren't supposed to be together. But you still see the picture.

               

I enjoyed Temple's character. She had a good arc with her redemption story. She is the intrusive thought I sometimes wish came to fruition. To come from a family of pure evil and try to reverse the reoccurring cycle without falling into the cracks takes willpower most people will falter for. My least favorite character was Cali. She does not know how to read the room and, in pure teenage fashion, gives off annoying little sister vibes. Ellis writes Cali's character to the tune of, "First you love me, then you hate me, then you love me again," but honestly, if I were in this camp filled with all these girls, she would be in the top three on my kill list.



Overall, I rated this story 4-stars. I really did have a good time with this book. I thought it would be another pretty cover, mid-story flop, but it was quite the latter. Ellis doesn't overdo it with any element regarding horror, gore, LGBTQ, etc. She let the story flow, and it worked. Congratulations on your debut; I'm interested in seeing what's next.


Dead Girls Walking debuts March 26, 2024


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