The blurb and other reviewers are comparing this to The Lost Boys, something I’ve never seen. Perhaps I should watch the movie? But I think maybe because I hadn’t seen it that I enjoyed this more than others. Mayhem lived in a crappy situation at home, which has expanded into every other aspect of her life, as children in abusive homes experience. It shouldn’t have taken Roxy’s husband hitting her daughter for her to find the strength to leave him. But when a woman is abused, they will put up with way more than they should.
If she hadn’t left him, we wouldn’t have this really fun story where Mayhem suddenly has these amazing powers that put her more in tune with other people. I like her moral compass, which is almost always at play here. Although she was always the social outcast, she related well to the other kids in the home. She has a level of compassion and caring that also probably stems from having to take care of her mother for so many years.
I liked the fantasy elements at play here, with water that can give a person powers. I would love to know why you have to be a Brayburn for it to not drive you insane. Mayhem has the power to change things, and while she seems to lose her way for a while, her moral compass helps to make things better for the town. This was a fun, YA read. The storytelling had me hooked from the start. I liked how Laure weaved the past and present for a complete history of the Brayburn women. If half stars were a thing, I would give this one 4.5. Thank you, St. Martin’s for sending this along.
Mayhem is available on Amazon for $9.99.
The Lost Boys meets Wilder Girls in this supernatural feminist YA novel.
It’s 1987 and unfortunately it’s not all Madonna and cherry lip balm. Mayhem Brayburn has always known there was something off about her and her mother, Roxy. Maybe it has to do with Roxy’s constant physical pain, or maybe with Mayhem’s own irresistible pull to water. Either way, she knows they aren’t like everyone else.
But when May’s stepfather finally goes too far, Roxy and Mayhem flee to Santa Maria, California, the coastal beach town that holds the answers to all of Mayhem’s questions about who her mother is, her estranged family, and the mysteries of her own self. There she meets the kids who live with her aunt, and it opens the door to the magic that runs through the female lineage in her family, the very magic Mayhem is next in line to inherit and which will change her life for good.
But when she gets wrapped up in the search for the man who has been kidnapping girls from the beach, her life takes another dangerous turn and she is forced to face the price of vigilante justice and to ask herself whether revenge is worth the cost.
From the acclaimed author of This Raging Light and But Then I Came Back, Estelle Laure offers a riveting and complex story with magical elements about a family of women contending with what appears to be an irreversible destiny, taking control and saying when enough is enough.