Book Review: Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand



Title: Sawkill Girls
Claire Legrand
Young Adult, Fantasy, Horror
Hardcover, 447 pages
Goodreads page


Marion Althouse is the new girl to Sawkill Rock. After the death of her father, she and her family moved to the island for a fresh start. But the moment they landed, Marion hasn’t felt herself.

Zoey, the police chief’s daughter, is desperate for revenge after the disappearance of her best friend. And Zoey thinks she knows who is responsible…

Val Mortimer is the island’s queen bee – gorgeous, privileged, and regal – but with a dark and evil family secret.


“Girls hunger. And we’re taught, from the moment our brains can take it, that there isn’t enough food for us all.”

POV – 1st person in alternating chapters from Marion, Zoey, and Val’s POVs

Marion Althouse – 16, Everyone’s “rock”, Recently lost her father and moved to Sawkill, Hears the island, Queer (undefined/not labeled on page).

Zoey Harlow – 17, Black, Asexual, Police Chief’s daughter, Recently lost her best friend to the island.

Val Mortimer – 17, Queen Bee, She and her family are hiding a dark, evil secret, Queer (also undefined/not labeled on page).➸ Content Warnings: Murder, graphic violence, Death, Animal Death (on page), Talk of Suicide, Blood/Gore

My Thoughts

“to all the girls who have my back-
the queens and the witches
the poets and the mothers-
to the girls who raise their voices
to the girls who light the way”

From the dedication, this book blew. me. away. I had no idea what to expect going into this and definitely didn’t anticipate this becoming a favorite read of 2019. But it immediately flew way up the list!

This was the perfect blend of atmosphere, strong, feminist themes, and unique, creepy characters. This was my first read in the month of October, and it was the absolute perfect way to kick of the spooky season.

“Screw that book,” said Val. “It was written by men.” She held out her free hand to Marion. “We’re rewriting it.”

This started off slightly confusing as mysterious threads and perspectives were introduced. But as it unfolded, it became an empowering representation of female friendships, representation, and love. I loved each and every relationship in here – and Greyson may be one of my favorite side characters of all time. His acceptance and commitment to his friends was heartwarming and inspiring.

This story is dark. I don’t think I can emphasize that enough. I was definitely not expecting this to be as graphic or to go the places that it did. It not only tackled heavy topics – suicide, death, murder, misogyny, and more – but it also didn’t shy away from details or gore. Make sure you’re in a place to handle difficult subject matter before diving into this.

The personified island was one of the most unique and intriguing perspectives I’ve read in long while. I loved the whimsy and magical atmosphere its chapters brought to the story. And overall, this entire book felt fresh and new. It took a seemingly old tale and gave it new, spooky life.

“Even these extraordinary girls are susceptible to the same weaknesses that plague their entire sex. They want this. In their heart of hearts, they want to destroy each other.”

I will never get over how empowering this book was. Legrand tackles the stigmas around being a woman and the barrier’s the world puts up around them. These 3 main characters were so different in their strengths but all strong nonetheless. Val was hands down my favorite character and perspective to read from. Her story and growth completely captured me and blew me away. And while Zoey was my least favorite, and occasionally got on my nerves, each of these characters had well crafted and wonderful character arcs. And the f/f relationship – be still my heart. I was absolutely living for their relationship. In general the friendships and support between these characters was empowering and well written.

Overall this book was absolute perfection. I fell in love from page one and I couldn’t stop  flipping page until the very end. I cannot wait to read whatever Claire Legrand releases next.


13 thoughts on “Book Review: Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

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