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No Beauties or Monsters

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A mystery about a girl whose family secrets are as threatening as the desert that surrounds her—but whose quest to expose the truth may tear apart reality itself. Rylie hasn’t been back to Twentynine Palms since her dad died. She left a lot of memories out there, buried in the sand of the Mojave Desert. Memories about her dad, her old friends Nathan and Lily, and most of A mystery about a girl whose family secrets are as threatening as the desert that surrounds her—but whose quest to expose the truth may tear apart reality itself. Rylie hasn’t been back to Twentynine Palms since her dad died. She left a lot of memories out there, buried in the sand of the Mojave Desert. Memories about her dad, her old friends Nathan and Lily, and most of all, her enigmatic grandfather, a man who cut ties with Rylie’s family before he passed away. But her mom’s new work assignment means their family has to move, and now Rylie’s in the one place she never wanted to return to, living in the house of a grandfather she barely knew. At least her old friends are happy to welcome her home. Well, some of them, anyway. Lily is gone, vanished into the desert. And Twentynine Palms is so much stranger than Rylie remembers. There are whispers around town of a mysterious killer on the loose, but it isn’t just Twentynine Palms that feels off—there’s something wrong with Rylie, too. She’s seeing things she can’t explain. Visions of monstrous creatures that stalk the night. Somehow, it all seems to be tied to her grandfather and the family cabin he left behind. Rylie wants the truth, but she doesn’t know if she can trust herself. Are the monsters in her head really out there? Or could it be that the deadliest thing in the desert . . . is Rylie herself?


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A mystery about a girl whose family secrets are as threatening as the desert that surrounds her—but whose quest to expose the truth may tear apart reality itself. Rylie hasn’t been back to Twentynine Palms since her dad died. She left a lot of memories out there, buried in the sand of the Mojave Desert. Memories about her dad, her old friends Nathan and Lily, and most of A mystery about a girl whose family secrets are as threatening as the desert that surrounds her—but whose quest to expose the truth may tear apart reality itself. Rylie hasn’t been back to Twentynine Palms since her dad died. She left a lot of memories out there, buried in the sand of the Mojave Desert. Memories about her dad, her old friends Nathan and Lily, and most of all, her enigmatic grandfather, a man who cut ties with Rylie’s family before he passed away. But her mom’s new work assignment means their family has to move, and now Rylie’s in the one place she never wanted to return to, living in the house of a grandfather she barely knew. At least her old friends are happy to welcome her home. Well, some of them, anyway. Lily is gone, vanished into the desert. And Twentynine Palms is so much stranger than Rylie remembers. There are whispers around town of a mysterious killer on the loose, but it isn’t just Twentynine Palms that feels off—there’s something wrong with Rylie, too. She’s seeing things she can’t explain. Visions of monstrous creatures that stalk the night. Somehow, it all seems to be tied to her grandfather and the family cabin he left behind. Rylie wants the truth, but she doesn’t know if she can trust herself. Are the monsters in her head really out there? Or could it be that the deadliest thing in the desert . . . is Rylie herself?

30 review for No Beauties or Monsters

  1. 5 out of 5

    Erin A. Craig

    A desert full of mystery. A girl who sees things she shouldn’t. Desperate to unlock the secrets of Twentynine Palms, I raced through this book!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    Books about fucked up ladies who go back to confront their hometowns and their secrets are the BEST

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kalena W

    4/5 stars, this was a lot more complex than I was anticipating but very creepy Thank you Random House for the arc through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review! I am not sure what I expected going into this book, certainly the dark and mysterious atmosphere that was created. But there was a lot more to this book than simply what was on the surface, and I had a lot of fun uncovering all of it. It was a slower read but it took it's time luring you farther and farther into this nightmare story 4/5 stars, this was a lot more complex than I was anticipating but very creepy Thank you Random House for the arc through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review! I am not sure what I expected going into this book, certainly the dark and mysterious atmosphere that was created. But there was a lot more to this book than simply what was on the surface, and I had a lot of fun uncovering all of it. It was a slower read but it took it's time luring you farther and farther into this nightmare story in the desert. Rylie hasn't been back to the military base Twentynine Palms since her dad died, but her mom's new work assignment means coming back. It also means facing all the memories buried in the sand, memories about her dad, old friends, and her grandfather who cut ties with her family before he recently passed. Rylie has to live in the one place she never wanted to return to, and not all of her old friends are around anymore either. Lily has vanished into the desert, and around town, there are whispers of a mysterious killer on the loose. When Rylie starts seeing visions of things she cannot explain she follows clues that hint it's all tied to her grandfather, and what he was really doing out there in the desert....if Rylie can trust the truth she sees. For starters, this story is for fans of Stranger Things, completely. I have not even seen the full show, or particularly want to, but this just gives off those same vibes. It's very mysterious and doesn't reveal anything too quickly. When important plot twists are revealed it feels a bit crazy, and hard to wrap your head around, but it ends up being really interesting. I didn't love all the plot twists, but I honestly can't complain because the author did a really excellent job of putting them in at the right times. I felt that the end was just slightly jumbled and I would've liked to see a bit more of what actually happened before the book ended, but I still think the author did an excellent job overall. The setting being in a desert, military basecamp no less, sounded really intriguing to me at the start. Being in a military base camp doesn't really have a ton to do with the plot, but being in the desert certainly does. Because of how isolated everyone is in this desert, even including the little town, it really makes each piece of the puzzle more shocking. It definitely feels like you are there with the characters and experiencing this loneliness and fear if you read it at night, which I recommend doing. Rylie is a fine main character, she doesn't really have a lot going for her but there is nothing particularly bad about her either. She is back in the one place she never wanted to enter again, so it's obviously hard for her to be in the desert. Weird things start happening almost immediately to her and it's really interesting to see how she handles it. There's a lot going on surrounding her story, some of which barely gets tied up in the end, but it honestly felt like the story went the way it should with her plotline. Her family is probably my favorite part of the whole story. Each of them has different quirks and it's obvious to see that they each care about her in their own way, besides her mom because we barely see her. Her stepdad is a goofy sort of guy and is really understanding of Rylie. He is also a psychologist and dabbles in hypnotizing. Her brother O is younger than her and really rather sweet. He experiences some things in the desert as well and at times it is hard to watch. He really loves Rylie and you can see it in how both of them interact. Kai is my favorite probably, he is her stepbrother and honestly the brains of the story, although it takes a while to realize that. He was really fun to see evolve little by little throughout the story and help Rylie. Overall, it was a pretty fun story once I got into it. The story is laced with desperation, darkness, and mystery set on a backdrop of a desolate desert. It sets up for a really unique story that constantly throws twists and turns at the reader, until the very end. It might get a bit too twisty at times, but it was actually pretty fantastic. [TW: death of a friend, death of a family member, murder, missing persons, injuries and blood, drugging, amateur hypnosis, PTSD (mentioned)]

  4. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This book was so intense. There was a killer on the loose and memory lapses. Everyone seemed suspect as Rylie returned to the desert with her family. She hadn't been there since her Dad died. I enjoyed this fast paced mystery which also was a sci-fi. There was more going on out there than meets the eye! Makes me want to go to Joshua Tree. 😉  Also this cover is gorgeous. I just love purple covers if you can't tell from the picture!  Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫 Thank you net galley and delacorte press for the e-A This book was so intense. There was a killer on the loose and memory lapses. Everyone seemed suspect as Rylie returned to the desert with her family. She hadn't been there since her Dad died. I enjoyed this fast paced mystery which also was a sci-fi. There was more going on out there than meets the eye! Makes me want to go to Joshua Tree. 😉  Also this cover is gorgeous. I just love purple covers if you can't tell from the picture!  Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫 Thank you net galley and delacorte press for the e-ARC for my honest and voluntary review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    Thank you mtmc tours and Tara Goedjen for providing me with a free digital copy. “It’s hard sometimes, right? Loving people...because deep down you’re afraid you could lose them.” This book was SO GOOD. I blew through it so fast! It’s definitely the type of book you could read in one sitting. There are so many twists and turns, and I was constantly on the edge of my seat, unsure as to what was imagined and what was reality. The premise of this book is so creative, and I never would have guessed t Thank you mtmc tours and Tara Goedjen for providing me with a free digital copy. “It’s hard sometimes, right? Loving people...because deep down you’re afraid you could lose them.” This book was SO GOOD. I blew through it so fast! It’s definitely the type of book you could read in one sitting. There are so many twists and turns, and I was constantly on the edge of my seat, unsure as to what was imagined and what was reality. The premise of this book is so creative, and I never would have guessed the ending!! The whole thing was like one big mind game, and I lived for it! “Do you ever feel like no matter what you do, the life you want gets further and further away?” One of the best things about this book was the way Goedjen slowly fed the reader just enough information at a time to ensure that they weren’t confused but were still kept in the dark. It was such a great feeling to slowly discover the secrets of the desert along with the main character Rylie, and every new piece of information was a shock. I like to think of myself as someone who is good at guessing endings, but I was so blown away by the ending to this book!! I don’t want to say much more because I don’t want to spoil anything, but I really hope there is a sequel. I feel like Rylie’s story is not finished, and I would love to read more about her and her family and friends! Overall, if you love mysteries (especially ones with hints of the supernatural), you will love this book!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Demetra

    From page one Goedjen was in full control of the twists and turns that kept coming page after page, building to the shocking ending. No Beauties Or Monsters is an eerie genre-bending novel teeming with speculative suspense and intrigue. The main character, Rylie, begrudgingly moves back to her hometown after her grandfather’s death and finds things aren’t exactly as they appear. Plagued by episodes of lost time, questionable memories, and nightmarish desert creatures that stalk the night, Rylie From page one Goedjen was in full control of the twists and turns that kept coming page after page, building to the shocking ending. No Beauties Or Monsters is an eerie genre-bending novel teeming with speculative suspense and intrigue. The main character, Rylie, begrudgingly moves back to her hometown after her grandfather’s death and finds things aren’t exactly as they appear. Plagued by episodes of lost time, questionable memories, and nightmarish desert creatures that stalk the night, Rylie digs deeper into her past while disappearances continue to rock the small desert community. As the mystery builds and unfolds pulling in more and more characters from her past and present, Rylie is forced to question who, if anyone can be trusted, including herself, and what dark family secrets lay buried inside her grandfather’s home. You’ll find yourself reeling from the shocking revelations that split reality and force you to question everything you know about space and time. An absolute must-read. Tara Goedjen just planted herself firmly on my auto-buy author list. I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kayla

    It was my great joy to have an early read of this one—huge thanks to the publisher for sending it my way, and for asking me to blurb it. In short, my official quote for this one is: "Mind-bending and wholly engrossing—I couldn't read it fast enough!" To elaborate a little more, though: I picked it up on a Friday night and could not. put. it. down. The voice! The mystery! The story! The characters! I've always loved mind-twisting stories like this one, and only wished I had *more* when I reached It was my great joy to have an early read of this one—huge thanks to the publisher for sending it my way, and for asking me to blurb it. In short, my official quote for this one is: "Mind-bending and wholly engrossing—I couldn't read it fast enough!" To elaborate a little more, though: I picked it up on a Friday night and could not. put. it. down. The voice! The mystery! The story! The characters! I've always loved mind-twisting stories like this one, and only wished I had *more* when I reached the end of the book. I recommend going in without knowing too much about this one—it was a really fun experience to go in knowing absolutely nothing, and to make theories along the way. Can't wait to read whatever Tara writes next!

  8. 5 out of 5

    nihaarika

    No Beauties or Monsters really creeped me out, which I mean in a good way. I'm not someone who usually reads mysteries or thrillers because that's not a genre I usually enjoy, but this was such a fun read. The writing was chilling and atmospheric and as I mentioned, really creeped me out throughout the story. I was so creeped out that I had to stop reading for a few moments to gather my thoughts about what was going on. I think the small town setting of the story really just added to the suspe No Beauties or Monsters really creeped me out, which I mean in a good way. I'm not someone who usually reads mysteries or thrillers because that's not a genre I usually enjoy, but this was such a fun read. The writing was chilling and atmospheric and as I mentioned, really creeped me out throughout the story. I was so creeped out that I had to stop reading for a few moments to gather my thoughts about what was going on. I think the small town setting of the story really just added to the suspense. My only problem with the story was that at the beginning, we are introduced to far too many characters in one go. It almost feels exposition-y in some way and made the start a little slow. But nevertheless, I think this was a fun thriller read and I am excited to have picked it up. Thank you MTMC Tours, Netgalley and Delacorte Press for the e-ARC!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Evans

    I was so happy to receive an advanced copy of No Beauties or Monsters from NetGalley. I loved it! With so many unique twists and turns in an intriguing desert setting, it kept my interest from start to finish. The family dynamics and friendship connections were also a highlight. As a former teacher, I would definitely recommend this book to students 12+ who enjoy mysteries with a hint of the supernatural, but it would also appeal to adults who like reading YA. I highly recommend!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    4.5 stars rounded to five. Wow! What an incredible, mind blowing novel. This may not be the right book for the reader who wants to have it all figured out by the end. My advice for everyone is to stay away from spoilers, get comfy, turn to page one, and sit back and enjoy the ride. For the first 85% of this novel I kept saying to myself, “I have no clue what is going on,” and for the last 15% I kept saying “Wait, what is going on?!?!?!” I absolutely loved it! The way this was written immersed me 4.5 stars rounded to five. Wow! What an incredible, mind blowing novel. This may not be the right book for the reader who wants to have it all figured out by the end. My advice for everyone is to stay away from spoilers, get comfy, turn to page one, and sit back and enjoy the ride. For the first 85% of this novel I kept saying to myself, “I have no clue what is going on,” and for the last 15% I kept saying “Wait, what is going on?!?!?!” I absolutely loved it! The way this was written immersed me completely into the story. The writing was brilliant, the plot unique. The characters were believable and had depth. The relationships were well developed: Rylie’s relationship with Owen was so sweet and loving. Her developing relationships with her stepdad and stepbrother were realistic, complicated, but also showed heart. And Rylie’s rekindled relationship with her old best friend/something a little more was a good mix of new tension and old, undying feelings. This is a book that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a well written, haunting, fantasy story, no matter their age. It will appeal not teens and adults alike. Thank you to Net Galley and Random House Children’s Books, Delacorte Press for this digital arc in exchange for my honest review. #NetGalley #NoBeautiesorMonsters

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mark Harding

    I was fortunate to receive an ARC of this book. No Beauties or Monsters is the new novel from Tara Goedjen, who wrote the atmospheric gothic thriller The Breathless. Immediately this book sets up an intriguing and tantalising mystery that has several layers to it. The main character, Riley, is returning with her family to TwentyNine Palms, to live in the home of her deceased grandfather. But strange things are happening in the desert, her friends aren't as she remembered them, people are going m I was fortunate to receive an ARC of this book. No Beauties or Monsters is the new novel from Tara Goedjen, who wrote the atmospheric gothic thriller The Breathless. Immediately this book sets up an intriguing and tantalising mystery that has several layers to it. The main character, Riley, is returning with her family to TwentyNine Palms, to live in the home of her deceased grandfather. But strange things are happening in the desert, her friends aren't as she remembered them, people are going missing and there's something strange that connects it all. Tara Goedjen really knocks it out of the park with this one. As with her previous novel, the setting and atmosphere is really brought to life, creating vivid moments of imagery that really hook you in and stay with you. I loved the characters and the way that the mystery is slowly teased out and revealed - it's such an interesting concept (that I can't discuss because spoilers), and contains a surprisingly emotional punch. I really didn't know where this book was heading but was in for the ride and thoroughly enjoyed where it went. There's a world here that could be explored in even more depth in future books if she ever wants to revisit - I'd definitely come along for another trip!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    What a twisty little gem of a book! The setting is half the fun - a small atmospheric town where strange things seem to happen and people often go missing. It felt a little like a desert-version of Twin Peaks, maybe because at first, it’s impossible to know what, exactly, is going on. That mystery kept me turning pages quickly, desperate to figure it all out. The main character, Rylie, manages to pull off that challenging combination of being a sympathetic-yet-unreliable narrator. As she struggl What a twisty little gem of a book! The setting is half the fun - a small atmospheric town where strange things seem to happen and people often go missing. It felt a little like a desert-version of Twin Peaks, maybe because at first, it’s impossible to know what, exactly, is going on. That mystery kept me turning pages quickly, desperate to figure it all out. The main character, Rylie, manages to pull off that challenging combination of being a sympathetic-yet-unreliable narrator. As she struggles to uncover the mystery of what is really happening in her old hometown, she is hindered by the realization that she can’t trust her own memory, and the fear that she, herself, is dangerous. Sprinkled in around the mystery are some really beautiful moments between Rylie and her younger brother, as well as several other well-portrayed (and often complicated) relationships: her reconnection with her former best friend/first love, and the slowly developing friendship with her new stepbrother, a boy who definitely has his own secrets and agenda. If you like atmospheric mysteries with surprising twists and a hint of the supernatural, definitely pick this one up!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Katie Nelson

    From the first words on the first page, it is clear that Goedjen is in control of this story. I was pulled in immediately by the atmospheric prose, but it was the twisty plot that kept me turning pages well into the night. The novel opens with a mystery--something is happening in the town of Twentynine Palms--but it's the experience of the main character, Rylie, that carries the story. Forced to move back to the town she visited as a child, Rylie can no longer run from the friends she once knew From the first words on the first page, it is clear that Goedjen is in control of this story. I was pulled in immediately by the atmospheric prose, but it was the twisty plot that kept me turning pages well into the night. The novel opens with a mystery--something is happening in the town of Twentynine Palms--but it's the experience of the main character, Rylie, that carries the story. Forced to move back to the town she visited as a child, Rylie can no longer run from the friends she once knew and then abandoned, the grandfather she is estranged from, and the accident that left her brother blind and Rylie traumatized. I found myself constantly surprised as I read, and totally engrossed in Rylie's story. The characters are flawed and real, the setting is compelling, and the mystery was surprising but satisfying. A compelling, twisty read that kept me breathlessly invested until the very last page!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Marit Wiesenberg

    When I read Tara Goedjen's debut YA novel, THE BREATHLESS, I was blown away by her beautiful writing and heart-pounding story. I was not disappointed when I read NO BEAUTIES OR MONSTERS. I couldn't put it down until I found out what was really going on. Once again, Goedjen brings something fresh to the table -- plotting that feels unexpected and original, characters who feel like real people and wow, atmosphere. I was immersed in the world and mystery of TwentyNine Palms. This is for readers who When I read Tara Goedjen's debut YA novel, THE BREATHLESS, I was blown away by her beautiful writing and heart-pounding story. I was not disappointed when I read NO BEAUTIES OR MONSTERS. I couldn't put it down until I found out what was really going on. Once again, Goedjen brings something fresh to the table -- plotting that feels unexpected and original, characters who feel like real people and wow, atmosphere. I was immersed in the world and mystery of TwentyNine Palms. This is for readers who love stories where the main character can't put her finger on what is happening around her (in the vein of E. Lockhart's WE WERE LIARS) and where setting is like a character full of secrets (in the vein of STRANGER THINGS). Highly recommend.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kay

    Stranger Things meets Fringe set in the desert! I loved this atmospheric mystery with mind-bending twists. I did not guess where this was going at all-- all my theories wound up being totally wrong and the big twist was actually a really emotional gut punch. I think reluctant readers especially will gobble this one up.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Breeana Shields

    I couldn't turn the pages fast enough! No Beauties or Monsters is expertly paced and crackles with delicious tension from page one through to the end. Atmospheric and haunting. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough! No Beauties or Monsters is expertly paced and crackles with delicious tension from page one through to the end. Atmospheric and haunting.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Brown

    I haven't been glued to a book like No Beauties or Monsters for a long time! From page 1, I could not stop reading. Even my boyfriend commented that I couldn't put my Kindle down! The intrigue and mystery made this novel so tense and gripping. The plot is based in a setting I've never been to - the Mojave Desert - but the author brought the area so vividly to life. The setting is integral to the plot, and it was great to "explore" the area through the pages. The plot had so many twists and turns I haven't been glued to a book like No Beauties or Monsters for a long time! From page 1, I could not stop reading. Even my boyfriend commented that I couldn't put my Kindle down! The intrigue and mystery made this novel so tense and gripping. The plot is based in a setting I've never been to - the Mojave Desert - but the author brought the area so vividly to life. The setting is integral to the plot, and it was great to "explore" the area through the pages. The plot had so many twists and turns, it kept me captivated the whole way through. I really enjoyed the narrator of Rylie, too. Sometimes, a YA heroine does daft things, but Rylie makes many logical decisions and follows both her heart as well as her brain. She is also able to rely on her friends, who were great secondary characters. They gave her enough help as well as being able to have their own storylines which helped propel the plot along. Overall, I loved it! *ARC gifted from author & publisher via MTMC Tours. All thoughts are my own*

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cassandra Marie

    Thank you Negalley & Tara Goedjen for an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review!! This was a fast read that really kept me guessing. I wanted to keep reading honestly because I would answer one question and have two more. Goedjen does a really great job keeping her reader engaged through this constant questioning. Rylie is a high school senior and goes back to her hometown and reignites old friendships (...and a short-lived love interest!!). When in her hometown she and some of her friends st Thank you Negalley & Tara Goedjen for an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review!! This was a fast read that really kept me guessing. I wanted to keep reading honestly because I would answer one question and have two more. Goedjen does a really great job keeping her reader engaged through this constant questioning. Rylie is a high school senior and goes back to her hometown and reignites old friendships (...and a short-lived love interest!!). When in her hometown she and some of her friends start to dig deeper into how one of their friends had gone missing the previous year. The book follows their adventure when they start to put together the pieces but still have an abundance of questions! I would recommend this book to my students as it would be relatable for Rylie's age and also would be a fun read for them!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Freddie

    I was lucky enough to read an early copy of this, and I loved it. The setting and atmosphere are well written: think beautiful desert landscape teaming with Stranger Things spooky vibes and creatures. The plot is definitely mind-bending as the reader follows Rylie’s investigation of creepy happenings in her new hometown. Also, I am a military family member and I loved the depiction of military family life throughout the story. I don’t see that too often in books and I appreciated it. Highly reco I was lucky enough to read an early copy of this, and I loved it. The setting and atmosphere are well written: think beautiful desert landscape teaming with Stranger Things spooky vibes and creatures. The plot is definitely mind-bending as the reader follows Rylie’s investigation of creepy happenings in her new hometown. Also, I am a military family member and I loved the depiction of military family life throughout the story. I don’t see that too often in books and I appreciated it. Highly recommend!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Emily Murphy

    Mind-bending, super atmospheric, and gorgeously written. I couldn’t put this one down, even when it was scaring me to death. Totally original and compulsively readable. Can’t wait to read what Goedjen writes next!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Melissa (thereaderandthechef)

    I received this book for free from Author, MTMC Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. You can also find this review at The Reader and the Chef . “Sometimes you don’t miss what you have until it’s right in front of you again and no longer yours.” If you are in for a breathtaking journey through the desert, where every trail and every rock hides a secret and is sprinkled in mystery, then look no further than No Beauties or I received this book for free from Author, MTMC Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. You can also find this review at The Reader and the Chef . “Sometimes you don’t miss what you have until it’s right in front of you again and no longer yours.” If you are in for a breathtaking journey through the desert, where every trail and every rock hides a secret and is sprinkled in mystery, then look no further than No Beauties or Monsters. This is the kind of book that sweeps you into a story full of wonder and questions. So many questions. The main character brings us back into a place that once held good and bad memories for her. A place that she both wants to forget, but is unknowingly clinging on for. For the first few chapters we understand Rylie had a strained relationship with her strict grandfather who used to live in Twentynine Palms in the Mojave desert, and that she is desperately trying to forget traumatic events that involved her childhood friends, an event that made her want to stay away for good. But now, after her mother remarries and accepts a new governmemt job, she is back at the place that started it all. And the mystery and secrets that cling to this place have been waiting for her. Strange things are happening in Twentynine Palms. Missing people. A teen on the run. Curious bees. A cabin hiding secrets. And as soon as Rylie comes back, she hits something or someone with her car, only to not find anything at all. This is when the setting becomes a character on its own and the mysteries it holds makes everyone that steps foot inside to be caught up in all of it. I loved it! Oh, but you need to reach the end of this book. Each chapter is just a layer and every page would just take us one stop closer to unlocking all of Rylie’s memories and figuring out what is truly happening. Overall, such an atmospheric read with characters that were easy to fall in love with. Definitely my cup of tea!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tina Rae

    Y’all. When I tell you I INHALED this book!! So I picked this one up because the premise compares it to Stranger Things (and, lbr, the gorgeous cover). I didn’t totally know what to expect going into this but it hooked me from the very first page. It definitely has those dark, mysterious ST vibes and I loved that!! And we almost had an “I don’t need sleep, I need answers” situation because the deeper down this rabbit hole I fell, the more I just needed to keep going. I haven’t been this hooked by Y’all. When I tell you I INHALED this book!! So I picked this one up because the premise compares it to Stranger Things (and, lbr, the gorgeous cover). I didn’t totally know what to expect going into this but it hooked me from the very first page. It definitely has those dark, mysterious ST vibes and I loved that!! And we almost had an “I don’t need sleep, I need answers” situation because the deeper down this rabbit hole I fell, the more I just needed to keep going. I haven’t been this hooked by a book in such a long time! It’s such a well rounded mystery and gives you ~just enough answers and just enough questions to keep you going. This book was so hard to put down! I just had to know what was happening in this town! I also already feel the need to reread this one to pick up on everything at the beginning that I missed, before I knew what was happening. I am so glad to have this on my shelves so I can revisit it again in the future! And I had such a book hangover after finishing this, that revisit might be sooner rather than later. This one also had similar vibes to the Fringe (especially the first season), my all time favorite show, and I appreciated that a lot. This is exactly the kind of Sci-fi I’m always on board with (and I can’t really give you too many details without spoilers. So sorry if this review isn’t terrible helpful!). So if you’re a sci-fi fan or looking for an adventure, PLEASE PICK THIS ONE UP! (And then come and talk to me about it because I’m always here to fangirl!!) Thank you so much to BookSparks for sending a copy of this my way!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Beth for BPL Teens

    What a roller coaster of a book! This book constantly surprised me. As soon as I thought I had something figured out, something came out of nowhere and blew me away. With a diverse and complex set of characters, a well developed setting, and a plot that kept me guessing, I know I can't wait to add this one to my collection and I know teens will be eager to eat it up. Rylie and her family are moving back to Twentynine Palms, a military base in the Mojave Desert shortly after the death of her gran What a roller coaster of a book! This book constantly surprised me. As soon as I thought I had something figured out, something came out of nowhere and blew me away. With a diverse and complex set of characters, a well developed setting, and a plot that kept me guessing, I know I can't wait to add this one to my collection and I know teens will be eager to eat it up. Rylie and her family are moving back to Twentynine Palms, a military base in the Mojave Desert shortly after the death of her grandfather and her father. She is skeptical about returning, but excited to see her dear friends Nathan and Lilly again after several years. Once she arrives in Twentynine Palms, however, things start to confuse and frighten Rylie when she starts having visions of things that aren't there and she goes through chunks of time she can't remember. Her friend, Lilly, has been missing for a year, and Rylie finds some disturbing things in her grandfather's basement. Rylie begins to piece together the truth, and as she starts to remember things, she is faced with a truth that cannot possibly be real. Because if it's real, what is really going on in Twentynine Palms, and what part does Rylie have to play in this reality? This will be a great book for fans of Stranger Things, mystery fans, and lovers of thrillers. I know several teens and adults who will love it. Some CW: Disappearance of a friend, death of a parent (before story begins), a few curse words. This is a book appropriate for 13+.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey Henry

    I was intrigued by this book from the start. A mystery about a girl whose family secrets are as threatening as the desert that surrounds her—but whose quest to expose the truth may tear apart reality itself. At first, it’s impossible to know what, exactly, is going on. That mystery kept me turning pages quickly, desperate to figure it all out. So many twists and turns and the plot is always keeping you on your toes and guessing. I definitely recommend checking this one out! Fantastic read!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Caity

    This is a really cool book full of great twists. There was some great foreshadowing while the story also kept you second guessing what you thought you knew. Combined this made for an absolutely riveting ending. The characters were also well written and I enjoyed how complex they were, they all felt pretty well rounded and real. All around I really enjoyed this book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Hawkins-Lee

    Thank you so much to MTMC Tours, the authors, NetGalley, and Delacorte Press for a copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review. This book took me on an insane and confusing journey with characters traveling in familiar territory to me. Being from California, I am VERY familiar with the scenery of the setting of this book so I was so excited to see what this book had in store. I went into this book completely blind. I mean I knew the genre and I read the short synopsis, but I honestly didn’ Thank you so much to MTMC Tours, the authors, NetGalley, and Delacorte Press for a copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review. This book took me on an insane and confusing journey with characters traveling in familiar territory to me. Being from California, I am VERY familiar with the scenery of the setting of this book so I was so excited to see what this book had in store. I went into this book completely blind. I mean I knew the genre and I read the short synopsis, but I honestly didn’t know what to expect. However, with what little knowledge I did have... I never expected this! Things I enjoyed about the book: The Mystery! OMG the twists and turns that took place in this book! I was shook, shocked, and surprised at every turn. The characters were also VERY unreliable, you didn’t know who did what and if what the narrator was telling you was actually true. The plot always kept you guessing and it was so fun because of how unpredictable it all turned out to be. I used to think I knew everything, but I apparently don't. This plot proved me wrong on more than one occasion! The Setting! This is one I’ve hiked and camped around so the setting gave me such a happiness I cannot contain. It also added such a creep factor to the plot that I never expected and I might have a hard time camping in the desert next time because I will be too busy with the creepy elements of this book. The Concept! This book had such a unique element that it almost took me a while to truly absorb it all. I was shocked so much by how the story turned out and I just loved how it all came together. This book took me on such a wonderful ride and I am so happy to have read it!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    Sci-fi type mystery in the desert that I just couldn't stop reading. Sci-fi type mystery in the desert that I just couldn't stop reading.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    Although not my usual genre, this well-crafted story kept my attention throughout!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dominique

    I loved this book and could not put it down. I read all but the first 40 pages in one night. I did not see the ending coming. If you like Stranger Things this is a must read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Eileen W

    I enjoy reading young adult books, but I do not typically read mysteries or thrillers since my life gives me enough twists and turns....and scares! However, I really got sucked into the story and couldn't wait to find out how the mysterious things that were happening in the town would get resolved. It was a well-written story and I would recommended it for teens or adults who enjoy thrillers, mysteries or science fiction. I enjoy reading young adult books, but I do not typically read mysteries or thrillers since my life gives me enough twists and turns....and scares! However, I really got sucked into the story and couldn't wait to find out how the mysterious things that were happening in the town would get resolved. It was a well-written story and I would recommended it for teens or adults who enjoy thrillers, mysteries or science fiction.

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