After her mother’s suicide, 16-year-old Ivy Bloodgood is packed off to the foreboding New England island of Darkhaven, where secrets and skeletons overflow the closets of her new home.
Ivy’s long-lost uncle Simon is welcoming even if housekeeper Mrs. MacLeod is anything but. After a hand-to-mouth life with her grifter mother, Ivy just wants to graduate and head to California. However, waking up the first night in a rambling, decaying mansion covered in what she hopes is animal blood is horrific, especially when she finds out that someone called Neil Ramsey was killed in the woods. The Bloodgoods and the less upstanding Ramseys—the only two families on the island—have a Hatfield and McCoy thing going on, so fraternizing with the youngest Ramsey, Doyle, is a no-no, which doesn’t stop Ivy. Ivy’s nightmares get bloodier, and she’s afraid she’s inherited the mental illness or rumored curse that seems to plague her family, but as she tries to unravel their fraught history, with Doyle’s help, she realizes something darker may be at work. Kittredge’s (Grim Tidings, 2016, etc.) dread-soaked tale invokes the best of Victorian gothics, and the brash, street-smart, and resilient Ivy ably keeps her wits about her even when the you-know-what hits the fan. All main characters are presumably white.
A twisty, haunting, and satisfying contemporary gothic that will enthrall readers. (Thriller. 14-18)