The Mary Shelley Club by Goldy Moldavsky – Book Review

“When it comes to horror movies, the rules are clear:

-Avoid abandoned buildings, warehouses, and cabins at all times.

-Stay together: don’t split up, not even just to ‘check something out.’

-If there’s a murderer on the loose, do not make out with anyone.

If only surviving in real life were this easy” (“The Mary Shelley Club”).

Goldy Moldavsky captures the perfect mix of Scream (the movie) meets Gossip Girl in her new YA book “The Mary Shelley Club.” Set in New York, the book tells the story of Rachel Chavez, who’s “eager to make a fresh start at Manchester Prep. But as one of the few scholarship kids, Rachel struggles to fit in, and when she gets caught up in a prank gone awry, she ends up with more enemies than friends,” writes Goodreads.

Rachel would rather watch horror movies than anything else and prefers “stabby serial killers and homicidal dolls to the bored rich kids of Manhattan Prep…and to certain memories she’d [prefer] to keep buried.”

“Then Rachel is recruited by the Mary Shelley Club, a mysterious society of students who orchestrate Fear Tests, elaborate pranks inspired by urban legends and movie tropes. At first, Rachel embraces the power that comes with reckless pranking. But as the Fear Tests escalate, the competition turns deadly, and it’s clear Rachel is playing a game she can’t afford to lose” (“The Mary Shelley Club”).

I had recently watched the movie, Mary Shelley, starring Elle Fanning, so I was familiar with who Mary Shelley was. I liked the concept of the book and immediately started to get Gossip Girl vibes because of the prep school. It wasn’t until midway through that I started to see how relatable the movie Scream was as well.

I liked the way that everything was presented and how it was wrapped up in the end. The horror references were fun and the pacing really propels the story and situations. I listened to the audiobook read by Carla Corvo and at first it was hard for me to get used to her voice. I think a reader’s voice can make or break an audiobook experience, but in the end, I think she really did help drive the story forward.

It wasn’t too scary, more of a thriller at times, but when the twist was presented, it was clear that Moldavsky was taking some cues from Scream and I’m totally okay with that! I’m here for it. Overall, the pacing really lets the story unfold reasonably and the surprises throughout kept me engaged.

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