Here There Are Monsters – Booked All Night

The Blair Witch Project meets Imaginary Girls in this story of codependent sisterhood, the struggle to claim one’s own space, and the power of secrets.

Sixteen-year-old Skye is done playing the knight in shining armor for her insufferable younger sister, Deirdre. Moving across the country seems like the perfect chance to start over.In their isolated new neighborhood, Skye manages to fit in, but Deirdre withdraws from everyone, becoming fixated on the swampy woods behind their house and building monstrous sculptures out of sticks and bones.

Then Deirdre disappears.

And when something awful comes scratching at Skye’s window in the middle of the night, claiming she’s the only one who can save Deirdre, Skye knows she will stop at nothing to bring her sister home.

Here There Are Monsters, Amelinda Bérubé
August 1, 2019

I requested Here There Are Monsters for a few reasons. The back copy intrigued me: Codependent siblings? Why does Skye need to start over? Did Deirdre have a psychotic break? What came scratching at her window?

The last bit certainly hints at something fantastical and dark, but the writing simply did not. From the slow opening to the rushed ending, I just didn’t connect to these incredibly selfish sisters. Part of the draw for me was the codependency but all I saw were two sisters in a normal relationship. Skye wanted friends her age, Deirdre wanted to stay in their childlike world and was sad that Skye was growing up. Both sisters constantly demanded things of the other, only to be denied. It wasn’t healthy, but it certainly wasn’t an example of dependency when neither party was dependable.

Barely a day after Deirdre disappears, Skye sneaks out to go to a party. While there she confesses that she doesn’t want to be the center of attention because of her sister–but how selfish and uncaring is it to just walk out on your parents who are already worried about one missing daughter? And it’s here that we have the first of many “that’s just like Deirdre” comments. Skye blames Deirdre for everything, even after she disappears. After roughly three chapters of that pure disdain, I was over it.

Read More: Here There Are Monsters – Booked All Night

Published by J. M. Tuckerman

J M Tuckerman is a New Jersey-based writer, blogger, and podcast talent. Tuckerman holds a BA in Writing Arts, an MA in Writing, and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She is a proud dog mom, cat mom, archer, wife, and passionate book wyrm.

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