Tuesday, December 11, 2018

#FirstPage with @clairelegrand

From the New York Times bestselling author of Furyborn comes a breathtaking and spine-tingling novel about three teenage girls who face off against an insidious monster that preys upon young women. Perfect for fans of Victoria Schwab and Stranger Things.

“Reader, hang on for dear life. Sawkill Girls is a wild, gorgeous, and rich coming-of-age story about complicity, female camaraderie, and power.” —Sarah Gailey, author of River of Teeth
“An eerie, atmospheric assertion of female strength.” —Mindy McGinnis, author of The Female of the Species

About the Book:

Beware of the woods and the dark, dank deep.

He’ll follow you home, and he won’t let you sleep.

Who are the Sawkill Girls?

Marion: the new girl. Awkward and plain, steady and dependable. Weighed down by tragedy and hungry for love she’s sure she’ll never find.

Zoey: the pariah. Luckless and lonely, hurting but hiding it. Aching with grief and dreaming of vanished girls. Maybe she’s broken—or maybe everyone else is.

Val: the queen bee. Gorgeous and privileged, ruthless and regal. Words like silk and eyes like knives, a heart made of secrets and a mouth full of lies.

Their stories come together on the island of Sawkill Rock, where gleaming horses graze in rolling pastures and cold waves crash against black cliffs. Where kids whisper the legend of an insidious monster at parties and around campfires.

Where girls have been disappearing for decades, stolen away by a ravenous evil no one has dared to fight… until now.

About the Author: Claire Legrand is the New York Times bestselling author of Furyborn, the first book in the Empirium Trilogy. She is also the author of several other titles for children and teens, most notably The Cavendish Home for Boys and GirlsWinterspell, and the Edgar Award-nominated Some Kind of HappinessSawkill Girls is her seventh novel. Claire lives in central New Jersey, where she works as a librarian.

Recommended Age: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy 

Everyone knows about the island of Sawkill Rock:
The silly old legends of its healing waters, which are impossible to altogether dismiss when one considers the people of Sawkill themselves—their hard white teeth and supple limbs. The brazen, easy way they walk and shop and love. Their flagrant indifference toward life beyond the Rock, and their deft handling of even the bleakest tragedy: Oh, what a shame that was, they say, and bow their shining heads for a moment before gliding on, untroubled.
The beauty of the Rock’s rolling horse farms. Groomed flanks that gleam in the pale Atlantic sun. Grass like a glossy carpet that blows and shimmers, even at night. Especially at night. Black trees, wind-curled and water-bitten.
The houses like palaces, old but solid-hewn, gray and white and shingled. Sprawling and manicured. Careless and dignified. Old money: the taste of it sits on every tongue like a film of stale sugar.
The way the dark, rough sea bites up the shoreline. How the winds on the eastern side groan like old-time beasts turning in their sleep.
Come for a while, reads the sign at Sawkill’s ferry dock, and stay forever.
The Rock has always hated that sign.

The Accident

These are the things people said to Marion Althouse after her father died:
Oh, God. You poor girl.
Marion, I’m so sorry.
What a loss.
What a terrible, terrible thing.
Your mom. Jesus, I just— I can’t imagine.
How is she doing?
What about Charlotte? They were always so close, those two.
If you need anything, you let me know. Okay?
I’m here for you.
You’re such a rock. You see that, right?
They’re depending on you.
They’re lucky to have you. Blessed.
Marion, you’re so strong. How do you do it?
How did she do it?
It was a good question.
Marion asked herself the same question that first morning: How do I do this now?There had been before October thirteenth of last year, and, now, there was after.
After David Althouse crashed his car coming home from a late night at the office, so tired he probably couldn’t see straight, ready to lay down his bones by the light of dawn.
After some drunken scum-of-the-earth asshole took the mountain turn too fast, and her father was too exhausted and distracted, Marion assumed, to react in time.
After his car crashed through the guardrail and over the cliff, careening into rocks and plowing into a tree before coming to a still, smashed stop.
After the previously mentioned asshole drove away in a panic, maybe crying and shaking, too spineless to own up to their crime, leaving her father to die in the remains of his ruined fifteen-year-old Toyota.
After all that, this is what people said more than anything else:
I’m sorry for your loss, Marion.
Her loss. As if she’d misplaced her car keys.
When people said that, a part of Marion wanted to slap them, knock the cards and casseroles out of their hands.
I’ll tell you what I’ve lost, she wanted to say, and then open up her chest so they could see the hollow pit where her heart used to live. It was stuck in a state of collapse, this pit—a tiny, organ-shaped singularity, sucking down the bleeding ravaged bits of who she used to be.
But Marion did none of this.
She accepted their bland sympathy and uncertain smiles, tucked the wrapped food into the packed fridge, sat by her mother to make sure she didn’t sneak pills, and held Charlotte when she woke up sobbing.
She was Marion Althouse: devoted daughter and trusted little sister.
She sat alone on the bench outside the restroom on the ferry, arms full of everyone’s purses, while her mother vomited in the toilet and her sister flirted with a boy who drove a Lexus.
She was a rock. A blessing. A good, steady girl.
She did not give in to rage or self-pity. Not ever.
Not once.

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