I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Don't Go to Sleep by Bryce Moore
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on August 2, 2022
Genres: YA Historical Fiction, YA Horror, YA Thriller
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Barnes & Noble
A seventeen-year old girl goes up against the notorious axeman murderer in 1918 in this suspenseful historical fiction story from the author of The Perfect Place to Die.
Gianna is the average seventeen-year-old girl living in 1918 New Orleans. She worries about her family’s store, the great war, and a mysterious illness that’s about to take hold of the city she loves.
It doesn’t help that there also appears to be a mad man on the loose in her neighborhood. The attacks started as burglaries but soon escalate to cold blooded murder. There’s a killer out there, and the police can’t seem to figure out how to stop him.
Gianna enlists the help of her friend Enzo to investigate. And as they study the crimes, they see a common link between the victims, and Gianna can’t help but wonder if it’s the same man who attacked her family years before.
As Gianna gets closer to the killer, she discovers a connection between them that she never would have suspected.
First I just have to say that I devoured this book! It was one that was so hard to put down whether it was to go to bed or back to work after a lunch break. I have been fascinated with New Orleans for a long time, and that fascination only became more intense after visiting it for the first time a few years ago, so much that I visited it again twice more after that! This book brought in a lot of historical events that I was unaware of, or just didn’t really know much about if I even had heard of them.
The whole Axeman storyline was scary and definitely gave the horror to this tale. It was so neat to hear about the different neighborhoods and areas in NOLA at the time, and how one would get around to them. The influenza epidemic at the time was a unique aspect as well with the present day world having just come out of a time of wearing masks and even still dealing with a disease. The thoughts that Gianna had throughout the different stages of the story, wondering what good a mask did, to even when she was wearing one how she felt about other people not wearing them, to how she felt at times about wearing one herself. Her comments on how the disease affected different people different ways resonated as well.
My dad’s side of my family is Italian and has always been very proud of that part of our heritage. And while I knew that there was of course persecution of Italians in the past even in America, I guess I never thought about it in places like NOLA which seems like such a melting pot of so many cultures. Although Italian was never a culture I really connect to that location. Also the little Italian grocery stores and how they were run out of their houses. While it reminded me a bit of the Olsens on Little House on the Prairie, it was definitely something intriguing in this story.
I wanted to read the first book by this author, but just didn’t get it fit in when it came out, so I’m grateful the publisher sent me this copy and that now I can share it with my students!