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.Delicious Monsters by Liselle Sambury
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on February 28, 2023
Genres: YA Horror
Source: the publisher
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The Haunting of Hill House meets Sadie in this evocative and mind-bending psychological thriller following two teen girls navigating the treacherous past of a mysterious mansion ten years apart.
Daisy sees dead people—something impossible to forget in bustling, ghost-packed Toronto. She usually manages to deal with her unwanted ability, but she’s completely unprepared to be dumped by her boyfriend. So when her mother inherits a secluded mansion in northern Ontario where she spent her childhood summers, Daisy jumps at the chance to escape. But the house is nothing like Daisy expects, and she begins to realize that her experience with the supernatural might be no match for her mother’s secrets, nor what lurks within these walls…
A decade later, Brittney is desperate to get out from under the thumb of her abusive mother, a bestselling author who claims her stay at “Miracle Mansion” allowed her to see the error of her ways. But Brittney knows that’s nothing but a sham. She decides the new season of her popular Haunted web series will uncover what happened to a young Black girl in the mansion ten years prior and finally expose her mother’s lies. But as she gets more wrapped up in the investigation, she’ll have to decide: if she can only bring one story to light, which one matters most—Daisy’s or her own?
As Brittney investigates the mansion in the present, Daisy’s story runs parallel in the past, both timelines propelling the girls to face the most dangerous monsters of all: those that hide in plain sight.
I was so excited for this because I loved the author’s first two books. And I was hooked right from the start with this one too! Although I have to say there were a few parts with a white worm or maggot that kept popping up when I was trying to read this on a lunch break or at dinner, and that was not helpful to my eating.
The story kind of alternated between the character Daisy and her story, and another character named Brittney about 10 years later, who had a connection to the house that Daisy moves to in her part of the story. It wasn’t a split up evenly back and forth, just the part with Brittney was split in kind of at times when we needed to be left with a little suspense and wondering how it might have affected the future. There were so many layers to this story. Sure, it was a ghost/horror story, but also so much about the human story and the horrible things people do to each other, even those they say they love.
The ghost/horror aspect of the story was so good. I could see this coming to life on a movie screen, or a tv show. And there would be a lot of the atmospheric and visual scares, but a few jumps in there as well. The family and drama was emotional and horrific in its own way as well. There were several bits that just rang out so true as I read. With what had happened to the girls early on in the house’s story, that got me. Even with Daisy’s experiences with her ex boyfriend that she started the story having been broken up with him, that got me. One section, and I know of course it may change before final publication, but this line:
“When she said that she had let it happen before, so how could she say no later?”
I feel that with my own experience. In fact I probably took the not saying no to an extreme later, and I get that this feeling right here is part of why I let myself go that way.
Another thing that was so true in my opinion was about having different groups of friends because they are for different reasons or parts of your life. I remember having friends in lots of different groups in high school, but not necessarily a “group of friends”, and they were all from different aspects of my school years. Some remained close friends, most grew apart, and others that weren’t that close of friends, more acquaintances, I talk to more on Facebook now than we ever did back then. Even in my life today, I have friends that I see around my family, friends at work, friends from college, etc. I think everyone probably does this.
All the characters were so well fleshed out and added to the story in so many ways. While I had a feeling the first surprise we learn about Ivy was going to be what it was, I was not prepared for more of what we learned about her later in the story. I really liked King as well. And it was so true what he said about how knowing things and that people never did what he suggested, or took his advice. I mean how often do people try to give me advice and I know that I am going to end up doing what I want no matter what. It was hard to like Daisy’s mom, but knowing what she went through was helpful and gave me sympathy for her. Now we didn’t really get a chance to know Brittney’s mom, and that’s okay because I don’t know that she would have been likable. Meeting Daisy’s aunt finally and wow, that was something that I’d been wondering all throughout the story, and it was added into the plot perfectly.
I could gush and go on and on about how much I liked this story. Now, it is long, 500 pages, but I was kept on the edge of my seat the whole time. Another winning story from Liselle Sambury, who is fast becoming one of my favorite authors.
About the Author
Liselle Sambury is the Trinidadian Canadian author of the Governor General’s Literary Awards Finalist Blood Like Magic. Her work spans multiple genres, from fantasy to sci-fi, horror, and more. In her free time, she shares helpful tips for upcoming writers and details of her publishing journey through a YouTube channel dedicated to demystifying the sometimes complicated business of being an author.
You can find her at any of these sites and social media: