Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin TEEN for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
I have now read three out of four of Amy Lukavics’s books and I have to say that she is my absolute favourite horror author of all time.
First off, there is definitely not enough teen horror in the world, but Lukavics’s writing surpasses a recommended reading age. Every single one of her books is a different sub-genre of horror and yet never falls in line with tropes to the sub-genre of the work. Daughters Unto Devils was pure A24 arthaus horror aesthetic as well as one hell of a messed up ride in the times of settlers. The Women In The Walls was a gothic gore-fest and every time I thought I knew how it was going to end, the entire dynamic of the story shifted. Nightingale is no less genius.
The entire time I was reading Nightingale, my filmmaker brain wouldn’t shut up and I kept thinking that the best way to describe this book is if body horror master David Cronenberg decided to remake all of those black and white sci-fi classics from the 40s and 50s but with a badass lead who knows in her very bones that she is destined for far more than the life of a housewife.
Told in a non-linear fashion (which we all know, I’m a sucker for), the story follows June Hardie during her time in an asylum and her time at home. At home she is stifled by the gender roles of the time, and in the asylum she struggles with reality itself. Having made friends with other patients, June is truly forced to dig into her own mind and figure out what is happening.
I adored this story. It was dark, it was bloody, and it was trippy as hell. I have come to expect the unexpected from Amy Lukavics, but that still doesn’t make her hard hitting endings predictable in the least. As well as being a sci-fi/horror/retro story, she takes all of the problems with gender roles and beats the reader with them so there is no way anyone could possible think “But what’s wrong with staying home all day?” while also not necessarily looking down upon being a housewife. It’s a fine line to walk and this story did it wonderfully. The story does get graphic and there were some cases where it made me entirely uncomfortable but I wouldn’t call it excessive and it only adds to the atmosphere and the pure terror that this story conveys.
Nightingale is available in stores everywhere on September 25th, 2018.
Author: Amy Lukavics
Published: September 25, 2018
Publisher: Harlequinn TEEN
Synopsis: At seventeen, June Hardie is everything a young woman in 1951 shouldn’t be–independent, rebellious, a dreamer. June longs to travel, to attend college and to write the dark science fiction stories that consume her waking hours. But her parents only care about making June a better young woman. Her mother grooms her to be a perfect little homemaker while her father pushes her to marry his business partner’s domineering son. When June resists, her whole world is shattered–suburbia isn’t the only prison for different women.