Saturday, October 30, 2021

Review: Good Girls Die First by Kathryn Foxfield

by Kathryn Foxfield
Source Books
Young Adult Paranormal Horror
368 pages


10 mysterious invitations.

10 terrible secrets never meant to be shared.

1 abandoned amusement park where all will be revealed.

And someone—or something—determined to make sure that only one survives.

Blackmail lures Ava to the abandoned amusement park on Portgrave Pier. She is one of ten teenagers, all with secrets they intend to protect whatever the cost. When fog and magic swallow the pier, the group find themselves cut off from the real world, and one by one, they die.

As the teens turn on each other, Ava will have to face up to the secret that brought her to the pier and decide how far she's willing to go to survive...



Secrets, murder, magic and a paranormal twist makes this one perfect for fans of tales like I Know What You Did Last Summer.

Ava receives a strange invitation with only two short sentences, but it's the picture which makes her realize that someone knows of her darkest secret...something no one can possibly know and something that will destroy her if it ever comes out. When she arrives at the abandoned amusement park island, she finds 9 others there, who received similar invitations. Immediately, strange things start happening, but before they decide to flee, the bridge connecting the island from the mainland breaks, leaving them stuck. Something is playing with their minds, and even the first night brings blackouts in the memory of each of them and one of them dead. They are caught in a sick, twisted game, and aren't sure there is any way out except death itself.

I was drawn to this one by the cover, especially since I was on the search for a chilling, Halloweeny read. The setting is perfect—an abandoned amusement park, which burnt down and holds secrets no one in the small town wants to speak about. The weather, of course, is dark, foggy and stormy and shadows are heavy and dark. Even mirrors play a roll, creating everything needed for a thrilling tale. And this one does pack more than a few chilling surprises. Death plays in the air, and there's little hope for escape, making the stakes high and the fear more than clear. So, it's a dark read with a fast past and unexpected twists the whole way through. And yes, I did read this one in one sitting, curious to know what would happen next.

Now, I'm usually a chicken when it comes to horror stories, but this one didn't scare me much after the first chapter or so. Instead, it was a good paranormal read with higher tension and deadly moments. And there were a few reasons for this.  (In other words, this is a good read but it could have been even better...but I do want to stress that it is good).

There are ten teens on the island, and they banter between each other several times. Each one supposedly has a distinct personality, but with that many of them together, it was hard to get a grip on any single one of them. I got them confused more then a few times and had a problem connecting with any because of that. Even the main character was hard to grip because she never gave anything really sympathetic from herself. I'm not sure I really ever found her likeable. Actually, every single one of these teens had huge, horrible secrets...and coming from the same high school, it made the situation unbelievable. Plus, none of them had cell phones. If this was marked as a historical, that isn't an issue, but it's not. And as an upcoming release, that's going to cause some reality issues.

I did find the paranormal twist original and intriguing. It was revealed a bit too early, which also caused some problems, but all in all, it made the read unexpected and entertaining. 

This is a gripping read for fans of thrills and paranormal and secrets. It does contain murder, suicide, drug abuse, and violence, but these flow well with the plot and don't reach over what can be expected for this type of tale. It was an enjoyable read, just not horror-worthy or as creepy as it could have been.

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