The Mary Shelley Club

Holt. Apr. 2021. 480p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250230102.
Gr 9 Up–After a violent home invasion that leaves Rachel, who is Latina, with a traumatic secret, her mother takes a job at an elite Manhattan prep school where Rachel also enrolls—a fresh start for both of them. The teen immediately connects with bubbly classmate Saundra, but for the most part keeps to herself. When she uncovers, and is eventually invited to join, a secret club that revolves around horror movies and tropes, the contrived fear and catharsis that horror has brought her since her attack helps her feel at home with the club members, even as tensions she doesn’t quite understand are always near the surface of the group’s dynamic. As the group runs their Fear Tests—harmless horror scenarios each member is challenged to enact on their classmates—Rachel’s past begins to catch up with her and she realizes the club might not be as harmless as she imagined. Loyalty, revenge, and the uses of fear are themes in this fast-moving thriller, and questions of how the plot does or does not add up in the end are eclipsed by fun horror references and a complex protagonist readers will root for. There is a minor love triangle among Rachel and two members of her group, but her friendship with enthusiastic, loyal Saundra is especially well developed.
VERDICT A great choice for teens who enjoy horror and are looking for a quick read.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing