Blood on the Beach

HARVEY, Sarah N. & . 272p. Orca. Mar. 2017. pap. $14.95. ISBN 9781459812932.
Gr 9 Up—A compulsively readable tale about a group of teens struggling to cope with their troubled lives and prevent their bloody deaths at the hands of a murderer. Alice, small but fierce, is the daughter of a cop and was caught drinking underage. Caleb, of the tall, dark, and handsome persuasion, has been labeled violent after attacking his stepdad, who was beating Caleb's mother. Thrown together with a small group of other misunderstood misfits, they must survive a weeklong psychological rehabilitation camp on a remote island, trapped with a serial killer bent on picking them off one by one. While this is not exactly a slasher novel, fans of Friday the 13th would feel right at home in the tale's camp, as the authors adeptly establish an enjoyably eerie, uncomfortable tone from the very start. Sensitive topics, such as teen suicide and statutory rape, are touched upon but are mostly discussed within the realm of group therapy sessions, which grounds them. The authors alternate points of view between the two protagonists, which heightens each narrative by providing insight into the characters' reactions and motives, while simultaneously raising questions as to their reliability.
VERDICT Wickedly fun and fresh, this fast read is highly recommended for those who can't get enough of dark mysteries, lovers of illicit romance, and anyone who appreciates creepy camp stories.

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