Rating: 4 Stars

*I won this book through Goodreads First Reads giveaway. In no way has this influenced my rating or opinion of this book.*

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Clementine DeVore spent ten years trapped in a cellar, pinned down by willow roots, silenced and forgotten.

Now she’s out and determined to uncover who put her in that cellar and why.

When Clementine was a child, dangerous and inexplicable things started happening in New South Bend. The townsfolk blamed the fiendish people out in the Willows and burned their homes to the ground. But magic kept Clementine alive, walled up in the cellar for ten years, until a boy named Fisher sets her free. Back in the world, Clementine sets out to discover what happened all those years ago. But the truth gets muddled in her dangerous attraction to Fisher, the politics of New South Bend, and the Hollow, a fickle and terrifying place that seems increasingly temperamental ever since Clementine reemerged.

I love Brenna Yovanoff.

Her writing style is so great, and it really adds character to this strange and alluring tale. Brenna Yovanoff is on my list of authors who I read absolutely anything they write. And this one was fantastic. It’s probably second on my list of Yovanoff’s favorite works, right behind Paper Valentine.

I loved Clementine. She’s so fierce, but not annoyingly so. She doesn’t let anyone push her around, but she isn’t mean about it. She’s more matter-of-fact about everything, and is a joy to read about.

And even though she’s lost so many important years – years that should have been spent maturing – she’s not childish or immature in the least. Thank heaven for that. She’s almost more wise because of it. I mean, yes, there are times when she might say something that seems more like something a child would say, but it doesn’t really come off as immature. In a way, she’s almost conscious of how childish it is to say it now, but she’s still mourning the loss of her childhood years, so she doesn’t care.

Plus, her name’s Clementine. What’s not to like about that? Yovanoff picks the best names.

I mean, the protagonist from Paper Valentine was named Hannah.


The atmosphere is just creepy enough to be off-putting, but in the best way. It’s not scary, really, but very . . . different. Like, small-town-in-the-middle-of-nowhere-that-might-have-some-history-of-magic kind of creepy. And I ate it up.

And Yovanoff’s works really do stand out in the YA sea. She’s the only author I can think of that writes between this nice line of spooky and strange, and I love it. The closest book I can think of is Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.

I did have some questions by the end of the book, though. Questions about Fisher and exactly the story about his parents. There’s a quick overview of what happened and of his history, and it’s mentioned once in a while, but I was really curious and nothing was given to satisfy my curiosity.

I also don’t completely understand what the Fiends exactly are. I understand that there are Fiends in a family, and some families have more than others, but are they just ancestors that were bad? Or what? Are they born Fiends? Is Clementine actually a Fiend herself? I was kind of confused about that.



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