Sawkill Girls meets Beautiful Creatures in this lush and eerie debut, where the boundary between reality and nightmares is as thin as the veil between the living and the dead.
If I could have a fiddle made of Daddy’s bones, I’d play it. I’d learn all the secrets he kept.
Shady Grove inherited her father’s ability to call ghosts from the grave with his fiddle, but she also knows the fiddle’s tunes bring nothing but trouble and darkness.
But when her brother is accused of murder, she can’t let the dead keep their secrets.
In order to clear his name, she’s going to have to make those ghosts sing.
Family secrets, a gorgeously resonant LGBTQ love triangle, and just the right amount of creepiness make this young adult debut a haunting and hopeful story about facing everything that haunts us in the dark.
Review: 4 Stars
I have to admit that I picked up an ARC of Ghost Wood Song because of its cover. I didn’t even read the blurb, I just saw the title and that gorgeous cover and requested a copy. I was a little worried because beautiful covers have lead me astray many times, but this beautiful cover lead me to this elegant gothic tale tat I quickly fell in love with. I don’t know if I would have given this book a chance if I had read the blurb first, because I’m not a huge fan of ghost stories, but I am so glad I had the opportunity to read it.
The writing really captured my attention. The prose is lyrical and gave the book a dark, gothic feel which totally gave me Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea vibes. (Check out my review of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea here!) The entire story has an eerie feeling to it, which is perfect for this book full of ghosts. The lyrical prose is fitting as well since much of the story is about music. I fell so deep in love with the writing and the dark vibes that I would have read this book no matter what it was about. I think that Erica Waters will be an auto-buy author for me because she can seriously write! I was surprised that this was her debut novel.
The characters were also done extraordinarily well. I loved Shady so much. Her loyalty to her family was something I admired and could relate to. She was so determined and I loved that she was always on her family’s side regardless of her doubts in them. The side characters were also decently fleshed out. They had full personalities and their own interests. But it was Shady that captivated me. I truly loved her character and her determination.
The plot is where this book fell a bit short in my eyes. It just wasn’t something I would normally read about. I tend to stay away from books about ghosts and I don’t really care for books centered around music, but despite the fact that I don’t normally read books about these topics I still loved Ghost Wood Song. The murder mystery made the plot more interesting, but I did find it a bit predictable. I didn’t love the climax of the book and I dragged my feet a bit through the ending, so the last part of the book took me a while to get through.
Despite not really loving the plot I really enjoyed this book. It was so rich in atmosphere and beautiful prose that I really felt like I was watching an eerie movie. After reading this book I am considering reading more ghost stories. I love the gothic vibes and this book was really fascinating. I am already excited for Erica Water’s upcoming book The River Has Teeth because her writing reminds me of April Genevieve Tucholke and I can’t get enough books with that type of gothic writing. I think that my issues with the plot are because it’s just not something I would normally read, but I still really enjoyed it.