Review: Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

Blurb: Who are the Sawkill girls?

Marion: the new girl. Awkward and plain. Weighed down by tragedy and hungry for love she’s sure she’ll never find.

Zoey: the pariah. Luckless and lonely, hurting but hiding it. Aching with grief and dreaming of vanished girls.

Val: the queen bee. Gorgeous and privileged. A heart made of secrets and a mouth full of lies.

Their stories come together on the island of Sawkill Rock, where gleaming horses graze in rolling pastures and cold waves crash against black cliffs. Where kids whisper the legend of an insidious monster at parties and around campfires. Where girls have been disappearing for decades, stolen away by a ravenous evil no one has dared to fight… until now.

Title: Sawkill Girls

Author: Claire Legrand

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of Harper Collins

Genre: Fiction, YA, Horror, Fantasy


This book begins as Marion, her sister and her mother move to the new town of Sawkill Rock after the sudden death of her father and strange goings on start to happen immediately. After the disappearance of her sister, Charlotte, Marion and her new friend Zoey take on a mission to uncover the secret behind the missing Sawkill girls.

I really enjoyed the folklore aspect of this book with all of the mystery surrounding ‘the Collector’ as it meant that I was constantly trying to guess what was happening which made me eager to read on. Character-wise, I liked that the three main characters were so different – not all the same body shape or skin tone or even class, and that there was some LGBTQ+ representation. I thought that the idea of a monster that feeds on girls and must use a family to sustain itself really intriuging! The idea that it was able to shapeshift, root itself inside it’s chosen one and then control her wasn’t something that I’ve read before. I also enjoyed the use of the moths in this story, it gave it a super creepy feel and was a good way to lead into a new event. Legrand writes at a good pace, keeping the story flowing well and gives a different personality to each of the main characters which kept things interesting.

As for what I disliked about this book, there are one or two things. Marion’s ability to transport to alien beaches seemed a bit random to me and left me a little bit lost. It felt like a quick way to advance her powers and push forward their final plan. My main gripe with this book, and the reason for the slightly lower rating, was the ending. Without giving too much away, I struggle to see how Marion could forgive Val so easily for what happened to Charlotte, enough for Val to be the metaphorical ‘guiding light’ to bring Marion home. For me, it felt like a way to tie up a loose end and have all of the characters end up not hating each other. I know that by this point of the book, we’re supposed to feel bad for Val but I felt like this moved a bit too quick and without any real resolution. This left me a bit disappointed when I finished the book, despite the things that I’d previously enjoyed. But, this is just my opinion!

Overall, I would recommend this book if you want something with a fast plot, don’t mind a bit of gore and want to see some LGBTQ+ recognition in main characters. Obviously my opinions on the ending are just my personal thoughts and I will say that most of the action is done by this point so doesn’t take away from the climax of the book as you read it.

Rating: 3.5/5

Recommend?: Yes

Have you read this book? What did you think? Have you read any other books by this author? I’d love to know!

You can always find me over on Instagram and Twitter if you’d like to discuss this book (or any others that I’ve featured) in more detail 😌

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