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Small Favors

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Ellerie Downing lives in the quiet town of Amity Falls in the Blackspire Mountain range--five narrow peaks stretching into the sky like a grasping hand, bordered by a nearly impenetrable forest from which the early townsfolk fought off the devils in the woods. To this day, visitors are few and rare. But when a supply party goes missing, some worry that the monsters that on Ellerie Downing lives in the quiet town of Amity Falls in the Blackspire Mountain range--five narrow peaks stretching into the sky like a grasping hand, bordered by a nearly impenetrable forest from which the early townsfolk fought off the devils in the woods. To this day, visitors are few and rare. But when a supply party goes missing, some worry that the monsters that once stalked the region have returned. As fall turns to winter, more strange activities plague the town. They point to a tribe of devilish and mystical creatures who promise to fulfill the residents' deepest desires, however grand and impossible, for just a small favor. But their true intentions are much more sinister, and Ellerie finds herself in a race against time before all of Amity Falls, her family, and the boy she loves go up in flames.


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Ellerie Downing lives in the quiet town of Amity Falls in the Blackspire Mountain range--five narrow peaks stretching into the sky like a grasping hand, bordered by a nearly impenetrable forest from which the early townsfolk fought off the devils in the woods. To this day, visitors are few and rare. But when a supply party goes missing, some worry that the monsters that on Ellerie Downing lives in the quiet town of Amity Falls in the Blackspire Mountain range--five narrow peaks stretching into the sky like a grasping hand, bordered by a nearly impenetrable forest from which the early townsfolk fought off the devils in the woods. To this day, visitors are few and rare. But when a supply party goes missing, some worry that the monsters that once stalked the region have returned. As fall turns to winter, more strange activities plague the town. They point to a tribe of devilish and mystical creatures who promise to fulfill the residents' deepest desires, however grand and impossible, for just a small favor. But their true intentions are much more sinister, and Ellerie finds herself in a race against time before all of Amity Falls, her family, and the boy she loves go up in flames.

30 review for Small Favors

  1. 4 out of 5

    jessica

    with all of the secluded small town strangeness of wayward pines and twin peaks, and all of the dark mysterious magic of ‘the near witch’ and ‘winterwood,’ this book gave me the creeps, in the best way possible. not quite nightmare inducing, but definitely makes you wary of things that go bump in the night. and i honestly wasnt going to round up to 5 stars, but the more i think about it, the more i realise i dont have a reason not to. the atmosphere is so realistically spooky - its the perfect s with all of the secluded small town strangeness of wayward pines and twin peaks, and all of the dark mysterious magic of ‘the near witch’ and ‘winterwood,’ this book gave me the creeps, in the best way possible. not quite nightmare inducing, but definitely makes you wary of things that go bump in the night. and i honestly wasnt going to round up to 5 stars, but the more i think about it, the more i realise i dont have a reason not to. the atmosphere is so realistically spooky - its the perfect setting. and every character gives off the vibe that theres something not quite right with them, but you cant put your finger on it. its amazing. and the pacing is really good. its a bit on the slower side, but everything feels so intentional, so its worth it. if youve read ‘house of salt and sorrow,’ you already know EAC is a good storyteller. well, this book just proves shes a great one. ↠ 4.5 stars

  2. 4 out of 5

    Erin A. Craig

    In my utterly unbiased opinion, this book is pretty nifty! I can't wait to share it with y'all and give you the shivers! In my utterly unbiased opinion, this book is pretty nifty! I can't wait to share it with y'all and give you the shivers!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Hell yeah! The author of House of Salt and Sorrows is back with another epic, mesmerizing, unputdownable fantasy read! I always keen on claustrophobic small town mysteries: people get trapped in the place, harsh winter comes out as the monsters start lurking around the woods. They cannot get out to provide more food and medical supplies, craving from hunger, cold, exhaustion and madness slowly takes out the direction of the place: neighbors become enemies, delusions take over control! Even your Hell yeah! The author of House of Salt and Sorrows is back with another epic, mesmerizing, unputdownable fantasy read! I always keen on claustrophobic small town mysteries: people get trapped in the place, harsh winter comes out as the monsters start lurking around the woods. They cannot get out to provide more food and medical supplies, craving from hunger, cold, exhaustion and madness slowly takes out the direction of the place: neighbors become enemies, delusions take over control! Even your own sibling can turn into a real threat! Who you’re gonna trust? How could you survive? When your town people, your own people become more dangerous than violent creatures, silver eyed monsters wait to hunt you in the woods, you’d better trust your own fighting skills and sharpen your survival instincts! The story centered around the families live in small town Amity Falls in the Blackspire Mountain Range( world building and regulations of town remind you of Shyamalan’s “Village “) 18 years old Ellerie Downing, vibrant, resilient, independent, smart, tough heroine, who is more mature from her piers, taking care of her family, helping beekeeper papa to protect the hives. Her dear sisters Merry and Sadie help her for the house chores ( especially Sadie is sweetheart with her imaginary friend Abigail, you may remember from author’s previous book) But her twin brother Samuel’s secret relationship with her best friend Rebecca ends tragically which cause a big animosity between them and their neighbor Danforths. It results with a big fire at their land. Her mother gets brutally injured, critically burned! Thankfully new mysterious trapper Whitaker (that’s the name Ellerie gave him because he insists not to tell his real name to her) are helpful enough to ride with her parents to the out own town: so her mother may get medical assistance she needs to get healed! But after their parents are gone, her twin brother starts getting more suspicious, things get more dangerous around the woods. She starts seeing a woman in white dress, the very same ghostly figure Cyrus Danforth has seen before something real tragic happens to him! I enjoyed the growing tension, the intense, dark, heart pounding, slow burn, claustrophobic atmosphere, the detailed and perfectly elaborated relationship patterns and governing style of town’s people. Ellerie and her sisters are so adorable, easy to relate and it was quite fun to read their genuine, loyal relations. Their sisterhood bond reminded me of March Sisters. They get through the tough times together, supporting each other! But there are still some things made me hesitate to give five stars even though I adored the author’s extra talented writing skills! In my opinion the book was way too much long and from the beginning you may foresee the big twist and great mystery! Love story between Ellerie and Whitaker was instant, not credible enough even though I enjoyed the banters between them. And ending was also not quite satisfying for me! There are some haphazard, abrupt conclusions and unanswered questions . I think I loved House of Salt and Sorrow more. But this book was still quite fascinating reading with riveting writing style, mysterious, dark, bleak premise, disturbing world building and great character portraits! So I’m lowering only one star and giving my four silver, wolffish, terrifying, horrific, epic stars! Special thanks to NetGalley and Random House Children’s / Delacorte Press for sharing this amazing digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts. blog instagram facebook twitterm

  4. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    The small town of Amity Falls is truly secluded from the outside world. It's set amongst the Blackspire Mountain range, at the edge of an almost impenetrable forest where monsters are said to lurk. When a supply party goes missing, and evidence of a massacre are found in the woods, the townsfolk believe the monsters may have awoken and are getting closer. Contention arises among the citizens, as they try to decide how best to proceed. They're afraid to send anyone else for supplies, but with prov The small town of Amity Falls is truly secluded from the outside world. It's set amongst the Blackspire Mountain range, at the edge of an almost impenetrable forest where monsters are said to lurk. When a supply party goes missing, and evidence of a massacre are found in the woods, the townsfolk believe the monsters may have awoken and are getting closer. Contention arises among the citizens, as they try to decide how best to proceed. They're afraid to send anyone else for supplies, but with provisions running low and winter approaching, what choice do they have? Ellerie Downing lives with her family in Amity Falls. On the cusp of adulthood, Ellerie finally gets to vote in the town proceedings. She struggles with her decision, but ultimately votes for the path she thinks best, even though it may differ from the opinions of those she loves most. Shortly after the vote, tragedy strikes the Downing family, leaving Ellerie to look after her family farm and her younger siblings. It's a lot, but Ellerie rises to the occasion. She has also made a new, intriguing friend. A young trapper, staying on the outskirts of town. Cloaked in mystery, the boy has never even given Ellerie his true name, but the two are drawn to each other like moths to a flame. As winter progresses, tensions rise while the supplies continue to decrease, forcing people to hide in their homes, protecting what is theirs. Bizarre and spooky occurrences are also plaguing the town, driving everyone's paranoia higher. Will Ellerie be able to get her sisters through until Spring? Small Favors was one of my most anticipated releases of the year. I absolutely loved Craig's 2019-release, House of Salt and Sorrows and couldn't wait to see what she would come up with next. The synopsis comp to Needful Things is legit, but it is Needful Things if it were set against the backdrop of M. Night Shyamalan's, The Village, and fused with Dark Fairy Tales. I know, delicious, right!? Plus, Craig's writing continues to impress. It's lush, detailed and DARK. This entire story had such a vibe; the location, the atmosphere, it got into my bones. I enjoyed how ominous it felt, even when nothing overtly scary was happening. It always felt like at any moment, a monster could appear from the periphery. The characters were compelling and I really liked the conclusion; it was unique and inventive. I'm so happy with this and again, look forward to seeing what Craig dreams up next. I know I will definitely be adding it to my shelves, whatever it is!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    "Enter not the forest deep. Beyond the Bells, the dark fiends keep." This is a stunningly beautiful, eloquently written novel. I was a little confused by some of the happenings at the end, and thinking on things didn't help clarify the rushed climax, so I'm just going to take the hit and move along, enjoying the lush atmosphere Small Favors provides. Aside from a few characters being a main part of the first half of the book, and then disappearing with no update on what happened to them (mom and "Enter not the forest deep. Beyond the Bells, the dark fiends keep." This is a stunningly beautiful, eloquently written novel. I was a little confused by some of the happenings at the end, and thinking on things didn't help clarify the rushed climax, so I'm just going to take the hit and move along, enjoying the lush atmosphere Small Favors provides. Aside from a few characters being a main part of the first half of the book, and then disappearing with no update on what happened to them (mom and dad), a character who was so unlikable and acted out of character from what we were being told (brother), I really grew attached to this quirky, creepy community and the children that tried to hold it all together along the way. *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.

  6. 4 out of 5

    NILTON TEIXEIRA

    This is a cute YA gothic/fantasy/romance/tale, but unfortunately it’s not for me. It started very well and strong enough to get my attention, but later it became very cheesy. There are some strange occurrences in the forest and in the town, such as unusual weather, fire, mutations in livestock, and mysteries that are causing a turmoil within the community. What’s the cause? It sounds intriguing but the development of the storyline was a bit boring. The writing is not bad, but it’s very simple and u This is a cute YA gothic/fantasy/romance/tale, but unfortunately it’s not for me. It started very well and strong enough to get my attention, but later it became very cheesy. There are some strange occurrences in the forest and in the town, such as unusual weather, fire, mutations in livestock, and mysteries that are causing a turmoil within the community. What’s the cause? It sounds intriguing but the development of the storyline was a bit boring. The writing is not bad, but it’s very simple and unfortunately some dialogues are very weak. This book is clearly directed for a younger generation. Although I have enjoyed the characters, I was not in love with anyone. I lost interest after 35% but as I wanted to know what was coming, I decided to continue, but several times along the way I was tempted to quit. Once again I may be the outlier. The storyline is loosely inspired by the tale of Rumpelstiltskin, a German fairytale collected by the Brothers Grimm in the 1812 edition of Children's and Household Tales.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    So um...I'm so confused but this was so good. Full rtc when I've got my thoughts put back together again So um...I'm so confused but this was so good. Full rtc when I've got my thoughts put back together again

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    Small Favors is a quiet YA horror novel that entirely sucked me in. It's creepy and atmospheric with slow-building tension, small town secrets, and fraught relationships. Definitely worth a read. Ellery lives in an isolated small town governed by rules created by the founders. It's a close knit community where neighbors are always there to lend a helping hand. But things start going very wrong. It starts with the deformed animals, the rotting crops, and then relationships going awry. Through it Small Favors is a quiet YA horror novel that entirely sucked me in. It's creepy and atmospheric with slow-building tension, small town secrets, and fraught relationships. Definitely worth a read. Ellery lives in an isolated small town governed by rules created by the founders. It's a close knit community where neighbors are always there to lend a helping hand. But things start going very wrong. It starts with the deformed animals, the rotting crops, and then relationships going awry. Through it all Ellery struggles to keep her family together and help them survive. I don't want to say too much more, but I loved a lot about this. It was creepy and fascinating. Towards the later part of the book I thought the pacing could have been better and we got explanations of some things a tad too early in my opinion. Dragging it out a bit more would have kept up the suspense. But overall, a very strong book and I love seeing this kind of slow burn horror show up in YA. I received an advance copy of this book for review. All opinions are my own. In terms of content notes, there is a lot of violence, some gore, death, lost of loved ones, manipulation, gaslighting etc.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Elle

    I love creepy fairytale retellings, so if this is half as good of House of Salt and Sorrows then I’m totally game. I love creepy fairytale retellings, so if this is half as good of House of Salt and Sorrows then I’m totally game.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay (pawsomereads)

    Following in the same vein as House of Salt and Sorrows, Small Favors is a dark and twisty fantastical read from Erin A. Craig. Ellerie Downing and her family live in a small town called Amity Falls, located in a secluded valley surrounded by forest. What starts out to be a kind and peaceful place quickly turns into a mysterious scene full of seemingly random attacks, vandalism and unexplained hatred. Ellerie is determined to figure out what madness is plaguing her town, with the help of a new s Following in the same vein as House of Salt and Sorrows, Small Favors is a dark and twisty fantastical read from Erin A. Craig. Ellerie Downing and her family live in a small town called Amity Falls, located in a secluded valley surrounded by forest. What starts out to be a kind and peaceful place quickly turns into a mysterious scene full of seemingly random attacks, vandalism and unexplained hatred. Ellerie is determined to figure out what madness is plaguing her town, with the help of a new stranger who’s just arrived. I didn’t even realize this was a Rumpelstiltskin retelling until after I was done reading it but it definitely makes sense with the plot and considering the fact that the author’s first book was also a retelling. I feel like I understand the direction of the story so much more now that I know that. This one was definitely similar to House of Salt and Sorrows in that it has some fantastical elements and darker storylines included. I also found the writing style to be very consistent between the two books. The writing was immersive and really added to the atmosphere of the story. One of the main things I enjoyed about this book was the small town setting of Amity Falls, surrounded by a dark and mysterious forest. This definitely added to the creepy-factor of the story while also keeping the reader engaged in solving the mystery of what darkness has overtaken the town. This small town dynamic did come with a very big cast of characters. There was a list of townspeople and families at the beginning of the book which was helpful but some things did get confusing when there were big town gatherings and trying to remember how everyone is connected. Having this larger group did bring a lot of drama with it though, and I enjoyed following the various storylines between characters. This was an interesting take on a classic fairytale and I really appreciated how original it was. The story was riveting and the pacing felt well done throughout. Thank you so much to NetGalley, the publisher and author for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kal ★ Reader Voracious

    ✨ Buddy reading with Bex!I'm forever trash for whatever Erin Craig writes since House of Salt and Sorrows. I cannot WAIT for 2021! EDIT: I AM SCREAMING AS THE EARC GODS HAVE BLESSED ME! ARC provided by the publisher for my honest review. This has not affected my opinions of the book nor the content of my review. Quotations are from an unfinished proof and are subject to change upon final publication. Blog | Twitter | Instagram ✨ Buddy reading with Bex!I'm forever trash for whatever Erin Craig writes since House of Salt and Sorrows. I cannot WAIT for 2021! EDIT: I AM SCREAMING AS THE EARC GODS HAVE BLESSED ME! ARC provided by the publisher for my honest review. This has not affected my opinions of the book nor the content of my review. Quotations are from an unfinished proof and are subject to change upon final publication. Blog | Twitter | Instagram

  12. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    After finishing House of Salt and Sorrows, I can’t wait to get my hands on this beauty! 😍 Update: I preordered the B&N ~exclusive~ edition and boy is it stunning!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nastassja

    Actual rating: 3.5 stars There's a power in names, don't you think? Once your name is given away, you can't help but be pulled along by those who have it. Small Favors pulls the reader along with its atmosphere of total isolation and something creepy and insidious trying to cross the narrow borders we are hiding inside the story. Its horror is not in the gory details which were enough (trigger warning: if you are sensitive to the topic of the detailed description of manslaughter, I would advise w Actual rating: 3.5 stars There's a power in names, don't you think? Once your name is given away, you can't help but be pulled along by those who have it. Small Favors pulls the reader along with its atmosphere of total isolation and something creepy and insidious trying to cross the narrow borders we are hiding inside the story. Its horror is not in the gory details which were enough (trigger warning: if you are sensitive to the topic of the detailed description of manslaughter, I would advise withholding from reading this story), but also in the ever-present feeling of being watched. I swear, Small Favors is the creepiest book I've read this year! We are introduced to the small town of Amity Falls, located in the Blackspire Mountain range. It's an isolated society of friendly neighbors. But soon enough strange occurrences take place in the town: a rotten harvest, a mutilated newly born calve, giant wolves in the woods hunting people. And most of the friendly neighbors start turning against each other, wreaking havoc upon the town's main rule: do not harm thy neighbor. I was absolutely entranced by the pagan vibe of the story. Religion and myth clash together creating more suspense. The town of Amity Falls exists inside a circle surrounded by forest. It is literally divided by bells that mark the end of the town's territory and the beginning of the forest: as if the religious part ends where the superstitious part begins. The forest breathes its ancient stories and legends on the people of Amity Falls. Cross this border and you are on your own. Small Favors reminded me a little bit of the movie The Village. Isolation is a physical feeling in this place. And if something horrible happens there's no one to run for help. It's the mental horror of the situation that freezes your blood. I would rate this story higher if not for the fact that the tension that was building most of the book, snapped too fast and was too unsatisfying. It felt underwhelming. I expected so much more from the resolution with the strange occurrences taking place in the town. The author so masterly tugs at our fears; I swear I was tense as a string, ready to snap with the story's crescendo. But nothing happened. I mean, some things happen but they are far from the tempo the story picked up at the beginning. Still, it should not turn you away from the story because the whole experience is worthy of your effort and time, and though I felt a little bit disappointed, I do not regret picking this book up. Erin's writing style pulled me right from the beginning. I was hooked and couldn't stop reading until I finished. I was always fond of the topic of beekeeping as my grandfather used to keep bees and I would help him sell the honey on the market. It was so endearing to read about how much Ellerie (the main character) cared about the hive and compared bees to human society, acting as one. But in this case, bees were more loyal to each other than people could ever hope to be. Also, the relationship between siblings - one of my favorite topics in books, was greatly developed in the book. I loved reading about Ellerie's relationship with her sisters and especially her twin - Sam, who was the morally grey character of the story, so to say. I despised him for the way he treated his sister and the girl he loved, but I did not hate him and even felt sorry for him. For romance lovers, there were some sweet moments I enjoyed and rooted for, but the ending spoiled it a little bit for me. Overall, Small Favors is a very creepy and atmospheric story but a little bit underwhelming at the end. My overall enjoyment wasn't spoiled but I am left wanting more: another small favor to satisfy my curiosity.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Angela Staudt

    Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. First off, I just want to say this is my favorite cover of the year. It really needs to be winning some awards on how beautiful it is. I am such a fan of the author’s writing because it really takes you to the place and you can imagine everything, I loved her first book House of Salt and Sorrows and this one was just as atmospheric. Ellerie is the main character and lives in a super small village called Amity Fa Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. First off, I just want to say this is my favorite cover of the year. It really needs to be winning some awards on how beautiful it is. I am such a fan of the author’s writing because it really takes you to the place and you can imagine everything, I loved her first book House of Salt and Sorrows and this one was just as atmospheric. Ellerie is the main character and lives in a super small village called Amity Falls. They are basically bordered off from the rest of the world by the “pines” and people only travel through them twice a year to get supplies for the town. Some say monsters live in those woods so nobody ventures into them. Something very wrong starts to happen in the town, first deformed animals start making their way into town from the woods, all of their crops start to rot, and it almost feels like such a small knit community is turning on one another. No one can make the supply run for the winter because every time someone goes into the pines, they end up being brutally murdered. Ellerie is just trying to keep her little sisters and twin brother safe through the winter, but something is happening in Amity Falls and she may not be able to stop it. I don’t want to go into too much detail, but this was a mix of fantasy, horror, mystery, and romance. It really had everything going for it. I was utterly captivated with the lush world that Craig has made and how deep the family dynamic was developed. I loved the strangeness of Amity Falls and it definitely gave me the creeps reading about the deformed animals and people being murdered. I do have to say the beginning was quite slow, but once we got to part two it really picked up and got interesting. I do wish more things would have been drawn out and explained, especially because it felt like some huge revelations were made but they didn’t go in depth. I really did enjoy this book and can’t wait for more from this author!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jesse Ruth (The best boyfriends are book boyfriends)

    Ellerie and her family live in a small village called Amity Falls or God's Grasp. What starts out seeming to be a kind and peaceful place quickly turns into a mysterious scene full of attacks, vandalism and unexplained hatred. But where is this enmity coming from? There are mysterious beasts with deformities (really creepy) and glowing silver eyes. Also, a strange woman described as beautiful with the same silver eyes but hands that are too long and misshapen. Everything just keeps getting more o Ellerie and her family live in a small village called Amity Falls or God's Grasp. What starts out seeming to be a kind and peaceful place quickly turns into a mysterious scene full of attacks, vandalism and unexplained hatred. But where is this enmity coming from? There are mysterious beasts with deformities (really creepy) and glowing silver eyes. Also, a strange woman described as beautiful with the same silver eyes but hands that are too long and misshapen. Everything just keeps getting more odd, as if someone or something is changing the town. But is it the towns peoples fault? Or the strangers from the woods? I definitely recommend this chilling read! Trigger warnings for disturbing imagery related to animals and some people, violence and death.

  16. 4 out of 5

    rachel ☾

    Ellerie Downing lives with her beekeeping family in the secluded mountain town of Amity Falls. When strange activities plague the town, all signs point to a group of mystical creatures who promise to fulfil the residents' deepest desires for a small favour and it's a rumplestiltskin retelling Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram Ellerie Downing lives with her beekeeping family in the secluded mountain town of Amity Falls. When strange activities plague the town, all signs point to a group of mystical creatures who promise to fulfil the residents' deepest desires for a small favour and it's a rumplestiltskin retelling Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram

  17. 5 out of 5

    Autumn Krause

    Atmosphere. Bees. Spookiness. WTF IS GOING ONness. Fairy tale retelling. Did I mention bees? I read an arc of this book and was gripped from the very first word to the last. So yes. You're going to want to read this one. Atmosphere. Bees. Spookiness. WTF IS GOING ONness. Fairy tale retelling. Did I mention bees? I read an arc of this book and was gripped from the very first word to the last. So yes. You're going to want to read this one.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Erin Hahn

    Lush writing, gorgeous world building, a prairie horror (which I didn't realize was a thing I needed but it's a thing I NEEDED) that will keep me from ever EVER looking out my window in the middle of the night. Lush writing, gorgeous world building, a prairie horror (which I didn't realize was a thing I needed but it's a thing I NEEDED) that will keep me from ever EVER looking out my window in the middle of the night.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Shauni

    Thank you NetGalley and Delacorte Press for sending a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I absolutely loved House of Salt and Sorrows, so was excited to read Small Favors. While I didn't enjoy this one as much, it was a unique and entertaining story. I really liked the creepy small village vibe, with a touch of horror. I enjoyed that the plot kept me guessing. It was a haunting yet fun page-turner. Thank you NetGalley and Delacorte Press for sending a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I absolutely loved House of Salt and Sorrows, so was excited to read Small Favors. While I didn't enjoy this one as much, it was a unique and entertaining story. I really liked the creepy small village vibe, with a touch of horror. I enjoyed that the plot kept me guessing. It was a haunting yet fun page-turner.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Ichaso

    This YA horror has everything I love: The Village vibes, talk of monsters in the woods, and a mysterious love interest we can’t quite trust. I knew it was a fairy tale retelling going into it, so I enjoyed trying to guess how that would all factor in. The prose is gorgeous, the atmosphere is fantastically creepy, and the protagonist’s predicament is thoroughly engaging. I read it all in a weekend because I had to find out what was going on! Can’t wait for the next Erin Craig book! Thank you to N This YA horror has everything I love: The Village vibes, talk of monsters in the woods, and a mysterious love interest we can’t quite trust. I knew it was a fairy tale retelling going into it, so I enjoyed trying to guess how that would all factor in. The prose is gorgeous, the atmosphere is fantastically creepy, and the protagonist’s predicament is thoroughly engaging. I read it all in a weekend because I had to find out what was going on! Can’t wait for the next Erin Craig book! Thank you to NetGalley and to the publisher for allowing me to be an early reader.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    4.5 stars. SMALL FAVORS is the second novel I've read by author Erin A. Craig. Here we have a small, mostly self-sufficient town, where everyone knows one another. There is danger though--deep in the surrounding woods. Creatures--or something--whose eyes glow in the darkness. In the town's list of Rules you'll find: "Enter not the forest deep. Beyond the Bells, the dark fiends keep." Ellerie Downing and her family are one of the farms on the outskirts of the town. The tension starts out immediate 4.5 stars. SMALL FAVORS is the second novel I've read by author Erin A. Craig. Here we have a small, mostly self-sufficient town, where everyone knows one another. There is danger though--deep in the surrounding woods. Creatures--or something--whose eyes glow in the darkness. In the town's list of Rules you'll find: "Enter not the forest deep. Beyond the Bells, the dark fiends keep." Ellerie Downing and her family are one of the farms on the outskirts of the town. The tension starts out immediately, with slow burning intensity. A series of malicious rumors set more "vicious" acts into action. I really enjoy the author's writing style. I loved the characterization, and the continuous changes they went through emotionally. Everything felt a "natural response" to the events unfolding. This is one of the biggest aspects fo a book that get me into believing in the characters and the story. While there were some parts to the mystery I quickly guessed, there were many more aspects that I did not. This tale had such depth to it! When one thing was happening before us, there were so many more layers to peel off in order to get the COMPLETE picture. I was kept speculating until the very end. Overall, this was the type of novel I love to get lost in. The multi-layered approach made it so nothing could be taken at face value. Rather, each event hinged on a multitude of others. The complexity of the story and well developed characters made this an instant favorite for me. I can't wait to read more from this author. Recommended. **I received an arc copy from NetGalley. All opinions are my own.** Publication is July 27, 2021. You can find it here: https://amzn.to/3hTWrJI

  22. 5 out of 5

    ☼ Sarah ☼

    how to make Small Favors by Erin A. Craig: - start with a small town where everyone knows everyone - add a generous helping of calico dresses, dark plot twists, wildflowers, and a spoonful of honey for taste - mix together Rumplestiltskin and one cup of pine needles from the deepest depths of the woods - stir well until tensions feel so taut, you force yourself to carry on reading past 3am - serve chilled and enjoy

  23. 4 out of 5

    julia ☆ [owls reads]

    5 stars! * "There are more things out in those woods than any of us could ever dare imagine." Erin A. Craig is out there again writing fantastic (and creepy) YA novels and I love them for it. <3 I had such a good time reading Small Favors that I finished it in one sitting! The writing was so easy to get lost into and the world-building and stories surrounding Amity Falls caught my attention right away. The setting was very well developed and I loved how much it changed as the plot pro 5 stars! * "There are more things out in those woods than any of us could ever dare imagine." Erin A. Craig is out there again writing fantastic (and creepy) YA novels and I love them for it. <3 I had such a good time reading Small Favors that I finished it in one sitting! The writing was so easy to get lost into and the world-building and stories surrounding Amity Falls caught my attention right away. The setting was very well developed and I loved how much it changed as the plot progressed. Ellerie was also a great narrator. I loved how eager she was to learn and her determination in regard to making sure her family was well taken care of. She went through quite a bit in this book and changed as a person, but I still loved the she maintained a little bit of hope and sweetness at the end of it all. The other characters were also so interesting and complex! Craig did an amazing job at exploring the differences between Ellerie and her twin, Sam, to the point I disliked Sam quite a bit lol The other residents of Amity Falls were also well written and each had their own struggles and little story arcs. Whitaker was also a pretty intriguing characters, though I did solve the mystery behind his everything quite early on in the novel. The plot was excellent! I loved the slow build of it with little things happening here and there that served to add tension to the story. Some of the twists were so so creepy and unsettling and I loved how it all came together, especially after we discovered what was really going on and the reason behind it all. I was also super thankful that the characters I liked had a happy ending, though I do wish we had a little bit of an epilogue and got to experience the aftermath of their decisions. Still, wonderful book that I recommend to anyone looking for creepy YA reads about small towns, monsters, and the deep dark woods. * Series: Standalone. POV: Told from Ellerie's POV. Content Warnings: (view spoiler)[Animal death. Starvation. Sickness. Mob Mentality. Hanging. Fire-related injuries (burns). (hide spoiler)] Instalove: (view spoiler)[A tiny little bit. (hide spoiler)] Love Triangle: (view spoiler)[No. (hide spoiler)] Cliffhanger: No. HEA: (view spoiler)[For some. (hide spoiler)]

  24. 4 out of 5

    Zahra

    This is supposed to be a creepy horror fantasy book, right? So why does the cover look like a warm happy historical/contemporary/literary fiction book?

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    Small Favors sucked me in so easily and so swiftly! From the very beginning, I got invested in the main character Ellerie and her family's fate. With such a light cover, I didn't expect this book to be dark. Don't get it wrong like I did. Small Favors has an atmosphere that chilled me at times. The more I read, the more I dreaded what was going to happen in this town where monsters were seen killing some of the men sent to get more supplies outside of the forest that separates them from the rest Small Favors sucked me in so easily and so swiftly! From the very beginning, I got invested in the main character Ellerie and her family's fate. With such a light cover, I didn't expect this book to be dark. Don't get it wrong like I did. Small Favors has an atmosphere that chilled me at times. The more I read, the more I dreaded what was going to happen in this town where monsters were seen killing some of the men sent to get more supplies outside of the forest that separates them from the rest of the world. When strangers comes in, weird things start happening and I was hooked! Of course, as a reader, you quickly suspect that these strangers are guilty. Of what, you're not sure exactly but they can't be innocent in all of this... And as the town gets crazier and crazier as the seasons pass by, you'll wonder if Ellerie and her family will manage to make it out alive. Overall, I'm glad I got to dive into this book as this was my first Erin A Craig book and I'm excited to try her other one, House of Salt and Sorrows. (Thank you for letting me read and review an ARC via Netgalley)

  26. 4 out of 5

    Toya (the reading chemist)

    I genuinely don’t know how I feel about this book (and this keeps happening with horrors). There were parts of this story that I genuinely loved because Craig never fails to deliver immersive, creepy writing with fantastic horror elements…but I would argue this book was definitely too long for what the overall story delivered. I think my biggest issues with this book is that 75% of this book is just incredibly slow in terms of pacing and the plot doesn't seem to move forward. Instead, you dig in I genuinely don’t know how I feel about this book (and this keeps happening with horrors). There were parts of this story that I genuinely loved because Craig never fails to deliver immersive, creepy writing with fantastic horror elements…but I would argue this book was definitely too long for what the overall story delivered. I think my biggest issues with this book is that 75% of this book is just incredibly slow in terms of pacing and the plot doesn't seem to move forward. Instead, you dig into the bleak, and desolate conditions that Ellerie and her sisters face during the near unbearable winter that they are left alone to survive. Also, there are some characters that disappeared during the story that were never really addressed again, and considering they were the hope that the girls clung to, I just didn't really understand why it was never formally discussed again. Overall, this one was just okay. Thank you to Delacorte Press for providing a review copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

  27. 5 out of 5

    S.N.

    Needful things meets the village with mutated forest creatures? When I heard that I thought “yes please”. But at the same time lowered my expectations like I always do when comparisons like this are made. which honestly kinda hindered my enjoyment near the beginning. But let me tell you… this book really is exactly that. More so needful things than the village. Even has a character named Leland ;), so I’d say it’s heavily inspired. But yes I’ve never met a book that really was exactly what it wa Needful things meets the village with mutated forest creatures? When I heard that I thought “yes please”. But at the same time lowered my expectations like I always do when comparisons like this are made. which honestly kinda hindered my enjoyment near the beginning. But let me tell you… this book really is exactly that. More so needful things than the village. Even has a character named Leland ;), so I’d say it’s heavily inspired. But yes I’ve never met a book that really was exactly what it was promised to be, quite like this one. But at the same time it’s unique and not at all a ripoff of its comparisons if you get what I mean. And honestly once I got into it I flew through it. Those two above things are some of my favorite things. So in a way this book was absolutely written for me. The combination of town drama and animosity mixed with the deformed and vicious creatures in the forest and the mysterious people offering everyone favors, is just totally chefs kiss. And yes, what’s going on with the creatures in the forest and the mysterious people is in fact separate. But also the same in a way. It’s so interesting to see how it all comes together. It’s also pretty brutal! I honestly saw it all as a movie in my head though. So I hope one day this book becomes one! So much scandal, terrible choices, betrayal,horrible people, and darkness. And it all starts at page one! It gets so dark at times. It really is like watching a slow car crash. You can’t look away. Like in her other book house of salt and sorrows, there is a mysterious love interest in this as well. And honestly? I loved it and his role in all of this even more than in the other book. It was clearly a lot easier to root for as it didn’t feel as forced and it was definitely more thought out. I didn’t cry for them though like I did in the last book. But idk this situation was just a bit different and didn’t hit as hard. Still easy to root for them though! There are plenty of characters to love and hate here. I think anyone can have a fun time with this! I loved ellerie as the mc and was rooting for her and her family the entire time! Even though of course… there’s some scandal going on there too! But her family are bee keepers, and as a lover of bees I found it super exciting to see some bee education almost first thing in the book. Something like that will always win my undying respect, at the very least! Besides underestimating this book because I was afraid it would disappoint me… I really have no complaints. I adored this with my whole being. The ending wasn’t super exciting, but I liked it well enough and it was at least satisfying. I said while reading house of salt and sorrows that this author would be a new brilliant gothic horror writer. I was not at all wrong! Another all night read gone right! I really hope this author comes out with another book soon. And I really hope each one continues to be either just as good or better than the last!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    Erin A. Craig has, once again, masterfully delivered a delightfully creepy story with lush prose and a pitch perfect tone for the setting! Everything about this book was exquisite, even the horror. She somehow managed to craft beauty from the most unsettling things. Amity Falls is an isolated town that just lost a few residents after they’d set off on a supply run. They were brutally killed by someone (or something!) in the woods. Fearing whatever monsters lurk the perimeter, the rest of the tow Erin A. Craig has, once again, masterfully delivered a delightfully creepy story with lush prose and a pitch perfect tone for the setting! Everything about this book was exquisite, even the horror. She somehow managed to craft beauty from the most unsettling things. Amity Falls is an isolated town that just lost a few residents after they’d set off on a supply run. They were brutally killed by someone (or something!) in the woods. Fearing whatever monsters lurk the perimeter, the rest of the townspeople opt to make due with what they have, waiting out the colder months with the hope that the dangerous creatures will be gone by spring. But as conflicts arise and unease settles, the residents of Amity Falls find themselves in need of some small favors. But small favors have a price. Underneath all of Small Favors gorgeous writing, there lies a powerful story about what lurks deep within the hearts of humans and what it takes to reveal that. I loved House of Salt and Sorrows, but I truly think Craig outdid herself with this one. There were some fantastic parallels that brought even more depth into the story and it never failed - not even for a second - to fully captivate me. While this is aimed toward the young adult audience, I promise you that there is nothing tame about this book. It’s a carefully built horror with plenty of psychological terror to keep your mind on high alert! The violence level is fairly intense as well, but never gratuitous. If you’re ready to visit Amity Falls, be prepared! While the townspeople may not have been able to safely leave, you might find you’re so lost in Small Favors that you aren’t able to leave either!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amy Imogene Reads

    Yes!!!!! Thank you to Random House Children’s for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cortney LaScola - The Bookworm Myrtle Beach

    I really liked Small Favors! Definitely a slower paced book... but it didn't ever feel like it was dragging. I would have liked a little more creepiness and backstory on the monsters, but that's a personal preference. There's no doubt that Erin Craig can write a great story! Already salivating for her next one I really liked Small Favors! Definitely a slower paced book... but it didn't ever feel like it was dragging. I would have liked a little more creepiness and backstory on the monsters, but that's a personal preference. There's no doubt that Erin Craig can write a great story! Already salivating for her next one

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