Hot Best Seller

Small Town Monsters

Availability: Ready to download

Vera Martinez wants nothing more than to escape Roaring Creek and her parents' reputation as demonologists. Not to mention she's the family outcast, lacking her parents' innate abilities, and is terrified of the occult things lurking in their basement. Maxwell Oliver is supposed to be enjoying the summer before his senior year, spending his days thinking about parties and f Vera Martinez wants nothing more than to escape Roaring Creek and her parents' reputation as demonologists. Not to mention she's the family outcast, lacking her parents' innate abilities, and is terrified of the occult things lurking in their basement. Maxwell Oliver is supposed to be enjoying the summer before his senior year, spending his days thinking about parties and friends. Instead he's taking care of his little sister while his mom slowly becomes someone he doesn't recognize. Soon he suspects that what he thought was grief over his father's death might be something more...sinister. When Maxwell and Vera join forces, they come face to face with deeply disturbing true stories of cults, death worship, and the very nature that drives people to evil.


Compare

Vera Martinez wants nothing more than to escape Roaring Creek and her parents' reputation as demonologists. Not to mention she's the family outcast, lacking her parents' innate abilities, and is terrified of the occult things lurking in their basement. Maxwell Oliver is supposed to be enjoying the summer before his senior year, spending his days thinking about parties and f Vera Martinez wants nothing more than to escape Roaring Creek and her parents' reputation as demonologists. Not to mention she's the family outcast, lacking her parents' innate abilities, and is terrified of the occult things lurking in their basement. Maxwell Oliver is supposed to be enjoying the summer before his senior year, spending his days thinking about parties and friends. Instead he's taking care of his little sister while his mom slowly becomes someone he doesn't recognize. Soon he suspects that what he thought was grief over his father's death might be something more...sinister. When Maxwell and Vera join forces, they come face to face with deeply disturbing true stories of cults, death worship, and the very nature that drives people to evil.

30 review for Small Town Monsters

  1. 4 out of 5

    Fiona

    Roaring Creek, a perfect example of small-town America, has seen more than its fair share of tragedy. But now things seem even more wrong than usual; there’s a brand new self-help group in town, and something’s just not quite right about their followers. Vera Martinez is the school – and town – outcast, deemed spooky and ghoulish thanks to parents who work for the Vatican investigating possession. Maxwell Oliver never had a problem fitting in; but it’s only Vera he can think to turn to when his m Roaring Creek, a perfect example of small-town America, has seen more than its fair share of tragedy. But now things seem even more wrong than usual; there’s a brand new self-help group in town, and something’s just not quite right about their followers. Vera Martinez is the school – and town – outcast, deemed spooky and ghoulish thanks to parents who work for the Vatican investigating possession. Maxwell Oliver never had a problem fitting in; but it’s only Vera he can think to turn to when his mother starts sleepwalking and whispering in the night. The two of them are going to have to save the town from the insidious threat that no-one else seems to have noticed. This was a really good book, the kind of book that feels short because of how fast it pulls you through its story. Vera and Max are distinct and truly likeable characters, and though it’s aimed at teens, the message Small Town Monsters offers is one any reader can appreciate. While Max’s journey is one of realizing his own missteps, it was Vera that I truly found myself getting attached to. A secret reader, she’s a caring girl that never fails to put others before herself, despite the fact that she’s generally shunned by Roaring Creek inhabitants. When Max reaches out for help, despite her wariness she’s ready to do whatever she can do to support the boy who ignored her until now – when the town itself comes under threat, she steps in again. If you look no further than the surface, you’ll still get one incredibly entertaining horror experience from Small Town Monsters. Consider the story a little more deeply, though, and this book has a lot to say on grief, acceptance, and the ease with which nihilism can replace truly working through the rough patches on a scale both large and small. Diana Rodriguez Wallach has written a book well worth the time, and I’ll be looking for more from her.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Stay Fetters

    "It was always girls like her, the overlooked ones, the misjudged ones, who changed the world." The Conjuring meets Stranger Things in this Latin American folklore-inspired horror novel that is the perfect read for the spooky season. Underlined horror novels haven’t been great lately. They’ve been a huge disappointment and I was about to give up on them. Then this eerie promising novel appeared in my life like a ghost in the night. This book changed my mind on giving Underlined horror another sho "It was always girls like her, the overlooked ones, the misjudged ones, who changed the world." The Conjuring meets Stranger Things in this Latin American folklore-inspired horror novel that is the perfect read for the spooky season. Underlined horror novels haven’t been great lately. They’ve been a huge disappointment and I was about to give up on them. Then this eerie promising novel appeared in my life like a ghost in the night. This book changed my mind on giving Underlined horror another shot and I’m glad that I did. Diana delivers a creepy tale that is sure to make you look in the closet and underneath the bed before going to sleep. Demonic possession will always be terrifying and this book explores the darker side of that. How it can not only control your body but also your mind. How it warps things to get what it/they want. Think The Exorcist with folklore thrown in and make it creepier. Small Town Monsters was a magnificent horror novel and I highly recommend this one. If you love horror novels, then this is a must-read! As the saying goes, "Your mother cooks socks in hell!" (I used the cleaner quote)

  3. 4 out of 5

    rachel ☾

    ✔ pitched as The Conjuring meets The Vow ✔ #ownvoices latinx horror inspired by latin american folklore ✔ follows the daughter of demonologists and her crush who face off against evil forces Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram ✔ pitched as The Conjuring meets The Vow ✔ #ownvoices latinx horror inspired by latin american folklore ✔ follows the daughter of demonologists and her crush who face off against evil forces Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram

  4. 5 out of 5

    The Wiccan

    Firstly, before we continue with my review I just want to state that I did get this novel in the form of a free ebook thanks to Penguin Random House, the author, Netgalley and TBR and Beyond Tours, however all opinions reflected in this review are my own. I really loved this story, I found it really creepy and eerie in places. I have always found possession stories in the supernatural genre interesting and this one was no exception. I loved how cults and demonic possession was explored in this n Firstly, before we continue with my review I just want to state that I did get this novel in the form of a free ebook thanks to Penguin Random House, the author, Netgalley and TBR and Beyond Tours, however all opinions reflected in this review are my own. I really loved this story, I found it really creepy and eerie in places. I have always found possession stories in the supernatural genre interesting and this one was no exception. I loved how cults and demonic possession was explored in this novel and I think the author did a great job in exploring these concepts. The first thing I loved about Small Town Monsters was the character development that took place within the novel as it was really good especially when it came to our two main characters Vera and Maxwell. I loved that throughout the novel they grew into who they are meant to be, Vera for example grew in confidence in her place in her world. Maxwell grew to see beyond seeing the opinions of others which is significant in regards to Vera and how he saw her. The pacing for the most part was really good, I just think at the end it went a bit too fast and it needed to be explored a bit more, especially in regards to Vera and her parents. The language used was great, the characters came across the ages that they are meant to be which helped it to become immersive and I loved the use of Latin. This is crucial because of the world development that took place in the novel which was really well developed. I loved seeing the examples at the end of where the author got inspiration for certain elements from her story in the real word. Overall, I give Small Town Monsters 4/5 stars and its definitely worth reading especially if you love supernatural stories.

  5. 5 out of 5

    OutlawPoet

    This was a blast of a read. While it’s YA, it should satisfy any horror reader – it’s genuinely spooky, suspenseful, and features characters you really care about. I tore through the read quickly and found myself eager to read the author again! Happy to see that she’s got a number of other books for me to discover! Definitely worth reading! *ARC via Net Galley

  6. 5 out of 5

    Glenn Rolfe

    An excellent scary novel! Don't be fooled by the Young Adult tag, as with Adam Cesare's recent Clown in a Cornfield, DRW's SMALL TOWN MONSTERS roars up from the page, raising the hairs on the back of your neck, and prickling all the right feelers. Possession, cults, and an unforgettable couple of teenagers bring this story to life like few others I've read this year. 5 stars! Highly recommended. An excellent scary novel! Don't be fooled by the Young Adult tag, as with Adam Cesare's recent Clown in a Cornfield, DRW's SMALL TOWN MONSTERS roars up from the page, raising the hairs on the back of your neck, and prickling all the right feelers. Possession, cults, and an unforgettable couple of teenagers bring this story to life like few others I've read this year. 5 stars! Highly recommended.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Stéphanie Louis

    I must admit that I’ve never read as many horror books in a row than I did in the last few weeks. And again I’ve read an amazingly written horror novel. The storyline of « Small Town Monsters » is just awesome. I found myself immediately intrigued and I just absolutely love this in book. I need something to make me want to stick to the book and the author managed to do just that with this novel. I also enjoyed the fact that we were able to read more than one P.O.V. It was interesting to read about I must admit that I’ve never read as many horror books in a row than I did in the last few weeks. And again I’ve read an amazingly written horror novel. The storyline of « Small Town Monsters » is just awesome. I found myself immediately intrigued and I just absolutely love this in book. I need something to make me want to stick to the book and the author managed to do just that with this novel. I also enjoyed the fact that we were able to read more than one P.O.V. It was interesting to read about Maxwell and Vera’s thoughts all throughout the story. Especially when they tried to understand each other. This was kind of fun. Plus it made us get to know the both of them better which is always a great thing, don’t you agree? This book also managed to give me serious goosebumps and scared the hell out of me. In a positive way of course. « Small Town Monsters » also has some huge mystery. What is going on with this secret organization and what is happening in Roaring Creek? To get the answers you’ll just have to read the book. It’s as easy as that. Besides the writing style is amazing, the imagery is perfect and with a little imagination (which we all have) you will have the feeling that you’re living yourself in this small town where some crazy and creepy things happen. The goosebump factor is guaranteed. If you love horror movies, and you like the scary atmosphere then give Diana Rodriguez Wallach and her book a chance! You will certainly not regret it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Frank Morelli

    I was fortunate enough to receive an early look at Small Town Monsters, and I couldn't put it down if my life depended on it. From the opening page, the tragic lore that haunts the streets of Roaring Creek, Connecticut begins to slowly seep into the story and, with it, comes that building sense of dread and cautious anticipation that is the hallmark of all great horror stories. Throughout the novel, Diana Rodriguez Wallach displays a masterful grip on her third person narrator, adeptly bouncing I was fortunate enough to receive an early look at Small Town Monsters, and I couldn't put it down if my life depended on it. From the opening page, the tragic lore that haunts the streets of Roaring Creek, Connecticut begins to slowly seep into the story and, with it, comes that building sense of dread and cautious anticipation that is the hallmark of all great horror stories. Throughout the novel, Diana Rodriguez Wallach displays a masterful grip on her third person narrator, adeptly bouncing back and forth between the lives of her two main characters, Vera and Max, while slowly and deliciously revealing both their troubled pasts and their growing obsession with each other. The closer they get to each other, the farther they find themselves thrust into a world from which they don't belong, a world that is hopelessly marred by death, darkness, and the merciless clutches of evil. Small Town Monsters is a headlong dive into the world of the occult armed with more terrifying twists and turns than a roller coaster ride through the actual Pet Sematary. If you're a fan of YA horror, you will definitely love Diana Rodriguez Wallach's latest novel for teens.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Richard K. Wilson

    I was impressed but NOT scared by this book about demonic possession, and demons....and a couple of teen aged characters that were not as fleshed out as well as they could have been. However what really impacted me was the fact the author accessed REAL cases and people to base her writing on, and it works in "Small Town Monsters". Vera Martinez is tormented by devils and demons.......but they are the demons that both her parents exorcise out of possessed victims! Yes, she is basically the daught I was impressed but NOT scared by this book about demonic possession, and demons....and a couple of teen aged characters that were not as fleshed out as well as they could have been. However what really impacted me was the fact the author accessed REAL cases and people to base her writing on, and it works in "Small Town Monsters". Vera Martinez is tormented by devils and demons.......but they are the demons that both her parents exorcise out of possessed victims! Yes, she is basically the daughter of 'The Warrens; Ed and Lorraine" and it actually works here. The town of Roaring Creek has monsters, and I am talking about tons of them, and they are from the very depths of HELL itself, yes the town is ruled by the Devil himself. Vera's parents are Demonologists and they are very much based on the Warrens, however not to the point that this becomes just another ripoff of Ed and Lorraine and their daughter Judy. Now, if this were a 'based on the real life story of Judy Warren' this is the book you would want to read. Maxwell "Max" Oliver is a popular boy at his high school and in these important years he has never spoke a word to Vera in the halls, that is right. She is 'the weird one, whose parents are even weirder' but she is the first one he reaches out to when he first starts to notice that his alcoholic mother is changing. Yes, his mother needs help and Vera is the one that is going to help Max fight this changing in his mother. Max has a younger sister and he fears for her life while he is at school and he must save her from the one that we are supposed to love and trust the most our parents. Max's mom starts sleepwalking, talking to herself in a voice Max does not recognize, then he hears her whispering to some 'thing' that he cannot see; yet fears. This is a book about a town that suffers from tragedy already, and it was a tragedy that took the lives of many of its residents and changed the remaining townsfolk's beliefs forever and the author does this well, but she could have really taken this further.....way further but didn't. Now, this book is labeled YA and I did not know this before i started to listen to the audio book on Libby, but that was not the problem in my opinion....the only problem was it was not scary, and the narrator was HORRIBLE in trying to make her voice sound like a demonic presence coming out of the afflicted victims in the tale. Instead of sounding like Regan McNeil in The Exorcist; she sounded like what we would think Mario and Luigi would sound like if they were drunk. I did enjoy this, and would have easily given this book a 5 star rating, but it just did not scare me at all. Would recommend it to anyone who does NOT want the shit scared out of them while reading a horror novel. 3 👹👹👹

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dayla

    It feels nice to have finished an audiobook that I actually really liked! (And I mean an audiobook from the library, not one that I read for work or from my own personal collection.) If you need a spooky YA audiobook to battle the increasing radio play of Holiday songs, then I think you'll really enjoy this. And the narrator does such a wonderful job of creating the spooky atmosphere that it actually made me pause every so often. The story itself is creepy and fun, but that voice actor did SUCH It feels nice to have finished an audiobook that I actually really liked! (And I mean an audiobook from the library, not one that I read for work or from my own personal collection.) If you need a spooky YA audiobook to battle the increasing radio play of Holiday songs, then I think you'll really enjoy this. And the narrator does such a wonderful job of creating the spooky atmosphere that it actually made me pause every so often. The story itself is creepy and fun, but that voice actor did SUCH an amazing job. I also loved the intermittent use of Spanish because of one of the MC's backgrounds (I always love seeing this in books), and how some of the Latino catholic beliefs played into this spooky read. I also love the whole idea of the outsider girl being the only person who can help the popular boy. Call me a sap. I'm not giving this a full 5 star rating because I started feeling that sense of "Is it almost over?" feeling that I sometimes get when my mind starts to wonder. It's not entirely the books fault that I have little control of where my attention lies, but there HAVE been books that have kept me completely enthralled all the way through. But with that in mind, I want to say that this is probably one of the only spooky books that I've read this year that actually surprised me (in a good way). And it's even better that it was written by a Latina author! I'd recommend this if you want a spoopy book with possession, goosebump-inducing moments, and a cute romance growing on the back of a possessed mother/town. Happy reading!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cath T

    Who pitched this as "The Conjuring meets The Vow"? There are good elements to the story. I really liked the Latin folklore, Vera's character had a lot of promise in the first couple of chapters, however, I know this is YA but it read completely like a DCOM. Some of the lines were laughably corner, especially during the grand finale. I've read scary YA and this was certainly not scary. The horror fell extremely flat. the same imaginary was overused. The characters had a good start but they two we Who pitched this as "The Conjuring meets The Vow"? There are good elements to the story. I really liked the Latin folklore, Vera's character had a lot of promise in the first couple of chapters, however, I know this is YA but it read completely like a DCOM. Some of the lines were laughably corner, especially during the grand finale. I've read scary YA and this was certainly not scary. The horror fell extremely flat. the same imaginary was overused. The characters had a good start but they two were one dimensional. On a few instances, the two leads swapped stances on subjects willy nilly. The "romance" (if you can call it that) was completely unnecessary to me. This isn't a bad novel at all. It's a simple read, I think the pitch for it was completely off and lead me to disappointment. The plot I was guessing in my head was unfortunately way more interesting than the one I was given. There were leads of a plot I was stringing together that didn't happen. (view spoiler)[ For example, they kept mentioning how Chloe was born during a tragic time. That she was a miracle baby. I kept assuming that would somehow be an integral part of the story. As if, all this time it was Chloe who would be the savior and not Vera. That didn't happen. So it felt like a thread to the start of something that never got completed. (hide spoiler)]

  12. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    I was going back and forth between 4 and 5 stars on this. I settled on 5 because this book was perfect for October and was probably the first "spooky" book that actually scared me a little bit lol. I don't usually get creeped out too much with most books but I have always been scared of possession so that could have something to do with it lol. Either way, this was definitely well written and I loved that at the end, the author explains her influences for the book and explains the truth versus h I was going back and forth between 4 and 5 stars on this. I settled on 5 because this book was perfect for October and was probably the first "spooky" book that actually scared me a little bit lol. I don't usually get creeped out too much with most books but I have always been scared of possession so that could have something to do with it lol. Either way, this was definitely well written and I loved that at the end, the author explains her influences for the book and explains the truth versus her fictionized versions of events. For a YA "scary" book, this definitely exceeded my expectations going into it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kristy

    Those of you that know me know I'm typically not a fan of YA. I've tried multiple genres of YA and find most of them to be just okay. (Usually the whiny teens are just too much for me.) But THIS is how you write YA horror! Fantastic characters and plot and some truly creepy moments. I can't wait to read more from Diana Rodriguez Wallach. Highly recommend! Those of you that know me know I'm typically not a fan of YA. I've tried multiple genres of YA and find most of them to be just okay. (Usually the whiny teens are just too much for me.) But THIS is how you write YA horror! Fantastic characters and plot and some truly creepy moments. I can't wait to read more from Diana Rodriguez Wallach. Highly recommend!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    A creepy and atmospheric book about a town plagued by demonic possession, but the characters fell flat for me and weren’t as well developed as they could have been.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Priya

    A town plagued by several tragedies, a girl who is ostracized for being the daughter of demonologist and a son terrified at what his mother is slowly changing into... these elements make this a traditional horror story for the modern age with teen protagonists! Vera hates the fact that there are demonic artifacts sealed in the basement of her house that her parents regularly get blessings for. She doesn't have any friends and is bullied in school and what's worse, doesn't seem to have the ability A town plagued by several tragedies, a girl who is ostracized for being the daughter of demonologist and a son terrified at what his mother is slowly changing into... these elements make this a traditional horror story for the modern age with teen protagonists! Vera hates the fact that there are demonic artifacts sealed in the basement of her house that her parents regularly get blessings for. She doesn't have any friends and is bullied in school and what's worse, doesn't seem to have the ability her parents possess to fight that evil either. So when Max, one of the popular kids in high school, asks for her help with his mother who is slowly becoming a danger to him and his sister, she is skeptical. Until she gets a glimpse of what he is going through and starts having visions of her own that she can't make sense of. With her parents traveling and the whole town slowly getting caught up in the frenzy of a cult known as The Sunshine club which no longer seems to be only about self help and grief support, Vera and Max only have each other to figure out a way to stop the demons from taking over. This will really appeal to the age bracket it is written for with its depiction of haunting and fear and heroics! Having said that, I enjoyed it too!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Emily Hinojosa

    I really didn’t like this book. I haven’t read YA in a while and this was disappointing. The author drew inspiration from Ed and Lorraine Warren, Jonestown, Catholicism, and real life satanic murders. As a fan of creep and horror I know these stories. This book really did feel like it was just a mash up of those things without anything binding them and characters not strong enough to carry it. Glad to read latinx authors with latinx characters

  17. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

    Vera Martinez lives in THAT house. The scary one. She's the loner with the spooky parents, and she's really fine with that. She just wishes she had her parents' natural abilities for fighting demons. While they're overseas aiding in a church-approved exorcism, a boy who has never talked to her before seeks help. She can't fight demons, but she can't ignore this boy—who is the only person holding his crumbling family together—and leave him to lose his mom and sister. What she finds is a cult buil Vera Martinez lives in THAT house. The scary one. She's the loner with the spooky parents, and she's really fine with that. She just wishes she had her parents' natural abilities for fighting demons. While they're overseas aiding in a church-approved exorcism, a boy who has never talked to her before seeks help. She can't fight demons, but she can't ignore this boy—who is the only person holding his crumbling family together—and leave him to lose his mom and sister. What she finds is a cult built around self-help and worshipping a death god, the truth about her own past, and a better understanding of who she is and wants to be. SMALL TOWN MONSTERS is a snappy read with the spookiness of The Conjuring that features cults, unnerving idols, an aunt to stress cooks, and a whole lot of small-town secrets.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    Can you imagine growing up with demonologist parents or having possessed objects in your house? How far would you go to help save a friends family when evil invades their home? Small Town Monsters exceeded all my expectations. I went in expecting a mild middle age type of story and was blown away by the intensity of it! The cover had this innocent vibe, but it was anything but! Raw, emotionally taxing, and creepy, Small Town Monsters truly captures all the spooky season musts! It falls into the Can you imagine growing up with demonologist parents or having possessed objects in your house? How far would you go to help save a friends family when evil invades their home? Small Town Monsters exceeded all my expectations. I went in expecting a mild middle age type of story and was blown away by the intensity of it! The cover had this innocent vibe, but it was anything but! Raw, emotionally taxing, and creepy, Small Town Monsters truly captures all the spooky season musts! It falls into the young adult horror genre perfectly. I love horror but I tend to stay away from demons and possession. This story took me by surprise with those elements, but I throughly enjoyed it! I think the interactions between the characters takes some of the terrifying moments and makes them emotionally relatable. You are so caught up in the emotional responses, that you forget for a moment that this is what nightmares are made of! Small Town Monsters is inspired from The conjuring, The Warrens, cults, and the folklore religion Santa Muerte. The authors acknowledgements in the back of the book explains all of the tie ins, and is extremely interesting! I really enjoyed this book and think it’s a perfect spooky season read!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Contrary to what my reading dates suggest, I really enjoyed this book. This book can easily be read over a weekend as long as life doesn’t happen and prevent you from reading like it did me. Without giving any spoilers, the mashup of the occult and possession made the book so good. I typically don’t read YA, but I couldn’t tell the difference besides the young love element that was thrown in there. Great, easy, smooth read. For the fans of cults & possessions.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Dubicki

    Let’s just say…. This book I did not want to put down. This is the first time I read this genre, (and for those who get scared easily- you’ll be OK). Diana Rodriguez Wallach is an amazing author and I’m happy to call her my friend. I’m proud of her and her accomplishments. Any readers- definitely try this one! #smalltownmonstersbook

  21. 4 out of 5

    B

    Thank you to Get Underlined for an advanced copy. This was amazing! It reminded me of the Conjuring YA style and it couldn’t have been more of a ride. I loved Vera, and how creepy and horrific the details of the possession were. I liked that her romance with Max was a side story and not the main focus and it made it all the sweeter. If you’re a fan of demons, do not skip this book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Holly Ekblad

    I liked it, but I didn’t love it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    Fiercely irritated with this book. The afterword just cemented all the problems I had with it. Real review coming later.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Gustavo

    I didn't think to fall in love with this amazing book. I loved it!!! I really got some goose bumps in some parts of this book. It's scary and so entertainable that makes this book more captivating. Inspired by latin culture and demonologist like Ed and Lorraine Warren (the Conjuring). Plus the main character Vera Martinez is an amazing and stronger character. I didn't think to fall in love with this amazing book. I loved it!!! I really got some goose bumps in some parts of this book. It's scary and so entertainable that makes this book more captivating. Inspired by latin culture and demonologist like Ed and Lorraine Warren (the Conjuring). Plus the main character Vera Martinez is an amazing and stronger character.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    It seemed that after seventeen years of being treated like the outcast, Vera actually believed that she didn’t deserve to be noticed, that she lacked any special gifts. In reality, it was always girls like her, the overlooked ones, the misjudged ones, who changed the world. 3.5 stars, rounded up. I have been on a Spooky Season reading kick lately, and the amount of so-called horror and paranormal books that I have read that have ended with "it was all a dream" or "the 'ghost' was actually a h It seemed that after seventeen years of being treated like the outcast, Vera actually believed that she didn’t deserve to be noticed, that she lacked any special gifts. In reality, it was always girls like her, the overlooked ones, the misjudged ones, who changed the world. 3.5 stars, rounded up. I have been on a Spooky Season reading kick lately, and the amount of so-called horror and paranormal books that I have read that have ended with "it was all a dream" or "the 'ghost' was actually a homeless man who snuck into their attic" type of storylines has been super disappointing. Needless to say, I was VERY glad that Small Town Monsters actually dealt with the themes of possession, dark forces, and cult behavior and didn't try to twist them or belittle them into something they weren't. I loved that the tale was loosely based on Latin American folklore, but it still left a little something to be desired. There were some plot points in the story that weren't threaded together quite as nicely as they could have been, and it just left me with more questions and wanting answers that never really came. I read a good amount of YA novels, and even though the main characters in those stories are generally teenagers, the books don't often read as though they were specifically written FOR teens. Small Town Monsters is one of the rare ones for me where I actually did immediately feel as though the story was written for the 12-17 age group. It felt like some of the answers and resolutions that we were given were presented for readers who may have a short attention span and not care about ALL of the details. The characters were fairly well developed, though, and I thought they were likeable and relatable, especially if you are in the target age group that the book was written for. There is definitely a general creepiness to the story, but there is no gore, and it is never really I-won't be-able-to-turn-the-lights-off-tonight scary or truly horror-like. Overall, I'd say that Small Town Monsters is a great Spooky Season horror-lite read for teens, but it likely won't top your Favorite Books of the Year list if you're an adult.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    Paper thin plot and characters. I probably should’ve DNF’d this one early on. It’s such a retread of The Conjuring which is a movie I didn’t really like. Overall I was just bored. This was too predictable. And now I’ve figured out I don’t really like possession stories. I kept thinking the Sunshine Gang mentioned in this book was a MLM.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tony

    Billed as “The Conjuring meets The Vow!” was an interesting by-line for a YA horror novel, as I’m not sure how many thirteen or fourteen-year-olds would know either of those productions. To be honest, even I had to look The Vow up and although I can see the relevance the blurb really needs to be more teen friendly to attract those who like cults, the supernatural and exorcisms. Small Town Monsters was an outstanding read and the split chapter narratives between ‘Vera’ and ‘Max’ was perfectly bal Billed as “The Conjuring meets The Vow!” was an interesting by-line for a YA horror novel, as I’m not sure how many thirteen or fourteen-year-olds would know either of those productions. To be honest, even I had to look The Vow up and although I can see the relevance the blurb really needs to be more teen friendly to attract those who like cults, the supernatural and exorcisms. Small Town Monsters was an outstanding read and the split chapter narratives between ‘Vera’ and ‘Max’ was perfectly balanced, engaging and played a big part in creating a convincing horror novel which should be attractive to both boys and girls. Vera is the daughter of a family who have supernatural powers and operate as exorcists however, the ‘gift’ seems to have jumped a generation and Vera is just a normal teenager. Max has his own problems, and his mother is a recovering alcoholic who is very disconnected, and he is worried that she might hurt his little sister. Max’s dad died in a fire a few years earlier and he has had to grow up fast, working in the family restaurant and dealing with his school friends, who lack his maturity. The setting of the novel is terrific and lots of bad things routinely happen in the town of Roaring Creek, with Max suspecting something supernatural is wrong with his mother, approaches Vera for help. The problem is the two have been in the same classes since primary school but have never ever spoken to each other and the developing dynamics between the two teens is a real strength of the novel. I loved both characters and their contrasts, Vera was an outsider and Max was popular, but leads a complicated life because of his family. There is more than one angle to the supernatural which has a real Latin American feel to it, taking in Santa Muerte (Saint Death), aspects of exorcisms, demon possession and a sinister cult which begins to infiltrate the people of the town. Small Town Monsters was a terrific blend of horror, thriller, spooky small-town secrets and a convincing slow burning romance. Highly recommended. AGE RANGE 12+

  28. 4 out of 5

    Meegy

    Amazing horror book, with inspiration from real people and real events. Not a super scary horror (so perfect for those that aren't a big fan of horrors), but scary in its own way. It is a very enjoyable read, and honestly super quick too (in a sense that you cannot put it down), and cannot wait to read more written by Diana! Amazing horror book, with inspiration from real people and real events. Not a super scary horror (so perfect for those that aren't a big fan of horrors), but scary in its own way. It is a very enjoyable read, and honestly super quick too (in a sense that you cannot put it down), and cannot wait to read more written by Diana!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    From my keyboard to your bookshelf, I hand Vera and Max over to you, readers! I hope their twisty creepy story gives you all the spooky feels you’re looking for. If you've read it and reviewed it, THANK YOU! If you're looking forward to reading it, I hope I really get to scare you. Below are the opening lines of Small Town Monsters to give you a taste: "A darkness surged through Roaring Creek, casting a shadow upon its modest homes and oozing onto Vera Martinez’s hands—and it all began, at least fo From my keyboard to your bookshelf, I hand Vera and Max over to you, readers! I hope their twisty creepy story gives you all the spooky feels you’re looking for. If you've read it and reviewed it, THANK YOU! If you're looking forward to reading it, I hope I really get to scare you. Below are the opening lines of Small Town Monsters to give you a taste: "A darkness surged through Roaring Creek, casting a shadow upon its modest homes and oozing onto Vera Martinez’s hands—and it all began, at least for her, the day Maxwell Oliver’s pale brown eyes turned her way. He was staring." You can learn more about the book on my website, www.buysmalltownmonsters.com Without readers like you, my books would not exist. I thank you all from the bottom my twisty, horror-loving heart.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Brianna

    The story is about Vera Martinez, an outcast in Roaring Creek, due to her demonologist parents and Maxwell Oliver, her classmate who desperately needs her help when his mother begins acting strange. Vera has dreams of leaving the small town behind, not just because tragedy seems to follow the town, but she wants to get away from the small-minded citizens of Roaring Creek. She has no intention of following in her parents' footsteps. She doesn't have those gifts. Instead, she wants to be a doctor t The story is about Vera Martinez, an outcast in Roaring Creek, due to her demonologist parents and Maxwell Oliver, her classmate who desperately needs her help when his mother begins acting strange. Vera has dreams of leaving the small town behind, not just because tragedy seems to follow the town, but she wants to get away from the small-minded citizens of Roaring Creek. She has no intention of following in her parents' footsteps. She doesn't have those gifts. Instead, she wants to be a doctor to help people. Maxwell Oliver is one of those small-minded people who desperately needs the help of Vera's parents. His mother has been acting strange since she joined a new self-help group called The Sunshine Crew. They're identified by wearing yellow and have spread like wildfire around town. Now, Max's mother's life revolves around this group while her children (Max and his little sister, Chloe), the family restaurant, and even personal hygiene have fallen to the wayside. Max seeks Vera's help hoping she can convince her parents to help him. Unfortunately, her parents are in Barcelona dealing with an exorcism. That leaves Vera to step up and help until her parents can get back. But if she doesn't share her parents' powers, how can she stop what has afflicted Max's mother, and appears to be spreading through the entire town? This was a wild ride and I loved it. It's got a demon, a cult, and a cursing priest who wears cowboy boots. It's a YA Conjuring, with a little romance sprinkled in as well. I loved Vera. My heart broke for her. Her parents are always away helping others and she has no friends because of her parents' careers. Her religious, magnanimous stress-cooking Aunt Tilda watches her while her parents are away. The townspeople run in the other direction or mock her. (view spoiler)[ Her elderly neighbor actually ran from her after she saved his life and his dog's during a hurricane. She was 10. (hide spoiler)] I really wanted to dislike Max. He's the popular kid who was well known for shunning Vera like the rest of the school but only wanted to talk to her when he needed her help. Instead, I found myself rooting for him when more of his backstory was revealed. (view spoiler)[ His father was killed when he was seven in a tragic explosion while his mother was pregnant with Chloe. His mother has struggled with the grief of being a widow and turned to alcohol at one point to cope. She's been sober for a few years, but still needed something else to help her cope. The self-help group provides this, but with terrible consequences. With this, Max has to step up to run the family restaurant and parent his little sister, Chloe. (hide spoiler)] This book had me hooked from the first couple of pages. Lately, I've been struggling with books unable to keep my interest and I have to force myself to keep reading. That wasn't the case with this novel. I was hooked from start to finish. Anybody looking for a horror YA, this is your novel. Once it grabs you, it's a quick read because you won't want to put it down. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...