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Mayhem | Book Review

Title: Mayhem

Author: Estelle Laure

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Expected Date of Publication: July 14, 2020


The Lost Boys meets Wilder Girls in this supernatural feminist YA novel.

It’s 1987 and unfortunately it’s not all Madonna and cherry lip balm. Mayhem Brayburn has always known there was something off about her and her mother, Roxy. Maybe it has to do with Roxy’s constant physical pain, or maybe with Mayhem’s own irresistible pull to water. Either way, she knows they aren’t like everyone else. 

But when May’s stepfather finally goes too far, Roxy and Mayhem flee to Santa Maria, California, the coastal beach town that holds the answers to all of Mayhem’s questions about who her mother is, her estranged family, and the mysteries of her own self. There she meets the kids who live with her aunt, and it opens the door to the magic that runs through the female lineage in her family, the very magic Mayhem is next in line to inherit and which will change her life for good. 

But when she gets wrapped up in the search for the man who has been kidnapping girls from the beach, her life takes another dangerous turn and she is forced to face the price of vigilante justice and to ask herself whether revenge is worth the cost. 

From the acclaimed author of This Raging Light and But Then I Came Back, Estelle Laure offers a riveting and complex story with magical elements about a family of women contending with what appears to be an irreversible destiny, taking control and saying when enough is enough.

Mayhem is a book full of feels and feminism. As mayhem traverse the world of Santa Maria, California, she discovers the world of her Mother, Roxy. They say it is based on The Lost Boys, and mostly some scenes of the book are adapted. But I haven’t read that book. I Love Mayhem and I know this is an extra ordinary story of a girl with an angst with touch of magic and horror.

With an 80’s vibe, this book instantly catches my attention. There was some trigger warning about this book regarding drugs and the like. This is a perfect retro vibe reads for this summer and most likely to be one of my favorite read.

Mayhem is a unique read. Her journey is written with mysterious vibe and fantastical touch. The struggles and pain of her mother is intact with the story. The youthful years of Mayhem and the Adulthood of Roxy is a great choice of theme in storytelling because there is more to tell about these two characters. This is a engrossing story to share with a bit of dark madness in it.

The 80’s environment is moody and at the same time funny. It matches the description of the story and the palette used in the cover. One thing that I’m not really impress about Mayhem is character building. I know it is a slow burn type of book and I’m not quite sure it lacks attention with some characters or it is just I didn’t notice it. There were some underdeveloped circumstances and on the first part, I got confused with the characters. But overall, I say this book dark read is a must read.

Though this book includes pain, I still recommend this to everyone to read and reflect on what Mayhem and Roxy undergo with their past. With a lesson engraved with it, I’m sure you’ll surely love this book.

Buy Mayhem:

About the Author:

Estelle Laure, the author of This Raging Light and But Then I Came Back believes in love, magic, and the power of facing hard truths. She has a BA in Theatre Arts and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults, and she lives in Taos, New Mexico, with her family. Her work is translated widely around the world.

Follow Estelle Laure:


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