***I received an unformatted ARC copy from NetGalley in order to write a review***
Five friends cursed. Five deadly fates. Five nights of retribución.
If Lupe Dávila and Javier Utierre can survive each other’s company, together they can solve a series of grisly murders sweeping though Puerto Rico. But the clues lead them out of the real world and into the realm of myths and legends. And if they want to catch the killer, they’ll have to step into the shadows to see what’s lurking there—murderer, or monster?
I loved this YA horror and suspense novel. The opening scene began with July 4th; Vico, turning 18 soon, was in old San Juan with cocaine in his book bag. It was a chilling scene (in a good way!) when the monster snatched Vico up. I was surprised, thinking he was a main character, but he died within the first few pages. I loved how this tied into next meeting Lupe, who’s 16. It was her first time visiting Puerto Rico without her dad, and she met her uncle who was working on the “murder” case.
The author was great with the setting details. I could picture being in Puerto Rico, even though I’ve never visited. All the scenes were interesting, moving the plot along. When two boys robbed a store, that was a pretty intense scene. I adored Lupe’s feisty nature and thought Javier’s crush on her was cute.
I really liked how the teens teamed up to try and solve the mystery. Since I have an open-mind about monsters and such, like Loch Ness Monster and BigFoot, I loved that they believed in the monster that was haunting Javier and his friends. The teens were relatable, regretting their past. I also liked that the author wasn’t afraid to portray the bad guys, a gang, as awful human beings. I hated that they were trying to hurt Javier (hated them in a good way, that the author did a great job with characterization).
My favorite lines: 1) He loved the way the decaying cement and wooden shacks were painted in bright colors. And the smell: salty ocean with notes of frying plantain, beer, garbage, and urine. Life. 2) “Monsters don’t come unless someone calls them!” 3) “You’ve been watching too many movies. Things just aren’t that interesting in real life.”
I RECOMMEND this book to read.