Author: Stephanie Kuehn
Synopsis: When nearly killing a classmate gets seventeen-year-old Sadie Su kicked out of her third boarding school in four years, she returns to her family’s California vineyard estate. Here, she’s meant to stay out of trouble. Here, she’s meant to do a lot of things. But it’s hard. She’s bored. And when Sadie’s bored, the only thing she likes is trouble.
Emerson Tate’s a poor boy living in a rich town, with his widowed mother and strange, haunted little brother. All he wants his senior year is to play basketball and make something happen with the girl of his dreams. That’s why Emerson’s not happy Sadie’s back. An old childhood friend, she knows his worst secrets. The things he longs to forget. The things she won’t ever let him.
Haunted is a good word for fifteen-year-old Miles Tate. Miles can see the future, after all. And he knows his vision of tragic violence at his school will come true, because his visions always do. That’s what he tells the new girl in town. The one who listens to him. The one who recognizes the darkness in his past.
But can Miles stop the violence? Or has the future already been written? Maybe tragedy is his destiny. Maybe it’s all of theirs.
Huge thank you to Raincoast Books/St. Martin’s Grffin for this ARC!
Can this book be a movie? I feel like it needs to be a movie.
When I started Delicate Monsters, I didn’t entirely know what I was getting myself into. The synopsis made it seem like it could have been a mystery/thriller, but it really is one of those scary realistic novels that is meant to paint a horrific picture. Sadie, Emerson, Miles, they are all awful people, driven through awful means, and getting off in strange ways.
What I love about Stephanie Kuehn’s writing is how disjointed and frazzled it feels (more so in this book than her others). The style provides a dreadful feeling throughout, making you ponder what is exactly happening. It almost feels like the reader is being dragged against their will, but they aren’t able to shield themselves away from the violence that takes place in the story. Even the ending feels like it refuses to be tied up into a neat bow.
And I loved the whole experience because of it. These people are ugly, scary, and they make you question how they feel absolutely nothing. Emerson has moments where he feels sadness, remorse, guilt, but it’s coupled with this bizarre behaviour that is often present on his face. Miles is afraid, nervous, and he’s the easiest to sympathize with, but as the novel progresses, you realize more and more how screwed up he is.
Finally, there’s Sadie. Sadie is probably the scariest of the three, if only because she’s honest in her malicious intentions. Reading her sections felt like I was being put into the mind of a sociopath, and overall, her intentions towards other, making them feel pain, fear, she’s just terrifying.
But in all seriousness, Delicate Monsters is a book that will mess with your mind. I read this book in two sittings because the narrative ties were so engrossing. I had to know more, I had to keep going, and boy was I exhausted after finishing this novel. Stephanie Kuehn presents us with such terrifying people, it’s no wonder why she classifies them as monsters.