Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Book Review: Mayhem by Estelle Laure


Title: Mayhem

Author: Estelle Laure

Genre: YA, Magical Realism

This book is set in Santa Maria, California, a beach town, in 1987.  This is the year I was married (the first time) and actually lived in San Diego, so I could picture a beach town in the 80's very easily.  It reminded me of the warm nights spent at the beach and the sense of safety that was around back in the 80's.  

In the town of Santa Maria, however, this sense of safety is a ruse.  There is someone stealing girls off the beach at night, yet the police don't seem too concerned about it.  This is the spot that Mayhem Brayburn and her mother Roxy run to when the abuse from her stepfather finally deflects from Roxy onto Mayhem.  It is Roxy's hometown and the first place where Mayhem feels like she might belong.  

See - Mayhem (what a cool - yet psycho name!) comes from a line of women who have a history of magic tied to a secret cave off the beach.  Water from the cave gives the Brayburn's a unique ability to be able to see through people's facade to what they are really like - either good or evil.  If you are not a Brayburn and you drink the water, you will receive this ability - but it will destroy you in the long run. It isn't long before Mayhem is introduced to this water and begins to learn the history of her family through diaries and letters from her great grandmother, grandmother, aunt and Roxy. 

This was a quick read for me as I was immediately drawn into the story.  I enjoyed the back and forth between the letters from the past and what was happening to Mayhem in the present.  I could see this possible becoming a series, though it did have a satisfactory ending as is.

Thank you to Net Galley for the prepub. 

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