The Dead & the Dark by Courtney Gould

4.5/5

This was seriously spooky!!

[ID: The Dead & the Dark on the end of a log that’s on a rocky beach shore. Behind the beach is the edge of a forest of tall green pine trees. The top 1/3 of the photo has fog drifting through it making an eerie atmosphere.]

Things are not right in Snakebite, Oregon. Teens are disappearing, some turning up dead, the weather is weird and everyone suspects TV’s most popular ghost hunters. Logan Ortiz-Woodley has never been to Snakebite, but her dads grew up there and she can’t help but feel like they’ve buried secrets here. Ashley Barton’s boyfriend was the first to go missing, and ever since, she’s been feeling his presence. But when the Ortiz-Woodley family arrives, she begins to see his ghost. Ashley and Logan don’t know who to trust, but they reluctantly team up to figure out what exactly is happening in Snakebite.

The Dead and the Dark was a wild tale of ghosts, murder, and things that go bump in the night. This book really digs into the creepy and eerie side of thrillers with lots of late night and creepy forest scenes. I loved every second of it!

Logan knows her dad Alejo loves her, but her relationship with Bradon has been strange since their stop in Tulsa, where Logan made her first and only appearance on her dads’ TV show ParaSpectors. Being in Snakebite only makes things worse, Brandon is continuing to pull away and Logan doesn’t understand why. She’s missed the sense of family she used to have and desperately craves it from somewhere.

Ashley feels that Snakebite is changing and she doesn’t know whether she stills belongs there, though she’s never imagined being anywhere else. I loved seeing how differently people reacted to Ashley compared to Logan. But then we get Logan and Ashley together and I knew I was a goner. Logan is very edgy and blunt. She doesn’t give a shit about what Ashley’s friends think and it was just so badass.

The way the mystery was crafted was amazing. I always had so many questions, and when part of one would be answered, I’d only end up with more. The ending was such a surprise. It takes paranormal to another level for me. I absolutely loved all the dark and creepy vibes of this one. Plus the “will they won’t they” between Ashley and Logan was so well done. I had major squinty eyes the whole time.

Rep: Adopted lesbian MC with two dads, questioning sapphic MC medium, latine/x (possibly Mexican) bisexual man medium and white gay depressed man.

CWs: Alcohol consumption/underage drinking, biphobia, bullying, death, gun violence, grief, hate crime, homophobia, lesbophobia, murder, violence, possession by ghostly entity, kidnapping, stalking, mental illness (depression), self harm (emotional), suicidal thoughts, police brutality/abuse of power by police officer.

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