Mayhem by Estelle Laure
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Expected publication: July 14th, 2020
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Contemporary
* Received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! This doesn’t affect the review in any way. My opinions are, as always, my own.*
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 kind of a retelling of The Lost Boys with a witchy side and a feminist touch in the #MeToo era.
Set in 1987, Meyhem Brayburn runs away with her mother Roxy from an abusive stepfather to Santa Maria California, where Roxy lived as a kid. At the Brayburn farm Mayhem meets her aunt and the three kids she kind of adopted. But that place harbors much more than Mayhem could have expected.
If you like The Lost Boys you are probably going to enjoy this, the setting and the pacing is the same, but it has some cool differences that I quite enjoyed.
I really liked May and her new friends (the kids her aunt adopted – Neve, Jason and Kidd), it was interesting to see them together although some friendships were a bit too much – which is where I totally saw The Craft, which I read to be something this was inspired by too.
Neve was wild. She definitely was a bad influence on the others, but I also couldn’t necessarily not like her. She was definitely an interesting character and in her own way she did help May… But one of my fav characters has to be Kidd, she is super sweet and she still has a touch of innocence for how young she is and that really balanced their group. I loved their interaction with “magic”, I always love reading about new magical ways and this was super interesting! I’m not going to say more about it, but although it’s simple, I loved it and it really worked well with the story.
The abuse described in the book was quite heavy and could be triggering. However I did really like how it was approached and it made the end as sweet as can be. It showed that there’s help to be given, there’s hope and it’s possible to get better even if its not easy. No means no and everyone should respect that.
As for what I didn’t like so much…
As I said, the pace is pretty much the same as the movie, and being something that already irked me in the movie, in a book is a bit too much. I would have preferred a bit of a faster pace. I think it would have really worked with the story and made it more compelling.
The story could have gotten a bit more changes too. Half of the book was pretty much the same as the movie, which it didn’t necessarily need to be just to see the inspo. I would have liked a bit more differences because I loved everything that was different in this book and I would definitely want to check out more by the author.
Overall this book was quite enjoyable, I loved the main character and to see her relationship with her mom and her family evolve and change. It deals with abuse and its hard to read at times, but its definitely important, and the end really gives hope.
What did you think of it? Have you read it? Let’s discuss it in the comments below!