I loved Mayhem by Estelle Laure! I have to admit I started reading looking for reasons to dislike it, largely because I’m not a big fantasy fan. But in the end it was the fantasy aspect of the novel that made it so enthralling and made me really enjoy it. All the magic and mystery of the book made me feel gloriously childish with excitement, while the story was satisfyingly mature.
The characters were interesting and diverse, especially the three friends/step-siblings of the main character and narrator (Mayhem) who I was immediately interested in and enraptured by. Something which retracted from my experience of the book was that Mayhem’s mother’s character was somewhat simplistic and under-developed at the start of the novel, perhaps due to an over-reliance on stereotypes of drug users and domestic violence victims. However, as the story progressed she moved out of the limelight and the issue became of lesser relevance.
The blending of YA fantasy and thriller was perhaps my favourite aspect of this book. While the ‘plot twist’ (the revelation of the serial killer’s identity) was not overly surprising to me, I enjoyed how neatly everything was constructed and resolved – it felt like everything was relevant and had it’s place.
The setting was glorious and immersive – perfect for a summer of reading by the beach – yet the book’s relevance meant I kept forgetting that it wasn’t set in the present. I actually read this book in my winter (Southern Hemisphere vibes) but was immediately transported to the glitzy pier of a balmy California.
Such a fun read that made me realise how much I actually enjoy YA fantasy, especially when combined with mystery!
Final rating: 🐳🐳🐳🐳 4/5 whales
Fans of Mayhem may also enjoy: Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson (YA Fantasy/mystery), This is How We Change the Ending by Vikki Wakefield (also deals with domestic violence, albeit differently) and We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.
Release date: 14th of July 2020
Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and Wednesday Books for providing me with a copy of the book in return for an honest review.
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