Tuesday, April 2, 2019

YA ARC Review: Dreaming Darkly by Caitlin Kittredge

Dreaming Darkly
Author: Caitlin Kittredge
Publication: Katherine Tegen Books (April 9, 2019)

Description: This teen gothic mystery novel, perfect for fans of Madeleine Roux and Lisa Maxwell, takes readers to the cold, creepy island of Darkhaven, where a girl with unexplained blackouts grapples with secrets from her dead mother’s past and a legacy of murders that have been committed by her family.

Ivy Bloodgood’s mother is dead, and she should probably be sad about it. But she isn’t. Myra Bloodgood was a manipulative personality who never told the truth—about where she came from, who Ivy’s father was, or why they were living their lives on the run.

Now that Ivy has been sent to the family estate on Darkhaven, an island off the New England coast, she is forced to reckon with her mother’s past. Ivy can tell right away there are long-held family secrets buried within these walls, but when she wakes up from one of her nightmares covered in someone else’s blood, Ivy fears that whatever demons her mother battled while she was alive have come to roost in her own mind.

Scared that she can no longer trust what she sees, Ivy seeks the help of a boy who thinks her episodes are connected to the sordid history of Darkhaven—but what they don’t know might kill them both.

My Thoughts: After her mother's suicide, sixteen-year-old Ivy Bloodgood finds herself on a small island in Maine living with an uncle she didn't know she had. First thing she's told is to stay on the Bloodgood part of the island and leave the Ramsey part of the island alone. But then she meets Doyle Ramsey. He is someone she can talk to when things are getting scary and creepy with her uncle.

Ivy is having hallucinations - seeing strange things, finding dead bodies and bones - and is told that she has a heritage of mental illness. Her grandmother was confined to a mental hospital and killed herself there. Her mother had always been off. She tried to drown Ivy in the bathtub when Ivy was young. She did drugs and took out her anger on Ivy. She dragged Ivy from place to place and workd as a grifter and con artist. Her childhood made Ivy resilient, but it also made her unwilling to trust anyone.

Ivy has never known who her father was. She decides to see if she can solve that mystery and track down anyone who might have known her mother before she ran from the island. Her explorations lead her to the grandmother her uncle said was dead. The grandmother is in a mental institution with paranoid schizophrenia and the beginnings of dementia. That her uncle lied to her gives her reason to doubt most of what he tells her.

This was a creepy story. The descriptions of Ivy's hallucinations were chilling. Ivy really needs to rely on her resilience to find out what is really going on in her new home. Doyle's assistance is a vital part of her quest. I really liked Ivy. I admired her strength. I also like Doyle who was a good kid in a tough situation.

Fans of creepy stories and Gothic mysteries will enjoy this one.

Favorite Quote:
I could only feel sad and scared and off-balance for so long before I just started wanting to lash out at anyone near me. It was one of my less charming traits, but there you go, I hadn't exactly had an awesome role model for anger management with Mom.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

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