February Book Review: The Wicked Deep

Hey guys!
I intended to write this review a while ago, but as I mentioned in my last post, February totally got away from me and I just didn't get the chance to blog as much as I wanted. But, I did finish another book for my 2019 Goodreads goal! My YA book for the month of February were The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw. I heard some pretty great reviews of this book from a few different friends on twitter, so I decided to give it a try.

AND I AM SO GLAD THAT I DID.




* THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS *


Summary:

Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow . . .

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town. Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into. Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.
 


That summary alone had me hooked, and as soon as I began reading, I couldn't stop. I finished this book two days after I started it.

Characters:

I really loved the characters in this story. Penny has a mysterious personality and background, and she's different enough from others that I relate to her without being annoyed by here; a great balance. Her best friend, Rose, was easily one of my favorite characters. She's this perfect, bouncy extrovert that compliments Penny so well it's obvious from their first bit of dialogue that they're best friends.
Bo is super likable, and his innocent curiosity and background make him pretty easy to root for.
But of course, my absolutely favorite characters were the three Swan sister ghosts. Everything about them is so creative and hauntingly beautiful, and to see them in both flashbacks from when they were alive as well as their ghost forms was a really great contrast.

Plot:

AHHHHH THE PLOT. I just . . . love it? So much.
I'm a sucker for creepy ghost stories with revenge and curses and things like that, so this book was right up my alley. But what I loved most about the plot itself was how easily things flowed from one to the next. There was a constant stream of things and people and events being thrown at the main character, and it was the kind of writing that pulls you in and doesn't let you go. I devoured every word to the point that I would completely lose track of the fact that I was even reading anymore. Those kinds of stories, in my opinion, are the best kinds of stories.

World:

The town of Sparrow is just . . . wonderful? Whimsical. Creepy. Unique.
I loved the worldbuilding in this book. The weather, the town, the lighthouse, the unique bakery, the flashes back in time, the descriptions--it's all so incredible. The author is a masterful worldbuilder, and there really isn't a single complaint I have about the world of The Wicked Deep. The tourist town right on the ocean setting is so well done, and to add such a creepy, historical vibe to it all is just . . . I have no words. I loved the world.

Twists: 

But this. THIS. THE TWISTS. THE TWISTS ARE WHY THIS BOOK IS ONE OF MY NEW FAVORITES OF ALL TIME.
I did not expect a single twist in this book, and I loved it. I literally did not see any of it coming, and after I finished reading I immediately got on twitter to try and talk to someone who had read the book so I could scream and TOO MANY PEOPLE HAVE NOT READ THIS BOOK!

(MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW. I WARNED YOU)

My mouth literally dropped when I read that Penny is actually Hazel. The author made the transition between the two characters so flawlessly that I never, ever guessed Penny was Hazel!
And then, and then Hazel was the one who killed Bo's brother?!
AND THE ENDING. THE FREAKING ENDING. Hazel sacrificing herself like that was so beautiful and raw and powerful and then when the curse broke the sisters' bodies were found intact and preserved and oh my gosh I just wanted to cry and scream and shout because of how many FEELS I WAS FEELING. Such a bittersweet, beautiful, completely unexpected ending.
I expected the Swan sisters to be enemies that I wouldn't like and would want gone, but once they were really gone I was honestly so sad! AND NOW HAZEL OCCASIONALLY HAUNTS THE LIGHTHOUSE WHERE SHE WOULD ALWAYS GO AND I JUST AHHHHHHHH


Top 3 likes:

1. Lumiere Island (MC's lighthouse home) was so beautifully described and sounds like such a cool place to live WOW.
2. Rose's mom's bakery! I loved how creative it was!
3. The twists. I still just wow.

Top 3 irks:

1. Hazel didn't really get a full happy ending and I wish there was just a little more closure with the sisters
2. I want to know what happened with Penny's mom at the end
3. I really don't have any issues with this book other than I DIDN'T WANT IT TO END.



Obviously, overall I loved this book to the point that I can't even fully describe it in words. Like, this review doesn't even fully cover my feelings towards this story, its world, and its incredible cast of characters. Please, please, PLEASE read it if you haven't.

My rating: 5/5 stars



Did you read The Wicked Deep? Did you love it? Do you agree/disagree with anything I said?



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