Thoughts Overdue #13

Thoughts Overdue #13

I received my very first ARC on 26th February, and I've been putting off writing this review ever since. I had mixed feelings about this book, and it took me a while to get them sorted before getting started with this review.


*Deep breath*


Darling by Mercedes M Yardley is a book that surprised me, and pleasantly so, but for all the wrong reasons. Before I get started on my long, warbling rant, here's the description of the plot:


At the age of sixteen, Cherry LaRouche escaped the clutches of Darling, Louisiana. Cherry and her children return to Cherry's childhood house following her mother's death, where the walls murmur and something horrible skitters across the roof at night.

The bodies of several murdered children crop up as Cherry tries to reintegrate into a town where evil is spreading like an illness. Cherry is forced to confront the true horrors of Darling when her own kid goes missing.


Okay, now that that's done, let's dive into the murky depths of this book. I went into this book expecting the same old dragged-out tale of a haunted house, but it wasn't that. At all.


The thing that struck me right off the bat was the character of Cherry. Despite having a rough life, she does everything she can for her children to have a good life. Yes, sometimes the choices she makes are questionable, but, it's inevitably plain that Cherry loves her kids and that she would do anything for them. This fact struck me because of the constant parallels that we get into how her mother used to treat her, and the way she treats her kids now.


Secondly, this book was slightly reminiscent of the novel IT by Stephen King. Before you say no, hear me out, okay? In IT, childhood friends return back to their hometown Derry, where evil has taken root again, just like it did when they were kids, to destroy it once and for all. In Darling, Cherry comes back to her childhood home to confront the terrors of her past, as well as the evil that resides in the town and its people. Both have a supernatural element in them. Both show a comparison between how we deal with trauma in our childhood and adulthood. Both show how evil simmers beneath a town, within its people, and bides its time until it can strike again. Both have monsters that prey on kids. However, the take on monsters in Darling was a very unique one. I've read a lot of books in the horror genre, and I don’t think any book had such a take on monsters.


Thirdly, it seemed appalling how literally every man in Darling had an infatuation with Cherry. I get that she's beautiful, but, the way men fell head over heels over her for apparently no reason whatsoever, was slightly jarring.


Fourthly, the ending seemed slightly rushed. The way it was written was beautiful, but, after the relatively slow pacing of the first three-quarters of the book, the ending seemed to come out of nowhere. And the way the book ended also seemed a tad bit anti-climatic.


Another teensy tiny complaint I have with the book is the name chosen for the child murderer. Why would you ever call someone who breaks children like dolls a "handsome butcher"? How does his being handsome even matter to the plot? How is it relevant? It made me laugh hysterically the first time I read it.


But, I have to give this book credit where it's due. It was entertaining and kept me guessing until the very end. The descriptions were just right and hit me right in the feels.

*Chef's kiss*



I'd rate this book a solid 3.5/5. If the author had decided to call him LITERALLY anything other than the "handsome butcher", it would have been a 4/5. I'm definitely going to check out her other books since I loved her writing style.