Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Devil and Winnie Flynn” as Want to Read:
The Devil and Winnie Flynn
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Devil and Winnie Flynn

3.17  ·  Rating details ·  483 ratings  ·  117 reviews
Told as an ongoing letter to a friend, Winnie’s story is a heartrending mystery and a pop culture critique in the vein of Libba Bray’s Going Bovine and Beauty Queens—with illustrations throughout that recall the quirky, dark, and distinct aesthetics of Ransom Riggs’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

Winnie Flynn doesn’t believe in ghosts. (Though she wouldn’t mi
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 13th 2015 by Soho Teen
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  483 ratings  ·  117 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Devil and Winnie Flynn
The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
Full Review on The Candid Cover

3.5 Stars

The Devil and Winnie Flynn is the ultimate book to get you ready for Halloween! Written as a letter, this book has such an amazing and unique concept that I loved every minute of. However, towards the end of the book, there was far too much paranormal for my taste, despite the fact that the whole book is paranormal.

The Devil and Winnie Flynn is written in a very mysterious way that really suits the book. It is told as a letter from the main character to a
Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten!
Diversity: 0 – What Diversity?
Disability: 0
Intersectionality: 0

The Devil and Winnie Flynn is one of those books I didn’t know about until a good while after it came out. I like to think I stay on top of current and upcoming releases, so this doesn’t happen often! In addition to finding an ARC in my local used bookstore, I discovered my library had gotten a copy of it. SWEET! Using my loophole that I can check out a book from the li
This is SO fun.

Following her mother's apparent suicide, Winnie is spending the summer with her aunt Maggie in New Jersey. Her aunt is the creator of a reality TV show that investigates strange and paranormal activity, FANTASTIC, FEEARSOME. Maggie's a production assistant while they delve into the mystery of the Jersey Devil.

On the surface, this is a story about that. But it's much more about the exploration of grief, of the things that scare us, of tropes and story telling, and so much more. I
Oh Christ was this book annoying.

The story went all over the place, the characters were annoying as all hell, and we went from "looking for the Jersey Devil" to "MAGIC AND SUPERNATURAL SHIT EVERYWHERE". And for a book that promised to be "terrifying"? It was not.

Most annoying things:

Winnie's voice went back and forth for me, between "okay she's sassy and snarky" to "okay now she's actually being a contentious little jackass". Everyone else was relatively two-dimensional. There was very little ch
Jan 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: youngadult, horror
Hmm. I liked the idea of this. The format of the book is cool, with scripts and pictures throughout, and the idea is super interesting (reality show looking for the Jersey Devil). I mean, when did you ever see a book ABOUT the Jersey Devil that wasn't locally published "nonfiction" by some weirdo who lived in New Jersey and totally saw it one time? And even those are thin on the ground. I used to work at a bookstore in New Jersey, and we had like, two Jersey Devil books on the Local Interest she ...more
Jessica Woodbury
Apr 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
The premise of this book got me through the first quarter or so where I was trying to get my bearings. A behind the scenes YA that takes place on the set of a reality show about ghost hunters? It's hard to say no to that. At first, it can feel a bit disjointed as Ostow plays around with form. One minute it's narration via letter, then it's illustrations, then it's screenplay format, then it's a graphic novel. But once you find the rhythm it all starts to work.

This is a book built around horror t
Frannie Pan
Nov 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: z-2016, lol, chills-creepy
Loved. It.
Just what I needed and wanted :3

Review to come soon!
Alisha Marie
I wanted to like The Devil and Winnie Flynn so much. I'm a huge horror buff, so the premise of The Devil and Winnie Flynn was right up my alley. It just seemed so interesting. Unfortunately, this book fell flat in almost every conceivable way. I get where The Devil and Winnie Flynn wanted to go. It wanted to be like Scream. A hip horror movie that follows all the typical tropes while simultaneously making witty jokes about them. This was no Scream. Mainly because the characters in Scream didn't ...more
I highly enjoyed this creepy story; it reminded me in many ways of a teen version of Marisha Pessl's Night Film. More to come.
Laura (midorireads)
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
After taking some time to reflect on this book after I'd finished reading it, I decided to change my original rating from four stars to two, cause I couldn't help but realize that I really didn't like this book as much as I had thought.

The idea of this is what first drew me in. I liked that our MC, Winnie Flynn (obviously) was going to be working as a PA on the set of her aunt's hit reality show, Fantastic, Fearsome, a show that features haunted locations and/or famous local lore. So the fact t
Book Concierge
Illustrations by David Ostow
Audiobook narrated by Jessica Almasy

From the book jacket Winnie Flynn doesn’t believe in ghosts. (Though she wouldn’t mind a visit from her mom, explaining why she took her own life.) When her mysterious aunt Maggie, a high-profile TV producer, recruits Winnie to spend a summer working as a production assistant on her current reality hit, Fantastic Fearsome, she suddenly finds herself in the one place her mother would never go: New Jersey.

My reactions
I read this only
This book sets out to be a sort of homage to old-school horror films. As an ideal, it is certainly appealing, but I don't think the book succeeds. That is probably due to the fact that it is nowhere near as well written and clever as, let's say, the movie Cabin in the Woods, to be taken as a serious homage, nor is it campy and self-aware enough to be a more tongue-in-cheek kind of tribute.

I can appreciate the originality that went into the construction and development of this book. The authors'
Sep 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
"Horror Movie Rules
A selection of tips for those whose scripts look a few pages shy of the whole film:

(picture of some creepy guy in a mask with a chainsaw) This is not your friend playing some over the top joke on you. this is exactly what it looks like: a seriously disturbed individual with a very dangerous weapon and the intent to use it for anti-social purposes. don't bother telling him to "knock it off" or "quit being a creep." save your breath for the shriek filled marathon
Elizabeth Drake
Oct 11, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2015-books
The Main Character/ Narrator is constantly tearing people apart. Within the first two pages she had mentally destroyed no less than 4 characters based on their physical appearance alone. The narration style is irritating as she continuously breaks the story in order to comment to "Lu"

"The grounds are sprawling, spanning the length of at least three football fields. (That's an approximation, Lu, obviously you get that the cross-country runners know nothing from team sports)."

The narration is furt
Melissa Chung
Sep 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Well this story was slightly disappointing. On the cover of the book is a blurb by author Michael Buckley-"One of the most terrifying reads of the year. It will haunt you long after you've finished it." I don't need Winnie's throat tickling, cough inducing, lie detecting to know that is a lie.

If you have read 'Project 17' by Laurie Faria Stolarz then you will like 'The Devil and Winnie Flynn'.

Winnie Flynn is a teen who just lost her mother to suicide. Her estranged Aunt Maggie comes to the rescu
Nov 20, 2016 rated it liked it
I feel a bit foolish about how long this book took me to finish, but I was busy and life was hard and the book wasn't just DEMANDING that I read it. It was a solid, decent book. I think this book would be really enjoyable to have in my classroom library if I taught in the tri-state area (NJ, NY, PA, duh), but I think it could be fun for my students too. It plays with all the tropes of horror movies with ~spooky and haunted elements~ and it knows it's doing it, which makes it fun. It was especial ...more
Oct 24, 2015 added it
Odd mix of playful, magical, and scary that really worked for me. The illustrations and other "artifacts" like script excerpts were really fun. Winnie's voice was great except for the constant addresses to the friend she was supposedly writing to in first person present tense ("this spooky thing is happening right now, Lucia"), which took me out of the story more than I wanted. I would recommend it for a good, campy, slightly creepy October read!
Forever Young Adult
Graded By: Poshdeluxe
Cover Story: Juvie
BFF Charm: Yay!
Swoonworthy Scale: 4
Talky Talk: Dear Lucia
Bonus Factors: Ghostbusters, Reality TV, Illustrations
Relationship Status: Spirited

Read the full book report here.
Jun 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was such a wonderful (and creepy!) novel with a vivid, compelling voice. I loved the letter format of the novel, and the illustrations really added to it in a great way. I highly recommend this novel - it's something a little different.
Anna Louise
Oct 05, 2019 rated it liked it
I was expecting more from this book and maybe I should have dampened my hopes for it because in the end I really didn't enjoy it. It had fun creepy vibes throughout I will admit, but it had such a weak ending, and I truly didn't like our main character of Winnie as a person, so reading this was much more like going through the motions to find out what was happening rather than for enjoyment.

The romance was unnecessary and pointless, the plot focused around New Jersey in a way that I think the au
After Winnie's mother dies in a sudden suicide, she decides to intern for a summer with her Aunt Maggie who runs a paranormal T.V. show. Winnie is a definite skeptic but after witnessing some things she's not so sure anymore. That combined with the cute paranormal investigator, the New Jersey Devil, and the truth behind her mothers death will make for one interesting summer...

I was lured into this book with the creepy cover and the promise of some ghosts or supernatural happenings. It turns out
Jul 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
17-year-old Winnie Flynn is a teenager in crises. Not only is she trying to recover from her mother suicide, she is starting over again in the most literal sense. With her father escaping into his work, Winnie finds herself interning for her Aunt Maggie on a reality TV show. A paranormal show. Although Winnie is a closet horror fan, she has a very realistic worldview. Slowly the girl realizes she is surrounded by both believers and nonbelievers and that lies abound. After a night of partying- dr ...more
The Devil and Winnie Flynn uses an epistolary novel to tell the story of Winnie's summer spent in New Jersey following her mother's shocking suicide. Winnie is spending the summer with her estranged aunt, Maggie Leader, who is also an accomplished television producer with a hit reality show entitled Fantastic, Fearsome. The story unfolds as a letter to Winnie's best friend, Lu, detailing Winnie's summer spent as one of Maggie's production assistants. In addition to the letter there are illustrat ...more
Oct 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this novel in the Book Riot: Young Adult quarterly box #BYA03 that was shipped out in October 2015. The main character, Winnie Flynn, is spending the summer with her aunt working as a production assistant on her hit reality television show. But there is a hidden storyline of Winnie discovering her family's history. The novel is told as a journal written from Winnie to her best friend Lucia (except for the last chapter). Throughout the novel, there are story boards, scripts, ...more
Nov 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Winnie is spending the summer after her mother's suicide with her Aunt Maggie, the producer of a reality urban myth series. Winnie does not believe in the paranormal and her aunt hopes spending the time working on the show will change her mind about the paranormal.

I loved the way this is written in first person as a letter/journal to a best friend. I enjoyed the drawings and scripts interspersed throughout the story. Great characters, good story, good urban myth. The build-up for the scare was g
Emma Farrell
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, from start to finish. At first, I didn't think that I would like the horror style of the book, but it wasn't that scary. And I absolutely loved Winnie Flynn. Her personality seems very similar to mine, so I could empathize with a lot that she was saying. The only thing that really had me confused was in the very beginning. Winnie Flynn is writing a journal to her best friend, and so the book seems more personalized. You find that out a few pages in, but it would h ...more
Ms. Warchol
I was looking forward to reading this book because it is set in New Jersey and explores the legend of the Jersey Devil. The narrative voice was clever and sardonic, which I enjoyed. I think my students will love discovering this legend, perhaps for the first time.

The only thing I would point out is that the ending seemed a little rushed and I would have liked more in terms of explanation.
Aug 19, 2019 rated it liked it
A reality TV shows investigates the Jersey Devil
This YA novel follows the story of Winne, who recently lost her mother, as she goes to live and help the aunt she barely knows on her reality TV show called Fantastic Fearsome which she both produces and presents. The latest filming takes her to one place her mother would never go: New Jersey, an area her mother has a history with. Winne doesn’t believe in the supernatural but as the filming progresses she hears and feels things that make her quest
Abby Hargreaves
After her mother dies of suicide, skeptical Winnie is shipped off across the country to assist her horror-reality producer aunt Maggie in her new show Fantastic, Fearsome: New Jersey, in which Maggie and a team of paranormal specialists will hunt down the Jersey Devil.

The Devil and Winnie Flynn, despite its potential for action and excitement and the inclusion of multimedia pieces such as show scripts and illustrations by the author's brother, David Ostow, ultimately struggles with pacing. Whil
« previous 1 3 4 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Horrid
  • Daughters Unto Devils
  • Burn Our Bodies Down
  • Martin McLean, Middle School Queen
  • The Lonely Dead
  • My Calamity Jane (The Lady Janies, #3)
  • Moranthology
  • Crying Laughing
  • I've Been Wrong Before: Essays
  • I'm Still with You: Communicate, Heal & Evolve with Your Loved One on the Other Side
  • The Down Days
  • Daisy Cooper's Rules for Living
  • The Companions
  • Broken People
  • Camp
  • The Gates (Samuel Johnson, #1)
  • Consider This: Moments in My Writing Life After Which Everything Was Different
  • Harrow Lake
See similar books…
Micol Ostow has been writing professionally since 2004, and in that time has written and/or ghostwritten over 40 published works for young readers. She started her reign of terror with Egmont with her novel FAMILY, which Elizabeth Burns named a favorite of 2012 on her School Library Journal-syndicated blog, A Chair, a Fireplace, a Tea Cozy. Micol's graphic novel, SO PUNK ROCK (and Other Ways to Di ...more

Related Articles

If you love discovering great stories from new voices, then the past few months have been quite a treat in the world of young adult fiction!...
43 likes · 40 comments