Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Guide for Murdered Children” as Want to Read:
A Guide for Murdered Children
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Guide for Murdered Children

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  582 ratings  ·  206 reviews
We all say there is no justice in this world. But what if there really was? What if the souls of murdered children were able to return briefly to this world, inhabit adult bodies and wreak ultimate revenge on the monsters who had killed them, stolen their lives?

Such is the unfathomable mystery confronting ex-NYPD detective Willow Wylde, fresh out of rehab and finally able
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published March 20th 2018 by Blue Rider Press
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 3.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  582 ratings  ·  206 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Guide for Murdered Children
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I would like to thank Netgalley for a copy of this book. Unfortunately, it wasn't for me. There was so much going on that I didn't understand at times and other times I did. Even though it wasn't for me, I hope others will like it.
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
You can also read my reviews on WP:

A solid 3.5 stars rounded to 4
Why? Rounded-up for an intriguing and incredibly creative plot. 1.5 Stars taken off for the structure/writing style of the narrative.

Imagine the world where the spirits of slain Children can return to exact revenge and to give closure to their cherished ones and finally "restore the balance." Justice in a world without any.

Recovering alcoholic and ex-NYPD detective, Willow Wylde, aka "Dub
Robin Bonne
May 05, 2018 rated it did not like it
With a pretty pink front cover that looks like it should be on my bookshelf, and the comparison to my favorite author, Shirley Jackson, on the back, I went into this horror novel with exceptionally high hopes, only to be crushed by cumbersome dialogue and graphic child rapes.

Very graphic. I can usually handle a violent book, but this one had me cringing in the worst way possible. This book just wasn’t for me.
mad mags
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
Somewhere, A Unicorn Is Crying

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through NetGalley. Trigger warning for violence, including the rape, torture, and murder of children.)

For the children, when your time is done, it is VERY important to THANK YOUR LANDLORD—they’ve been such CARING roommates!!! Remember, without THEM, you would never have been able to have your moment of balance. For the landlords, when YOUR time is done, THANK your BODY!!! (For the wonderful times it provi
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
The plot for this book is incredibly creative! I love it when I come across a book that takes genre-normal and blows it all to pieces! With that said, there are some dark events in this book that some might not want to delve into -- murder, rape, etc of children. Now given the title of the book, that's not a surprise, but just be aware before you read this story.

The basics: The spirits of murdered children get to return to the Earth for a limited time to exact revenge on their killers. The spir
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
A Guide for Murdered Children is a supernatural-realism thriller centered around the belief that one day, a murdered child gets to find their moment of balance when they are resurrected into the body of an unsuspecting landlord who themselves have recently died.

First and foremost I have to say that I have never read a book like this before in my life. The concept was inventive and for the most part was executed very well. There was a perverse sense of justice to the moment of balance and the bo
I fully admit to being sucked in by the title and then I stayed for the plot.

In a nutshell: Murdered children are reincarnated into the bodies of recently deceased adults. Their mission? To achieve a "moment of balance" aka revenge on their killers for their untimely demise.

A Guide for Murdered Children was a solid 3.5 stars for me. The premise is super unique and interesting and it definitely kept my interest the entire way through. However, they are so many characters, as you have both the chi
Sep 01, 2017 rated it did not like it
Actual rating: 1.5
DNF @ 75%

First, I’d like to thank Dutton/Penguin Random House for this ARC.
Second, I must point out that, yes, I didn’t necessarily finish the book, but I read enough to offer me what feels like a semblance of appropriateness in giving this review.

Okay. Let’s get the pros out of the way:
•Sarah Sparrow has a wonderfully creative mind. Her writing is unique and wholly imaginative.
•At a glance, the plot is intriguing. I was very eager to read this book, because the originality of
Brooke Gunderman-Harris
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
For my full review click here->

When I first saw this cover I absolutely had to get my hands on a copy! Well I read the synopsis and was even more intrigued by the book. Not just the cover but the title and synopsis had me completely intrigued! I could help but drool once I got my hands on it!

And naturally I couldn't wait to dive in but I needed to wait until closer to the pub date, which was SOOOO HARD!! But I was finally able to pick it up and I dove right in head
The Behrg
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
"A Guide for Murdered Children" has all the ingredients needed for an amazing book - a unique concept, an inventive hook, troubled characters, and some phenomenal and edgy writing. Unfortunately just tossing all the ingredients into a big pan and hoping it comes out in the end doesn't always work.

What this book is missing is a solid through-line. There's no plot. Nothing that drives the story forward. Instead we have half a dozen subplots and tacked together character lines that never coalesce
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Blue Rider Press for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

I think that we can all agree that this combination of title and cover will have a lot of people curious and wanting to pick up a copy. Don't let this pretty pink unicorn cover fool you, this is not a happy-feel good story. A GUIDE FOR MURDERED CHILDREN by Sarah Sparrow covers some topics that are not for everyone - this story depicts rape, abuse, and murder towards children.

This book has a truly unique premise tha
Sara Oxton
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
A Guide for Murdered Children by Sarah Sparrow a thought provoking four-star read. I picked this book up as the title grabbed me, making me think I must have read it wrong but then read the info and though what a different read and it really is. It’s not for the faint of heart as the subject matter is a little raw and not something everyone will enjoy, but if you go into it with an open mind, and understand that it will get there in the end as revenge is a major player in this book. (Bare that i ...more
Janelle Janson
Thank you so much to Blue Rider Press and Penguin Random House for providing my copy of A GUIDE FOR MURDERED CHILDREN by Sarah Sparrow - all opinions are my own.

Immediately, I was drawn to the title and cover of this book. Then I read the description and I knew I had to read it. The souls of murdered children exact revenge on behalf of their loved ones by inhabiting recently deceased adults in order to restore balance. HOOKED.

Strange deaths have been occurring in Saggerty Falls, Michigan. Willo
There is a trend happening with my March releases, and I am not certain I like it. I do not know if it is a coincidence, a reflection of the current state of the world, or if publishers are deliberately selecting such novels to release at the same time. Either way, this trend is not for the faint of heart, weak of stomach, and sensitive in nature. To what am I referring? I am referring to the fact that almost every novel I have read that was published in March covers disturbing topics and does s ...more
♥ Joy Joy ♥
Please note that I received this book from Netgalley while it was still a work in progress. For that reason, I have decided to spoiler my review in case there are those that want to give the published book a fighting chance.

(view spoiler)
Dez Nemec
Dec 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
I requested this book solely based on the title. How can anyone who loves mysteries and weird, supernatural stories resist a title like A Guide for Murdered Children?

We immediately get a thorough, no holds barred view of Willow, and he is a mess. Initially, I wondered who the heck is this person and what is going on? Didn't really seem like he'd be "hero" material, but apparently he was. I rather liked how flawed Willow's character was - it makes him a great person to for his job(s).

The story ha
Megan » Hello Book Bird
Aug 25, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf, arc
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

DNF @ 20%

I was absolutely hooked by the title + the cover + synopsis. There was no way that I wasn't requesting this because it was going to be a surefire winner with me. When I was approved for the ARC, I was totally pumped.

As another reviewer so eloquently put it: "The cover of this book is incredible but what the hell is inside?" The writing style was absolutely chaotic and a complete mess. I'm sure there
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'll admit, I was drawn to this book based just on the title. And then I read the synopsis. A book about murdered children returning to Earth through a recently deceased adult to exact revenge? Sign me up! The first few chapters were actually really difficult to follow. I thought about giving up, but the premise was too enticing. I'm glad I stuck with it, because once I was able to figure out who was who and what was what, it was one heck of a roller coaster! Some of the subject matter was prett ...more
Lolly K Dandeneau
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
via my blog:
'No: closure wasn’t relief or release, it was a balancing of scales, that’s all. When the scales were balanced, order and some kind of serenity returned to the world, in spite of oneself.'

When I first started to read this novel, I was lost. I just couldn’t flow with it then I couldn’t really figure out what the heck was going on. Children are dead, we meet two young siblings Troy and Maya at the start pnly to know the will be snuffed out, then s
I received a free electronic ARC for review through NetGalley.

This book is about revenge, and as such, it should be deeply satisfying. The Guide for Murdered Children refers to a booklet that is handed out to - you guessed it – murdered children, who have returned in the bodies of "tenants" (dead adults, reanimated just for the purpose of exacting revenge on the killer) during fake AA meetings by a "porter". Sounds complicated? It is. Unfortunately, the complication gets more convoluted as it g
Claire is looking for Bloodlines series ARCs
I don't know if I should try reading this again because it was so hard to get into it. I don't think I like the writing style but I'll give it another shot, I guess. :/
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
I didn’t finish this book, I really wanted to like it but lost patience with it. So many characters and so much going on it gets confusing and frustrating. Looking at other reviews apparently things get clearer after halfway through but I need to feel invested enough to carry on and it didn’t happen.
Sarah A
Apr 01, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was definitely outside of my usual fare. In fact, it was down right bizarre, and rather violent for my tastes. I by no means hated it, but I never really reached a point where I fell in love with it either. The plot jumps around various POVs but essentially, it surmises what would happen if the souls of murdered children came back into host bodies and were able to take revenge on those who had killed them (and likely others). In addition to viewpoints from some of these souls, we also ...more
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Where to begin. Well, when I started this book, I thought it was just one book. When I kept reading to no end, I realized that it was actually 3 books put together. It does make for a VERY long read that way, however, as a person that really dislikes a cliff hangar without being able to jump right into the next part of the story, I appreciated being able to read all of it together. It was well written, detailed. As having lived in the area that the story line is based out of, I could see the pla ...more
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Guide for Murdered Children by Sarah Sparrow is a serious read; not a feel-good happy book. If you enjoy reading something that pushes the limits of what is possible, especially about a subject people don’t want to discuss, you would get into this book. I kept notes as I read, jotting down each character and their relation to others if known. This helped me as I got further into the book. It involves a lot of different types and personalities of people and jumps to different time frames instan ...more
Jan 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin/Blue Rider Press for the ARC of this novel in exchange for a honest review.

When I read the NetGalley synopsis this book was very intriguing: murdered children coming back as deceased adults to exact revenge on their murderers. Very original! Unfortunately, that original plot is the only reason this book earned a star.

The book is REALLY confusing. Honestly, I had to reread a lot of pages in order to figure it out. And I’ll give it to the book that it was forma
Aug 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
We all say there is no justice in this world. But what if there really was? What if the souls of murdered children were able to return briefly to this world, inhabit adult bodies and wreak ultimate revenge on the monsters who had killed them, stolen their lives?

Thanks to Netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I was immediately drawn to this book when I first heard about it. The premise left me intrigued, albeit unsure of the genre, so I decided to just jump in and see w
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
**** Goodreads give away winner ****

Reader beware triggers, triggers and triggers abound. If you are a reader not faint of heart and enjoy a dark, twisted, yet hauntingly beautiful read this may be the book for you.

Personally I entered to win the book solely based on the name and cover. Pink and unicorns and murder! So me. I even had the perfect homemade bookmark to use (pink w/ skulls and butterflies). So this book was right up my literary alley and I was not disappointed.

Yes it was dark and
Rose Elliott
Oct 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Mysterious, mystical, and unusual are all words that can be used to describe Sarah Sparrow’s debut novel, A Guide for Murdered Children. Confusing, scattered, and dragging at parts are also words that can be used to describe this novel. I picked up this book as an ARC from NetGalley back in October. I had high hopes, I really did. A story about murdered children who come back to avenge their deaths? Magnificent! Unique! Sure to be incredible! A Guide for Murdered Children did meet my expectation ...more
Aug 02, 2018 rated it did not like it
I stopped reading the book on page 14 because it used an outdated term for disabled people. That's the only reason. I don't want to get into a whole rant about this, but when you use words that affect me as a person, it's a constant reminder to myself that I still have to prove I'm worth something even though I'm intellectually disabled. That's the term your fictional character should have used. I understand that was a word back then, but in 2018, it's not right to say that anymore. No matter ho ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • His Favorite Wife: Trapped in Polygamy
  • Video Palace: In Search of the Eyeless Man: Collected Stories
  • Chance of a Ghost (Haunted Guesthouse Mystery, #4)
  • Neuroplasticity: The Secret behind Brain Plasticity
  • Sherlock Holmes & the Christmas Demon
  • Buried in the Stacks (The Haunted Library Mysteries, #3)
  • Checked Out for Murder (The Haunted Library Mysteries, #4)
  • The Great Unknowable End
  • Doom with a View (Merry Ghost Inn. #2)
  • Be Our Ghost (Merry Ghost Inn Mysteries, #3)
  • Land of the Living
  • Jim Henson's The Power of the Dark Crystal, Vol. 1
  • Jim Henson's The Power of the Dark Crystal, Vol. 3
  • Jim Henson's The Power of the Dark Crystal, Vol. 2
  • Boy and Going Solo (Roald Dahl's Autobiography, #1-#2)
  • Cat Got Your Diamonds (Kitty Couture Mystery #1)
  • Cat Got Your Cash (Kitty Couture Mystery #2)
  • The Battle of Blood and Ink: A Fable of the Flying City
See similar books…
Sarah Sparrow is a staunch advocate of healthy eating, fitness and clean living. She is into yoga, kickboxing, cycling and swimming. She is passionate about sharing her healthy lifestyle with others and have written several best selling Amazon ebooks about the Paleo Diet, juicing, Superfoods, losing weight and other health related topics.

Sarah lives in California with her beagle named Clouie.

Related Articles

November is the time for aspiring writers to get serious about writing that book! It's National Novel Writing Month, the annual event designed to...
30 likes · 6 comments
“I'm afraid I don't know who I am either! But I've turned my head off so long, I don't need to know.” 1 likes
“It was madness to apply rules of probability to the paranormal.” 0 likes
More quotes…