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

Black Chuck

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  213 ratings  ·  57 reviews
Psycho. Sick. Dangerous. Real Dufresne's reputation precedes him. When the mangled body of his best friend, Shaun, turns up in a field just east of town, tough-as-hell Real blames himself. But except for the nightmares, all Re remembers is beating the living crap out of Shaun the night of his death.

Shaun's girlfriend, sixteen-year-old Evie Hawley, keeps her feelings locked
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 3rd 2018 by Orca Book Publishers
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

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

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Black Chuck, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Black Chuck

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  213 ratings  ·  57 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Black Chuck
I received this eARC from Orca Book Publishers on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of this book in any way.

Warning: This book contains graphic scenes of abuse, mutilation, and rape, as well as language that may not be suitable for some younger YA readers.


The Writing

The writing was mostly very well done, with a very unique and strong voice and style, but sometimes I found myself having to reread a line several times and still not underst
Regan McDonell
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Well heck, I wrote it didn't I? ;) ...more
Feb 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley-arcs
*Thank you to the author and Netgalley for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

3.5 stars

This book was, surprisingly, really enjoyable! Obviously, I was sucked in by the synopsis: "Psycho. Sick, Dangerous." I was pretty adamant to read this book after that!

Then I started reading, and I wasn't entirely aware of what was going on. A few parts of the book were confusing and made me question what the point of the book actually was, especially in the first half.

...And hones
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
I think my best description for how I felt is this: I wanted a chocolate chip cookie. I bit in and there were raisins. I still enjoyed the dang cookie, but there's still a twinge of disappointment, because I expected chocolatey goodness.
I was so excited to read this book. I saw it online and put it in my to-buy-at-a-later-date list. It seemed like something right up my alley. Murder, Native American folk lore and legends, unreliable narrators. I eat that up. This wasn't that, to an extent, which
Jodie "Bookish"  Cook
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Book Review
Title: Black Chuck
Author: Regan McDonell
Genre: YA/Romance/Psychological/Thriller
Rating: *****
Review: The opening to Black Chuck was explosive to say they least, we are introduced to Réal and Evie who are Shaun’s best friend and girlfriend just after they find out that Shaun is dead in what seemed like murder. Réal blames himself while Evie is thinking about terminating her three-month pregnancy which Shaun had wanted. We instantly know there is something off about Réal as we learn he
Suzy Michael
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed-books
Reagan McDonnell makes a powerful debut with this dark, gritty thriller that brings into play indigenous beliefs that are not the norm in dark fiction or horror genres. Black Chuck is a tale of grief, loss, love, secrets and cultural identity, expertly fused together for a romp into uncharted, eerie territory with Miss McDonnell.

The story takes place in a small Canadian town of Cold Water, and centers around a group of high school friends, Shaun and his pregnant girlfriend Evie, long time couple
Kristina Lenarczyk
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: got-for-review
I received an e-book arc of this novel to review from NetGalley, but that does not influence my opinion in any way.

There were more issues than positives in my reading experience of this novel, one of the biggest issues being the lack of plot development. It started out as engaging, but fell flat for about 70% of the story, before picking up as interesting again. The story slowly became less about the friendships and grieving, and more about the budding insta-love that was happening between Real
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read this book!

Well, that was a let down. What I hoped would be a creepy murder mystery turned into a YA drama/love fest. The romance felt like a bad Mills and Boon for me; forced, pointless, meant to be the driving part of the story...except I kind of thought SHAUN was the driving point of the story? Not Evie, romance, Sunny tantrums or parties. But that's the direction the story took, with the final chapter being the grand reveal on th
Bran Pendergrass
Jan 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: blog, arcs-netgalley
*** I received this book in exchange with Netgalley and Orca Book Publishers for an honest review***
The Breakdown:
Shaun is dead. That is all that the characters in Black Chuck can think about and everyone is in shock. This story weaves a tale of death under a complete mystery of who did killed Shaun and why? Re is Shaun’s beast friend and they are practically brothers. All of their lives they have lived next door to each other in a very rural town with limited friends to call on. Everyone calls
Jun 07, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a very dark YA novel with lots of scenes of abuse and violence. It felt somewhat disjointed to me, though they may be my fault and not the author's because I read it in fits and starts. I did like the main character. His personal exploration was interesting. Some of the indigenous spiritual elements seemed a bit forced, as did some of the other characters. ...more
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Read this in one afternoon til evening. I could not stop.
Manon the Malicious
I was provided an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I thought this was fine.
But just fine.
The characters were ok, but just ok.
I didn’t fall for any of them. I didn’t love the dynamics between them. It felt pretty fake to me.
The whole Black Chuck myth sounded pretty wrong to me to and even though I wanted to know how the mystery ended, I just floated through it, not really caring about anything else…
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
⚠️warning: pregnancy, murder, gore, body horror, rape, cannibalism, assault, drug abuse⚠️
Guilt is a crazy demon? More like grief.

That was one crazy ride but once everything’s been spoiled it comepletely losses it’s weight/punch. So there’s no rereadabilty and you definitely don’t want the book spoiled.
This is smart without trying to be smart and it makes you think by telling a story that may or may not be real.

:World Building/Writing:
It’s tense and hard from the get go. At no point are you gi
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Black Chuck by Regan McDonell is the story of five friends, told from the perspective of two of the friends. The story starts off with one of the friends being dead and progressed from there. The two points of view are from the girlfriend and best friend of the deceased. The book takes place in Canada.

Rèal Dufresne is our first main character. Shaun, the deceased, has been his best friend since they were nine. But Rè has a pretty big secret waiting to explode from him. Before Shaun was found dea
Aug 18, 2018 rated it liked it

Black Chuck made me feel like I was back watching Until Dawn, but only in a whispering barely there sort of way. Black Chuck is a story all its own and there are times where gross darkness smashes against a bit of hopeful light.

What I Enjoyed:

The dark description. When Real dreams the gross description of him killing and eating his friend. I may not like to watch that stuff happen in movies (I could never bring myself to watch raw or saw (why the names are so similar.. I don’t know) but
Mar 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for this review copy in exchange for an honest review.

"The thing you feared most always heard your call."

Black Chuck was good. Was it great? No. Could it use improvement? Yes. This story started out really good and complex. The best friend of Re was just murdered and not just murdered but almost mutilated. Now everyone is trying to figure out what happened to him. Real, Evie, Sunny, and Alex are all trying to deal with the aftermath. It sounded good and
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
*Spoiler alert: read at your own discretion*

Black Chuck by Regan McDonell is the kind of book I've always wanted to read. Dark murder mystery through the perspective of an indigenous main character, surrounded by beautiful, poetic writing. McDonell is masterful with her words, they're beautifully entwined with chaotic characters.

Black Chuck, however, isn't always what's expected to become. For example, the mystery part: no kidding, I really didn't expect Shaun's death to really become what it b
Reading Bifrost
Mature-Content Rating: Language, Death, Adult Situations, Underage Drinking, Drug Use, Triggers

“Don’t get much better than this.” Alex had said, holding Sunny’s hand. And maybe he was right. Because getting back down had been a lot harder than getting up. Getting down had been climbing over the edge and seeing just how far there really was to fall. Trusting that the bolts would hold. That you’d make it back to earth in one piece.”

This wasn’t the story I imagined it to be. I was expe
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
In the aftermath of their friend’s death, “Black Chuck” takes us on a journey of grief, guilt and fear as the surviving friends struggle to make sense of what happened and deal with the fallout when secrets threaten to tear them apart.

It’s interesting to see the two main characters who we’re told weren’t that close before Shaun’s death, suddenly find themselves thrown into almost parallel situations where they have to deal with the consequences and pain of that loss all the while keeping the se
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, fiction, mystery, ya
I received an ARC of this novel via NetGalley and Orca Book Publishers in exchange for an honest review

Réal Dufresne can't remember everything that happened that night just the fight and then later seeing Shaun's mutilated body. Réal is known for being psycho, sick and dangerous and he's beginning to think they are right. He is left to clean up the mess Shaun left behind and deal with his guilt over the events of that night.
Evie Hawley, Shawn's girlfriend, is sixteen and pregnant and now Shaun i
Enid Wray
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This novel packs a lot in, yet never reads or feels gratuitous. At heart it is a murder mystery… but a mystery firmly parked inside a story firmly rooted in indigenous mysticism and belief, while also tackling issues as varied as teen pregnancy and eating disorders. It shouldn’t work, but it does, and that is solely do to the skill of the author.

Beautifully written, the prose will draw you in and hold you. The author moves between the various voices seamlessly, with ease, all the while clearly d
Dec 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Out of all the ARCs I had requested as of late, I desired Black Chuck the most. It's easy to see the appeal in the dark, mysterious cover and the premise was brimming with a sort of broodiness that I was always attracted to. Unfortunately, while I appreciated the uniqueness of the concept, the amount of diversity involved, and the addicting nature of the story overall, those aspects couldn't save the rest of the book from being simply average.

The overall plot seemed to progress at a steady pace
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
In my opinion, this book was very interesting. At first, it took at while for the story to fully develop as some parts in the story were not very interesting and if didn’t attract me. However, as the plot continues the story dives deeper into the characters and their struggles, which gets more interesting.. The story is in Réal Dufresne’s and Evie Hayley’s perspective. The friends( Réal, Alex, Sunny, and Evie) dealing with Shaun’s death, who is also Evie’s boyfriend. They are unclear about his c ...more
Sep 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Once again I’ve picked up another YA novel without realizing it so I expected much more.

The subject matter was quite violent, graphic and foul in many passages throughout the book that I don’t agree is appropriate in a YA novel. I guess these days anything goes.

The beginning was promising. From the end of the beginning to the book finale there was a whole lot of nothing. Seriously, nothing happened.

During the entire middle of the book, some clues were unravelled about the original death. No pol
Dec 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Enjoyable read that keeps you on the edge of your seat! Réal’s best friend dies suddenly leaving behind his pregnant girlfriend. The book is told from Réal and Evelyn’s point of view going through their grief and blame after Shaun’s death. Nobody can remember the night Shaun died and no one knows what happened, police start investigating suspecting it was murder. Their group of 5 friends is torn apart by Shaun’s death and everything changes. It was a good book however the author intermixed short ...more
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
I thought this book was good at the beginning, where we are introduced to the themes of cannibalism and violence in a teenage love story. It was very interesting to see this theme play out alongside the themes of love and friendship that "Black Chuck" features, and how the characters deal with a certain tragedy. I was invested in the friendship between Evie, Sunny, Ré and Shaun. Friendship is a very important aspect of this story.

However, the book loses me when it focuses on the romance and soon
Jennifer Harper
Jun 26, 2022 rated it really liked it
A fabulous debut novel, full of teen angst, Aboriginal spiritualism, biker gangs, and a mystery to boot! When Real Dufresne's best friend Shaun is found dead, his body brutally mangled, dreams of a legendary past family horror lead Real to believe he caused his friend's death. Adding to his guilt is his attraction to Shaun's pregnant girlfriend, Evie. Evie has secrets beyond her pregnancy, one of them being that Shaun wasn't all his group his friends thought him to be. As Shaun's circle of frien ...more
Sue Wallace
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
black chuck by Regan McDonnell.
Psycho. Sick. Dangerous. Réal Dufresne's reputation precedes him. When the mangled body of his best friend, Shaun, turns up in a field just east of town, tough-as-hell Réal blames himself. But except for the nightmares, all Ré remembers is beating the living crap out of Shaun the night of his death.
Shaun's girlfriend, sixteen-year-old Evie Hawley, keeps her feelings locked up tight. But now she's pregnant, and the father of her baby is dead. And when Réal looks to
Jaida Howell
Feb 06, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars. The plot is super interesting and I really enjoy reading dark topics/storylines such as this book but I felt like McDonell had this super cool idea but did not put it to good use...enough. I know that sounds very harsh but that is what it felt like for me. The book really makes you think and half of the time I didn't see the plot twists coming, so that was a plus for me. I think overall what I disliked about the book were the characters. They felt dull and I didn't really care for the ...more
The Dwarf Did It...
Apr 03, 2018 rated it liked it
I had high hopes for this book. I was hoping it would be a very twisted thriller. Evie didn't impress me as a character. Her situation and relationship to Shaun was the only thing that made her interesting. Every time Sunny opened her mouth I wanted to smack her. Alex's twist at the end... I LOVED it. Real... Now he was a character his whole internal struggle was awesome. It was a topic I've never really come across before in my reading adventures. This book was gory and graphic. The plot was in ...more
« previous 1 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The BBC LBP: Black Chuck 4 4 Jan 09, 2019 12:13PM  
White Pine Awards...: Black Chuck, by Regan McDonell 1 2 Nov 30, 2018 09:24PM  
Augustine Reads: Black Chuck -> MOOSE? 1 6 Nov 21, 2018 04:23PM  
Play Book Tag: Black Chuck / Regan McDonell. 4 stars 1 13 Apr 02, 2018 07:18PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Only a Monster (Monsters, #1)
  • The Agony of Bun O'Keefe
  • Mindstormer (Mindwalker, #2)
  • The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen
  • A Hero at the End of the World
  • A House of Pomegranates
  • Griekse mythen
  • The Summer of Everything
  • One Bloody Thing After Another
  • Recipe for Hate (The X Gang, #1)
  • Ein Sturm zieht auf  (Die Brücke der Gezeiten, #1)
  • A Girl Like That
  • Waterjager
  • A Raven's Dream (Starside Saga #2)
  • Places We've Never Been
  • Vogeljongen
  • The Taking of Jake Livingston
  • The Ring of Earth (Young Samurai, #4)
See similar books…
Regan studied poetry and creative writing at the University of Victoria. Black Chuck is her first published work.

* I do not use Goodreads. All posts are auto-loaded from my website: *

Related Articles

"Autumn is as joyful and sweet as an untimely end."   This slightly unnerving quote, from the French poet and novelist Rémy de Gourmont, nicely...
104 likes · 11 comments