Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Here There Are Monsters

Rate this book
The Blair Witch Project meets Imaginary Girls in this story of codependent sisterhood, the struggle to claim one’s own space, and the power of secrets

Sixteen-year-old Skye is done playing the knight in shining armor for her insufferable younger sister, Deirdre. Moving across the country seems like the perfect chance to start over.

In their isolated new neighborhood, Skye manages to fit in, but Deirdre withdraws from everyone, becoming fixated on the swampy woods behind their house and building monstrous sculptures out of sticks and bones.

Then Deirdre disappears.

And when something awful comes scratching at Skye's window in the middle of the night, claiming she's the only one who can save Deirdre, Skye knows she will stop at nothing to bring her sister home.

339 pages, Paperback

First published August 6, 2019

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Amelinda Bérubé

3 books166 followers
I write about ghosts and monsters and other things that go bump in the night. My books tend to include a liberal sprinkling of weird Canadiana and the occasional zombie metaphor.

I am an eternal fangirl for YA and SFF, but any book that makes me laugh, makes me cry, or creeps me out will have my heart forever. My very favorites tend to have a thinky, supernatural flavor and don't explain too much.

In my other lives I'm a public service editor, a mother of two, and a passionate gardener. I live in Ottawa, Canada, in a perpetual whirlwind of unfinished projects and cat hair.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
248 (14%)
4 stars
518 (30%)
3 stars
587 (34%)
2 stars
261 (15%)
1 star
78 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 485 reviews
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,453 reviews7,562 followers
November 20, 2019
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

“How many times do you have to rescue somebody before they figure out how to save themselves?”

I should have paid more attention to my friends’ ratings on this one, but there are only so many covers that allow you to pull dead shit off your walls for a photo moment . . . . .

100% honesty here – that cover is the only redeeming quality this book has. The rest?????

The story is about Skye, an average 16-year old who was looking forward to a fresh start in a new town and out from under the stigma of having a “weird” sister. But when said sister Deirdre goes missing, it might be up to Skye to once again save her.

Kudos to the author for being willing to write such realistic, self-absorbed teenagers, but if I wanted to spend time with one of those I’d just go upstairs to one of my own kids’ bedrooms. Seriously, my reaction to every insufferable bit of these character’s interactions and internal dialogue was . . . .

Kudos also to the various possibilities regarding the goings on. It could have been an accidental shooting, it could have been a drowning, it could have been a random child killer, it could have been supernatural . . . . .

I’m not so sure Here There Are Monsters was Imaginary Girls like the blurb said (but I will be checking it out because my friends actually liked that one) and it definitely wasn’t The Blair Witch Project (what time machine did the powers that be get on in an attempt to make that reference relevant again????). Unfortunately it was just kind of terrible and the second time the following plotline failed me this week . . . . .

This book was so boooooooooooooooooooring and the big “secrets” and reveals were obvious and not at all shocking. Also, who the heck breaks a book into separate parts named after main characters that then has NOTHING to do with those characters??? Sky remained the narrator throughout and the focus was pretty much always Skye and her awfulness.

So why 2 Stars instead of 1? Well, at this point it takes quite a bit for me to 1 Star something – and since I’m not even close to being the target demographic for this one it gets an extra. And that cover deserves a star all on its own.
Profile Image for Brittany.
858 reviews112 followers
January 22, 2019
3 stars!

"What is it with you guys and the end of the world?" I asked. "Its just interesting," William said. "Like, everyone has to show their true colors. Everyone knows who they really are at the end of the world. No more bullshit."

Here There Are Monsters was gripping from the very start. This was a story about how easy it can be to get wrapped up in your own fantasy, and have trouble deciphering what's real and what's not. How nightmares can become reality if you allow yourself to go there.

Skye is the older sister to Deirdre who likes to make everything a fantasy land. As Skye gets older, she realizes she doesn't want to play the games Deirdre plays anymore. One day something happens to Deirdre and Skyes race to find her begins.

This book reminded me a lot of a messed up version of Bridge to Terabithia. That's the best way I can sort of describe it. The story was creepy and dark. We follow MC Skye as she tests her limits of reality. The plot was a little confusing especially towards the end. The pacing was good, but the climax failed to deliver fully for me. It was still decent and I enjoyed the read, I guess for as engaged as I was- when the time came for a reveal - I was scratching my head a little. With that being said, I was still impressed by the authors ability to hold my attention and her writing was simple and smooth. Overall I think people will enjoy this if they are looking for something fast paced with a Creepy Atmosphere.

**Special thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for providing an arc in exchange for a fair and honest review**
Profile Image for Ellen Gail.
839 reviews377 followers
May 25, 2019
Gorgeous cover. Total bummer inside.

Here There Are Monsters sounded like it would be right up my alley. A dangerous and unhealthy relationship between sisters, things that go bump in the night. That's all I knew about it beforehand, but what else do you need to hook me? There was even a great tagline!

They took my sister.
I'll take her back.

It was so promising! Sadly, all that promise went down in a blaze of hodgepodge pacing, unlikable characters, and lackluster atmosphere.

Let's start with a bit of plot. Two sisters, Skye and Deirdre, move with their parents and their cat Mog. They need a fresh start and what better way to do that than to move cross country to a house bordering some creepy swampy woods? Younger sister Deirdre has always been strange, but the move ignites a new wave of creepy obsessions and activities in her. Skye just wants to be normal, but normal life is difficult when your younger sister is building statues out of animal bones.

The Deirdre disappears.

So, loads of potential! Unfortunately, so many things about this failed for me. First and foremost, Skye is an asshole. And I mean, yeah, she's a teenage girl so she's sometimes moody and melodramatic. You know normal teenage stuff. But she's also terrible.

The biggest and most obvious example is her sneaking out to go to a party. This is BARELY A DAY after Deirdre goes missing. She does not care what her parents (or Deirdre) want or need.

Literally the next day - with her 13 year old sister still unaccounted for - she goes back to William's. (oh William....I'll get back to him later.) When her mother sees her leaving she tries to get her to turn around, like any rational mother would do. And Skye keeps walking and literally hand waves away her mother's extremely valid fears, only saying, "I'll be back later."

It's abundantly clear she doesn't care about the trauma her parents are suffering. So, what does she feel towards her younger sibling? Is she worried, afraid, panicked?

I hope she's enjoying this. Having everyone's absolute, undivided attention.

I really wish I made that quote up. Ugh.

So Skye is terrible. What about everyone else?

Which is a slight exaggeration. Her mom at one point tells Skye to take her teenage drama and shove it, and I enjoyed that immensely. But everyone in general sucks. Skye's "friends" have such scant development, it's hard to feel anything for them. Even William, who segues into a rather important part of the story. It's hard to really give a shit about characters like Sophie when we know so very little about them.

Even Deidre herself racks up a considerable amount of ill will. Look, thirteen is a weird age. I was obsessed the Chad Michael Murray to an unhealthy degree. (And I can't even lie, I googled him just now, and he's still unfairly good looking. But I don't have his picture in my locker anymore.)

But as the Kindle pages flipped past, (or digitally flipped I guess? I don't literally flip my Kindle, but I did drop it down the stairs once and it did just fine.), it became clearer and clearer to me Deirdre was awful. It's pretty stiff competition between her and Skye as to who is worse.

Bits of Skye's relationship with Deidre and her friends are doled out in flashback chapters, which slows the plot progression significantly. I personally felt it killed the sense of urgency to find Deirdre right now, as well as giving us minimal character insight (apart from one dramatic spur of violence.)

And maybe it's just me living in horror junkie land, but I was disappointed by the horror elements. Oh they are there for sure! The sticks and skulls definitely unnerved. But it lacked an element of chill, of the atmosphere encroaching on you and instilling a proper dread. With the haunting woods bordering the house, it has such a great setting, but fails to take full advantage of that.

I'm not always on bitch island over here. I did like some things! I can be positive.

For one thing, I have to admire the imagination of Amelinda Bérubé. She's managed to come up with some truly bizarre and creative things. And I am here for all things bizarre and weird! So an honest and sincere bravo from me for being unafraid to delve into the strange.

Despite my many issues with Here There Are Monsters, I still think it does a commendable job of blurring the edges of fantasy and reality. It took some brave chances.

I just wish I liked where those chances took me.

All quotes were taken from proof copy and subject to change.
Thanks to Sourcebooks Fire and Edelweiss for the drc!
Profile Image for MissBecka Gee.
1,497 reviews599 followers
July 12, 2019
I really enjoyed the first 150 pages of this one, but then it took a turn to fuckedupville.
It was like reading two different books shoved into one spine.
Thanks to Sourcebooks Fire for my ARC received at BookCon.
Profile Image for Acqua.
536 reviews190 followers
July 12, 2019
Strange Grace meets The Wicker King, but duller, more hopeless, and unnecessarily heterosexual. If you’ve followed me for a while, you might know that I loved Amelinda Bérubé’s debut, The Dark Beneath the Ice, for being an introspective, chilling horror story about mental illness, portrayed with a care that I don’t always trust the horror genre to have. Here There Are Monsters, however, didn’t resonate emotionally with me at all.

This was… I’m not sure what it was. On the surface, it’s a horror story about a girl gone missing and the woods trying to drag other people into the horrifying, twisted game that got her to begin with. What I got from it is a story about cycles of violence, about neglected teens and preteens trying to survive in a world that laughs at the violence perpetrated against them, and the twisted and ugly things that rise from these situations. About the toxic pull of power, because you want your bullies to stop, you want to make them stop, and the horrifying answers to powerlessness. It’s also a story about how trying to rescue a person from their self-destructive urges might destroy you – and the people around you – in turn.
These sound like good concepts, now that I write them down like this, but what this book did was merely point at the situation and say “it’s ugly”. Yes, of course it’s ugly. Now what?
I don’t know. I guess I wanted more from it.

The thing is, I didn’t feel like the characters gained that much from what happened to them. Skye’s character arc felt wobbly to me, and in a genre that relies a lot on character arcs, I can’t accept that. Or maybe I just struggle with stomaching character development that is both positive and negative . Also, by the end I disliked every single character in the book (my whole opinion of the love interest was “someone please give that boy a personality”), which made caring even more difficult.
I don’t need to like the characters, especially not in a horror book, but then there have to be either solid thematic arcs or character arcs, and here, that wasn’t really the case.

There are some things about this book I did appreciate, like the creepy forest atmosphere, and the fact that the book described which plants one could find in said creepy forest (cedar, sumac, white pine – probably the most detailed plant horror descriptions I have ever read, which was wonderful). It’s just that nothing about the actual story really drew me in.

As with every horror book I didn’t like, I’m left wondering if I missed the point of it entirely. Maybe I did, and this book could be important to someone else the way The Dark Beneath the Ice was almost a revelation to me. Here There Are Monsters was just fine, there was nothing deeply wrong with it, so it’s not a story I would actively recommend people to avoid. However, stay away from it if animal death, including pet death, is one of your triggers, as there’s a lot of it.
Profile Image for Tammie.
217 reviews56 followers
January 31, 2019
A solid 4 stars. Here There Are Monsters was a creepy/dark read. The book centers around teen sisters Deirdre and Skye. After moving across the country for a fresh start, the family settles in a house located in a remote neighborhood. Things seem to go well at first-Skye makes new friends at her school and Deirdre enjoys being outside, enjoying nature. However, Deirdre, considered the “weird kid” for most of her life, withdrawals from her family and starts spending most of her time outside in the swampy woods. Deidre spends her time in the forest by building creatures/monsters out of sticks and bones and creating an elaborate fantasy world. Deidre goes missing one night and no one can find her-even after extensive searches conducted by local police. Skye wakes up one night to something scratching at her window and realizes that maybe Deidre’s fantasy world is real after all. Skye is now on a mission to find and save her sister from whatever may be lurking in the woods!
Here There Are Monsters was an interesting and enjoyable book. Highly recommend to fans of YA and horror/dark books. Thank you NetGalley for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Laurie  (barksbooks).
1,727 reviews672 followers
October 4, 2019
I am going to DNF this one after reading the first section (roughly 100 or so pages). The cover is lovely. Breathtakingly creepy. But it's the contents that count. Unfortunately, I was attempting to read this novel at the same time I was reading Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand for the Ladies of Horror Fiction Goodreads Group and the two have too much in common but one was more engaging. And it wasn't this one.

The stories are both focused on sisters, creepy woods and missing girl(s) and they started to meld together in my brain which was a little troublesome and it slowed me way down when I picked up either book. Here There Are Monsters didn't grab me hard enough to keep me and I did not like either of the two sisters, Skye was an angry and resentful and selfish teen and her sister came across as much younger than she was supposed to be and she was strange in a not-so-great way. The parents were also jerks blaming one sister for not doing their jobs for them when one of them goes missing. So, yeah, the people here aren't people I really want to share too much headspace with. It was also missing the creep factor for me. I may pick this back up again after I take a breather. Or I may not. So no stars from me. Don't @ me. I just explained why.
Profile Image for Mel (Epic Reading).
906 reviews279 followers
December 21, 2019
There are well executed and poorly under taken concepts in Here There Are Monsters. Overall it was a let down for me (and many others if you peruse the other reviews). While the plot is okay and the thoughts of our lead gal are very genuine; all along there is something missing. It's lacking that spark or attraction that makes a book great (or even just 4-star good).

Internal Thoughts
The best part of Amelinda Berube's novel is the first person writing of her lead character. As the oldest of three kids, and 4 years separately me and my next sibling in age, I really connected with what our lead teen felt and expressed inside her head. From comments about how annoying her siblings are to how she is tired of feeling responsible for them given she's not the parent. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Berube is the oldest child in her family with a gap between siblings as all the thoughts our lead gal thinks are also ones I've thought over the years.

The actual plot itself is very interesting. A sister that is missing, weird happenings in the forest, and odd sculptures showing up all contribute to an overall creepy ambience in Here There Are Monsters. However the entire time the story is missing that something. I never really felt fear for our lead or her missing sister. I also never really felt like the strings of the story were linked together. It was as though one thing happened, and then another; but actually feeling like they were related and building towards something was missing. It's too bad because there is a great story to be told here if only I felt more invested. The ending is the bad icing on a crumbling cupcake as it falls apart very quickly and feels like it was written in about ten minutes on a bus just to get it done. It's unfortunate as a good ending, in some ways, might have saved this novel from it's mediocre status.

The Missing Sister
Take note newer writers, if you want your reader to feel something for a character they barely meet in the present day narrative then you MUST make them relatable and create an environment where the reader can have sympathy for them. We read flashbacks of the missing sister throughout the current day story and yet I still felt like I never knew her, and never cared. Now this may be because the story is told from the point of view of the older sister? Our lead gal has become a bit ambivalent towards her sister and her odd behaviour. I wonder if the flashbacks had been from the missing younger sisters perspective would that have created the bond needed for me to care?

There's opportunity here unfortunately Berube doesn't quite create a polished book that stands out. Here There Are Monsters feels like it should be better than it ultimately is. That's not to say it's a bad read. It's fine. Maybe a half step above your average free book. But it's certainly not going to stand out amoungst all the YA books of today; and doesn't live up to it's hyped pre-release. All-in-all you won't be missing much if you pass on it.
That said it is a stand-alone which is attractive to many. Although I can't help but feel thankful that it's one and done; and this world won't be revisited because there is barely enough to care about in this one book; let along if another was to be written in to make a series.

Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.
Profile Image for Rachel (TheShadesofOrange).
2,093 reviews2,959 followers
October 17, 2021
3.5 Stars
This is highly fantastical horror novel that borders on the edge of magical realism.

As so often happens in young adult fiction, the story focused too much on the main character’s friends and love interest, rather than the disappearance of her younger sister. The characters are all quite unlikeable with some rather selfish motivations behind their actions. However I appreciated this one so much more the second time I was reading it, when I knew where the story was headed. Other readers might dislike the conclusion, but I personally really liked it and it elevated my overall impression of the story.
Profile Image for Renee Godding.
613 reviews576 followers
September 30, 2021
Disappointing, dull and felt a bit too juvenile for the intended audience.

Although there are some interesting ideas, the execution left much to be desired. A slow, drawn out build up with little pay off in combination with a cast made up of only insufferable characters made this a chore to finish. Where I’m okay with realistic teens and their stupidity in horror, these girls read like bratty 10-year olds (instead of 16yo like our protagonist is supposed to be). Then there’s, of course, the obligatory love interest, who’s flatter than a cardboard slate.
Perhaps if you’re on the younger side of the YA target audience and are looking for a forest-set horror story, this may be just what you’re looking for but to me this book was mostly infuriating. If like me, you loved the forest setting and idea of these creatures, but wanted some more fleshed out characters I highly recommend you try The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher. Same vibes, just way better, ánd funny as an added bonus.
Profile Image for greta.
201 reviews206 followers
August 12, 2020
so I just finished reading 𝕳𝖊𝖗𝖊 𝕿𝖍𝖊𝖗𝖊 𝕬𝖗𝖊 𝕸𝖔𝖓𝖘𝖙𝖊𝖗𝖘 and it turned out to be a 2⭐ read. I really liked the cover before going into the story so that's a plus. about the story... um, kinda okay. it's a bit naive to my taste. I didn't care for the characters at all, the conversations pretty plain. I think if you write a horror/paranormal fiction, it's not gonna be enough to just put in trees, skulls, stones and a girl obsessed with all that. it has to put a reader on edge, grip them, shock them somehow. in my opinion it's pretty hard to write a story for this genre. also, what REALLY annoyed me was Skye always forgetting her coat. it's been like 2-3 times she done it like OKAY, WE GET IT, KAREN, MOVE ON. all this ritual with sticks and a pile of dirt called castle between Skye and her sister Deirdre – childish. might be someone's cup of tea, but it's definitely not mine. 😣
Profile Image for Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd).
332 reviews7,309 followers
September 25, 2019
This was so dull. I wish I had something better to say, but ultimately that was Here There Are Monsters ' biggest problem. While you spend the first half accepting the slow pace, assuming that the reasons for the absolutely nothing plot will be revealed in a scary second half, it just builds to nothing and ends as dull as it begins. There's basically no scare factor, and anything that had the chance to be scary is ruined by the plot and by the dull descriptions. I reserve my one star reviews for books that I think have harmful representation or are deeply offensive, and I don't think this book is either, but if I didn't have that personal rule I would see no other reason to award this 2/5 stars.
Profile Image for Shainlock .
737 reviews
October 12, 2019
Siblings, sisters; a long running game of pretending with kingdoms, Queens, monsters, champions, keys, realms,& gates, has come to an end. Skye no longer wants to be the champion and her sister Deirdre’s willing partner in a long running game of pretend. She no longer wants to be her protector in real life for her strange ways.
With the new move, she just wants to forget the kingdoms, the keys, the things she did to keep her sister safe and try to have real friends. She needs to put the past behind her. She can’t go back.
Deirdre doesn’t accept this.
What followed was strange and melodic, macabre, and filled with the desperation of guilt. Deirdre disappears while Skye is asleep.
She has to get her back. Things show up. Things whisper. They tell her how; what they need as payment, as ransom for her sister.
How could this be real after all this time? Has Skye gone crazy? She just made friends. She was finally happy! Can she become Deirdre’s Queen of Swords again and pay the price to get back her little sister?
The ending was unexpected and left me feeling in limbo. I felt like I read all of that emotional drama and fear just to be suspended in an unsatisfying pool of jello. /shrug
3.5 rounded
March 19, 2019
Overall I was not impressed. The writing was ok but the characters and atmosphere were dry. The story was confusing and disjointed. I do not enjoy leaving negative or harsh reviews but I don't have pleasant things to say about this book. I definitely won't remember reading it in a few months. It was weird and didn't make much sense. Two stars because of the writing style. Thank you to netgalley for the copy.
Profile Image for Catherine.
415 reviews135 followers
September 7, 2019
Buddy read with Chelsea! ♥

"It doesn’t matter how hard you dig your heels in and refuse to grow up; time marches on with or without you."

I know most people who read YA fantasy were more excited about the new Leigh Bardugo, the new Holly Black, the new Roshani Chokshi, the new Jay Kristoff etc, but for me, Here There Are Monsters was from the first time I saw that cover (one of my favorite covers ever) and read the summary one of my most anticipated 2019 releases. I couldn't wait for this book, even though I only gave 3 stars to the author's first novel, The Dark Beneath the Ice. It had potential, I liked the author's writing, but the execution and the end didn't live up to my expectations. Unfortunately, this second novel has the same problem. I'll be talking about what I liked and didn't, especially the two things that made me want to love this book so much: the bond between two sisters and the paranormal.

"How many times do you have to rescue somebody before they figure out how to save themselves?"

1) The sisterhood: I'm a sucker for stories about siblings, but especially sisters (probably because I have a sister myself). A novel about two sisters who are different and don't get along anymore, but in the end if one needs the other she'll do anything to save her? I'm in. Unfortunately, that bond isn't very well developed. We have some flashbacks, but not enough scenes between Skye and Deirdre to truly make the sisterhood something special and unique. It's only said, not shown - and when it is, since the story is told from Skye's point of view, we only get what she did and how she felt instead of feeling the bond between both of them. Since when the story begins, Skye is tired of playing with Deirdre and protecting her, the younger sister appears like a pain in the ass of her older sister and the cause of all her problems, and the older sister like a brat who gets angry at her little sister for not being normal and would rather go to a party when sais sister goes missing to proves she's done with her games. This isn't a story about sisterhood like I expected and wanted it to be: it's the story of Skye and how she's done with Deirdre, but then will accept to do anything to find her because she's still her sister. The end was also disappointing about this.

"She could be magic. You know? She could halfway convince you anything was real because she believed it so hard."

2) The paranormal: The second thing I was absolutely excited about, I mean, look at that cover! Unfortunately, when Skye met the monsters for the first time, I laughed. I'm sorry, but that was ridiculous for me. I know it's YA, but there are great YA books who can do creepy (Wilder Girls, for example). The paranormal part seems written for the younger part of YA readers. Honestly, if you're looking for something creepy, you'll be disappointed as hell unless you're very easily spooked (there's nothing wrong with that, by the way). The world-building was also lacking: nothing, and when I say nothing I really mean it, is explained. Why is special about those woods? How do the monsters come to life? Does Deirdre have a power, how is she special? What's more special about this new place that makes things real? We don't know, which is frustrating because again, the story is about Skye, so nothing related to Deirdre is explained and the paranormal part of the story is linked to Deirdre. Sometimes, the author doesn't have to explain everything and can leave us wonder about a few things: it's even interesting, as long as we have the start of an explanation. If there's nothing at all, it's not a mystery but a lack of world-building.

"Closure is supposed to be a good thing, the final word that lets you move on, lets you heal."

3) The side characters: How am I supposed to care about Sophie and Kevin? The only things we know about them is that they became friends with Skye because they're William's friends, that Sophie is respected by everyone and that Kevin acts like a douche. There's absolutely no character development, nothing special about them to make me care about what will happen to them. I cared a little about William, the third main character of the story (the book has three parts called Deirdre, William, Skye), but he doesn't feel like the third main character, only a side character who's nice but not really interesting and will follow Skye because he has a crush on her. He's nice, that's all there is to say about him, and it's not enough to make me care very much about what will happen to him either: I was more interested about getting to the part where Skye finds her sister.

"Everyone knows who they really are at the end of the world. No more bullshit."

Overall, it wasn't a bad book and I did like some aspects. The author also managed to hold my attention and to make me want to know what would happen next, make me want to read another chapter and know how it would end. I also really liked the story the first 13 chapters (before I laughed at the first encounter with paranormal) and thought it would probably be a four stars rating at first. I also liked some of the insight we got about Skye and how much she would do anything to get her sister back. There was a great potential for an amazing creepy story with sisterhood at its core, but unfortunately the author missed that opportunity. I can still recommend to give this book a chance, especially if your expectations for it aren't as high as mine were.
Profile Image for Dennis.
776 reviews1,485 followers
May 1, 2019
I'm torn between 3 and 3 1/2 stars for Amelinda Bérubé's upcoming YA/horror Here There Are Monsters . I normally do not read young adult novels, because they are usually too campy or unbelievable for my liking, but I really enjoyed this one. Hence, it did not have the camp or unbelievable factors that I was expecting. Here There Are Monsters is a family drama/horror, and I kept thinking that this would be a perfect Netflix show while I was reading this. Seriously, Netflix call Ms. Bérubé please!

Bérubé's Here There Are Monsters is being called "The Blair Witch Project meets Imaginary Girls", and this is a spot on description for this book. The story centers around a high-school student named Skye and her family. Skye, her parents, and her sister Deirdre have moved after some antics at their previous school has left the family in certain chaos. After they move, Skye starts noticing that she's been hanging around the popular clique, but she isn't complaining. After years of protecting her little sister, she's happy to break from the mold and finally be herself. Her younger sister, Deirdre has always been an odd ball, and her antics at their new home have proven that she is just going to continue down this path of eccentricity.

As Deirdre begins withdrawing from everyone, Skye starts to notice her fixation with the woods surrounding their new home, and begins to worry that her sister has become some weird fanatic of some sort. That is, until she disappears. Her parents are freaking out, and the police cannot seem to find her anywhere. Skye feels responsible and plans to bring her sister back home at any cost.

Here There Are Monsters is a fun horror read that doesn't dive too dark for the reader to enjoy. This cover is probably the darkest thing about the story. That's no shade, but I just wanted to let the reader know that you don't need to check behind your shower curtain and deadbolt your doors while reading this book. I felt that the "YA" factor of the book didn't deter me from enjoying this story, and I really became invested in what was going to happen. At times, I felt that the story jumped too fast without explanation, which is why I didn't give this story a higher rating—we could've gotten more from the plot. However, I was definitely satisfied with the story and its characters. I would love to read more from this author and plan to do so. I think if you enjoy light horror novels, Riverdale, and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, you'll definitely want to pick up Here There Are Monsters .
Profile Image for ☠Kayla☠.
219 reviews78 followers
January 13, 2021
This book was... okay. I didn't really like the ending of it and just the whole book in general seems sad and melancholy.
This story is about two sisters. Skye is sixteen and starting to branch out from her thirteen year old sister Deirdres little make believe worlds and childish games. Deirdre on the other hand wants Skye to play them forever and never grow up and definitely not grow up without her. But when they move into a new neighborhood Deirdre goes missing and its up to Skye to find her and bring her home. But things aren't what they seem and Deirdres disappearance might be something Skye is all to familiar with.
Now I thought this book was going to be a spooky coming of age story of two estranged sisters learning about growing up and living there own lives with some monsters thrown in the mix, but I was very wrong. All in all it was an okay story, I enjoyed most of it but won't ever pick it up again.
Profile Image for 여리고.
71 reviews218 followers
April 4, 2019
Extending my deepest gratitude to Edelweiss and Sourcebooks Fire for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review. However, this does not affect any opinions or feedback stated concerning the book whatsoever.

TW: Grief and Violence

Before starting off this review (which might be composed later on with rants and other violent reactions), I'd like to share this with you all first thing. I HATE that I DIDN'T LOVE it, much less like it in the slightest bit. I'm kind of torn up that I hadn't even learned to like it while I was flipping through its pages. I thought it'd suck me into the world that it's being built but much to my dismay, it did not. The worse thing is, every time I make such progress, it's getting clear to me that it's likely to gradually disappoint me and that is what this book just did.

"It doesn’t matter how hard you dig your heels in and refuse to grow up; time marches on with or without you."

On the positive side, I liked the intrigue and mystery it had pulled at my guts. That is the underlying reason it kept me turning pages abruptly, for the first portion of the book. But then it went sadly from interesting, eerie and ominous to tedious, unrealistic and downright lackluster kind of a book. If I'm being honest, I admit I struggled colosally when I got through the first half and that was when things started to become annoying. I've spent so much of my time just thinking about and considering to dnf the book. I hated that it had been eating away at me and my subconscious at the time, doleful that it felt like I owe this particular book my spare time, just because of the time, effort and sweat spent by the author just making this book published, and so I came to this decision that I'd try my very best to finish it rather than just leave it out there to rot. To my amazement upon myself and my self-imposed dedication, I did exactly that. I was proud. Satisfied even.

"The harder I ignore it, the more its presence chafes at me, striking little sparks of fear too ridiculous to contemplate. I will not let them set me alight. I will not freak out."

So this book focuses on too many things regarding the disappearance of Deirdre, the MC Skye's younger sister, the possible causes, whereabouts and trails she left behind. Skye, who decided to be done being her sister's saviour and heroine, ignored all the clues pointing to what really happened to Deirdre at first. She tried to be normal for once, to make friends, as she was persistently thinking all throughout the first half of the book or so, considering all the times she spent with Deirdre before as kids. She had this dark and brooding secret she kept denying and pushing back to the deepest furtive side of her head every time she thought about the times she'd been with Deirdre.

"...how many times do you have to rescue somebody before they figure out how to save themselves?”

"Closure is supposed to be a good thing, the final word that lets you move on, lets you heal."

"Love. Like that’s what this is about. Like there’s any such thing. Like there’s anything to any of us beyond our private stews of guilt and fear and obligation."

But halfway through, she suddenly had this determination to prove to herself that she's done cowering in fear of facing that horrendous secret in order to save the ones she loved the most.

"The Queen of Swords never does have choices. Her path is straight and narrow as her blade...
You can’t just walk away when someone needs a hero."

But to do that, she must be able to confront these seemingly terrifying monsters hiding behind the woods. And to get through the monsters meant leaving the box she tried to live in and hold on to and sacrificing everything she had worked for to continue living a normal life with mundane day-to-day interactions with friends and family without Deirdre. In doing so, she must face an inexorable choice, one that might just destroy her completely. Sounds utterly engrossing, right? But in fact, it just did the opposite for me.

"The Queen of Swords would not be ruled by fear.“

“You don’t get to tell me who I am!” I cry. “You don’t get to decide who I’m going to be! If it has a price, then I’ll pay it."

Let me just say this book is both beguiling and misleading. Impressive, but not really. Imagine how this made me feel. I was truly conflicted to the point that I had given up deciding whether it was worth praising or reproving. The truth is, I liked the idea behind the mystery and every decision the MC had landed upon that very much explains her teetering moralities and tolerable flaws she found herself smitten with until the end of the book.

“I think maybe you’re always alone for the apocalypse.” I kick at a crust of snow. “That’s how you find out who you really are. Survivor or zombie.”

“...how do you go on? You know? When you know how far you’ll go?
...So how do I stop? How do I not be this person anymore?”

What made it into three stars imo is the lack of perspicuous explanations as to what is real and what is not. I found the details explained in the book hard to believe and overly expressed and on top of that, the execution poor and drab that made it so unreal and at times befuddling. Characters are too shallow and one-dimensional, dialogues platitudinous. The shoddy constructions of such came across as palpable and overbearing. Allow me to give you an example. At one point, the MC's mother (or was it the father?) used 'is all' in the end of her sentence during her conversation with another character in the book. And then again, moving forward to the story, you'll encounter the exact similar incident with one of Skye's friends, William. Another if you count the times Skye was keeping her thoughts to herself and one of those times she stumbled across those words unless I'm very much mistaken.

"I’ve never thought very hard about the line between real and make-believe."

"If I’m not sure where my nightmares start and my memories end, maybe it’s all nightmare. Maybe none of it really happened."

Another matter you need to be concerned with is the immense lack of supervision and counsel from parents. It was as if the parents both consumed everything that emanated from Deirdre's disappearance, be they loss and guilt, sorrow and pain, or all of them combined. The parents had been the flimsy ones when they should have been the complete opposite, taking into account the possible unsettling scenarios interspersed with series of wild emotions going over their daughter's head. They should have even addressed Skye to be more careful and extended enough help to serve her emotional needs despite her hungry attempt to detach herself from the world itself. They should have tried real hard.

“The only thing wrong with being harmless is that it makes you a target. You’re just a decent human being. Unlike some of us."

"I’m the Queen of Swords for heartbeats at a time, frozen and regal, the knife-edge of calm. Mostly, I’m thin paper, smoldering , ready to go up in panicked flames. If I sit still, I’ll burn to ash."

Given that I made it through the end of the book (finally!), I must say it does come with redeeming qualities when it comes to the overall concept of the book. It was fun in its own way, creepy, weird, disturbing, forbidding and full of mischief. It has a decent amount of thrills put together but not enough to prevent a sound sleep at night. I can recommend it to someone who enjoys dark and menacing stuff mixed with highly disconcerting mystery that will make one gasp out loud, recoil in fear, flinch unwittingly and then gasp once more.

"It wasn’t just that I wanted him to stop. I wanted to make him stop. I wanted the power to make him stop—that’s the word for the sharp hungry edge that filled me that day."

"I feel like a zombie. Burnt out. A hollow shell. Look at me. I’ve survived the end of the world."


Initial Thoughts

Yet another case of 3-star read for me. Don't get me wrong. The concept behind the book was fascinating and weirdly enigmatic. Going into it I was agog to find out all about the mysterious disappearance. The first few chapters got me hooked and I was certain it would leave me wanting for more but halfway through the book, the story seemed like it was going nowhere and that was when I started to get bored that it led me to almost consider dnf-ing it before it ruins my mood and carries me deeply into a reading slump to the point of no return. It was awfully trying to be seriously frightening but all it did was disgust me. The 'horror' inscribed in it was repetitive and unnecessary.

I was expecting something scarier, events that would creep me out and keep me up all night for the whole week but it hadn't offered anything new besides those skull-faced creatures with antler-like boughs as hands lurking in the dark woods. Some depictions of what's behind the woods were so grueling to visualize that I had to stop at some point and go back to read them once more. The unnecessary details in some scenes didn't work out for me and there were some loose ends to which I struggled to connect. I wasn't invested to the main charater and the conflicts surrounding her. What I cared about was the mystery that lives in the woods, the sort of thing about what gives it life and whatnot but alas, it wasn't completely apprehended and it lacked in such details up until the end. Everything that happened seemed pretty much cryptic and I had trouble deciding what to believe, what truly happened. I know this is pure fiction but I can hardly trust everything that happened to be true. It was just so unrealistic which is probably why it made me all the more exasperated and dissatisfied with the contents of this book.

The only redeeming quality there is to it is the disconcerting desire it gives out to pull me right back in to throw the light on what really is behind the shadow of the woods and the sudden loss of Skye's younger sister, Deirdre. It would be right to say that it could've been better if only it were explained more, the writing well-executed and the story polished in the right direction.
Profile Image for Melissa.
563 reviews803 followers
August 20, 2019
Creepy doesn't even begin to describe this book. My advice: don't read it before going to sleep. Because you won't sleep. More than once, I had to fight the urge to cover my eyes, so I couldn't see what was happening (yeah, I know, not really efficient while reading a book🤦‍♀️). I liked the weirdness of it, but it was so dark and twisted for a sixteen year old girl!

Many thanks to Sourcebooks Fire for the complimentary e-copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Profile Image for Silvia .
635 reviews1,404 followers
August 12, 2019
I was sent this book as an advance copy by the publisher via NetGalley for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own.

This was my first book by Amelinda Bérubé, so I didn't know what to expect. I don't read much horror anymore and I haven't read a lot of YA horror at all, so I feel like I had contrasting expectations from the end of this book, and it's hard to say whether they've been met or not. But let's start with the rest of the book before I talk about the ending.

I would describe this as Sadie meets Never-Contented Things (and those are both novels I loved). The quest of the missing sister, the uncaring parents and the overall failure of adults to be there for teens paired well with the creepy forest atmosphere, and it was at times almost terrifying. If I were someone who rates different points of a book to do a mathematical avg, I would definitely be giving the atmosphere a solid five stars.

I have a harder time judging the characters. My first instinct is to mark them as stereotypes, but that's not exactly right. They're more archetypes of teens, and a lot of them are terrible (more on this later). If I were to say something about any of them, is how the love interest is a soft boy who wouldn't hurt a fly, and since the stereotypical YA love interest is the asshole, brooding type, I more than appreciate this. Whether this book was kind to him, or to any of its character for that matter, is something I doubt, and I'll let everyone draw their own conclusions.

While I enjoyed most of this book and it was definitely going to be at least a full 4 stars, the ending left me with a bitter taste in my mouth. It's not, per se, a bad ending. I feel like it's not the plot itself that let me down, but the message that was sent, or at least the message I understood. And here comes what I mentioned before: horror doesn't have to be hopeful, but YA does. What does, then, YA horror need to achieve? Is it okay to stick to the genre's message without taking into account the target group? Is it okay to do the opposite? Is there a way to achieve both?

I feel like strictly speaking, the ending tried to be both hopeful and hopeless, which probably wasn't easy to do. But inevitably when there's both hope and not-hope, the negative will always override the positive, like mixing a lot of light paint and a little dark one will inevitably result in a dark color. And here there was so much more dark than light. When I say dark I don't mean tragic. Perhaps that's what throws me off, it's so dark because it isn't tragic. Tragic we can handle, we can get closure. Here, I'm not sure we get closure of any kind. In a way, this is where this book diverges from my Sadie comparison: Sadie is tragic and it has very good reasons to be that. This book had every chance to be hopeful or at the very least tragic, but it wasn't either.

Terrible teens exist, and there are often reasons why they're terrible, and all of us are or were terrible as teens in our own way. And we need to see that we're not alone. But to see that and accept that in a narrative that's so, ultimately, hopeless, without seeing a sliver of light other than "you're not alone in being terrible, you're surrounded by other terrible people too", is frankly a little disappointing and defies at least part of this novel's genre. That's, at least, how I felt about it.

I don't know if I would recommend this book. If you need hope in your life, if you can handle a dark story as long as there's light at the end, I would say maybe avoid it. If you don't care and want to read a creepy novel, give it a try.

TWs: animal deaths, violence, missing girl, blood, gore
Profile Image for Nia •ShadesOfPaper•.
834 reviews109 followers
August 11, 2019
I was super intrigued by the premise of this novel, because even though I haven’t picked up many horror books lately, I love me a good mystery thriller, and this seemed like the perfect creepy and atmospheric read with a small town setting. But unfortunately I just didn’t click with this book at all, and I had to force myself to finish it so I could do a proper review.

I had two major issues with Here There Are Monsters that made me not enjoy it. The first one was regarding the plot. The plot (or what I read in the synopsis) didn’t start until I reached the half mark of the novel, and once it started everything was a bit messy. The jumps between present and past were a bit confusing and didn’t add pretty much anything to the plot. I don’t know, everything was so dry and boring, and I wasn’t engaged in the story.

I was hoping that despite the plot being a bit lacking and uninteresting, the atmosphere and the tone would be creepy and eerie, but to be honest, I was so underwhelmed by it. I didn’t feel scared or at the edge of my seat while reading it, and I think that the atmosphere wasn’t as scary as I wanted, and it had a couple of creepy descriptions and that was about it, which was so disappointing.

Another thing that it was lacking in Here There Are Monsters was the fantastical/paranormal element. There was hardly any explanation about that magic or the monsters, and I feel it was all a bit choppy and messy. I had so many questions and I didn’t get answers to any of them. Though I could understand that being a standalone the author wouldn’t delve much in that, it was such an important element to the story, and we barely got any information regarding the creatures or the whys.

The other thing that I was pretty disappointed with was the characters. They were so flat and one dimensional. Our protagonist barely had any evolution throughout the story, and the different interactions she had with the side characters were just so awkward and unrealistic sometimes. There was some type of romance that in my opinion was completely unnecessary, and the relationships Sky had with her sister wasn’t as complex as I wanted, and that made me distance a lot from the characters, and not understand the reasons for her to save her, because instead of showing us that sisterhood, I was thrown a lot of flashbacks and dull descriptions so I could relate or connect with them.

The ending was pretty anticlimactic. I honestly didn’t know how I was expecting Here There Are Monsters to end, but I guess I wanted a bigger shocking factor in the very climax of the story, and I just wasn’t the biggest fan of how everything ended.

Overall, Here There Are Monsters just wasn’t the book for me. I had such high expectations going into it, but it was such an anticlimactic story that was a bit disjointed and didn’t make the most sense.

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion whatsoever. All thoughts are my own.


Thank you Sourcebooks for the ARC.

Blog | Twitter | Instagram | BlogLovin’
Profile Image for Latasha.
1,282 reviews371 followers
October 8, 2019
i did not like this book. the 2 sisters, Skye and Deirdre are both awful. i did enjoy the writing and how it was kinda flowery and really pretty. i like the cover too. so for those 2 reasons i would give this author another try.
Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,365 followers
March 21, 2019
Really not into this one. DNFing at 48%. I've been really bored for the past little while. The characters are whiny and the whole imaginary fantasy world thing feels really childish, as if it was meant for younger YA readers. I could see 12-14yo enjoying it maybe. I decided to move on..
Profile Image for Jypsy .
1,524 reviews60 followers
March 1, 2019
Here There are Monsters is a creepy story. The cover caught my attention immediately. It's so macabre. The story itself was something I probably shouldn't have read. I found it truly unique and suspenseful, but it's also disturbing. The reality aspect, creepiness aside, is terrible. Imagine this for real. I read it and skimmed through some of it. It's well written and original. I just couldn't read it because it messed with me a little bit. If you like creepy menacing stories, this one is for you. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for lucie.
492 reviews623 followers
October 20, 2019
This book brings a relationship between two sisters to a different level.
It was a fast and atmospheric read with a little bit confusing ending but still very enjoyable.
It felt to me like Pet Sematary meets The Raven Boys but I can be wrong and my comparison totally off the mark.
Profile Image for Schizanthus Nerd.
1,153 reviews241 followers
July 28, 2019
“By wood, stone, water, and bone.”
That cover! 😍 It’s all kinds of creepy and intriguing. I’ve been look forward to reading this one for months.

Deidre has always lived in a world of fantasy, imagining elaborate kingdoms of queens, knights and monsters. Skye’s role as the Queen of Swords has always been to save Deidre but when they move to a new town that doesn’t know the sisters by reputation Skye sees a fresh start, a chance to have friends for once. Then Deidre disappears and Skye may have to pick up her sword once again.

I really enjoyed the introduction, with its promise of some weird and wonderful monsters. I liked getting to know Skye and trying to figure out Deidre, who we mostly get to know through her older sister. I’ve seen some reviews where Skye and Deidre cop a fair amount of disdain. While I can see where those readers are coming from, as a once upon a time teenage girl I can also see ‘Welcome to Adolescence’ written all over a lot of these sisters’ quirks. They can be mean, vindictive, antagonistic, manipulative, selfish and annoying at times.

I actually loved that Skye wasn’t all sunshine and sweetness. She isn’t a girl who’s obsessed with her appearance. She’ll never be head cheerleader. Instead her only claim to fame has been ‘freak by proxy’, the weird girl’s sister, protector and only friend. She’s a real girl with real problems.
If she was going to disappear into her imaginary world and make herself a target all over again, it wasn’t like I could stop her.
But she wasn’t keeping me in there with her. Not anymore.
Skye’s story explores family, friendships and secrets, and the lengths we will go to in order to protect them. The family dynamics make it seem inevitable that Deidre will follow where her monsters lead her. It also seems predetermined that although Skye should never have been cast in the role of her sister’s only protector that she would feel the pull of this during a time of crisis, no matter how much she wants to hold onto the new life she has forged for herself.

I loved the alternating chapters, which told me what was happening now and caught me up on the past, giving much needed context to the present. For a long time I expected Deidre’s behaviour to come with a mental health diagnosis, even if some of her monsters were real. While Deidre came across as weird I never found the creepiness I expected from this book.

I was eagerly anticipating the appearance of this book’s monsters from the first time I read the blurb, but I found them disappointing. There was such a build up to them and while I loved their form, their voices didn’t work for me. I did find out why that was but even then it didn’t sit right with me. Their motivation was barely explored and their history was only hinted at. The resolution to their story was a let down for me.

If I could review this book in two parts, I’d be giving ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for the pre monster part and ⭐️⭐️⭐️ after they arrive.

Content warnings include bullying.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the opportunity to read this book. I’m rounding up from 3.5 stars.
Profile Image for Melissa (thereaderandthechef).
532 reviews168 followers
August 5, 2019
Can’t believe I finished this book. It was creepy yes, but more along the lines of messed up, and in the end it didn’t even leave me with anything so I just feel like I should not have picked it up in the first place. Best description: a twisted version of Bridge to Terabithia.

This story is about a 13 year old girl (with an overactive imagination) who disappears into the woods and how Skye, the older sister, desperately tries to do whatever it takes to bring her back, even if it means dealing with the monsters that she and her sister helped create.

The writing is actually good, but the whole book solely focuses on the two sisters (but only in Skye’s perspective) and, unfortunately, there wasn’t a single moment in which I was interested in them. I didn’t like Deirdre. I didn’t like Skye. I didn’t like their parents. And I didn’t even like Skye’s new friends (who were actually nice?). Okay, I might have liked them the best out of everyone.

The thing is, these two sisters have a strained relationship and clearly, this book should have been about how perhaps, if their parents had not been too focused on their jobs, they might have realized both of them needed lots of ATTENTION and therapy. The things they did and do... how could it get so BAD, so out of hand?! And them not noticing anything?!! The signs were SO THERE. Ugh, so frustrating.

The climax was as crazy and not really what I was expecting from this book. I was expecting more paranormal stuff, and WHILE THERE WAS, it was just not that important in the end.

In the end, Here There Are Monsters didn’t turn out to be a book for me.

TW: Self Harm, Bullying, Homicide, Irresponsible Parenting.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 485 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.