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


3.40  ·  Rating details ·  801 ratings  ·  523 reviews
A YA feminist mash up inspired by The Lost Boys and The Craft.

It's 1987 and unfortunately it's not all Madonna and cherry lip balm. Mayhem Brayburn has always known there was something off about her and her mother, Roxy. Maybe it has to do with Roxy's constant physical pain, or maybe with Mayhem's own irresistible pull to water. Either way, she knows they aren't like every
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published July 14th 2020 by Wednesday Books
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 3.40  · 
Rating details
 ·  801 ratings  ·  523 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Mayhem
Chelsea Humphrey
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is tough, because I loved what the author was trying to do here, but Mayhem begs the question of how much material can you pull from an original story and be considered a retelling, versus plagiarism? Many early reviewers have already stated exact replications from Lost Boys, which took away from the nostalgia and gave a certain level of cringe-worthiness to the story. I think if the author had chosen to create more of her own, unique characters, and ramped up the pacing a bit in the first ...more
Nilufer Ozmekik
Mar 24, 2020 rated it liked it
I think I’m gonna express my feelings briefly this time. I’m giving Switzerland stars to this book! ( which means 2.5 stars rounded up 3 and I gave more points because I enjoyed the promising and exciting start and idea of feminist mash-up of Lost Boys and Craft but as far as I saw that was just the idea because what I read was way too much different than I expected!)

Yes, I could give 2 stars this book but I became generous grader and gave half stars more. But I have to emphasize two things abo
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
When I heard the premise of this one (a feminist, female-fronted retelling of the Lost Boys? SIGN ME UP) I was SO excited. I had clearly had pretty high hopes for this one, but this book ended up being really weird and honestly just.. underwhelming? The writing itself was great, but the story as a whole felt like it was all over the place and it didn't work for me the way that I was so hoping it would. I'm interested to read more from Estelle Laure after finishing this, but I don't think that Ma ...more
Elle (ellexamines)
2 1/2 stars. I see what the author was trying to do with this book: the 80s-Stranger-Things vibe, the concept of vigilante justice, the storyline about abuse. I only wish these aspects translated.

This book follows Mayhem, a high school junior who has recently escaped an abusive situation with her mother, Roxy. The two are forced to go to Roxy’s hometown, where they meet her sister, Elle, and her adopted cousins, Jason, Kidd, and Neve. But the hometown has its secrets, including... magic.

To comp
Ivana - Diary of Difference
Wishlist | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

I am so happy to have the opportunity to be part of the blog tour for Mayhem by Estelle Laure. Thank you to the team at Wednesday Books, for sending me an e-copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Head over to my blog post for an exclusive chapter extract of Mayhem!

About The Author:

Estelle Laure, the author of This Raging Light and But Then I Came Back believes in love, magic, and the power of facing hard truths. She has a BA in The
Apr 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This was a very enjoyable read for me! It was quick and kept me engaged the entire time. Even though it was definitely taken from the Lost Boys story, it had some unique differences.

That being said, I can't give a specific summary, it all felt hazy... I know there were teenagers and magical water and they were saving the town. So if the story were more fleshed out, the book could have been amazing.

*Many thanks to NetGalley and publishers for the advanced reader's copy in exchange for my honest
MissBecka Gee
"Inspired by Lost Boys & The Craft" is fairly accurate.
I would probably have said it more closely resembled Practical Magic, but that's just me.
Either way it was riveting and hella fun to get sucked into.
Not a hug fan of the ending, but still interested in seeking out more by Estelle Laure.
Thanks to NetGalley & St. Martin's Press for my DRC.

"I have to admit it's cute, though, like watching a baby birdy fly from the nest and turn into a man-eating pterodactyl."
Lilith Black Bee
Jul 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review now up on my blog here




Get 2 months of free books HERE
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
I feel Mayhem. Her brokenness. Her journey. Her resolve. I feel Mayhem.

Mayhem is a unique book in which different components in the story defy the borders of the genre in a swoop through contemporary fiction, mystery, and a bit of fantastical.

It's 1987 and Mayhem arrives after a long car ride with her mother Roxy at her aunt's house in Santa Maria, CA. The two of them have fled the abusive relationship of May's stepfather for good, this time.

Roxy could not be more different from her mother as
Amy Imogene Reads
3.5 stars

This is kind of an odd review... apologies in advance. (Another case of me, not the book.)

Writing: ★★★★
Plot: ★★★★
Pacing: ★★★
Enjoyment: ★★

Mayhem had all the ingredients to be a book that I'd enjoy: speculative magic, ocean vibes, female protagonist, witchy vibes, 1980s aesthetic. But it didn't mesh with me, and I'm still not exactly sure why.

Described as a YA feminist mash-up of The Lost Boys and The Craft, this book follows its main character, literally named Mayhem, and her mother, Ro
Jul 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Mayhem by Estelle Laure is one of those books that straddles the line in genres but the most prominant is this is definitely young adult. With that genre though I would definitely warn of a few things with this one such as rape, abuse and language. The story takes place in the late 1980’s making it also historical along with being set in the same world as The Lost Boys giving it a fantasy edge involving some magical realism.

Now when they compared this book to The Lost Boys I was excited to pick
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
Jun 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc
The Brayburn women of Santa Maria, California have always carried an air of mystery and the residents both fear and appreciate them.
Roxy Brayburn did her best to escape the pull of Santa Maria and her destiny by taking her daughter Mayhem far away. She’s become dependent on the cocktail of prescription meds and white wine that have kept the memories of her hometown at bay for many years but she must return when her husband Lyle’s abuse goes a step too far for her.

Now Mayhem has the opportunity t
Yna the Mood Reader
Jul 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
"People are afraid of teenagers, but I think that’s only because kids can see through bullshit. Every revolution and social movement has started with teenagers, right?"

📚 Series? No.
📚 Genre? YA Fantasy Thriller
📚 POV? First person.
📚 Cliffhanger? No.

⚠ Content Warnings:  Drug addiction. Murder. Assault. Rape. Domestic Violence.
⚠ Book Tags :  Magic. Feminist.

The book is about:
Mayhem is a book set in the late 1980s about its lead character, Mayhem, and her family. At the start of the bo
Heather *Undercover Goth Queen*
I requested this book from NetGalley because it was called "a mashup of The Lost Boys and The Craft." (With a dash of the Manson family, apparently.) As the world's leading expert on those two movies, I decided I would be the judge of that.

Well, I didn't quite see the resemblance to The Craft. It was more like if the witches from Practical Magic did more murder. However, it was more than clear the author borrowed from The Lost Boys—almost too much actually, and it began to hamper my enjoyment.

Sherwood Smith
Jul 14, 2020 added it
Shelves: fantasy
Mayhem Brayburn never felt like she fit into the small town in Texas that her mother, Roxy, took her to when she was very small, running away from California. Part of not fitting in is the toxic culture of us against them that can poison small town life, but far worse is the abusive stepfather whose violence has finally turned away from May’s mother onto May—which finally enables with her mother, Roxy, to flee again—back to Roxy’s home town, Santa Maria, California.

The choice of town, and the s
Schizanthus Nerd
“Don’t you want to know what’s really going on, Mayhem?”
Mayhem and Roxy, her mother, have recently moved in with Elle, Roxy’s twin sister, and her foster children. Roxy always swore she’d never return to Santa Maria but Mayhem doesn’t know why. It turns out there’s a lot she doesn’t know about being a Brayburn.

This book covers a lot of ground: family legacies, the secrets we keep from ourselves and others, the impacts of trauma and the ways we try to reclaim our power.
I was only three. Lyle
Sofii♡ (A Book. A Thought.)
Super grateful to St. Martin's Publishing Group for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review & it's an honor to participate in its blog tour.

I really enjoyed the experience of reading this book, the promise is wonderful, and when I see was for fans of The Craft, I knew it would resonate with me. Super grateful for being able to read the ARC and it's a story worth giving it a try. What I liked the most was the way in which super sensitive subjects are touched, I thin
October 06, 2020: This book gave so much: the emotional peaks of familial relationships, the thrill of a serial killer on the loose, the horrifying brutality against women by men who seem absolutely normal, supernatural aspects of an island, and the mystery of a legacy. The descriptive writing and a different style of narration uplifts the reading experience. An intriguing story that drives on the wheels of developing its characters so my personal preference of a plot makes me want more of the l ...more
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received a complimentary copy of this e-book ARC from the author, publisher, and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Mayhem and Roxy move to Santa Maria to escape an abusive environment. When Mayhem discovers that her family are witches, will she accept her powers and give in to her namesake to kill anyone who harms her family and others? Read on and find out for yourself.

This was a pretty good YA horror fantasy. If you like stories like this, be sure to check this book out when it offi
Books that make you go hmm... what a uniquely wild ride! OK so this book is marketed as a feminist mash up of The Lost Boys and The Craft. I saw The Lost Boys in 1987 when it came out. In all honesty I don’t remember much other than I really liked the soundtrack and there was some kind of supernatural element going on. In reading other reviews it appears as though a lot of this book has been A little too much like the original for peoples liking, but I can’t remember the original so that was com ...more
Caidyn (he/him/his)
I received an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!

CW: child abuse, physical abuse, intimate partner violence, rape of multiple kinds, murder, serial killer, and general themes of violence


Laure is on my radar for sure. I didn't know what to expect from this book, but it was excellent. One that I'm definitely going to reread at some point.

So, this book is about Mayhem and her family. She and her mother, Roxy, fled from their home to get away from Lyle, the abusive stepfathe
Jessie Sedai of the Black Ajah🥀🐍
I loved this!

This was pure gold - a perfect blend of dark themes and youthful spirit set against the backdrop of beach vibes and eighties nostalgia.

Mayhem seeks refuge at her aunt's farm in Santa Monica after being on the run from her abusive step-father. She befriends her three adopted cousins, Jason, Neve and Kidd, who introduce her to fun times at the boardwalk and on the beach. When Mayhem starts to feel a strange pull towards the ocean, her cousins reveal that a magical lineage runs deep i
Jul 10, 2020 added it
3 stars (release date July 14, 2020)

You can read all of my reviews at

This is a fun YA fantasy book that is marketed as being "inspired" by the movie The Lost Boys. It's a quick and easy read, however the book follows much too closely the the movie and doesn't contain many original concepts. (It is also mentioned that the book is inspired by the movie The Craft, but I don't really see it).

The story is set in 1987 and revolves around sixteen-year-old Mayhem Braybur
Jul 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you Wednesday Books for a complimentary copy. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

By: Estelle Laure


It's my stop on the Mayhem blog tour!

Please note this book contains potential triggers, such as child/domestic abuse, rape, murder, general violence, etc.

Mayhem is physically a16 year old girl, but her accumulated life experiences have aged her well beyond what any young woman should endure. Mayhem has an abusive step father, but her mother,
Thank you Netgalley for providing an ARC of this book for an honest review.

This book follows Mayhem and her mother Roxy who recently left her abusive husband back to her hometown where secrets lay. There Roxy will really find out what being a female Brayburn means.

I really wanted to like this. I liked maybe the first 2 chapters and then it all fell apart for me. I found it slow and not exciting at all. I felt like nothing was happening. The writing was really bland and I wanted something more
May 30, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, dnf, arcs
I feel bad DNF'-ing this seeing as the publisher kindly reached out to ME, lil old ME, to offer me an ARC. That being said, I just could not enjoy this book.

I see a lot of the reviews talking up how it's too close for comfort to The Lost Boys. I ain't even gonna get into that.

The reason I personally didn't like this book is because it encompassed every single thing I hate about teenagers, while managing to leave out all of the amazing things that I love about them.

This book SCREAMS teen angst. N
alana ♡
Truthfully, I'm just not feeling this. Maybe I'll give it another try down the road but as of right now it's on to the next. ...more
Taylor Knight
Jan 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs
I loved the idea of this book more than the actual book. It sounded amazing but the execution could have been better. The writing style was beautiful, I loved it. The descriptions were so wonderfully written and creates such a lush visualization of the characters and settings.
I've never seen The Craft or The Lost Boys but I've seen multiple reviews saying it borderline copies The Lost Boys at various points, which if that’s the case, I'm not a fan of direct copying someone else’s work.
The bigg
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight

This book was quite a unique take on contemporary fantasy. I enjoyed it aside from a few minor qualms, so why don't we break it down into what I loved versus what worked a bit less for me, yeah?

What I Loved:

►Such a focus on family and friendships! I loved how much the book centered on Mayhem's family. We know Mayhem's mother loves her quite a bit, but she's deep into fighting her own
By Estelle Laure

There is nothing more I love to read about than stories set in the 80’s and in my home state of California. The story has elements of magical realism, witches, a thrilling murder mystery and supernatural – which I enjoyed reading about. The story flowed well and written in a very distinct voice that I really enjoyed including diary entries. The story is about Mayhem Brayburn and her mother Roxy who leaves to Santa Maria, California, a beautiful coastal town to escape an abu
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Enemies
  • Writers & Lovers
  • The End Zone
  • The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass (The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass, #1)
  • A Golden Fury
  • Christmas in the City
  • Insatiable (Cloverleigh Farms, #3)
  • The Last Sister (Columbia River, #1)
  • Keep Her Safe
  • Mud Vein
  • Buried Deep
  • F*ck Marriage
  • The Wild One (Corisi Billionaires, #2)
  • Flow (Grip, #0.5)
  • Come Back For Me
  • You Be You!: The Kid’s Guide to Gender, Sexuality, and Family
  • The Mall
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Estelle Laure is a Vonnegut worshipper who believes in love and magic and the power of facing hard truths. She has a BA in Theater Arts from New Mexico State University and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and thinks everyone should have to wait tables or work in a kitchen at least once in their lives. She lives in Taos, New Mexico with her childre ...more

Related Articles

  Author C.L. Clark is no newcomer to the sci-fi and fantasy scene. Though she just published her first novel, The Unbroken, earlier this year,...
95 likes · 6 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »