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Five Midnights

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  890 ratings  ·  227 reviews
Five friends cursed. Five deadly fates. Five nights of retribución.

If Lupe Dávila and Javier Utierre can survive each other’s company, together they can solve a series of grisly murders sweeping though Puerto Rico. But the clues lead them out of the real world and into the realm of myths and legends. And if they want to catch the killer, they'll have to step into the shado
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by Tor Teen
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Average rating 3.51  · 
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 ·  890 ratings  ·  227 reviews

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Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dark-horror
Five Midnights, a YA horror book, was a solid 4 stars. The book centers around main character Lupe, a teenager from Vermont that travels to Puerto Rico to visit family-including her police chief uncle. Lupe arrives just as her uncle is called to a grisly murder scene-the first of many to occur. Lupe and her new friend Javier, set out to find out who or what is causing these murders.
Five Midnights was an enjoyable read and I liked the supernatural/ urban legend elements that were included in thi
Carole (Carole's Random Life)
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, 2019, reviewed, horror
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I was pretty impressed with this novel! I thought that this book sounded interesting when I saw it on a blog a few months ago so I was really excited when I got my hands on an early copy. Once I started reading, I knew that I was in for a treat because I was hooked right away. I thought that this book was a really entertained read.

I am ashamed to say that I haven't read too many books set in Puerto Rico so I really liked the fact tha
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
3.5 Stars
Diverse horror? Yes please!

As someone constantly seeking out diverse stories in the horror genre, I was ecstatic to learn about Five Midnights. Written by a Puerto Rican female author, this is an excellent example of #ownvoices fiction. Through the narrative, I learned so much about a country that I previously knew little about. I felt immersed in the culture as the author sprinkled cultural elements of, language and religion throughout the pages. I especially loved the inclusion of the
Katie Gallagher
Read this review and others on my blog!

Thank you to NetGalley and Tor Teen for sending me a free advanced reader copy of this book for an honest review. Five Midnights debuts June 4th.

NetGalley’s a funny thing—most of the time all you have to judge a book by is the author name, the publisher, the cover, and a bit of doctored up marketing copy.*** It makes me judgey to the extreme—if I’m accepted to read the book, I’m kind of stuck with it, after all, since I want to keep my NetGalley ratio u
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
Out TODAY from Tor Teen!

The blurb for Five Midnights caught my attention immediately. YA horror set in Puerto Rico? Myths and legends coming to life? Hells yeah!

What I was expecting: this will be really cool and different and probably diverse, since it’s a Tor Teen title.

What I was NOT expecting: a story this rich, powerful, and full of depth! Darkly beautiful descriptions. A thought-provoking story packed full of themes, written in a way that’s smart but not didactic. A setting that leaps from
Aug 05, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
Dropped at 35 pages.

Wow, I just keep striking out on YA books lately, all thanks to the FUCKING OBNOXIOUS CHARACTERS. Lupe, HOLY FUCK, Lupe is INSUFFERABLE. She's sixteen years old but thinks she can act like a twenty-something because "she's traveling to Puerto Rico alone". Yes, she traveled there alone, but she's not STAYING by herself. And traveling somewhere by yourself doesn't make you an adult, it just makes the grown-ups in her life irresponsible. That last bit is hilarious because Lupe L
Jul 10, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal was so disappointing it hurts. When we finally have a book with Puerto Rican main characters, by a Puerto Rican author, set in Puerto Rico it turns out to be, well, not good. The more I think about it, the more I hate this book.

Independentista aren’t hate-filled people that can’t stand gringos.
Yes, many independentista blame gringos for the gentrification that’s going on but I studied in a university where most people were independentista and I can tell you
Wilmarie (lesbe.reader on IG & TikTok)
This is and probably will forever be my most hated book.
Puerto Ricans aren't racist toward white people.
The real Puerto Rico is not the murder, gang, and drug-filled part of Puerto Rico.
Jan 27, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
"A twist on a Caribbean boogeyman myth set in contemporary Puerto Rico..."

Say no more.
Alicia (A Kernel of Nonsense)
**Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley which does not influence my review.**

What I Liked:

The concept – I love the concept for this one. Cultural myths coming to life in a modern setting and two teens desperate to solve the mystery with a body count that continues to grow.

Javier – I love reading about a teen character who didn’t always make the best decisions, but who is doing their best. Javi has been clean for two years, but he still struggled with his drug addiction on
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"But he'd better andar con cuidado, be careful, or he'll come for him, too. He'll come for retribuciòn."


Five Midnights is Ann Davila Cardinal's debut YA novel, and I enjoyed reading it! This book is Cardinal's take on the legend of El Cuco (as he is known in Puerto Rico - since Texas is closer to Mexico, I've heard of him as El Cucuy, and learned that the name has differences in different areas).

I was intrigued by Lupe and Marisol, and the path of their relationship. I wish more time would
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
Check out my full video review:

Five Midnights is a horror novel set on Puerto Rico, where in a group of five childhood friends, some of them has started getting killed. We follow Javier (one of the five friends) and Lupe, who travels to Puerto Rico every summer to visit her uncle and aunt. They team up trying to figure out what that is happening.

While this is pitched as a horror novel, not once in the book did I feel scared or creeped out. The plot was too predictab
May 19, 2020 rated it did not like it
- every single young puerto rican guy of any importance to the story was a drug addict and/or a gang member.
- all the fathers were absentee and/or drunks, abusive or cheaters.
- the only puerto rican girl of any importance to the story was impulsive, explosive, violent and called crazy by everyone.
- the island was described as a depressing, crumbling hole of economic and cultural disrepair.
- the very first spanish words in the novel were incorrect.
- every puerto rican character was extremely
Emily Crow
Young adult horror novel set in Puerto Rico about the boogeyman (El Cuco).

I found this to be a solidly entertaining book, although I would have liked more horror elements (I think there was only one scene that I found a bit creepy; otherwise, El Cuco seemed more silly than anything else). I really liked the descriptions of Puerto Rico; I've never been there, but it's on my wish-list of places to visit and the author did a good job with the setting. I also appreciated the deft way she handled se
Feb 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy hell that was a good book. The audiobook narrator is superb. I loved the struggles with ethnic identity. Abandonment issues. The powers of belief and the interesting questions of at what age are you held fully responsible for your own actions. Does your environment or circumstances play into that if so how much?
Mary ♥
Nov 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.8/5 stars

TW: addiction (very interesting rep!), drug abuse, gang violence, death, some gore, racism, toxic family members

When I first learned of Five Midnights, I was very excited to read it during Halloween and follow another page-turing mystery by a Latine author, one ya this time. Unfortunately, a reading slump hit me during November, and I finished it in almost a month. However, it was still quite an enjoyable. I believe I would have enjoyed it more if I read it when I was younger, truth
Jessica {Litnoob}
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This books was one hell of a journey and I wanna y’all about all I liked and the couple things I disliked about it. The dislike list is small so I’ll start there.

1. Their biggest stars stage name was Papi Gringo, what in the colorism is that?
2. Lupe confuses feminism with being rude because she doesn’t like taking help from people. Instead of being able to say thank you she barks “I can do it, feminism” which is counter to feminism entirely. (Nobody called her on it in the text and it bothered
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This would have been a 5 star read for me except for the language around substance use disorders. In a time when we are working to destigmatize the work, it's important we use people centered language and also avoid inappropriate labels (like "clean"). ...more
May 09, 2020 rated it did not like it
actual rating: 1.5/5

phew chiLE
Jen (LOHF/Book Den)
The premise of Five Midnights is set around the legend of El Cuco. Going into Five Midnights I expected it to be heavier on the horror elements. I think this book will appeal most to those who enjoy mystery/thrillers with a supernatural element.

I’m new to the legend of El Cuco, but I enjoyed what Ann Dávila Cardinal did with the legend. I got a real sense that she made it her own.

I loved the Puerto Rico setting and the way Cardinal wove in the culture and a lot of (very accessible) Spanish langu
I was intrigued by this YA horror novel because it seemed original and unusual to me. Let's just say I was not disappointed. The novel takes place in Puerto Rico and was written by a Puerto Rican female author.
Five friends are being killed one by one and it is up to Javier Utierre who is one of the five, and Lupe Dávila who is the niece of the police chief investigating the murders to work together to solve the murders before Javier becomes one of the victims.
Ann Davila Cardinal utilizes the le
Oct 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
This cover? Amazing. The idea? (Caribbean boogeymen!) Even better.

The execution? Nah.

I really disliked a lot of the characters and overall this was more of a predictable mystery novel than a urban fantasy horror story. And the writing style was just hard to read.

*sigh of disappointment*
Miciah Bay
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't put it down! It's fast, fun, scary, with some achingly lovely scenes, too. ...more
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
I'm so disappointed by what I read. This had potential but didn't live up to it.

Time Ferrell
Ok story. I don't like endings that wrap up in the last five pages..... ...more
Lisa Mandina
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Right off the bat I got the total vibes of some of the horror movies I've seen in the theaters lately. And I could totally see this one at the theaters some day. This book was so much of exactly how I think some teenagers feel about adults and older people. For instance one part where the main character thought someone over the age of 30 was ancient. But the characters were very neat, I loved the atmosphere of Puerto Rico, and it definitely had a lot of misdirection to keep me on the edge of my ...more
Horror DNA
Sep 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gabino-iglesias
Take everything you think you know about the themes and levels of darkness and brutality you can find in a YA novel. Okay, now throw all of it away. We’re going to talk about Ann Dávila Cardinal’s Five Midnights, and whatever you think you know about YA horror doesn’t apply here.

You can read Gabino's full review at Horror DNA by clicking here.
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
this book made me SO HAPPY. it's so rare to find a book so centered around puerto rico and one that i felt so connected to. i loved reading this because it felt so familiar and i saw myself in it so perfectly. i love all latinx media but boricua rep is so rare and i'm just sooo happy ajajajajjasj. and i genuinely did enjoy the book. i love thrillers and i love cryptids so much. ...more
Favorite image from the novel is a ring of mothers joined in prayer, with the belief that their love can save a son. If this is the only reason to read the book, (and it’s not), do read the gorgeous image of love. Monsters can be conquered. Transformation for the better can happen, and divides can be bridged.
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Ann is a novelist and Director of Recruitment for Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA). She has a B.A. in Latino Studies from Norwich University, an M.A. in sociology from UI&U and an MFA in Writing from VCFA. She also helped create VCFA’s winter Writing residency in Puerto Rico.

Ann’s first novel, Sister Chicas was released from New American Library in 2006. Her next novel, a horror YA work titled

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