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Unspeakable Things

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  14,535 ratings  ·  1,257 reviews
Inspired by a terrifying true story from the author’s hometown, a heart-pounding novel of suspense about a small Minnesota community where nothing is as quiet—or as safe—as it seems.

Cassie McDowell’s life in 1980s Minnesota seems perfectly wholesome. She lives on a farm, loves school, and has a crush on the nicest boy in class. Yes, there are her parents’ strange parties
Kindle Edition, 296 pages
Published January 1st 2020 by Thomas & Mercer
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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 ·  14,535 ratings  ·  1,257 reviews

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Nilufer Ozmekik
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another disturbing, dark, nail biter story based on true events. And I loved to spend time at Cassie’s head and seeing events at 80’s Minnesota from her eyes. She was thirteen, smart, mature from her peers, a little quirky (but in an adorable way), coming from not so wealthy and dysfunctional family, dealing with his mostly drunk, artistic father’s mood swings and anger management problems as her mother acts like they’re perfect and exampled family and nothing is wrong about them.

They’re living
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Cassie McDowell is a twelve year old girl living in rural Minnesota in the 1980s, daughter of well educated, but poor, free living, hippy-ish parents. You might think that she and her older sister had a blessed life, but there are bad things happening to boys in her area and bad things happening in her own home. Cassie lives in fear of her dad coming up the stairs to her room at night, something she tries to fend off by writing stories in her diary. And Cassie and the entire town are concerned ...more
Kristi Lamont
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wow was this a really good book about some truly disturbing things. Got it as an Amazon First Read so I went into it with low expectations; whipped through it in a couple of hours this afternoon. Realized as I was getting toward the end that I was thirsty, I needed to go to the bathroom, my jaws were locked and my fingers were clenching my iPad very, very hard. The sense of foreboding Ms Lourey had going on was something else. No way in the world was I getting out of my chair until I got to the ...more
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wow. This is really dark folks. Pretty disturbing things happening. And somehow the way the words are written gripped me and I needed to finish it out. I'm glad I did.
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physical-arcs
Unspeakable Things is out today and man you guys, this one was such a different read from the type of book I’ve been gravitating towards lately. It’s a mix between a coming of age story and suspense and is set in 1980’s Minnesota and follows a thirteen year old girl named Cassie. She lives in a small town and suddenly a string of local boys start to disappear, but most of them return quickly. They’re all changed and haunted by whatever happened while they were gone and Cassie is terrified by ...more
Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
For some reason, I glanced at this book yesterday and almost set it aside as one I'd get to later, if I had time. But then something kept drawing me to it and after picking it up and putting it down a few times, something about it just called to me and I decided to pick this up.... and once I did, I didn't put it down until I was done reading. So if you have this on your shelf anywhere, I recommend you don't pass this one up and READ IT ASAP.

I love novels based on true stories. As this one is
Annika Martin
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is emotional and intense and just so compelling - I was flipping those pages like mad with my heart in my throat. It's out of my normal genre to read, but OMG so grateful I got an early copy. Beautifully written. Definite winner.
It is rare that I write a full review these days. I am conscious of all I wish to read yet. The clock is ticking. I am conscious of growing older. I am well aware that time is not regained. Why this review?

This title was an Amazon Prime First Read. It carries a Goodreads rating of 3.76. It deserves neither.

Perhaps this will keep you from wasting your time in reading this book. It is tragically over written. While the subject matter is so significant--child abuse and exploitation--the author
Darcia Helle
Unspeakable Things is dark, intense, and so well written that it hurts to read this story.

The entire novel is written from 12-year-old Cassie's perspective, but this is absolutely not a YA novel. I almost didn't get this book because I'm not a big fan of child narrators. Fortunately for me, the premise was too tempting to pass up. Within a few paragraphs, I was hooked. By the end of the first chapter, I couldn't imagine this story being told from any other character's perspective. By the end, I
Sheila Beaumont
This is a creepy, well-written account of the perverse goings-on behind the wholesome facade of a small town in Minnesota. The tale is narrated by a 12-year-old girl, but this is definitely not a children's book. This horrific story is based on real events from the author's childhood.
Natasha | readwithnatasha
3.5 stars. I devoured this book in two days.

Young boys in Cassie's small town are being molested and she doesn't think the police are doing enough to solve this mystery. The innocent 13 year old has her own handful of suspects - the creepy police chief, her gay band teacher, the scary man called the Goblin, as well as her own father.

This story is pretty dark and disturbing - molestation, incest, swinger parties, etc. and it's all told through Cassie and her innocence. A lot of the bad stuff is
Joseph Spuckler
Unspeakable Things by Jess Lourey is a crime/mystery story influenced by actual events. Lourey writes about secrets. She is the bestselling Agatha, Anthony, and Lefty-nominated author of the critically-acclaimed Mira James mysteries, which have earned multiple starred reviews from Library JournalandBooklist, the latter calling her writing "a splendid mix of humor and suspense."

There are several likable things in this novel, like the 1980s setting and pop culture references. Secondly, Cassandra,
Dec 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My favorite book of 2019!!

I had downloaded this book and read just 7% at first and I knew it was going to a fantastic story. I picked it up and read until 7:30am and it was the best all-nighter I've ever had! This story IMO seems so urgent and important for many reasons. I had to make sure the characters in the book were going to be okay. My heart broke for all the kids that were taken by the town creeper and I couldn't wait to solve the mystery. I absolutely loved the author's writing style! I
patricia tiffany
Dec 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Okay but not great

Some things just didn't fit. And what Haiti the dad? And what had the dad done? And were there other victims? What did she mean about what if I had eaten strawberries? Some stuff just didn't make sense.
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
Summer of 1983, boys in Cassie’s small town are being molested by a stranger in a mask. The almost thirteen year old has a number of suspects, her gay music teacher, the scary man kids call Goblin, the creepy police chief, even her own father.

UNSPEAKABLE THINGS drew me in with Cassie’s wise, yet innocent voice. Jess Lourey skillfully showed the difference between what the tween understood and what certain characters in her life were actually doing. Because of Cassie’s naïveté, Lourey skirts
Dec 15, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shelby Dawson
Dec 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Yet another Kindle First book with a ton of five star ratings that leave me feeling very confused.

This wasn't terrible but between the writing style and the way a lot of things didn't add up to the (much too fast imo) conclusion I just don't see how this is anything more than sub par.

(view spoiler)
Crime by the Book
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5/5 stars for this dread-inducing, dark coming-of-age story! WOW, this book. This is one of those books that I'm sure will provoke strong opinions on both sides of the fence, but I personally loved it. This is a truly disturbing story that explores challenging themes; readers who do NOT want to read anything involving child abuse will be best avoiding this book. Unspeakable Things follows a young girl on the brink of becoming a teenager, navigating dangers within her town and within her ...more
Elle's Book Blog
Release Date: January 1, 2020
Actual Rating: 3 stars

Small Town | Crime | Thriller

Unspeakable Things has a good concept, but I didn't care for the way the book was executed. The author left too many unanswered questions about a LOT of things that were going on in the book and I fear that some readers may become confused because of it. On the other hand, I think the author did this to show just how naïve the main character Cassie was. There were some MAJOR issues taking place in the story and
Jodie Norquist
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I couldn’t stop reading this book...and read it in a day! Jess Lourey does a great job with murder mysteries. I definitely recommend this one.
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-netgalley
Cassie is not your average twelve year old. She lives with her parents and older sister in a ramshackle house on the outskirts of town. She is smart and has an inquisitive mind, but few friends since her home life is anything but normal. When young boys suddenly go missing, then come back, changed, Cassie is on high alert. She knows what bad men can do, after all, her father Don wrote the book.
Cassie never describes what happens at home in great detail. Rather, we get glimpses of her life; the
Armand Rosamilia
Wow. Just wow. This book is such a heartbreak, emotional rollercoaster. It will make you cry, get angry and really feel for the main character. I had to put it down at times because it was so intense, and recommend this to anyone who wants to read a tragic coming-of-age tale with so many twists and turns it will make your head spin.
Jennie Louwes
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Normally, I reserve 5 star ratings for books I feel could change my life, or the lives of others, in an impactful way. Books that are profound, deep, layered, and/or hold truths up to the light in complete, bare, raw honesty. Often times, these are non-fiction reads.

This book was inspired by true events but is fictitious; however, it was brought to life and felt very real. It was layered, quickly paced; and, although my life demanded I set the book down, I didn't want to. The author is brilliant
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Must read!

I read this in one evening with no breaks...absolutely hypnotic story, charming heroine and a perfect ending. I loved every word and recommend it to everyone.
Nicole Bohr
Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although the readers are warned that this book is dark and one where children get hurt, it’s also based the author's, Jess, childhood and family secret. Although Jess wrote this as a fiction novel, I sense I’ll dive into an emotional roller coaster. Getting a chance to have a glimpse of one of my favorite authors’ personal life will be awe-stricken. Because it reminds us readers that in the end, authors are human too.

With that said....'Unspeakable Things' dives into the world of Cassie, a young
3 meh stars audio
2.5 unnecessarily drawn out stars story.
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best Kindle First books I've read in a long time. The whole time I felt a mixture of disgust and dread, but I didn't want to put it down.

Having grown up in the 80's, I could relate to some of Cassie's experiences: not having enough money to have fancy birthday parties, wearing hand sewn clothes, kids coming up with cruel nicknames...luckily I never had to endure any swinger parties thrown by my parents! Cassie is just finishing seventh grade, still a kid, but the
I'm not a fan of unreliable narrator novels. I am a big fan of coming-of-age stories. Those stories often are heart-breakers, as is Jess Lourey's Unspeakable Things. But, I like the voices. Young people see the world, and their situations, with different eyes than adults do. That's where the heartbreak comes in. And, when you read the Author's Note in Lourey's novel, and learn that she was inspired by true incidents from her own childhood, the story becomes even more powerful.

Cassie McDowell is
Jan 16, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story are told from Cassie point of view. It was a dark and disturbing story. It gets awful everytime something happened and there are so many unanswered questions. I don't know which one should I focus more. Cassie's dysfunctional family or sexual assault crime that happened to boys around the town? The ending urghhh please explain to me!! Why the hell it ends like that?

Thank you Netgalley and Jess Lourey for ARC of Unspeakable Things.
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Jess Lourey writes about secrets. She is the bestselling Agatha, Anthony, and Lefty-nominated author of the critically-acclaimed Mira James mysteries, which have earned multiple starred reviews from Library Journal and Booklist, the latter calling her writing "a splendid mix of humor and suspense."

Jess also writes nonfiction, edge-of-your-seat YA adventure, magical realism, suspense novels, and
“The trick of life,” she said, “is that you can’t hold the pain for too long. The magic, either.” 2 likes
“He watched a lot of TV. I guess many people did. Maybe like him, they preferred their lives delivered to them in a box.” 1 likes
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