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To Break a Covenant

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  732 ratings  ·  248 reviews
Debut voice Alison Ames delivers with a chilling, feminist thriller, perfect for fans of Wilder Girls and Sawkill Girls.

Moon Basin has been haunted for as long as anyone can remember. It started when an explosion in the mine killed sixteen people. The disaster made it impossible to live in town, with underground fires spewing ash into the sky. But life in New Basin is just
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published September 21st 2021 by Page Street Kids
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Cathy I was having trouble figuring this out too. If I remember correctly, Clem wears a Nirvana t-shirt in one scene so I was assuming 90s but I don't know …moreI was having trouble figuring this out too. If I remember correctly, Clem wears a Nirvana t-shirt in one scene so I was assuming 90s but I don't know how that fits with Mellie's death.(less)

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Average rating 3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  732 ratings  ·  248 reviews

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my surprise favorite of the year!!! find the others:



Picking up a random book you haven't heard much about and just. FALLING IN LOVE WITH IT.

Have decided to use the one moment of earnestness I'm allotted per year on this to say: I read for moments like this! Yes, I'm critical, yes, my most common rating is a 3 by a country mile, yes, I bring suffering to the timelines of us all:

But I'm willing to bet that whe
Lex Kent
Oct 20, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.50 Stars. Now this is a horror book! I’m taking another quick ARC break, to try to get in as many Halloween books as I can, and I was ready for something scary. YA horror is pretty popular right now, which I love, but I’ve found a lot of the books to be more creepy and gross as oppose to creepy and scary, which is the combo I’ve been looking for. Well let’s just say that I made a big mistake of starting this book at 9pm because this was finally the scary horror book I’ve been waiting for.

marta the book slayer
My biggest pet peeve is when authors write “we did this but don’t know why”. If you’re too lazy to explain something why should I care about reading it? This book had a lot of these moments, especially at pivotal times.

You have a mine that is making people crazy and these girls continue going to it multiple times without sensible reasoning. I wish I highlighted this but there was one point when they are driving out of the state to get away from this mine and suddenly "we just turned to drive to
i need a moment to process

read my review on reads rainbow

Rep: lesbian mc, bi li

CWs: animal death, death of a parent, gore
rachel ☾
queer ya horror pitched as "perfect for fans of Wilder Girls and Sawkill Girls" with a wlw romance, ghost hunters & a girl who trains crows!

BlogTrigger Warning DatabaseStoryGraph
Oct 17, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sapphics, favorites
give me a second to collect my jaw from the floor

trigger warnings: animal death, child abandonment, gore, parental death, mention of suicide/attempt (drowning, cutting).
Sep 11, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you so much to Page Street for providing an ARC copy! All thoughts and opinions are still my own.

When I saw this book compared to Wilder Girls and Sawkill Girls I knew I needed to add it to my TBR immediately. And this spooky story fit that description perfectly! I absolutely love the atmospheric setting and creepy small town vibes of this!

I loved small town, paranormal stories and this one was done fantastically. I loved that there was a multi-media aspect to it by having episode footage
may ➹
every once in a while I need a weird little book for my sanity

3.5 stars probably? maybe? short rtc
Sep 26, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 29, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
4.5 stars

Reading this on a rainy night, alone in my room, was a mistake. I’m terrified, but it’s worth it, because this was so good!

The plot revolves around around an ex-mining town that has long been rumoured to be haunted. We follow Clem, Nina, Lisey, and Piper — four close friends — as they investigate the mystery behind why the townspeople start behaving strangely. Their quest leads them to the town’s mine, the site of an old mining disaster.

The best horror books aren’t the ones that have
I have been in a real sapphic horror kick and have been dying to pick this one up ever since it was first announced. I love a good spooky, mysterious town and this ticked so many boxes for me! To Break a Covenant follows Clem and her best friends Nina and Lisey as a new girl, Piper, comes to town. Piper’s dad has been hired to ensure that the town’s old mine shaft is still stable and won’t collapse suddenly, but the only problem is that the mine has been causing the townspeople to have strange n ...more
Heather M
Jul 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-lit, horror, lgbt, arc
i love a gothic bitch house vibe so i had a feeling i was gonna love: gothic bitch mine~

the author understands how to create a genuinely tense and spooky atmosphere, as well as how to have fun with YA voice and it strikes a nice balance. no spoilers but she also understands breaking hearts. I got really invested in this little crew, all in all a great debut novel that makes me want to read whatever she decides to write next! extra points for the Sadie-esque serialized segments throughout that th
Sep 23, 2021 rated it liked it
hmmm this book is one of those 'its not you its me" kind of books. i really liked the paranormal element. the spooky descriptions and tense atmospheric moments stayed strong throughout. but it didn't keep me engrossed in the story or the supposed mystery element.

thank you page street and netgalley for the arc!
talia ♡
finishing this book and absolutely loving it means that spooky season is officially upon us !!
Ms. McFaul
Oct 01, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Are you kidding me? All that? ALL OF THAT FOR ABSOLUTELY NOTHING AT THE END? Seriously? How did this even get published? I am so mad. This was absolute garbage. I just can't even. ...more
one of my biggest horror pet peeves are scenes with or about visions, hallucinations, weird dreams (there's just no way this can be done well for the whole length of ANY book) and this had a TON of them. they were creepy and interesting for quite some time, but by the end i was tired of them. they became repetitive, and in the final parts of the book i was just rolling my eyes so hard.

the characters were just good; not bad, but not great either. i was seriously disappointed in some of the decisi
lauren ❀ུ۪ ゚。
Review to come. Spoiler Alert: I’m disappointed
Maddie (Inking & Thinking)
⭐️ 4 Stars ⭐️

This was my first time reading a YA book in the genre of Horror. I have never read any books or watched anything that has a horror element to it. I decided to take a risk on this book because once I read the synopsis I was hooked. Let me say that I was not disappointed.

From page one, you get this creepy and unsettling atmosphere from the town of Moon Basin. From the strange occurrences of pets disappearing, ghost shows showing up every few years, and stories of the mine that ling
Renee Godding
Oct 09, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of The Dead and the Dark
Shelves: horror, 2021-releases
3.5/5 stars
Rounded down for a bit of a dissatisfying ending. Nonetheless very much worth the read if you're on the lookout for a YA small-town-horror novel.

PS: is it just me, or is this book só similar in set up and vibe to The Dead and the Dark. Both came out around the same time, both have LGBTQ+ representation, both deal with a small town haunted by a supernatural presence, and both have a ghost-hunting show at their centre... Not that I'm complaining: if you liked one, you will probably li
Anna Chu
Dec 23, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book had a lot of promise to be great, but the ending was rough and let me down. I enjoyed the setting of a small town with a paranormal twist and definitely wanted to know what was in the mine. At first the clips of various ghost hunter shows were confusing, but once I understood what was happening I liked seeing glimpses of the townspeople's stories. A lot of tragedy has happened here and I wanted answers.

Spoiler alert: there are no answers. The ending is pretty open and we don't even kn
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I stayed up til 3am reading the first draft of this book and I cannot WAIT to hold a published copy in my hands next year!!!!!!
Sep 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
rtc but this was brilliant, supernatural-fighting sapphics in the most breathtakingly sinister and spectral setting you ever did see, for sure the best sort of book to start off the spooky season 👻


here we go: To Break a Covenant was another surprise hit in the bag - a nail-biting horror standalone (though that ending??) that'll scare you stupid and leave you with your heart in your throat wit
Sep 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle

I absolutely love stories like this with paranormal, small town vibes and this book has that in spades! A fantastically written, wonderfully spooky story of a town with a dark history. A terrible mine accident that left the town haunted. A mine that is still burning years after the accident, raining ash into the town and giving the townsfolk nightmares. I think the plot was written amazingly well and loved the way that media footage was included as a way to provide more history about the tow
Jun 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to read an arc of this book and it is everything my haunted-town loving heart could have asked for! Featuring a group of friends who I would literally go into the mine for, this book was haunting, beautiful, sad, hopeful, and at times laugh out loud funny. Whilst the setting is absolutely amazing (think Silent Hill if people actually lived next to it) and the scenes in the mine itself gave me goosebumps, it was the character dynamics that had me truly invested. Alison knows ho ...more
Jul 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

spooky and atmospheric, delightfully queer, the friendships are top tier - like these girls LOVE each other and will do literally anything for each other. The dialogue is amazing. All of it so good.

But friends, the horror, the bone chilling, nightmare, haunted mine, horror is PERFECT. Ames is a writer to watch. I haven't read body horror this good in awhile. Also, like all good horror, she leads you back to the light and I promise if you close the book without feelin
Liz Parker
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I had the pleasure of reading this book before publication, and It. Is. Everything.

Spooky and atmospheric and wonderfully queer. You really get to know these girls and how they relate to each other and their town. It's a story of friendship--and all the good and bad that entails. Also, it freaked me out reading it at night. So there's that.

Put this book on your list!
Jan 01, 2022 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars rounding down to 3

atmospheric, spooky, well written but i was dissatisfied with the end. i’m one to prefer explanations and elaborations on the big bad the scary elements and i felt as though this was the book version of blair witch, a lot of lead up, and camera scenes which flash in and out and leave not a lot answered.
Oct 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sapphic
gay people in a haunted mine!!

if you liked this book, you should check out this interview with the author for some insights into how it came to be + her new book👀
I'll admit that I was pretty excited to jump into To Break a Covenant. I bought the audiobook a while ago and couldn't wait to start listening. In the beginning, things were moving a great pace. I loved the overall mystery too, but it ended on a disappointing note.

It all started with an explosion in a mine. This unexpected disaster killed about 16 people. For a while, this town was unlivable due to the underground fires. Then the ex-mining town, New Basin, starts earning money based on tourism f
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