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really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  625 ratings  ·  156 reviews
The Amazon Charts bestselling author of Unspeakable Things and Bloodline explores the darkness at the heart of the rural Midwest in a novel inspired by a chilling true crime.

In the summer of ’84, fourteen-year-old Frankie Jubilee is shuttled off to Litani, Minnesota, to live with her estranged mother, a county prosecutor she barely knows. From the start, Frankie senses som
Paperback, 316 pages
Published October 19th 2021 by Thomas & Mercer
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  625 ratings  ·  156 reviews

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Nilufer Ozmekik
Jun 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
That’s the creepiest, scariest, most disturbing thing I’ve read lately! I kept screaming while I was flipping my e-reader pages! I honestly don’t recommend you read it at the same time frame you watch Conjuring 3 like I did! So you don’t have to suffer from nightmares about satanic rituals just like I did, too!

Everything is blood freezing, shocking, jaw dropping about this story: an estranged mom who brutally tries to pull out her seven years old daughter’s teeth at her house kitchen and punish
Sep 30, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley, drama, english
What a dark, difficult read! It was more a drama than a mystery. Not really for me... Just didn't enjoy the atmosphere. I'm sorry to give only 2.5 stars.

I liked Unspeakable Things better (3.5 stars), but I'm sure this book, based on true events, will appeal to many readers. Lourey writes very well.

Triggers : a lot of talk about child abuse.

Many thanks to Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for the ARC!
Nov 01, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes, I know we’ve had a plethora of stories about child abuse rings and so on but this book was more about the victims - how they were affected, how it changed them. I think the book, along with the earlier Unspeakable Things (which I haven’t read yet) is based on true events that happened in the author’s hometown. And while I often remind myself when reading something dark - “it’s only fiction” - the truth, at times, can be stranger than fiction and it is a sad fact that events, as depicted in ...more
May 13, 2021 added it
Shelves: dnf
It's another DNF from me.

I have DNFed more books this year than in my entire life combined. It actually feels sort of good to let go.

It's been weeks since I last picked this one up and I just have zero interest in returning to the story. The writing style was weird for me, I hated all the characters and wasn't intrigued in the slightest.

For those of you who are interested, I am altering the dates read to 1996, so it will not count towards this year's reading challenge, as I didn't complete it.

Aug 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
I became a major fan of Jess Lourey's writing after reading her last book, Bloodline, which will be in my top favorites of 2021. I still can't believe that book came out in 2021 as Lourey has another new thriller coming out soon. Jess Lourey shines on small town Minnesota thrillers and Litani is no different!

The story surrounds fourteen year old Frankie Jubilee in the early 1980s. Frankie is sent to live with her estranged mother after her father dies, uprooting the teenager to smalltown Li
Carlene Inspired
Find this review and others at Carlene Inspired and on Bookstagram.

Another profound, well-written novel from Jess Lourey, the new queen of secrets. Litani is Jess' first novel based on a true crime, but like her other works it takes place in a small Minnesota town. Frankie, our narrator, is just 14 and she's experienced plenty in her life. She's thrust into her mother's home after her father's passing, but her mom doesn't hold her with warmth, rather she warns her of the adults. Only play with c
Jun 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021, netgalley-2021
Frankie is a feisty 14 year old in 1984 who just lost her dear father and has to go and live with her estranged mother in a small town, at a time when there are rumors of satanic rituals involving child sacrifices, which her mother investigates as she is the local prosecutor.
All through the book I rooted for Frankie as she had some much going against her in a world with no friends nor family, expected to root in a hostile environment where crazyness happens. A true pagetuner, I've read this boo
Nov 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Litani is another book that I started, set aside and came back to because I love the author and knew better than let this one go past me. I was right - I was just in a mood because Litani is a fabulous book, wonderfully written and an enlightening read!

Litani is a small northern midwest town caught up in the hyper frenzy of a cult based witch hunt against child molesters/kidnappers/ satanists. Based loosely on truth and compilation of stories from the author's past, Litani is the tale of one yo
Jamele (BookswithJams)
This was my first read by Jess Lourey and I absolutely loved it. It was an amazing thriller that was not what I expected, but it turned out to be quite a story that I read in one sitting. Frankie Jubilee has come to Litani, MN to live with her estranged mother, and they do not reunite as one might think. Combine that with the weird stuff that is going on with the town itself, and Frankie is wondering what in the world she has gotten herself into. Then a group of girls try to bully her into playi ...more
Nov 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
Jess Lourey is quickly becoming one of my favorite thriller authors. Very much in the vein of Karin Slaughter, Lourey doesn’t shy away from telling stories about dark, gritty, and ugly crimes. Her previous book, Bloodline, was a wild ride with a big unexpected turn - this one wasn’t quite on that level for me but it was still fantastically told. She does a great job at building characters and making you care about their stories.
DNF - too disturbing for me.
Suesyn Zellmer
Jun 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Definitely not an easy story to read, but one that will leave a lasting impression. Frankie is a 14 year old girl who moves back to Litani, Minnesota, to be with her mother after her father passed away. She has been living with him in California for the past 9 years since they were divorced. After a disastrous first visit when she was seven, she hasn't been back. She barely knows her mother and is hoping that somehow they can develop the warm and loving relationship she has always wanted - but s ...more
Krissy (books_and_biceps9155)
Sep 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
After reading and loving the heck out of Bloodline I knew I needed to read Litani and could not wait! Thank you to @netgalley for my advance copy !

Set in the rural Midwest in 1984, Litani is inspired by a true crime. First a warning-this book is extremely dark. It has child abuse/ and sexual abuse content that may make you feel uncomfortable and remember how I said it was based on a true crime-YIKES! I am drawn to books about cults and satanic rituals so I knew that this would be to my likely an
Nicole Wuthering Vines
Satanic cult? Inspired by a chilling true crime?! SIGN ME UP!

As soon as I read Lourey’s author note in the beginning, I was immediately intrigued and hooked! While incredibly dark and disturbing, I was truly fascinated from start to finish. The main topic of child sexual abuse can be a little heavy at times but definitely worth sticking it out!

I found it to be very well paced and the intensity of it made it hard to put down! I can’t wait to read more from her!
Oct 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
Litani by Jess Lourey ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

When Frankie moves to Litani, Minnesota to live with her estranged mom she knows from the very beginning something is not right about the town. The kids talk about “The Game” and hysteria is running through the community.

This was a pretty solid small town mystery. The “city to small town girl solving a mystery” isn’t new, but the story was still unique. The main character loves plants and makes the other characters into plant caricatures. It’s hard to explain but i
Ashley (book_grams)
Sep 27, 2021 rated it liked it
This is my first Jess Lourey book and I’m excited to read her earlier release, Bloodline, next.

This novel takes place in 1984 Minnesota and follows fourteen year old Frankie Jubilee. After her father’s death, Frankie goes to live with her mother, a tough county prosecutor, in small town Litani. Frankie soon learns that Litani isn’t the quaint small town it seems to be when she hears whisperings of a satanic cult preying on young children.

The story is told from Frankie’s POV which I think was a
Oct 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021

Find this review at Forever Lost in Literature!

I was born in the '90s, so I didn't really learn about the Satanic Panic of the '80s until a while after it occurred, and I've found it an incredibly interesting phenomenon. I was really excited and curious about Litani when it was brought to my attention, and I had no idea what a creepy, horrifying, yet immensely well-written story I was in for. This was a somewhat slower burn of a read, yet it still felt like a page-turner for me. Litani is o
I was reading this book in my couch by the window and it wasn’t the cold weather that gave me chills. I can easily say this is one of the best books I’ve read this year! Jess, you did it again. Thank you so much for sharing the arc.

Frankie is a teenager who moves to the rural Minnesota from Pasadena, California to live with her mother after her father passed away. She carries a grave secret, she thinks she killed her own father. But moving to a new town doesn’t make things easier since Litani i
Oct 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021netgalley
Ever since I read Unspeakable Things, if I see a new Jess Lourey book, I don't even read the description to know I want it! She does such a great job putting her own fictional spin on true life events. Litani is no exception as I kept looking over my shoulder because of all the strange, creepy, and downright evil things that happen in this town.
Frankie hasn't been back to her mother's house in Litani since she was seven years old. She lives with her father in California, and let me just say that
Susan Acosta
Jun 08, 2021 rated it liked it
In Litani, we follow Francesca Jubilee who after her father's passing is forced to move in with her estranged mother. From the beginning we see Litani is not a city like any other and seems to be guarding some very dark secrets, what are they and who could be involved? I want to say that I think this book is very well written and so I'd rate it more of a 3.5 than just a 3. I think the story sucks you in, I guess I just wanted a bit more from it, perhaps a bit more mystery? I felt like it was mis ...more
Darcia Helle
Litani was high on my list of fall books to be excited about. Unfortunately, I was disappointed.

Pacing is slow, with lots of young teen drama that feels juvenile for the ages and situation.

Frankie (Francesca), our MC, is an incredibly naive, immature 14 year old. Her behavior is unrealistic for her age, especially considering her independence and earlier role taking care of her father. Her character lacks believability and the spark of personality.

Frankie’s mother is over-the-top unlikable with
Jun 30, 2021 marked it as to-read
Shelves: to-review
I love the true crime angle this author takes with their stories.
I'm excited to read this one!

A huge thank you to the author and publisher for providing an e-ARC via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion regarding the book.
Diane Merritt
Based on true events always makes a book more interesting.
Well written and creepy. Wasn't a book.that kept me enthralled to not put it down. Took a lot to get me to get through this book. The main character was just ok. And nothing totally drew me in.
This is my first book by this author but her writing is great I would like to read something else from her.

Thanks to the author the publisher and NetGalley for an early release of this book.
Madhuri Sridhara
Jun 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Firstly, I'd like to thank Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for the advance copy of the ebook.

Definitely another gem by Jess Lourey. Told through the POV of brave and goofy Frankie, we see the suffocating town of Litani and the terrible things that are happening there. The novel works because of Frankie and the children. I was once again transported to my teenage years reading this novel; all the good and bad that comes with childhood is perfectly captured by Lourey.

The story is a page turner and
Nov 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book had a wild history. I couldn’t believe the authors note and immediately wanted to read it all the more. I loved how the author had such a personal connection to the story, while growing up a few towns away. The details she put into this book definitely didn’t go unnoticed and ones I won’t forget about when thinking back to this book. Annie’s house for example. I can still picture the wicker and see how uncomfortable Frankie was on it when she sat. It was the little things like that, th ...more
Liana Ashley
Jun 05, 2021 rated it liked it

Litani is a page-turning perfect for readers who tire of thrillers hinging on one huge twist. Although the novel is fairly predictable, the plot feels quite realistic as Lourey was inspired by true events to write this piece. She is a wonderful writer whose prose is compelling, drawing the reader into the story from the very first page and often ending chapters on cliffhangers.

Lourey also crafts equally intriguing and vile characters, never shying away from dark themes and dysfunctional par
Meghan (TheBookGoblin)
*ARC received in exchange for an honest review.*

I think the writing in Litani was very good, and the characters were very clear and fleshed-out. I liked the story too and this probably would have been a 4 star book if it hadn't GIVEN THE ENTIRE STORY AWAY in the Author's Note at the very beginning of the book. I knew this was based on a true story, but that's all that should have been written at the beginning. Leave the Author's Note about the story to the end. It really ruined the whole thing f
Aug 02, 2021 rated it liked it
Thanks to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for this arc, which I received in exchange for an honest review. Here is that review:

3.5 stars

Oh, this is a tough read because of the themes and motifs, but it's well constructed and has some strong points, too. Any contemplative reader should REALLY think about their potential reactions to the subject matter. Even those who have a high tolerance for tough material and no personal connections will find this challenging to complete.

Frankie, the m.c., is
Savitri (IG: bookishcatsavant)
Thank you to the author and publisher for gifting me an advance copy!
I was introduced to Jess Lourey’s thrillers when I read her second book, 𝐁𝐥𝐨𝐨𝐝𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐞, that was 5 stars. Lourey has a unique style where her thrillers are slow burns with a constant sense of foreboding as you keep turning the pages. You know, like those violins with constant dissonant chords in movies’ backgrounds? That’s how I feel when I read her books. 𝗟𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗶 gives you the same eerie feeling. You keep turning the page and yo
Oct 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book was kind of a roller coaster for me. I started off loving it. It had such an ominous, foreboding vibe, and I was instantly sucked in. I also loved the 80’s setting. There were times though where the writing just felt a little “off” to me. I couldn’t really put my finger on what exactly was bothering me about it, it just felt like the writing style was a bit weird and confusing at times. It was enough to start turning me off the book. That, and the dark uncomfortable subject matter. All ...more
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Hi, folks! While I write across genres, there's one universal connecting all my books: secrets. I grew up in a house full of 'em, and I remain fascinated by the thoughts and actions we hide from the world.

My beginnings as an author were pretty grim, something I speak about in my TEDx Talk ( I've come a long way since that first book, and I'm proud to call myself an Am

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