Melanie's Reviews > Black Bird of the Gallows

Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel
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bookshelves: arc, fantasy, paranormal, young-adult, read-in-2017, romance, magic, shifters

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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“Stay away from the bees.”

Black Bird of the Gallows is a debut standalone paranormal YA romance that reads like a mixture of Candyman meets The Birds meets Twilight. (And I mean that mashup in the best way possible!)







“The energy flows over me, fills me, and none of it feels tainted, contaminated by the darkness of my mother’s mistakes.”

Angie Dovage lives in a small town in southwest Pennsylvania and is counting down the days of her senior year of high school, so she can finally graduate and escape the small town that won’t let her forget her childhood. She is living with her father, making music with her two best friends, and trying to ignore that past that still haunts her. That is, until a new boy moves in next door and makes her realize there may be more to her small sleepy town than anyone realizes.

Reece is not your regular human boy, but is also harboring a secret that will change Angie’s world forever. Together they are trying to uncover the fate of their small town, while also learning to trust one other and overcoming their own personal fears.

“If you had asked me a few weeks ago, I’d have said magic is impossible. Irrational. Just considering its existence in this world is insane. But I saw bees crawl out of a man’s mouth. I saw him change faces like pages of a book.”

This book has a dark and spooky vibe throughout its entirety. The writing is beautiful and for sure helps create this haunted aesthetic vibe, which I loved. This book feels and reads very much like a mystery thriller, even though it is for sure a paranormal romance. Also, I feel like the story itself was just super unique.

“I endured two centuries of horrors, and maybe it was all so I could be here with you. If my unnatural existence means nothing else, it means this. I get to be here, now, with you.”

I had a little problem with the romance in this book, and how fast and instant it seemed to be. The story later addresses this with more back content, but that addition just made me feel a little creeped out. I also felt like the ending was a little too easy and convenient for my liking, as well. But those were the only two issues I really had. Besides those, this was a really enjoyable read.

I do think it’s important to note that this book centers around death a lot. So, trigger warnings for talk of death, child abuse, and a minor plot point that surrounds a school shooting. Yes, this is a YA novel, but the nature of this book definitely deals with some dark subject matters, so please go into this book knowing that.

I completely recommend this, especially for a fun Halloween paranormal read! I really enjoyed Angie’s friendships with Deno and Lacey and then her parental relationship with her father. Also, I love that this is a standalone, because those are so unheard of nowadays, especially in the paranormal genre. This is a quick and easy read that would be super enjoyable for the fall season. And I will definitely read future books by Meg Kassel, because of this wonderful debut.

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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.
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Reading Progress

August 7, 2017 – Shelved
August 7, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
August 8, 2017 – Shelved as: arc
August 8, 2017 – Shelved as: fantasy
August 8, 2017 – Shelved as: paranormal
August 8, 2017 – Shelved as: young-adult
September 12, 2017 – Started Reading
September 12, 2017 – Shelved as: read-in-2017
September 12, 2017 – Shelved as: romance
September 19, 2017 – Shelved as: magic
September 19, 2017 – Shelved as: shifters
September 19, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-11 of 11 (11 new)

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message 1: by Elise (new)

Elise (TheBookishActress) oh I really hope you like this!! It looked kind of intriguing 😄


Melanie Elise wrote: "oh I really hope you like this!! It looked kind of intriguing 😄"

I was on the fence about requesting it, but I was a little too intrigued to let it pass me by! Hehe. I will let you know, and I hope you're having a better day, love! 💖xx


Melanie Maddie wrote: "Happy reading pretty lady 😇💞"

Thank you, Maddie! This was for sure a 3.5ish read, and super enjoyable for the fall! Hopefully my review does it justice tomorrow! Hehe! 💖xx


message 4: by Kayla (new)

Kayla Brunson After reading your review I just ordered this from my library. I can’t wait till it arrives!


Melanie Kayla wrote: "After reading your review I just ordered this from my library. I can’t wait till it arrives!"

I hope you love it, Kayla! I can't wait to read your review for it! 💗xx


Nissa | Of Pens and Pages Book Blog Wonderful review, Melanie! :) xx


Melanie Nissa | Of Pens and Pages Book Blog wrote: "Wonderful review, Melanie! :) xx"

Thank you so much, Nissa! 💗xx


message 8: by L.P. (new) - added it

L.P. Logan Want!


Melanie L.P. wrote: "Want!"

It's such a good Halloween read! I hope you enjoy it, LP! 💗xx


Kayla Gallup Great review. I’m getting this book in my PageHabit box tomorrow and am excited for a book that is creepy in time for the October month.


SueBee★bring me an alpha!★ Excellent review Melanie! xoxo


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