Review: Unspeakable Things by Jess Lourey @jesslourey


Release date: January 1, 2020

Publisher: Thomas and Mercer

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


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 and their parade of deviant guests, but she’s grown accustomed to them.

All that changes when someone comes hunting in Lilydale.

One by one, local boys go missing. One by one, they return changed—violent, moody, and withdrawn. What happened to them becomes the stuff of shocking rumors. The accusations of who’s responsible grow just as wild, and dangerous town secrets start to surface. Then Cassie’s own sister undergoes the dark change. If she is to survive, Cassie must find her way in an adult world where every sin is justified, and only the truth is unforgivable. 


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 what’s going on in her town. Terrifying, right? It’s also inspired by true events making it all the more creepy!

This one went super dark, and had an overall sense of foreboding, hints of menace and just the general feeling that something was off. I found it to be atmospheric and eerie and really emotional all at the same time. It almost had a literary feel to it as the author has a beautiful way with words and the angst and emotional turmoil Cassie was facing added so much depth and heartbreak to a really gripping story.

The ending of this wasn’t my favorite, I was disappointed until I found out the author had originally written an epilogue then decided to pull it before publication. She has it up on her website and after reading it and getting some more firm answers I was satisfied. Don’t read it first though, there are huge spoilers for the book. Other than that minor gripe that was easily resolved for me I really enjoyed this one.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the author for my review copy.

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