sistersI’m not even going to begin this review by talking about what a great writer Megan Kelley Hall is, or how gorgeous the cover is for SOM, or even what a wonderful, lovely person Megan is to talk to.  I’m just going to cut right to the chase.

This book killed me.  It’s one of the ONLY YA titles in the past year that I wished I’d written myself.

About SISTERS OF MISERY:

There are some girls who have everything…

She has the right clothes, the right friends, and the right last name, but fifteen-year-old Maddie Crane sometimes feels like an outsider in her clique in the wealthy, seaside town of Hawthorne, Massachusetts. And when her gorgeous, eccentric cousin Cordelia LeClaire moves to town, Maddie is drawn toward her ethereal, magical spirit and teeters even more toward the edge of her friends’ tightly-knit circle…

Then there are the jealous ones…

Kate Endicott and the Sisters of Misery—a secret clique of the most popular, powerful girls in school—are less than thrilled by Cordelia’s arrival. When Kate’s on-again, off-again boyfriend Trevor takes an interest in Cordelia, the Sisters of Misery become determined to make her pay…

Now Maddie must choose between the allure and power of the Sisters of Misery and her loyalty to her beloved cousin. But she’ll have to give up on ever fitting in and accept the disturbing truth about the town, her friends, her mysterious cousin, and even herself as she faces the terrifying wrath of the Sisters of Misery…

About Megan:

meganblackandwhiteMegan Kelley Hall, 34, freelance writer and literary publicist living in Swampscott, Massachusetts, is currently represented by Elisabeth Weed of Weed Literary in NYC with her first YA novel, SISTERS OF MISERY.

Hall regularly writes articles for a variety of local and national magazines and publications, including Elle, Glamour, Boston Magazine, Parenting, American Baby, Working Mother, The Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Better Homes and Gardens.com, More.com, Ladies Home Journal.com, New England Bride, MetroSports, Parents and Kids, The AKC Gazette and various online publications.

She studied creative writing at Skidmore College under the Pulitzer-Prize winning author Steven Millhauser. Hall is also writing a non-fiction memoir about her recent open heart surgery, as well as her life as a cancer survivor, her partial vision loss and the premature birth of her very healthy and happy four year old daughter Piper Elizabeth. The memoir is tentatively entitled, BLINDED BY LOOKING AT THE BRIGHT SIDE. Hall was also the editorial consultant for The Official TV Guide Collectors Guide.

She opened Kelley & Hall Book Publicity and Promotion (www.kelleyandhall.com) with her mother, Gloria Kelley, and sister, Jocelyn Maeve Kelley, over a few years ago and has run very successful campaigns for authors, including New York Time’s best-selling author Jacquelyn Mitchard.

I am a sucker for a great suspense tale.  When I was a teenager I devoured the novels of Lois Duncan–particularly SUMMER OF FEAR–a book which still resonates in the back of my mind as one of the most spine-chilling, Young Adult works of suspense I’ve even had the pleasure of reading.Even long after I finished it–hell, even now, many years later–the thought of that book still sends an icy shiver of fear down my spine, and produces an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. SISTERS OF MISERY is the first work of YA suspense I’ve read since SOF that has generated the same fear and fascination in me as a reader.  I read SOM in one day, unable to put it down for longer than the time it took to make a sandwich, or run to the bathroom. I was seriosuly obsessed–I don’t think I even checked my email until I was done, and, for me, that’s really saying something . . .

What make SOM sing is not only Kelley Hall’s obvious gifts as  a writer, her ability to craft a story that races along breathlessly toward a chilling climax, but the depth of her characterization.  I felt that I KNEW Maddie, and even Kate Endicott.  I particularly enjoyed the fact that Hall isn’t afraid to make Kate a true villain in the purest sense.  Kate Endicott doesn’t have a remorseful body in her scheming, conniving body, and to create a character like that takes guts.  Megan Kelley Hall doesn’t care if we like Kate, admire her, or outright despise her–she refuses to cater to the desires and preferences of her audience, and thus creates a uncompromising villain who drew me into the creepy, bonechilling world of Misery Island from the very first sentence, to the breathtaking final pages.

Pick up this book and proceed to devour it.  You won’t regret it.

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