Resurrection Girls by Ava Morgyn
Olivia Foster hasn’t felt alive since her little brother drowned in the backyard pool three years ago. Then Kara Hallas moves in across the street with her mother and grandmother, and Olivia is immediately drawn to these three generations of women. Kara is particularly intoxicating, so much so that Olivia not only comes to accept Kara’s morbid habit of writing to men on death row, she helps her do it. They sign their letters as the Resurrection Girls.
But as Kara’s friendship pulls Olivia out of the dark fog she’s been living in, Olivia realizes that a different kind of darkness taints the otherwise lively Hallas women—an impulse that is strange, magical, and possibly deadly.
Every year, I try to get out of my comfort zone and read something a little spooky for Halloween. So, when I saw Resurrection Girls by Ava Morgyn floating around my bookstagram feed I thought I’d give it a try. I’ll admit I didn’t know anything about it, but the cover has a skeletal hand, which to me screams “spooky season”. Guys, I was wrong. This book does have its moments that left me feeling uneasy, but overall it is just a depressing and confusing story.
Resurrection Girls is mainly about the aftermath of tragedy, and how people try to cope with loss. Olivia is a 16-year-old girl, who lost her three-year-old brother in a drowning accident three years prior. Olivia has not dealt with her grief and stays holed up in her bedroom, unable to face the world outside. Her mother pops prescription pills for anxiety, depression, and pain. They do not help her in any way, and instead she has become a zombie-like drug addict. Olivia’s father works long hours and tries to sweep the pain and suffering under the rug. No one in this family has faced their grief head-on or in a healthy manner, and the family is suffering. The parents do not have a relationship with each other, and Olivia, too, feels alone in her grief. She craves her parents’ attention, even if it is negative.
When a new family moves into the home across the street on the anniversary of her brother’s death, Olivia is sent over to welcome them to the neighborhood. There, Olivia meets a family, consisting of three generations of women. There is the strange grandmother who is blind (but seems to see Olivia more clearly than anyone has in years), the mother, and then there is Kara. Kara is the teenage daughter, and the best way I can describe this girl is reckless. She lies, steals, and always gets her way even if it’s at the expense of other people’s feelings. We all know those people. They are so magnetic, but deep down you know they’re no good for you. Well, Olivia knew, but at the same time, Kara was pulling her out of her grief, encouraging her to find answers, and leading her to confront her parents about the death of her brother — as well as confronting them on how they were doing a pretty crap job at parenting and overcoming their own grief. So in the process, she overlooked Kara’s shortcomings.
There’s a whole second storyline surrounding Kara and her odd family that I barely touched on because I don’t want to spoil this book, and yes, it includes the letters, but I’m not even sure the letters were necessary to the plot. This storyline just baffled me, and in my opinion, should have been scrapped. To me, it seemed that the only important story that needed to be told was that of overcoming grief and tragedy. But then again, that’s just my opinion, and someone else may read this same book and hope for the opposite, because this book is honestly two tales twisted together. Yes, there are moments where they collide, but it isn’t seamless, and mostly left me feeling uneasy and confused.
In the end, I definitely believe there is someone out there that will think this book is a five star read, especially if they enjoy dark reads dealing with death, but y’all, that just isn’t me.