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The Valley and the Flood

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Rose Colter is almost home, but she can't go back there yet. When her car breaks down in the Nevada desert, the silence of the night is broken by a radio broadcast of a voicemail message from her best friend, Gaby. A message Rose has listened to countless times over the past year. The last one Gaby left before she died. So Rose follows the lights from the closest radio towe Rose Colter is almost home, but she can't go back there yet. When her car breaks down in the Nevada desert, the silence of the night is broken by a radio broadcast of a voicemail message from her best friend, Gaby. A message Rose has listened to countless times over the past year. The last one Gaby left before she died. So Rose follows the lights from the closest radio tower to Lotus Valley, a small town where prophets are a dime a dozen, secrets lurk in every shadow, and the diner pie is legendary. And according to Cassie Cyrene, the town's third most accurate prophet, they've been waiting for her. Because Rose's arrival is part of a looming prophecy, one that says a flood will destroy Lotus Valley in just three days' time. Rose believes if the prophecy comes true then it will confirm her worst fear--the PTSD she was diagnosed with after Gaby's death has changed her in ways she can't face. So with help from new friends, Rose sets out to stop the flood, but her connection to it, and to this strange little town, runs deeper than she could've imagined.


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Rose Colter is almost home, but she can't go back there yet. When her car breaks down in the Nevada desert, the silence of the night is broken by a radio broadcast of a voicemail message from her best friend, Gaby. A message Rose has listened to countless times over the past year. The last one Gaby left before she died. So Rose follows the lights from the closest radio towe Rose Colter is almost home, but she can't go back there yet. When her car breaks down in the Nevada desert, the silence of the night is broken by a radio broadcast of a voicemail message from her best friend, Gaby. A message Rose has listened to countless times over the past year. The last one Gaby left before she died. So Rose follows the lights from the closest radio tower to Lotus Valley, a small town where prophets are a dime a dozen, secrets lurk in every shadow, and the diner pie is legendary. And according to Cassie Cyrene, the town's third most accurate prophet, they've been waiting for her. Because Rose's arrival is part of a looming prophecy, one that says a flood will destroy Lotus Valley in just three days' time. Rose believes if the prophecy comes true then it will confirm her worst fear--the PTSD she was diagnosed with after Gaby's death has changed her in ways she can't face. So with help from new friends, Rose sets out to stop the flood, but her connection to it, and to this strange little town, runs deeper than she could've imagined.

30 review for The Valley and the Flood

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    ONE MORE UPDATE 10/21/20: Release date is now 2/23/21! Update your calendars! UPDATE 8/28/20: VALLEY's release date has changed to 12/8/20! The release date should be updated here shortly, but just a heads-up! Hi friends! Thank you so much for your interest in THE VALLEY AND THE FLOOD! If you'd like to read an excerpt, you can find one here: http://www.penguinteen.com/cover-reve... Second of all, just a note on content: non-spoilery, but if you'd like to go in without expectations, avert your eyes ONE MORE UPDATE 10/21/20: Release date is now 2/23/21! Update your calendars! UPDATE 8/28/20: VALLEY's release date has changed to 12/8/20! The release date should be updated here shortly, but just a heads-up! Hi friends! Thank you so much for your interest in THE VALLEY AND THE FLOOD! If you'd like to read an excerpt, you can find one here: http://www.penguinteen.com/cover-reve... Second of all, just a note on content: non-spoilery, but if you'd like to go in without expectations, avert your eyes now! VALLEY is, first and foremost, a story about trauma's effect on both your memory and your sense of self. My protagonist, Rose, has PTSD, and multiple characters contend with trauma in one way or another. My #1 goal when writing just about anything is to portray my characters' mental health in a way that's both honest and gentle. Both galley and finished copies will have the following content note in the copyright page: THE VALLEY AND THE FLOOD contains depictions of anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder, including several scenes of panic attacks and a brief description of violent intrusive thoughts. That said, I know triggers are very personal, and that you may have questions before going in! I now have questions turned on, and you are welcome to either ask me there, or head to my contact form at https://www.rebeccamahoneybooks.com/c.... My goal is to make myself scarce here, but I'll check questions at least once a week! Thank you so much again, and I hope you enjoy your stay in Lotus Valley!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Angela Staudt

    Thank you PenguinTeen and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. First off, have you ever seen such a beautiful and unique cover?? That is what immediately drew me in to this book and I wanted to know what it was about. I really loved how the author used magical realism to explore PTSD and trauma. I did enjoy the story, but it was quite weird. The author embraced the weirdness and made it work. I loved how beautiful the writing was and almost put me in a trance if that makes sense Thank you PenguinTeen and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. First off, have you ever seen such a beautiful and unique cover?? That is what immediately drew me in to this book and I wanted to know what it was about. I really loved how the author used magical realism to explore PTSD and trauma. I did enjoy the story, but it was quite weird. The author embraced the weirdness and made it work. I loved how beautiful the writing was and almost put me in a trance if that makes sense. I had to really focus and get totally immersed in the book to understand everything that was happening because we get flashbacks and just so many weird points as well. This book had me feeling all the emotions because I felt for the main character and her trauma from losing her best friend. I just really really loved the unique plot of a girl who lost her best friend, getting stranded in the desert, finding a random town and finding out that she is like a prophet and the town is going to have a flood and they have been expecting her. I don't really want to say anything else because I went into it knowing hardly anything and it made it really beautiful and lovely. The only thing I have to say is while I loved it, at the end I wasn't attached to any of the characters. It did make me feel sadness and I loved the premise, but not totally in love with it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Diana | Book of Secrets

    ✦ YA Magical Realism ✦ THE VALLEY AND THE FLOOD was a strange book. It was like a weird dream that sometimes makes sense and other times you can't figure out what's going on. Since her best friend Gaby's death, Rose has suffered from PTSD, anxiety, and panic attacks. Driving through the Nevada desert one night, Rose's car breaks down, and she hears a familiar voicemail messages playing over the radio. This leads Rose to a town called Lotus Valley, where she finds out from the quirky locals that he ✦ YA Magical Realism ✦ THE VALLEY AND THE FLOOD was a strange book. It was like a weird dream that sometimes makes sense and other times you can't figure out what's going on. Since her best friend Gaby's death, Rose has suffered from PTSD, anxiety, and panic attacks. Driving through the Nevada desert one night, Rose's car breaks down, and she hears a familiar voicemail messages playing over the radio. This leads Rose to a town called Lotus Valley, where she finds out from the quirky locals that her arrival is part of a prophecy about a flood that will destroy everything. I appreciate how the author presented Rose's struggles with PTSD and her grief over Gaby's death, both realistically and through magical realism. The beginning of the book hooked me right away, but it wasn't until 70% or so that things started making sense and the pieces of the puzzle clicked together. Up until that point, some of it was downright confusing and frustrating. This is an emotional journey for Rose, who ultimately just wants to make it home, but she has to face the prophecy first. ✦ Borrowed from the library ✦

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    The Valley and the Flood uses magical realism and metaphor as a way of exploring grief and PTSD. It's an interesting idea and I like a lot of what the book is doing, although I was never able to fully connect with the narrative and some of the turns it took later in the book were a little strange to me. Rose Colter is on the run, grieving the death of her best friend a year ago, struggling with sever anxiety and PTSD. Her car dies in the desert and a mysterious recording leads her to a strange s The Valley and the Flood uses magical realism and metaphor as a way of exploring grief and PTSD. It's an interesting idea and I like a lot of what the book is doing, although I was never able to fully connect with the narrative and some of the turns it took later in the book were a little strange to me. Rose Colter is on the run, grieving the death of her best friend a year ago, struggling with sever anxiety and PTSD. Her car dies in the desert and a mysterious recording leads her to a strange small town filled with prophecies of a coming flood, humans with difficult stories, and beings that aren't human but are born of change and destruction. Rose is the subject of a prophecy that a flood will follow her and destroy the town. The book often has a dreamlike quality with flashbacks and other things involving memory. It's decidedly pro-therapy and I love that it's dealing with the aftermath of trauma in such a tangible way. However, when we get some revelations at the end it really didn't go the direction I was expecting given all of the buildup, which made it feel a little anticlimactic. I can't talk much about that without getting into spoilers, but throughout the book I felt more detached emotionally than I would want to be from this sort of story. I hoped that the ending would really click that into place, but it kind of had the opposite effect? I'm sorry if that's vague but it's a difficult book to talk about without spoiling it, not to mention the dreamlike quality. I did really like the characters in the town. They were interesting and unexpected and the narrative is gentle with the pain people experience. Which was lovely. The case of characters is diverse and the overall story is one of hope and healing. Not what I was expecting or quite what I was hoping for, but still a pretty good book. I received an advance copy of this book for review via NetGalley. All opinions are my own. Content warnings include depictions of grief, panic attacks, anxiety etc.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Glenn Marsh

    Official comments: Refreshingly, wholly original, THE VALLEY AND THE FLOOD will haunt you long after you turn the final page. A beautiful triumph of a debut. Unofficial comments: This completely blew me away. There's some A+ queer rep in here (incl. gay and nonbinary) and every page simmers with emotion. As for the plot? It was all new to me, not predictable in the slightest. I couldn't put this book down, and I feel certain this is a reading experience I'll never forget. I can't wait for whateve Official comments: Refreshingly, wholly original, THE VALLEY AND THE FLOOD will haunt you long after you turn the final page. A beautiful triumph of a debut. Unofficial comments: This completely blew me away. There's some A+ queer rep in here (incl. gay and nonbinary) and every page simmers with emotion. As for the plot? It was all new to me, not predictable in the slightest. I couldn't put this book down, and I feel certain this is a reading experience I'll never forget. I can't wait for whatever Rebecca writes next!!!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Renata

    FULL DISCLOSURE Rebecca is a friend of mine (though I got this ARC from NetGalley) and I was a little nervous to read this book because what if I didn't like it and I'd just have to pretend like I never got around to reading it I guess?! But luckily that was NOT the case. It got off to a little bit of a slow start for me but once Rose gets to Lotus Valley I was captivated. This is such a beautiful, magical exploration of grief and trauma. It reminded me a little of Night Vale but like...less qui FULL DISCLOSURE Rebecca is a friend of mine (though I got this ARC from NetGalley) and I was a little nervous to read this book because what if I didn't like it and I'd just have to pretend like I never got around to reading it I guess?! But luckily that was NOT the case. It got off to a little bit of a slow start for me but once Rose gets to Lotus Valley I was captivated. This is such a beautiful, magical exploration of grief and trauma. It reminded me a little of Night Vale but like...less quirky or whatever. Gorgeous and surprising. (view spoiler)[Also honestly I was pleasantly surprised because I really thought Rose's secret trauma w/r/t Nick was going to turn out to be sexual assault, which is of course traumatic and of course something a lot of people experience, but IDK it was sort of...nice??? that it actually wasn't that. Also I appreciated that it's a book about the trauma of the death of a friend rather than a romantic relationship or whatever--which, again, is also obviously a real trauma that affects people but it's nice to have, you know, variety in traumas represented in literature. (hide spoiler)]

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cori McCarthy

    First off, I want to thank Penguinteen for sending me this book through NetGalley for review! This book explored the depths of trauma, painful memories, grief, and PTSD. This was a book that I wasn’t 100% sure I was going to like, but it pleasantly took me by surprise. This book brought lose, but it also brought the ideas of hope as well. Even though this book had fantastical elements in it, the emotions and message of the book were so real and deep. The characters in this book were so deep and First off, I want to thank Penguinteen for sending me this book through NetGalley for review! This book explored the depths of trauma, painful memories, grief, and PTSD. This was a book that I wasn’t 100% sure I was going to like, but it pleasantly took me by surprise. This book brought lose, but it also brought the ideas of hope as well. Even though this book had fantastical elements in it, the emotions and message of the book were so real and deep. The characters in this book were so deep and intricate, and I found myself feeling connected to a lot of the characters found in this story. I am glad I gave this story a chance, and I highly recommend picking this book up! Make sure to mark your calendars for February 22, 2021 for when this book releases! Final Rating: 4/5 Stars ⭐️

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    3.5/5 stars First off, I want to thank Penguin Teen for sending me this book through NetGalley for review! This book surprised me. It's hard to give a summary but think prophecies, memories, shadow(?) creatures, and lot's of dealing with trauma. Of course like the name of the title there is a flood that threatens the valley but I don't wanna say much more than that because I'm sure the blurbs for this book are better than anything I could have written. Please look at trigger warnings before readin 3.5/5 stars First off, I want to thank Penguin Teen for sending me this book through NetGalley for review! This book surprised me. It's hard to give a summary but think prophecies, memories, shadow(?) creatures, and lot's of dealing with trauma. Of course like the name of the title there is a flood that threatens the valley but I don't wanna say much more than that because I'm sure the blurbs for this book are better than anything I could have written. Please look at trigger warnings before reading this book. When I started it I was really thrown and had a hard time telling up from down but I think it's meant to be written like that to make us feel how our main character Rose Feels. I had a hard time getting into this book just because couldn't grasp what was going on and there was past and present moments that melted together. Obviously some is intentional and well done but some are just confusing. I also had a difficult time with knowing the characters until much later in the story. I thought Flora was Rose's friend until like 1/2 of the book had gone by. While the beginning was a little rough for me it really started to get good in the middle and I was fascinated by what was happening and what would happen next. This book made me quite emotional as we watch Rose deal with feelings of guilt, regret, and her past trauma. I think the concept for this book is really unique and although not exactly like "We Were Liars" I think if you liked that book you might like this. That being said I personally enjoyed this book more and thought it packed more of an emotional punch. My one critique is that while the magical realism is cool it leaves the story very confusing. A lot of things aren't exactly explained and I really didn't get what was happening until maybe 65% into the book. It was hard to keep track of the many different aspects of this book and I don't really think things came together until later. Overall, 3.5/5 stars and I would still recommend this book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    A Reader in Time

    Thank you so much to the publisher, Penguin Teen, for sending me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. I really really enjoyed this book and am still thinking about it after I've finished it!I will leave content warnings below if you would like to know before reading this book. I love that the author put content warnings in the beginning of the book, so helpful! CW: anxiety, PTSD, scenes of panic attacks and brief description of violent, intrusive thoughts that the MC has This bo Thank you so much to the publisher, Penguin Teen, for sending me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. I really really enjoyed this book and am still thinking about it after I've finished it!I will leave content warnings below if you would like to know before reading this book. I love that the author put content warnings in the beginning of the book, so helpful! CW: anxiety, PTSD, scenes of panic attacks and brief description of violent, intrusive thoughts that the MC has This book is one of the most unique YA contemporary / magical realism books that I have ever read. I love how the author explores grief and trauma through this "flood of memories" that the main character Rose goes through. It's so unique and I really enjoyed it. I appreciate that the book is very pro-therapists which is awesome to see in YA. I think more teens need to know this message and know that it is completely okay to go to a therapist if you need someone to talk to for any reason at all. There were some aspects of this book that I felt were not fully explained that I would have liked to have known more about but I still enjoyed this book regardless of those unexplained aspects. If you enjoy reading magical realism books that explore some darker topics such as grief and trauma, I would highly recommend this book. The writing is beautiful, the story itself is different and done really well and the characters are fun and entertaining to follow.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Adah Udechukwu

    I loved The Valley and the Flood. It was quite interesting.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    I mean, just LOOK at that cover!! it's absolutely stunning & weird & interesting and now I need this book in my immediately I mean, just LOOK at that cover!! it's absolutely stunning & weird & interesting and now I need this book in my immediately

  12. 4 out of 5

    Chloe

    *Spoiler free, who knows how many stars* I mean, with a cover and a synopsis like that, I was absolutely intrigued about this book. Though, at the same time, I wasn't sure of it. Books like these aren't ones that I usually gravitate before. But there was just something about this book. Maybe it was the combination that it sounded really cool, a girl who is destined to bring a flood to a small town, and the love I had seen for it online, but I knew that I wanted to give this book a shot. Trigger w *Spoiler free, who knows how many stars* I mean, with a cover and a synopsis like that, I was absolutely intrigued about this book. Though, at the same time, I wasn't sure of it. Books like these aren't ones that I usually gravitate before. But there was just something about this book. Maybe it was the combination that it sounded really cool, a girl who is destined to bring a flood to a small town, and the love I had seen for it online, but I knew that I wanted to give this book a shot. Trigger warnings: intrusive thoughts, PTSD, panic attacks There's just something about this book. It's hard to describe, but there's just something about. It's not a barb stuck to something, it's more like something that slips under your skin. There's just something about it. First off, this book is WEIRD. Like, it took multiple times to for me to get ordinated with what was happening. But, it embraces its weird. Though, at the same time, it just let it's weird happen. It fully knows it's weird, and it does not apologize for it. Another thing that makes this book as good as it is is the writing. It's just beautifully, spectacularly done. It does what it wants to do so carefully. It places the story gently in front of the reader, but it also doesn't hold back from the pain it holds. The pain is also what makes this book so good. This book is one that revolves around mental health; PTSD, anxiety, depression, grief, and everything that comes with them are highlighted. I do not feel qualified to talk about a lot of it, since it is tied so closely to PTSD, which I have no experienced. I just know that it was there, and it had a big impact. It's all about being alright, and how it's alright to not be alright, and that's ALRIGHT. It's alright to feel angry. It's alright to feel pain. It's alright to feel everything. It's even alright to be scared of those emotions. It's just alright. The characters were some that I didn't quite fall in love with, but ones that I respect. They're there, and I don't quite fully connect with them, because their emotions are so different than mine. But that's alright! Because I can understand them, and that's enough. Yes, I am very extremely vague about everything, but I feel like that's the best way to go into this book. I went in knowing very little, but the impact was extremely strong. It's a book that's weird, but still so good. It's a book that's full of pain, but is still hopeful. It's a book that's scary around the edges, but has a core of friendship and a journey towards healing. It's a very solidly good, very weird, overall amazing book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lydia

    There are some books that lay out the plot and other important details right from the start, and then there are others that lead you on through the chapters until you get enough information that you can start to piece together the story and what is really going on. I felt that The Valley and the Flood was definitely in the latter category, and I was a little confused as I began reading it, so don't be discouraged if you don't understand what this book is all about right from the beginning. The s There are some books that lay out the plot and other important details right from the start, and then there are others that lead you on through the chapters until you get enough information that you can start to piece together the story and what is really going on. I felt that The Valley and the Flood was definitely in the latter category, and I was a little confused as I began reading it, so don't be discouraged if you don't understand what this book is all about right from the beginning. The story begins with a bit of a mystery. Rose Colter's car is on the fritz, and it seems as though her phone and the radio in her car are as well. She's contemplating some decisions that she has recently made when all of a sudden, her car radio starts playing a voicemail off of her phone. Weird, right? Well, it turns out that this is just a little bit of the weirdness that is going to happen in this book, so prepare yourself for lots of other strange happenings. Against what might be her better judgement, Rose gets out of her car and starts walking towards some lights she sees in the distance, assuming it's a town and thinking she will find someone there to help her with her car troubles. Rose doesn't know what to expect in the near future, but it turns out, the lights are from a town and the town is expecting Rose. Throughout the story, Rose takes us through some of her past experiences and how they shape where she is now, which is a town called Lotus Valley (that may or may not be real). It is clear that Rose went through a major trauma and is still working through it, and perhaps stumbling across this town, and the people in it, is part of what will help her heal. Essentially, Rose is trying to figure out who she is without a very important person in her life, and what her life looks like without them. Looking back on my experience reading this book, I realized that throughout most of it, I wasn't really sure what was happening. Then I reached the end and came to a realization and lots of things made more sense. The Valley and the Flood has metaphors abounding if you look for them and has a really great lesson at the heart of it. Some of the emotional stuff that Rose is dealing with is really rough; however, the way it is portrayed is more of an adventure where she learns how strong she is along the way. Review of a Digital Advance Reading Copy from Edelweiss

  14. 5 out of 5

    Liz Friend

    The story: Escaping a painful encounter, Rose is driving from Las Vegas to LA when a breakdown leaves her stranded in the desert, with only the thinnest hope of rescue: a radio tower that somehow, chillingly, is repeating the final message her best friend Gaby left on Rose's phone before her death. Striking out for the unknown village of Lotus Valley, Rose arrives only to learn she is the subject of a prophecy that spells doom for the entire town. Along with the regular townsfolk, "neighbors" li The story: Escaping a painful encounter, Rose is driving from Las Vegas to LA when a breakdown leaves her stranded in the desert, with only the thinnest hope of rescue: a radio tower that somehow, chillingly, is repeating the final message her best friend Gaby left on Rose's phone before her death. Striking out for the unknown village of Lotus Valley, Rose arrives only to learn she is the subject of a prophecy that spells doom for the entire town. Along with the regular townsfolk, "neighbors" live in dark places and abandoned buildings; Rose learns that these beings are formed when an event occurs in someone's life that changes it forever. As the population of "neighbors" grows, so does their menace. And Rose, with her inability to deal with the changes in her own life, finds it nearly impossible to shoulder the burden of saving the town...along with her own sanity. June Cleaver's ratings: Language R; Violence PG; Sexual content PG; Nudity G; Substance abuse PG; Magic & the occult PG-13; GLBT content PG; adult themes PG-13 (grief, death of a close friend, unresolved trauma) PG-13; overall rating PG-13 (but the requirement for thinking intuitively makes this a better choice for grades 9-up). Liz's comments: Debut author Mahoney deals with themes of grief and loss in a Twilight-Zone setting where regular citizens accept the presence of spirit "neighbors" as part of their town's commitment to hospitality. She carefully ratchets up the tension: will Rose be able to accept the pain and shame of her own life-changing event and serve as a conduit to deflect destruction away from the good citizens of Lotus Valley, or will they literally drown beneath the weight of their shared experiences? In addition to Rose, interesting characters (not least The Flood, a conglomeration of past experiences riding the spirit of an ancient ocean, now long gone) abound here, including a collection of "prophets" who all hold a different piece of the puzzle...if they can be persuaded to share it, rather than holding on to their own self interest. VERDICT: Part mystery, part thriller, part horror-lite, this genre-bending story will be popular with many an older teen reader.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kera (featherboundbooks)

    The Valley and the Flood was a unique and beautifully written. It has been a year since the death of Rose’s best friend, Gaby, but she still talks to her. On a desolate Nevada road at night, when Rose’s car breaks down, she hears the very last voicemail her best friend had left her come through her car’s radio. Leaving her car behind, she heads into the nearby town. Lotus Valley is a strange place filled with prophets. And they have been waiting for her because apparently her arrival marks the br The Valley and the Flood was a unique and beautifully written. It has been a year since the death of Rose’s best friend, Gaby, but she still talks to her. On a desolate Nevada road at night, when Rose’s car breaks down, she hears the very last voicemail her best friend had left her come through her car’s radio. Leaving her car behind, she heads into the nearby town. Lotus Valley is a strange place filled with prophets. And they have been waiting for her because apparently her arrival marks the bringing of the flood that is supposed to wipe the town out. Over the course of the next few days, Rose makes some new friends, who all set out to stop this flood from happening. Not everyone is so welcoming though. And while she is dealing with this influx of new information, she is constantly trying to make sense of her past trauma; of the events that led up to the death of her best friend. Rose begins to see a connection to this town of Lotus Valley, and she must come to terms with all of the truths she uncovers and secrets that are unearthed. This was truly a beautiful novel. The path of self-discovery that Rose embarks on was incredible and at times, very painful. I was very invested in discovering the truth about what happened to Gaby and not only who was involved in her death, but in the realization of how responsible Rose feels. This was full of wonderful characters and some beautiful magical realism. And as the story progressed, I was increasingly more immersed in the journey. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to read a haunting and lovely tale about a young girl coming to terms with who she is and what she is capable of in the face of trauma and heartbreak.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Celia McMahon

    First and foremost, this story is about the effects of trauma and painful memories. The author portrays grief as a sentient thing, bringing our protagonist face to face with the pain she's been suppressing. Trigger warning for panic attacks, grief, violent episodes, and car accidents. Rose's car breaks down in the desert on her way from Nevada to LA and then she hears something on the radio that sounds oddly like the voice of her recently deceased best friend. She ends up in Lotus Valley where sh First and foremost, this story is about the effects of trauma and painful memories. The author portrays grief as a sentient thing, bringing our protagonist face to face with the pain she's been suppressing. Trigger warning for panic attacks, grief, violent episodes, and car accidents. Rose's car breaks down in the desert on her way from Nevada to LA and then she hears something on the radio that sounds oddly like the voice of her recently deceased best friend. She ends up in Lotus Valley where she confronts strange happenings which include a prophecy that foretells her arrival and the inevitable destruction of the town. But as she tries to save Lotus Valley, she begins to see what she's kept on lock and key-the the monumental grief that takes the form of monstrous things skulking in the shadows of her mind. This is built on a foundation of loss and takes you through Rose's trauma until it finally comes to a head. At first, I did not know where the book was heading. But the more I read, the more I understood what the author was going for and that made it all the more intriguing. This took me some of my own painful memories of being in a car accident that left me scarred for life. Although this book did not trigger me (I was in the second grade when it happened) it may affect others. Thank you Edelweiss and Razorbill for the e-arc

  17. 4 out of 5

    Leslie Baker

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I want to start by saying a huge thank you to Penguin Teen for the review copy of The Valley and the Flood by Rebecca Mahoney. ___________________________ “Most bad things happen without malice, y’know? They just happen. Storms never wish anyone harm. They just come and go.” - The Valley and the Flood , Rebecca Mahoney. ( quote may differ from final version) ___________________________ Rating: 3.5 🌟 Author: Rebecca Mahoney Publisher: Razorbill Release Date: 2/23/2021 __________________________ This r I want to start by saying a huge thank you to Penguin Teen for the review copy of The Valley and the Flood by Rebecca Mahoney. ___________________________ “Most bad things happen without malice, y’know? They just happen. Storms never wish anyone harm. They just come and go.” - The Valley and the Flood , Rebecca Mahoney. ( quote may differ from final version) ___________________________ Rating: 3.5 🌟 Author: Rebecca Mahoney Publisher: Razorbill Release Date: 2/23/2021 __________________________ This review will contain some spoilers so reader discretion is advised. The Valley and the Flood started off strong and I really enjoyed it. Unfortunately it did not stay that way. While I understand that the events took place over the course of a few days , the story was really dragged out. It felt extremely slow and at some parts even boring. That being said, Mahoney’s representation of mental illness was well done. I thought the way she described panic attacks to be accurate. While everyone experience is different it was explained quite well. The events that cause Rose to have PTSD, which leads to the episodes of anxiety, and panic attacks are kept somewhat hidden until closer to the end of the novel. What I believed happened to cause her PTSD, was completely off from what actually happened. I will admit while I did enjoy the supernatural aspect of this novel I also didn’t quite understand why they were there? Other than a physical representation of people’s traumas, anxiety’s, and other emotions. I will say my favorite “neighbors” were the ones from the movie theater, the reminded me of the Shoot Sprites from Spirited Away. Overall I did enjoy The Valley and the Flood, I do recommend it, and I would get a copy for myself/ my friends.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Izzie

    .... I’m so torn! Emotionally, this book was incredible. Craft wise? Not so much. I’ve never read a book with a character who has PTSD, definitely not a teenager anyway. And as a 21 year old with c-PTSD this really made me feel seen and I just related so hard. It just wasn’t plotted well, unfortunately. Full review to come!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    This book packs a more emotional punch than I was expecting given my indifference towards the narrative structure. I received an ecopy of this book through Netgalley; however, my opinions are my own.

  20. 4 out of 5

    MollyK

    Not gonna lie. Entered to win a copy cuz of the cover.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Lesperance

    This book blew me away. It's so wildly imaginative and so deeply weird in the best possible way. Think David Lynch, Twin Peaks, Twilight Zone, X Files, but with this amazing, poetic writing and a YA cast. The book explores trauma in a vivid and tangible way, and the protagonist goes through some real moments of emotional progress and understanding that are both painful and satisfying as she processes what happened to her. The neighbors are MY FAVORITE PART. I won't spoil what they are, but trust This book blew me away. It's so wildly imaginative and so deeply weird in the best possible way. Think David Lynch, Twin Peaks, Twilight Zone, X Files, but with this amazing, poetic writing and a YA cast. The book explores trauma in a vivid and tangible way, and the protagonist goes through some real moments of emotional progress and understanding that are both painful and satisfying as she processes what happened to her. The neighbors are MY FAVORITE PART. I won't spoil what they are, but trust me they are amazing and I yelled with creeped-out delight at some of them. To be honest I probably drove my husband nuts because I kept raving out loud about how great this book was as I was reading. You should pick up a copy the second this book comes out!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Starr ❇✌❇

    I received an ARC from Edelweiss TW: PTSD, intrusive thoughts, car accident 4.5 "You will find a window that is not a window. You will find a thing as old as the desert and twice as lonely. You will find exactly what you're looking for." Rose's best friend, Gaby, died almost exactly a year ago, and the loss changed her in ways she doesn't know if she can handle. It changed her enough that instead of being home with her loving family, or with her best friend's grieving mother, for New Years and t I received an ARC from Edelweiss TW: PTSD, intrusive thoughts, car accident 4.5 "You will find a window that is not a window. You will find a thing as old as the desert and twice as lonely. You will find exactly what you're looking for." Rose's best friend, Gaby, died almost exactly a year ago, and the loss changed her in ways she doesn't know if she can handle. It changed her enough that instead of being home with her loving family, or with her best friend's grieving mother, for New Years and the anniversary, she finds herself stuck in between, in a broken down car in the middle of the desert. And with Gaby's voice calling out to her from the radio. It doesn't lead her where she wants to be, a town who looks at her like they know exactly who she is, but it does lead her where she's meant to be. There's a prophecy about her being there, in fact. A prophecy that she'll bring on the end. This is a beautiful book about being lost, and about grief, and about real, terrifying PTSD and the ways in which it changes you and the way it changes the way people think about you. Rose is weighed down by the past year, and her own guilt, and the way in which her pain both radiates from her and is at the same time buried beneath deflection and sarcasm is really excellently done. I relate to Rose so much, and I am certain I won't be the only one. The Flood is basically a metaphor for trauma, and though it is at times a bit clunky, mostly I think it excels. The idea of the trauma spewed from violence, pain, and loss throughout history becoming more or less personified into this force of nature is amazing and inspired both fear and sympathy. This is the trauma which Rose carries with her, a force so great and heavy that continuing on with it without dealing with it in any real way will quite literally destroy her, and the trauma of the world, something which needs an outlet and needs a promise of a better future instead of sinking down into all or nothing ideals or clinging to the past. I also really love the fact that while Rose is a troubled person who isn't comfortable with her emotions, she goes to therapy and has a good relationship with her therapist! She quotes him a lot and we get to hear from him every so often, and it's just lovely to see a healthy therapy relationship and see someone actively putting their mental health first and seeking out help not because they were forced but because they know they need it. The side characters in this book were not all created equally, but the ones which we're around most of the time- Cassie, Alex, and Felix- are all nice additions. (Though, personally, I'm going to start a petition against naming your prophets Cassandra. Please stop.) The additional drama of Cassie's mysterious family situation and the light romance of Felix clearly pining for Alex both added more dimension to the story, and gave it some lighter places to fall, or at least more distanced ones, in Cassie's case, so that you don't drown in Rose's panic and grief. I love the concept of the town. I love the very southern gothic feel of calling the shadow entities "neighbors". I love the matter of fact, yet still carefully crafted writing. My only complaints are that due to all the flashbacks and the time limit the pacing sometimes felt off and the tension fell at odd points, and that I expected the in fighting between the mayor and the sheriff to go a little deeper. But those are more or less small complaints. "Your past is a living thing." This book hit me like a crashing wave over the course of the ending, and it was an experience I really needed. I can't wait for this book to come out so I can talk about it even more, and make other people read it for the sole purpose of making them talk about it. This is truly a beautiful portrait of mental health. Pre-review comments under Okay, why did the last page of this book almost make me cry

  23. 5 out of 5

    Maja

    (Realistic rating: if I'm nitpicking, I'd say it's closer to a 4.5 -- really solid and wonderful and deeply moving and enjoyable, but not a book I wouldn't change ANYTHING about, if given the chance, because there are almost always ways to make something more tailored to my ideal! But really, like I said, that's nitpicking for nitpicking's sake. This is unquestionably a five-star read in my heart.) Full disclosure: the author of this book is a friend of mine. Even fuller disclosure: I wasn't orig (Realistic rating: if I'm nitpicking, I'd say it's closer to a 4.5 -- really solid and wonderful and deeply moving and enjoyable, but not a book I wouldn't change ANYTHING about, if given the chance, because there are almost always ways to make something more tailored to my ideal! But really, like I said, that's nitpicking for nitpicking's sake. This is unquestionably a five-star read in my heart.) Full disclosure: the author of this book is a friend of mine. Even fuller disclosure: I wasn't originally planning on buying this book, because I honestly didn't know if it would be My Thing. I figured I'd enjoy it to some degree, because I don't have a single friend who writes badly or even mediocrely -- but I had no guarantee it was going to be a book that would speak to me enough to earn a place on my shelf. I was already anticipating the potential of having to hedge the review, to some extent -- to speak highly of the parts I enjoyed and soften any criticism or any way in which the story didn't work for me. (This is what I do, you see, even months before the possibility would even come around. I prepare! Just in case!) I preface with all of this to say that, fortunately for my basic sense of honesty and dedication to accurate book reviews, this book is really, really fucking good. It's SO ridiculously good. I'm blown away by every aspect of it -- the writing, the setting, the characters, the story arc, the very metaphor at the heart of its existence, both the idea and the execution. I think that it'll resonate especially with anyone who has PTSD, or anyone who's ever experienced a trauma -- but more broadly, I think it'll resonate with anyone who's ever been hurt. With anyone who's ever experienced loss. With anyone who's ever been terrified to share what they believe to be the worst of themselves with someone else for fear that that belief will be validated. It's such a visceral acknowledgment of those feelings, followed by an equally visceral (if much more comforting) reassurance: it's okay. Your feelings are valid, but the thing you're afraid of isn't true. You're okay. I love books that are engaging and entertaining and creative and enjoyable to read, but even more, I love books that achieve all of that, and also achieve a real, genuine, cathartic emotional reaction, one that resonates beyond the characters themselves and to my own feelings and experiences. One that makes me set it down, sit back, and set a hand to my heart because I feel it so viscerally! And boy, does this deliver on every level. That particular aspect of the book was what blew me away most -- it's so well crafted! It resonates so deeply! It's so thoughtfully executed and so thoroughly interwoven through every aspect of the book! -- but there are so many other aspects of this book to love. It's very hard, I think, for modern-era books to strike a balance between writing that's genuinely lovely and dialogue that feels authentic and true to how people actually speak -- in fact, I just read a book that I feel did not do this very well at all! -- but this one absolutely nails it. The teenagers read like teenagers, and the adults read like adults, and the first-person narration is STILL beautiful and lyrical and enjoyable while still feeling true to character! The setting hovers perfectly in the intersection between lowkey horror and slightly unsettling small town and desert oasis; the mood is unsettling and urgent without feeling too rushed or unbalanced, building slowly and creepily until the action just overflows. The story unfolds at the perfect pace, building slow and steady and leaving plenty of space to breathe after all the action is done. And, of course, the characters are wonderful. I would happily die for Alex and Felix, my PERFECT BOYS; I love all of the interconnected webs of history and relationships between all of the adults in the town. Cassie is utterly flawless, and Rose is a genuinely magnificent protagonist -- so relatable, with such a strong voice, reading so realistic to her age but also so clearly affected by what she's been through. (Her little note-to-self flashbacks!! So good!!) (Also, I LOVE RUDY SO MUCH. A GOOD MONSTER!!) (Also also, no spoilers, but the Flood is SO FUCKING FASCINATING, both as a concept and as a metaphor and as a character. [That's three things, but I DON'T CARE.]) I also just love that Rose has a family who loves her, and that her issues with them are clearly just a mix of typical teen stuff and also trauma-related, and that she acknowledges that and is vocally appreciative of them!! SO rare in YA stories involving families, and it's so, so good here. And in the interest of continued full disclosure, and lest anyone think I am being dishonest or excessive in any of my praise, I'll go ahead and nitpick the honestly pretty minor things I'd say are flaws of this book. First, just based on the sheer nature of the kind of story this is, there are spots where the writing feels a little abstracted, a little too intangible, and it makes it hard to follow what's actually happening in terms of the concrete story and plot, and makes several parts feel just a tad unmoored and rootless (though it always reorients itself pretty quickly and I never really felt like I was missing anything from those moments). Second, while I did think the story was mostly paced exactly the way it should be, there were probably some tweaks I would have ideally made -- a couple spots where events unfolded a bit too quickly, a couple spots where things dragged just a bit. And finally, this is less a criticism and more of a personal preference: I wanted to see SO MUCH MORE of most of the side characters!! There was so much rich potential with all of the residents of the town, and I desperately wanted to see more of them -- more of their interactions, more of their backstories, just more. If there ever were to be a sequel, or a prequel, or a series of loosely connected short stories set in Lotus Valley exploring these characters in more depth -- ahem, hint hint -- I would preorder it yesterday and absolutely devour it. But, honestly -- as I said, those are pretty minor things. They didn't detract from my overall enjoyment or my very strong feelings about this book's quality -- both of which are very high! I really, really loved this book, and I would firmly recommend it to just about anybody. It's amazing in its scope and its execution, and I am so happy that I have a copy that I can treasure forever, and reread over and over again, and lend to everyone I know once I'm able to see people again. And I'm even happier to know the incredible human with the incredible brain responsible for creating it! <3

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kaley

    Thank you so much to Penguin Teen for an early ARC! All thought and opinions are my own. Quick Stats Overall: 4.5 stars Characters:5/5 Plot:4/5 Setting:4/5 Writing:5/5 First of all—dang that book was a brain-twister. Very weird. Very intriguing. Very entertaining.I loved it. Now let’s get into the nitty gritty. Rebecca Mahoney masterfully weaves a tale of loss, intrigue, and paranormal happenings. The book involves frank, realistic depictions of PTSD, panic attacks, grief, and more. Rose, our main charac Thank you so much to Penguin Teen for an early ARC! All thought and opinions are my own. Quick Stats Overall: 4.5 stars Characters:5/5 Plot:4/5 Setting:4/5 Writing:5/5 First of all—dang that book was a brain-twister. Very weird. Very intriguing. Very entertaining.I loved it. Now let’s get into the nitty gritty. Rebecca Mahoney masterfully weaves a tale of loss, intrigue, and paranormal happenings. The book involves frank, realistic depictions of PTSD, panic attacks, grief, and more. Rose, our main character, is a entertaining, real, honestly quite broken, and occasionally a bit of an unreliable narrator. Her raw emotion drew me in from the start. I felt like I was right there with her, inside her head, experiencing the events of the book along with her. Rose experiences a couple panic attacks in what are essentially flashback scenes, and as someone with severe anxiety and a history of panic attacks, I rarely resonate with books’ descriptions of panic attacks. They’re not wrong, by any means, but they just don’t fit my experiences. Mahoney’s descriptions of panic attacks, however, were pretty much spot-on with my own experiences. She describes them in a real way that never strays into the cliches that sometimes are present while describing panic attacks. Secondly, I would like to talk about how much I ADORE Alex Harper. I wish we saw more of him, as we do Felix and Cassie. Alex had a terminal illness (essentially) that was cured magically (again, essentially). This toes the line of the magical healing trope, which I absolutely loathe, but in my opinion, because of the circumstances of his situation, and the fact that he has lasting effects stays firmly planted in A-OK territory. My favorite thing about him is his constant—and rightful—insistance that he is not fragile, despite chronic illnesses and his past illness. The other characters (mostly Felix) try to coddle him, and Alex has NONE of it. And I love it. That’s one of the things I hate the most about being chronically ill—the way I’m often treated like I’m breakable. Alex did a really good of articulating, and showing, how frustrating and kind of offensive that is, no matter how honorable the intentions. The story unfolded naturally, and the pacing was really good. I typically don’t like books that take place over such a short period of time because the pacing is very hard to get right, but I think Rebecca Mahoney did a magnificent job. I was never bored, and it never felt rushed. Every next step was logical. The earlier twists and turns were appropriately surprising while still making perfect sense. The last couple twists/reveals felt as if the author showed her hand just a chapter or so too early leading up to the big reveal, but it wasn’t too big of an issue. That final resolution was not what I expected, but I really, really liked it. The morals were slightly heavy-handed, but they were important enough, and incorporated enough that it didn’t bother me. All in all, Mahoney crafted a really solid debut novel that gave me a little bit of The Raven Boys vibes (it’s not at all similar, it just for some reason reminded me of that series), and I can’t wait to see what she comes out with next. Highly recommend!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lexie

    I've never read anything like The Valley and the Flood. Its blend of magical realism with meditations on grief, trauma, and memory, with a dash of horror, is entirely unique. I recognized shades of Welcome to Night Vale, The Odyssey, and Spirited Away, but in the end this book stands entirely on its own two feet. Possibly three or four or six feet. Lotus Valley is a weird place. (The world-building and casual spooky acceptance in this book is absolutely top-tier.) It is so, so difficult to craft I've never read anything like The Valley and the Flood. Its blend of magical realism with meditations on grief, trauma, and memory, with a dash of horror, is entirely unique. I recognized shades of Welcome to Night Vale, The Odyssey, and Spirited Away, but in the end this book stands entirely on its own two feet. Possibly three or four or six feet. Lotus Valley is a weird place. (The world-building and casual spooky acceptance in this book is absolutely top-tier.) It is so, so difficult to craft a story that is genuinely emotionally affecting, that centers so intensely on grief and trauma, and to do that in a way where the reader (I was, anyway!) is devastated on behalf of characters but isn't left feeling hopeless, and where hope doesn't feel trite or pasted-on. This book makes it look easy. It's the understatement of the year to say that The Valley and the Flood's treatment of mental health and trauma is incisive and thoughtful. It deeply resonated with me on a personal level, and I'm thrilled that kids are going to read a book that is so unabashedly pro-therapy. As a reader, I definitely recommend going into this knowing the smallest amount possible (she says, and then immediately fills this review with spoilers IM SORRY) - the surprises came fast and furious and it was impossible to put the book down. I had to know what had happened in the past and what was going to happen next. I loved the structuring. Also I just want to say this book is funny as hell!! My copy is full of highlights, great one-liners and moments where I laughed out loud (and moments where I cried, too, Valley and the Flood does it all). From the very beginning, I was ready to go to war for Rose Colter. (view spoiler)[The character arc she goes through over the course of the book is perfection. The ending is beautiful and feels absolutely earned and viscerally satisfying after all the processing and work Rose has done throughout the course of the book (hide spoiler)] . Her voice as narrator is acerbic, funny, agonized, and (view spoiler)[ultimately so much kinder than she gives herself credit for. Gaby, and Rose's entire friendship with her, felt so fully realized. it's hard to make me miss a character we don't ever technically even meet, but I felt Rose's grief (hide spoiler)] . I'm a picky reader and a grumpy cynic and while I know the author, this is not a friend-review: I would be obsessed with this book regardless of who wrote it. It's exceptional.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bon

    Could you confront your worst memories and trauma if it'd save the world*? *the strange and magical town your car broke down in after a hasty solo road trip to get away from feelings you're coping badly with after a tragedy? This book was an unexpected joy, and a total glitch on my radar, probably making it even better – I had it on my list because I follow the author in fandom twitter. I did my usual pulling from my To Read list and compared it to what was available on audio at the library, for Could you confront your worst memories and trauma if it'd save the world*? *the strange and magical town your car broke down in after a hasty solo road trip to get away from feelings you're coping badly with after a tragedy? This book was an unexpected joy, and a total glitch on my radar, probably making it even better – I had it on my list because I follow the author in fandom twitter. I did my usual pulling from my To Read list and compared it to what was available on audio at the library, for a listen at work…And regret nothing. It read like a weighted blanket for me, deep enough to mean something but really soothing and healing to read through with the main character. This hit me during a rough week for mental health, and it was just what I needed. The bones of the story: The Valley and The Flood is a first-person POV young adult fantasy story about confronting your own guilt and trauma in a healthy way. The main moral here was that if you don’t give yourself time and space to cope properly, to face things head-on, you can start to endanger yourself and those around you. I absolutely loved that this was woven into a world of almost magical realism, the story reminiscent of Welcome to Night Vale meets the old trope of a stranger in a new town to get away from their problems, and a healthy dose of young adult angst. At times things feel like a bit of a dreamscape, with a little potentially unreliable narration; but this fits what the author is trying to do, I felt. You might not be sure what’s happening, but it mimics exactly the feelings of anxiety, overwhelming emotions, panic attacks. The writing was also entirely relatable: "I think the living embodiment of human memory just left us on Read.” The parts that combined to make a whole: Then there are the odd bits of plot and style that really made this a well-rounded, enjoyable listen for me. It’s hard to explain the comfort this book lent, with warm, approachable prose, and such a relatable protagonist, fleeing emotional problems via a cross-state drive in the dead of night. There were several queer characters spread throughout in an organic manner, and the town in the story also boasts several women in positions of power and authority. The book’s length, a ten-hour listen on normal audio speed but only about five for me, was perfect and doable. Lastly, that gorgeous teal cover aesthetic and the art – this was well worth the read, from the first glance at the cover to the back of the book. I highly recommend this, a full 5 Bon stars.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Addie BookCrazyBlogger

    Rose Coulter is just trying to get home. She’s driving from Las Vegas to her home in San Diego, when her car breaks down on the side of the road, near Lotus Valley, Nevada. There, she meets Cassie, the third best prophet in this strange little town. What Cassie tells her will set the tone for the entire book: along with Rosie, came an ancient phenomenon that has attached itself to her, known as the Flood and Lotus Valley will cease to exist in three days, unless Rose can do something to stop it. Rose Coulter is just trying to get home. She’s driving from Las Vegas to her home in San Diego, when her car breaks down on the side of the road, near Lotus Valley, Nevada. There, she meets Cassie, the third best prophet in this strange little town. What Cassie tells her will set the tone for the entire book: along with Rosie, came an ancient phenomenon that has attached itself to her, known as the Flood and Lotus Valley will cease to exist in three days, unless Rose can do something to stop it. Rose, however, hasn’t felt in control in almost an entire year, ever since her best friend Gaby died and she was diagnosed with PTSD. To prove her diagnosis wrong, she sets out to stop the Flood with her new friends. Unfortunately, she can run from the symptoms but she can’t hide. Will she save the town and accept her diagnosis? Or will Rose be trapped forever in the cycle of PTSD? This was certainly a new take on mental illness. In this book, mental illness takes the form of magical monsters that mimic whatever it is you struggle with. As someone whose usually a lot more literal than figurative, it was really difficult for me to understand and suspend reality for a second. I’ll be honest: I didn’t love this book. As someone whose been diagnosed with PTSD and someone who actively lives with it, this doesn’t mirror my experience in the slightest. It felt insincere to me, like the author only has a basic understanding of what it’s like. I saw only hints of what PTSD looks like and it’s mostly things you could Google. When I first began experiencing PTSD, all I felt was rage. I was (and still do) a volcano just waiting to activate and spew black bile everywhere. I still have dreams where things are happening to me again and I’m paralyzed. I can’t scream, I can’t cry. Then there’s the flashbacks and the panic attacks: I don’t look placid on the outside like Rose. My body shakes so incredibly hard, my chest tightens, my hands tingle, my vision tunnels and I’m gasping between sobs. This is part of my reality with PTSD and I’m disappointed I didn’t see it represented in the book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kristi

    “… We don’t just talk about terrible things to purge them from ourselves. We talk about them so that the people who love us can tell us when we’re wrong. That we’re being unkind to ourselves, or unfair, or that the things that have happened to us are not our fault. Because fear turns the world a different color, and we don’t always see clearly through it.” I had to think about my review for a few days before I wrote it. The Valley and the Flood gave me a lot to ponder over. It’s compelling, it’s “… We don’t just talk about terrible things to purge them from ourselves. We talk about them so that the people who love us can tell us when we’re wrong. That we’re being unkind to ourselves, or unfair, or that the things that have happened to us are not our fault. Because fear turns the world a different color, and we don’t always see clearly through it.” I had to think about my review for a few days before I wrote it. The Valley and the Flood gave me a lot to ponder over. It’s compelling, it’s metaphorical and it explores mental health issues using magical realism so cleverly that it took me awhile to understand the actual depth of this work and of the characters grief, trauma and PTSD. It is entirely original and as I got further into the plot, I understood that this wasn’t just a book about grief, loss, trauma and the overwhelming emotions attached to those feelings but it was also about hope and healing. Rose is a character that I understood on some deeper level, one that I think many of us can relate to. The secrets and feelings we keep, from others and from ourselves, hold a power that is so explosive and damaging and can induce strong reactions; panic, fear, depression, worthlessness or stagnancy. What happens when the flood of memories is opened? I’m hesitant to say more because I think reading this book with the most open mind possible is the best way to go in and fully immerse yourself in the experience. This is an extraordinary story and one that I’m really glad I read. My thanks to Penguin Teen for gifting me a DRC in exchange for my review. *Quote taken from an ARC and may change in finished copies

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bec

    Find more at becandbooks.com! Trigger warnings: (view spoiler)[death of a friend and father, grief depiction, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), intrusive thoughts (hide spoiler)] This is a truly unique story and an incredible debut. Perfect for readers who enjoy the mysterious and bizzare style of the Welcome to Nightvale podcast. To be transparent upfront - I DNF'd this book due to file corruption issues, at approximately 55%. This book is written in a way that readers are constantly gues Find more at becandbooks.com! Trigger warnings: (view spoiler)[death of a friend and father, grief depiction, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), intrusive thoughts (hide spoiler)] This is a truly unique story and an incredible debut. Perfect for readers who enjoy the mysterious and bizzare style of the Welcome to Nightvale podcast. To be transparent upfront - I DNF'd this book due to file corruption issues, at approximately 55%. This book is written in a way that readers are constantly guessing, wondering if they missed something or if they are supposed to be confused. And it's done in a way that is incredibly intriguing. Unfortunately, this writing device was almost used too much and meant that when I had to put the book down, I didn't feel like I was missing much. Because I didn't know what was happening anyway. While the style of story is one of the highlights of the book, it left the story being less engaging than I think it could have been. Something I adored, however, was the way it approached mental health. Throughout the story, the main character is dealing with grief and PTSD. Mahoney weaves these elements of mental health into the bizarre speculative happenings within the story, creating something that is haunting and oddly beautiful. This is done so in a way that does not take away from the seriousness of such issues. It is also the key reason why I am excited to see what Mahoney publishes in the future. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book. This does not impact my opinions, whatsoever.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. 4 stars Trigger warnings: PTSD, anxiety, panic attacks, violent intrusive thoughts Content warning: grief I didn't personnally love this book, but I do think it's a necessary one for people who suffer from PTSD and panic attacks following the death of a loved one. There's something about magical realism that just doesn't click with me. I'm much more comfortable when it comes to urban fantasy, so rea I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. 4 stars Trigger warnings: PTSD, anxiety, panic attacks, violent intrusive thoughts Content warning: grief I didn't personnally love this book, but I do think it's a necessary one for people who suffer from PTSD and panic attacks following the death of a loved one. There's something about magical realism that just doesn't click with me. I'm much more comfortable when it comes to urban fantasy, so reading this book was a bit of a challenge. Still, though, I keep my position that this is a necessary read. It describes PTSD and anxiety so well, and the parallels with the Flood is really good. I never really made sense of how old Rose is (she keeps talking about her apartment as if she lives alone, but then there's a mention of college application, and another of being a senior in high school), so I read it half as YA and half as NA. It reads well for both age groups, in my opinion, as grief and anxiety isn't about age. It has a lot of low-key queer rep (Christie being married to a woman, Loreen using they/them pronouns, Felix and Alex) that's so well woven into the story that it screams 2021 and I'm here for it. We stan books about a topic that happen to be flawlessly inclusive. And all the talk about therapy? YAS! It's never questioned that Rose needed it and that her therapists makes a real difference in how she processes and deals with her trauma. Plus, the casual mention of insurance and privacy in their first session was a great addition. I do wonder if the cover conveys well enough the dark atmosphere of the book, though. I found it a bit misleading.

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