Leslye Walton was named a William C. Morris YA Debut Award Finalist for the publication of her debut novel, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender. Born in the Pacific Northwest, she has an MA in writing. She lives in Seattle, Washington.
From the author of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender comes a haunting maelstrom of magic and murder in the lush, moody Pacific Northwest.
When Rona Blackburn landed on Anathema Island more than a century ago, her otherworldly skills might have benefited friendlier neighbors. Guilt and fear instead led the island’s original eight settlers to burn “the witch” out of her home. So Rona cursed them. Fast-forward one hundred–some years: All Nor Blackburn wants is to live an unremarkable teenage life. She has reason to hope: First, her supernatural powers, if they can be called that, are unexceptional. Second, her love life is nonexistent, which means she might escape the other perverse side effect of the matriarch’s backfiring curse, too. But then a mysterious book comes out, promising to cast any spell for the right price. Nor senses a storm coming and is pretty sure she’ll be smack in the eye of it. In her second novel, Leslye Walton spins a dark, mesmerizing tale of a girl stumbling along the path toward self-acceptance and first love, even as the Price Guide’s malevolent author — Nor’s own mother — looms and threatens to strangle any hope for happiness.
Walton follows The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavenderwith a lyrical and robust multigenerational story set on the fictional Anathema Island in the Pacific Northwest…In succinct, evocative sentences, Walton paints vivid scenes while maintaining a gripping plot. Addressing abandonment, self-harm, first love, and other topics, Walton weaves a rewardingly complex tale that brims with suspense and romance.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Walton conjures a rich sense of place in her sophomore novel, and the backstory of the Blackburn women is undeniably fascinating. Additionally, she does an excellent job handling the topic of Nor’s self-harm: Nor’s already sought treatment by the time her story begins, and though her compulsive thoughts and anxiety are still there, she’s learned how to manage those thoughts in a healthy way…the eerie atmosphere, lyrical language, and romance subplot will still entrance many.
As in her 2014 debut, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, Walton’s writing is atmospheric and ethereal. Anathema Island, with its foggy shores, rich diversity of flora and fauna, and quirky tourist shops, comes to vivid life…Nor’s wicked and violent sociopath mother is memorable and her scenes are truly chilling…Walton’s sophomore effort is haunting and, especially in the last act, thrilling.
—School Library Journal
An atmospheric, blood-drenched dark fantasy for a cold and stormy night.
Walton’s (The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender) horror tale features a vivid setting, lyrical prose, and engaging characters; Nor’s formidable pipe-smoking grandmother Judd, her best friend Savvy (a “punk rock Pollyanna…with big brown eyes, ocher-brown skin, and wildly colored hair”), and her love interest Reed Oliveira provide comfort and care to a protagonist whose mother is hell-bent on murdering her.
—The Horn Book
Like in The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, Leslye Walton’s story is lyrical and atmospheric, and you’ll find yourself getting lost on Anathema Island.
Gripping and dark, this bewitching family drama will have you reading to midnight!
—The Kids’ Next List newsletter
The Price Guide to the Occult is a classic page-turner…Dark fantasy fans take note, Leslye Walton has a story here that you will not want to miss.
- Publication details:
- Format: Paperback
- ISBN: 9781406373509
- Published: 06 Sep 2018
- Price: £7.99
- Size: 198 x 129 mm
- Pages: 288
- Walker Books
- YA SH3LF REVIEW : 5/5