REVIEW : Mayhem : Estelle Laure

Release Date: July 14 2020

Author:  Estelle Laure 

Format: E Arc

Publisher:  Wednesday Books

Page Count : 304


A YA feminist mash up inspired by The Lost Boys and The Craft.

It’s 1987 and unfortunately it’s not all Madonna and cherry lip balm. Mayhem Brayburn has always known there was something off about her and her mother, Roxy. Maybe it has to do with Roxy’s constant physical pain, or maybe with Mayhem’s own irresistible pull to water. Either way, she knows they aren’t like everyone else. But when May’s stepfather finally goes too far, Roxy and Mayhem flee to Santa Maria, California, the coastal beach town that holds the answers to all of Mayhem’s questions about who her mother is, her estranged family, and the mysteries of her own self. There she meets the kids who live with her aunt, and it opens the door to the magic that runs through the female lineage in her family, the very magic Mayhem is next in line to inherit and which will change her life for good. But when she gets wrapped up in the search for the man who has been kidnapping girls from the beach, her life takes another dangerous turn and she is forced to face the price of vigilante justice and to ask herself whether revenge is worth the cost.

From the acclaimed author of This Raging Light and But Then I Came Back, Estelle Laure offers a riveting and complex story with magical elements about a family of women contending with what appears to be an irreversible destiny, taking control and saying when enough is enough.


I was excited about this book. I love the 80s and its movies. I LOVE the lost boys and the craft so this one was a no brainer. That being said THIS BOOK WAS SO SLOW; I caught myself wanting to skim to get past things. That is never a good sign. I really wanted to love this but I just did not.

As some of the other reviewers pointed out there is a ton of pieces picked straight from the lost boys. Honestly, I think it wouldn’t have bothered me so much if it at least was as good as the lost boys. I wanted a love letter to 80s but I feel like if we had not been told the date we would not have been able to guess it was the 80s. I think for me what this is lacking that The lost boys is not is the humor and campiness you get in the best of the 80s movies. There was just zero humor here.  

As for the craft being referenced, I agree with my fellow reviewers, I don’t see it. As others said more practical magic vibes.

All in all this is two stars for me. I’m sure this would be a good read for someone who is not familiar with film it was inspired by.

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