Hello friends! I’ve been slacking on posting my reviews here, but considering I only read one book in August (this one), I figured I’d finally take the time to share my full review as my August wrap up haha. I’ve been in a bit of a slump in addition to discovering that the first 3 Layton games are available via mobile… I can’t pass up a good puzzle!! A huge thanks to Turn the Page Tours and the publisher for an ARC, and you can check out my bookstagram tour post here.
The Devil Makes Three by Tori Bovalino is Bovalino’s debut (standalone novel) and was released August 10th through Page Street Kids. You can purchase it through IndieBound here or from your favorite book retailer. Please highlight below for content warnings (may contain spoilers, may be incomplete):
Gore, body horror, knives/stabbing, non consensual self harm, murder, death of secondary characters, corpses, parental abuse and neglect, parent with terminal illness (brain cancer), off screen parental death, minor relationship between professor and student, infidelity.
Two teens accidentally unleash the devil after stumbling upon a forbidden grimoire in a haunted library.
This was an absolutely fascinating premise and I was really excited to get started, especially after finding out that this would be the featured August Illumicrate book! While the writing was very easy to read, it felt stilted and it took a while for the pacing to pick up. I had a hard time getting into the story and engaging with it. However, it is spooky, creepy, and contains one of the most fascinating magic systems I’ve encountered, and I really enjoyed reading the ink scenes (it’s so hard to say more without spoilers haha).
The main characters Tess and Elliot are nuanced and interesting, and I liked the secondary characters as well, especially Anna, who is a ray of sunshine, and Lucille. Anna and Tess’ friendship is so pure! I would have loved more interactions between them all, especially as a group. While I wasn’t a fan of the romance between the two MCs because I wanted more development, I thought they worked well together, and some of the moments between them are very tender.
I think that fans of YA horror will enjoy this book, especially given the start of the spooky season! This is a quick atmospheric read and I look forward to seeing what Bovalino brings in the future.
Overall Rating: 3/5
With love, Pei