Book Reviews, YA book reviews

Perfectly Preventable Deaths – ARC Review

My Rating ~ Four stars

RELEASE DATE:  5 August 2019

Publisher: Bonnier Books / Hot Key

Format: Paperback

Pages: 357

Source:  Received from Allen & Unwin Australia

RRP:  AU$16.99



Everyone in Ballyfran has a secret, and that is what binds them together…

Fifteen-year-old twins Madeline and Catlin move to a new life in Ballyfran, a strange isolated town, a place where, for the last sixty years, teenage girls have gone missing in the surrounding mountains.

As distance grows between the twins – as Catlin falls in love, and Madeline begins to understand her own nascent witchcraft – Madeline discovers that Ballyfrann is a place full of predators. Not only foxes, owls and crows, but also supernatural beings who for many generations have congregated here to escape persecution. When Catlin falls into the gravest danger of all, Madeline must ask herself who she really is, and who she wants to be – or rather, who she might have to become to save her sister.




Thank you so much to Allen & Unwin, for providing me with a copy of Perfectly Preventable Deaths!


Twins Madeline and Catlin have just been moved to Ireland with their mother and new stepfather, to live in a castle.  A castle they’ve dubbed ‘murder palace’ because of the girls who have been murdered on the mountain close by over the years.  Madeline is worried about fitting in at the new school, but she wasn’t expecting the strangeness of the other kids, the grandmotherly figure living on the castle grounds or Lon, the older boy her sister Catlin suddenly seems to be attached at the hip to.

Perfectly Preventable Deaths successfully manages to strike the perfect balance between creepy and ….. truly funny.  Madeline is one of my new favourite people.  Her dry wit had me smiling through a book with very unsmiley subject matter!  A creepy, atmospheric story about a girl trying to protect her sister from disastrous relationship mistakes, while dealing with her own confusing feelings.

I loved the way the story cleverly wove a gothic feeling into a modern setting and hinted at past events, without having to spell everything out to the reader.  Madeline’s feelings of desperation, at trying to open her sister’s eyes to an unhealthy relationship, were palpable and so were her attempts to protect her family from the unknown, in unconventional and superstitious ways.  Perfectly Preventable Deaths doesn’t deliver action packed scenes, it builds a slow and eerie mystery, towards a more shocking conclusion than I wasn’t quite prepared for!  Beware, things get DARK at the end and there is an animal abuse scene I had to quickly skip over, but this was such a unique and brilliant book!






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