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Wicked Little Deeds by Kat Ellis - Blog Tour and Review

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Hello and welcome to my stop on the tour for Wicked Little Deeds by Kat Ellis! I am thrilled to welcome you to my blog. If you haven't been here before please do click around and read some of my other reviews. I read a lot of YA so I'm sure there's something that will whet your appetite. 

I liked the premise of this book, which I'll copy here because it's a good introduction:

From its creepy town mascot to the story of its cursed waterfall, Burden Falls is a small town dripping with superstition. Ava Thorn knows this well - since the horrific accident she witnessed a year ago, she's been plagued by nightmares.

But when her school nemesis is brutally murdered and Ava is the primary suspect, she starts to wonder if the legends surrounding the town are more fact than fiction.

Whatever secrets Burden Falls is hiding, there's a killer on the loose, and they have a vendetta against the Thorns...

So, Ava is almost eighteen and she lives with her Uncle Tyler and his wife Carolyn. They live in Thorn Manor, which has been in Ava's family for generations, but they're having to move out. A year ago, Ava was in a car accident which killed both her parents, and which left her with some injuries that she's still recovering from, and with nightmares in which she sees the last few seconds before the car crash. 

Also present at the crash was Madoc Miller. There's bad blood between the Millers and the Thorns, and there has been for generations. Ava blames Madoc for her parents' deaths, but she also thinks she saw Dead-Eyed Sadie just before the crash. That's the local folk horror story, about a woman who had her eyes plucked out after death and whose appearance precedes a death. 

So Ava and her aunt and uncle move into a local mill, from where they can just about see the Manor and the waterfall which runs through the manor's grounds. Then Ava learns that Madoc Miller has bought the Manor. He and his family, including the "Miller Twins", Dominic and Freya, will be living there.

Ava and Freya are both talented artists and are vying for a place on a summer art programme. They have a bust up at school that everyone sees. Later, Ava sneaks back on to manor grounds because she needs to paint over a personal mural she did in the pavilion. As she does this, she sees Dead-Eyed Sadie on the bridge and rushes towards the bridge. In doing so, she interrupts Freya and Dominic and their friends doing one of their horror lives on Instagram or whatever - there was no ghost at all. Ava's friend Ford is also there and she can't understand why - he knows how she feels about the Millers AND about having to have left the Manor, so why would he hang out with them?? 

Ava and Ford have a bit of a fractious relationship, but she does have real friends - Dahpne and Carla. They're a couple, and Daphne works with Ava at the local gas station. I liked them and how grounded they kept Ava. She has a lot going on her life and it's hard to not feel sorry for her. Basically everything she's ever known has been ripped from her. 

Another night (the book all happens within a short space of time) Ava sneaks again into the Manor grounds - still trying to cover up the mural - and finds Freya's body there, with its eyes ripped out. Dominic is close behind her and then the police - and Ava is the prime suspect. 

She and Dominic start getting friendly, which is a bit weird yes but I really liked it, he's adorable, and work on a comic together. Dominic has some stories about the history of the town that will show why Ava's family is known as the "Bloody Thorns", and he doesn't believe Ava killed Freya - so can they work together to find out who did?

I did guess one of the twists in the book and that's not because it was obvious but probably just because I've read a lot of books. I liked it anyway. And there were some things I didn't see coming but really enjoyed! 

I liked the book a lot - it had a great setting in a spooky old town, with a spooky old manor, and a family with so many secrets and tragedies. I liked Ava and Dominic and the blurring of lines between reality and hallucination and stuff. It had a good ending and I was enthralled throughout! I'm giving this five out of five and I'll definitely read something else by the same author. 

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