(They Stay Series, #1)
Publication date: October 12th 2021
Genres: Supernatural, Thriller, Young Adult
For fans of Stranger Things comes a suspenseful YA mystery about a missing kid, a girl who can see ghosts, and a horrifying crime only four outcasts have the power to stop.
What if the only person who could help you find your missing brother was dead?
Nothing is as important to sixteen-year-old Shiloh Oleson as her little brother Max. So when the six-year-old goes missing without a trace, a heartbroken Shiloh refuses to believe nothing can be done and sets out to find him.
When one of Shiloh’s classmates says she knows where Max is, Shiloh hesitates to believe her. Francesca is creepy. She says she can see ghosts, but everyone knows ghosts aren’t real … right?
But Francesca says that Max is going to be murdered.
And a ghost told her where he is.
As the line between the dead and living begins to blur, Shiloh starts to think Francesca might not be as crazy as she believed. One thing is becoming clear. Someone has gruesome plans for Max, and Shiloh must confront her worst nightmares to find him before it’s too late.
THEY STAY is the first book in the They Stay Series. Read on if you like ghost stories, plot twists, enemies-to-friends, creepy circuses, budding romance, and unlikely heroes.
Content Warnings: This book contains death, kidnapping, domestic abuse, references to suicide, bullying, and mild adult language.
Claire Fraise earned her B.A. in English from Tufts University. She is also the author of YA dystopian novel Imperfect (winner of the San Francisco and Beverly Hills Book Festivals), which she published when she was 16. When Claire’s not writing, she likes crocheting amigurumi animals, reading, and hanging out with her dogs. Even though it goes against every introverted bone in her body, she is on social media. Connect with her on Instagram at @clairefraiseauthor, on YouTube at Write with Claire Fraise, or visit her website at clairefraise.com.
My Blurb (3.5 / 5 stars)
The description I read of this book classed this book as a thriller YA with hints of the supernatural and, this is what really grabbed me, ‘creepy circus’. As soon as I see the word, circus, in any book, I’m all grabby hands. Unfortunately, there wasn’t that much of circus in this novel and yet, it was still a very engaging read despite my fears that things just aren’t going to turn out well at the end.
This novel is told from 2 perspectives, Shiloh and Francesca, but there are basically 4 of them in the ‘team’; Miles, Shiloh’s boyfriend of all 3 weeks, and his best friend, Jonah. Shiloh and Francesca are both very strong heroines though for very different reasons; Shiloh is holding a family secret very deep inside that would threaten to destroy her if it came out while Francesca’s family is already broken and her secret (seeing & talking to ghosts) is known to all in town. Jonah has his own issues with a broken family of his own and tendency towards juvenile delinquency but Miles is most ‘normal’ out of them all with loving parents and terribly good grades. They gather together to help Shiloh save her most beloved brother and yet, to what cost?
I found the mystery to be well written and the supernatural just slightly creepy; I mean, hanging out at cemeteries at all times is just a bit creepy. I love the dynamics between these four teens and I hope to see them back together again in the next book. I did feel though that I wasn’t in a very good space to read this book because it turned out to be a lot darker than I thought so I’d recommend that you pay attention to above trigger warnings.
My thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for this copy of book in exchange of my honest thoughts