Review – Byronic by Sandi Beth Jones

ReviewI received Byronic by Sandi Beth Jones for free in exchange for an honest review from YA Bound Book Tours!


Goodreads Summary:

When the creatures in her dark drawings come to life, Chelsea finds that the mysterious Geoff is the only person she can confide in. But she can’t help wondering who she’s kissing: her tender confidant or the dangerous Byronic rebel bent on shocking his detached father.

Starting over in the South Carolina Lowcountry is just what sixteen-year-old Chelsea needs. Unfortunately, moving also means living with her mom’s snobbish British novelist employer and his moody son Geoffrey. Knowing that her new home likely used to be a slave holding plantation doesn’t make her feel any more at home.

Troubled and reckless after his brother’s mysterious death, Geoff often mimics his father’s literary favorite, Lord Byron, acting “mad, bad, and dangerous to know.” She’s determined to keep her distance and buries herself in her art, though the darkness of her drawings troubles her and others who see them. When people in the Gullah and Geechee community point out that she has been drawing Boo Hags and haints -powerful and terrifying creatures of local legend and superstition- she starts to wonder about her own heritage and her connection to the Sea Islands. She begins to question her own grasp on reality when it seems those creatures start making their way out of her drawings and into real life.

It’s clear that Geoff has some secrets of his own, but he might be the only person she can confide in. Chelsea must decide who she can trust, when nothing in the Lowcountry is what it seems.

My Thoughts:

This book is about Chelsea who moves with her mother to her mom’s new employer’s home.  Her mom is a writer, and will be working on a memoir for Ben, a famous mystery author.  Chelsea is reluctant to live in the plantation home in the south, due to her mixed heritage.  She also does not want to have to live with Ben’s son Geoff who almost killed her and her mother upon arrival in an almost car crash.  She also learns that she will have to attend a stuck-up private school, when all she wants to do is go to public school, and draw.  Strange things start happening to Chelsea, and the book keeps you guessing.  Is she going crazy like her father?  Is Geoff playing mean tricks on her?  Is George (Geoff’s supposedly dead brother) still alive or is it his ghost?
I really liked reading about haints and boo hags, and other cultural ghosts, instead of the book just saying, oh a ghost was haunting her. I also enjoyed that the book kept you guessing.  You really didn’t know if Chelsea was slowly going crazy like her dad, or if this stuff was really happening to her. Chelsea is a great character.  She is a strong and independent artist, with a bit of an attitude (not overdone though.)  I really liked how her art was affected by the haints and boo hags, but thought she took it rather well, which is why I wasn’t sure if she was really becoming schizophrenic.  The twists at the end of the book seemed a bit extreme for me, and I liked it up until Chelsea goes back to the creepy house with her dad, then it sort of went in a wild direction that I wasn’t a huge fan of.  I probably won’t read book 2, because I didn’t like the ending to this book.  I did enjoy the story overall, and I loved the characters! 


Have you read any good ghost stories lately?  Would you recommend a book, even if you did not like the way it ended?


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