Book Reviews, YA book reviews

Mayhem by Estelle Laure – ARC Review


My Rating ~ Four Stars

RELEASE DATE:  14 July 2020

Format: E-Arc

Pages: 304

Publisher: St Martins Publishing Group

Source:  NetGalley




It’s 1987 and unfortunately it’s not all Madonna and cherry lip balm. Mayhem Brayburn has always known there was something off about her and her mother, Roxy. Maybe it has to do with Roxy’s constant physical pain, or maybe with Mayhem’s own irresistible pull to water. Either way, she knows they aren’t like everyone else. But when May’s stepfather finally goes too far, Roxy and Mayhem flee to Santa Maria, California, the coastal beach town that holds the answers to all of Mayhem’s questions about who her mother is, her estranged family, and the mysteries of her own self. There she meets the kids who live with her aunt, and it opens the door to the magic that runs through the female lineage in her family, the very magic Mayhem is next in line to inherit and which will change her life for good. But when she gets wrapped up in the search for the man who has been kidnapping girls from the beach, her life takes another dangerous turn and she is forced to face the price of vigilante justice and to ask herself whether revenge is worth the cost.




Thank you so much to St Martins Publishing Group for sending me a copy of Mayhem, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review!


Mayhem lives with her mother Roxie, and abusive stepfather, in a small town.  When they finally escape him one day, Roxie takes them to the town she grew up in, a place she has always said she’d never return to.  Mayhem can’t understand why Roxie has never brought them back – as far as she’s concerned, this is the first right decision Roxie has made.  Living with her aunt and the foster kids she is raising, May desperately hopes she can fit in with them.  After doing the kids a favour one night, she’s invited into their inner circle and finds out there is much more to their story, and her family history, than she knew.

Dealing with addiction, troubled families, and the struggle to figure out the right choices in hard circumstances, Mayhem is a dark and exciting book, with just the right dash of magic, it had me engrossed the entire way through.

I’ve seen this one compared to both The Lost Boys and The Craft and I could see those influences throughout the storyline, but I think Mayhem holds its own as a book that’s both familiar and original enough to feel like something new.

I’d recommend picking this one up if you loved The Lost Boys, The Craft, Practical Magic and Buffy.



Photo from my Instagram account


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