Title: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Pages: 336 pages
Release Date: September 20th, 2016
Source: ARC from Jimmy Paterson
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Mystery, Horror
Rating: 5/5 stars
Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.
Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.
The story's shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.
Buy it now!
** DISCLAIMER: The publisher was lovely enough to provide me with an advanced copy of the book. This has not affected my thoughts and opinions in this review **
God damn JIMMY Patterson Books really knows how to pick 'em. Stalking Jack the Ripper is the first acquisition that this publishing company decided to print, and they should feel proud for making such a big splash in the water. This book is a new refreshing take on Young Adult historical fiction. I have to admit that I was a little reluctant about getting into this book in the first place. The whole historical fiction aspect didn't really sell me. It wasn't until Twitter blew up with early praise that I knew I had to request a copy from the publishers.
Audrey Rose lives a sheltered life under the eye of her father, who wants to preserve her innocence and give her the life a young lady should have. Tortured by her curiosity, she can't seem to stay away from her uncle's practice with examining dead bodies. She's not your average Victorian young woman. Along with the help of an unlikely ally who is rather charming, Audrey Rose thinks she can catch the killer responsible for the frequent murders. As blood is spilled and she is falling head over heels for her partner, Audrey Rose realizes that she might not want to find the answer at the end of the tunnel.
My favorite part was the writing style. Kerri was able to effortlessly mimic the accent and the way people talked in Victorian times. It was done so so well that from time to time I liked to go back into the book just to read the dialogue between the characters. If I could give you only one reason to read this book, the writing style would be it!
Extra points for originality! In the back there is an entire explanation of the creative liberties that were taken. The entire story was, of course, based off of the infamous killer. It was fun to see the author create her entire world around the real murders and events. If I'm not mistaken, the women murdered in the book were real names from history. She took many creative liberties to give these women a backstory and a life beyond knowing they were murdered.
It really bothers me that this book is labeled under horror on Goodreads. I think it's so misleading because this book wasn't scary at all! That's coming from a girl who's got an affliction with horror books and movies. I've already had some people say to me that they don't plan on picking it up because it's supposedly 'scary'. It was bloody, cringe-worthy and kinda nasty (if you don't like dead bodies and brutal murders kind of way), but definitely not scary! I've seen a lot of other people say the same thing, and I really wished it were changed.
I'm trying (trying is the key word) to keep this review short and sweet because I've got something else to show ya'll. I really think this book is worth a read! It's so unique from any other historical fiction on the market, and I commend Kerri Maniscalco for putting so much blood (haha, you get it?) and sweat into her work. It really does show from the effortless writing style, impeccable character development and swoon-worthy romance. She's got all the typical elements of a YA novel without it being too cliche. I had a fantastic time flipping through this title and only hope it's everything you've been looking for as well!
5 bees for a must-read!
Fashion Sketches from Victorian England
My sister has this dream of being a fashion designer. I'm her number one fangirl, and I really wanted to feature one of her pieces on my blog. She originally created these pieces for her school play as costumes, but I really though they fit this book's time period. Hope you enjoy and definitely be sure to give my sister a follow on Instagram (@kristina.ang).