I Am Margaret Moore by Hannah Capin – Review

Lyrical and haunting, Hannah Capin’s I Am Margaret Moore is a paranormal thriller that tests the hold of sisterhood and truth.

I am a girl. I am a monster, too.

Each summer the girls of Deck Five come back to Marshall Naval School. They sail on jewel-blue waters; they march on green drill-fields; they earn sunburns and honors. They push until they break apart and heal again, stronger.

Each summer Margaret and Rose and Flor and Nisreen come back to the place where they are girls, safe away from the world: sisters bound by something more than blood.

But this summer everything has changed. Girls are missing and a boy is dead. It’s because of Margaret Moore, the boys say. It’s because of what happened that night in the storm.

Margaret’s friends vanish one by one, swallowed up into the lies she has told about what happened between her and a boy with the world at his feet. Can she unravel the secrets of this summer and last, or will she be pulled under by the place she once called home?

Thank you so much to Wednesday Books and NetGalley for the eARC of this haunting, sorrow-driven narrative. What I am coming to realize about Hannah and her work is that she gives a voice to downtrodden and wronged women everywhere. With ‘Foul is Fair’, it was a revenge story. It was nails on a chalkboard, it was a scream in the dead of night. Margaret Moore took a softer approach, but no less distressing. Margaret is a stifled cry for help, an unrelenting icy cold grip on your wrist. I could not put this story down; it went from a bond between friends, to a budding first love, to finally– a belated look in the proverbial mirror and seeing oneself for the first time.

When we meet Margaret Moore, she is reminiscing about her summers with her best friends at camp. The links between the girls are tested as Margaret gets closer and closer to one of the boys at the barracks. Margaret’s heart is taken advantage of, and soon she becomes one of the tragedies surrounding Marshall Naval Camp. As she attempts to unravel what happened the summer that changed her forever, Margaret found the voice that she lost in the storm of life. She speaks for the girls whose innocence were taken from them too soon, for those that have loved and lost, and the rest of the tongues that have been tied by families with money. The entirety of Deck Five is haunted by the mystery of Margaret, but not a one of them as much as her friends. Eventually, however, Flor, Rose, and Nisreen all move on; but Margaret never leaves.

It is with Hannah’s signature poetic prose that this tale of a girl’s life shattered as finitely as a wherry on rocky, choppy waters is woven into a truly devastating tapestry. I can’t stand to think of the young girls who are given no choice but to grow up too quickly. Hannah handles these plots with care, but with an overwhelming amount of venom that will course through your veins and make you want to act. I loved the supernatural twist in this book– it gives such a stunning twist to this already thrilling drama. I can’t wait to see what the next endeavor from Hannah will be. One thing I do know is that it will turn the tables on every masculine trope you’ve ever read.

5/5 stars

Foul Is Fair by Hannah Capin – Review

Elle and her friends Mads, Jenny, and Summer rule their glittering LA circle. Untouchable, they have the kind of power other girls only dream of. Every party is theirs and the world is at their feet. Until the night of Elle’s sweet sixteen, when they crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party. The night the golden boys choose Elle as their next target.

They picked the wrong girl.

Sworn to vengeance, Elle transfers to St. Andrew’s. She plots to destroy each boy, one by one. She’ll take their power, their lives, and their control of the prep school’s hierarchy. And she and her coven have the perfect way in: a boy named Mack, whose ambition could turn deadly.

Foul is Fair is a bloody, thrilling revenge fantasy for the girls who have had enough. Golden boys beware: something wicked this way comes.

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Thank you so much to Netgalley for the ARC of this emotionally devastating and beautifully written novel! When I read the premise, I thought I knew exactly what I was in for. I was looking forward to a cast of badass women who were done sitting back and letting men take what they wanted from them. I definitely received that story, but what I had no idea was to come was the fangs and the claws that would grow from these women, and the absolute carnage that they were going to inflict with them. This book is exciting from start to finish, bringing life to each character and every scene with the most intricate and haunting language I have had the pleasure to read.

We are dropped into Elle’s life as she is destroyed by a group of private school boys. They take what they can from her, but what they don’t get is her spirit. She is reborn as Jade, who has one mission and one mission only; to bring down the wolves that thought they had lured a sheep into their midst. Little did they know that she was one of them as well. She enlists the help of her three best friends, whom she calls her coven. It’s mindblowingly fitting as these girls are magic together. It brought to mind my group of friends, and how I know they would do anything for me, and I for them. It’s an indescribable bond, and when they hear what has happened to their beloved, they go feral. They are sworn to their sister until the deed is done and forever.

Jade comes clean about her rape, at least bits of it, to her parents, who are devastated for her. She says it was someone from the school she currently attends, and so requests to transfer to St. Andrews, where the real group of boys go. They are willing to agree to her demands; her father being well connected enough to make the switch flawlessly. Jade joins the school and immediately seeks out her prey. She spends her days making an in with these people, and plotting how to tear them apart from the inside. She sets her sights on their golden boy, Mack, as he is the softest of all of them and will be the easiest one to corrupt.

What she doesn’t expect, however, is to fall for the boy. She fights to stay true to her mission while dealing with these feelings that she doesn’t want to have. She is rage, she is fire, she is an avenging angel. She has no time for this weakness. So she uses it to fuel the flames, both in her and in Mack, and it only takes a matter of weeks for the house of cards to fall. It is a brilliant descent into madness, and Jade is our smiling guide. The plot that she carefully crafts, even when there are hiccups, is masterful and is aided by her loved ones. It truly is a story of the power of women, and a cautionary tale to remind the world that actions have consequences, no matter if it takes days, or weeks, or months, or years. Your sins are never as buried as you think. They lurk under the surface, waiting to rise anew.

I can’t speak enough of the characters in this book. There is so much great representation, and all of the women have their own battles that they’re fighting, but they rally around Jade in her time of need, just as she has for them over the years. I also appreciate that this book started out with a trigger warning, as the content is very dark and heavy, so for someone who has dealt with rape, suicide, or transphobia, it could take an even darker turn. Even for the subject matter to be what it was, underneath it all was a strong message to all women everywhere; not just those born physically into it, but mentally and emotionally as well. We will not be silenced. We will not be torn asunder. We will unfurl our wings and fly. We will be seen for the magnificent and malicious creatures that we are.

5/5 stars