→ I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Book: The Lost Coast
Author: Amy Rose Capetta
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Release Date: 14th May, 2019
Rep: bi, nonbinary, queer, lesbian, black, Filipino, ace, chronic pain because of injury, synesthesia
Trigger warnings: death, murder
What’s it about?
Danny didn’t know what she was looking for when she and her mother spread out a map of the United States and Danny put her finger down on Tempest, California. What she finds are the Grays: a group of friends who throw around terms like queer and witch like they’re ordinary and everyday, though they feel like an earthquake to Danny. But Danny didn’t just find the Grays. They cast a spell that calls her halfway across the country, because she has something they need: she can bring back Imogen, the most powerful of the Grays, missing since the summer night she wandered into the woods alone. But before Danny can find Imogen, she finds a dead boy with a redwood branch through his heart. Something is very wrong amid the trees and fog of the Lost Coast, and whatever it is, it can kill.
What did I think?
It is really hard to write this review because I have problems finding the right words to express how I feel. This book was unlike any I’ve read before, that much is sure. If I had to sum it up in 3 words, I’d say atmospheric, queer, weird.
The whole book had an atmosphere of magic, like you could taste and feel it. Of course, this is a book about witches, but even without the actual magic the story itself would have been so. But with the addition of witches it is made even more magical. It is all around, there for the protagonists to use, a part of everything, a thing to be shaped. It reads like it was a character itself. The magic is in the redwoods where the most part of the story is set, it’s in the witches and in the graveyard, it’s in the water and the birds. And it is described in such beautiful, soemtimes almost prosaic ways.
The characters were amazing. In the center of the story are Danny, who moves from Michigan to Tempest in California. She’s never felt like she belonged anywhere until she meets The Grays. Danny likes to flirt and kiss girls and sometimes she finds it hard to keep her mouth shut. Usually, when she thinks something, it just pops out. But she is also smart and trusts her intuition. The Grays are a very diverse group of witches. One of them, Imogen, has become an empty shell, until one day she completely disappears and her friends have to find her. They each have very different kinds of magic, and they’re each very different as well. What brought them together in the first place was Imogen. But they’re wonderful and special on their own as well. While the girls dig deeper into magic and the history of the place they live in, the story gets darker and weirder.
But it’s a good kind of weird. The story is told from several point of views that are spanned over different decades that are all vital to the story and come together later in the book. Some parts of it were confusing, some were beautiful, but all were relevant. The chapters were short, just little snippets of what’s happening. It felt like being in a thunderstorm and from time to time lightning cracks and you can see a bit of what’s happening. That’s how it felt reading this story, the ups and downs and the soft drizzle of rain, hard thunderclaps, the occasional insight into the characters. And while at first I just thought it was weird and I wasn’t a fan of this way to tell a story, I came to like it a lot.
It shows the characters in a different light, highlighting certain aspects of their lives that are relevant to the story. There’s so much I don’t know about this characters but it doesn’t feel like I’m missing information either. The story itself feels whole in itself while I still want to read more about the characters and how their lives go on.
Thank you to Candlewick for providing me with a copy of this book.