River Heights Book Review

The books you'll want to read.

THE DEVIL AND WINNIE FLYNN by Micol and David Ostow

by Micol Ostow, illustrated by David Ostow
October 2015
Soho Teen

The suicide of Winnie’s mother came as a surprise to everyone. At the funeral, Winnie meets her aunt Maggie for the first time, and Maggie encourages Winnie to come work for her as a production assistant for the summer. Maggie is the star and producer of the wildly popular paranormal reality show Fantastic Fearsome. Winnie agrees, even though she is far from believing in anything supernatural. But it isn’t long into shooting an episode about the Jersey Devil that Winnie discovers she may have a supernatural ability of her own—the ability to detect if someone is lying to her. And it seems she isn’t the only one—her aunt and mother were also gifted with otherworldly abilities. Could those gifts have been the reason for her mom’s death? Was it even a suicide? Alongside the handsome devil hunter Seth, Winnie must decide what she believes, as well as who she believes.

THE DEVIL AND WINNIE FLYNN is written as a letter to Winnie’s best friend, which lends the book an intimate feel and builds a rapport between the reader and Winnie almost immediately. I loved her skeptical nature and her self-awareness about her awkwardness, but I especially loved her sharp and wry observations. Winnie’s voice is distinct and oftentimes funny as hell. The appeal of the story is only enhanced by the dark and fantastic illustrations peppered throughout the story, done by David Ostow, brother to the author Micol Ostow. It’s obvious that the brother-sister team have an affinity for the horror genre, and great affection for their native state of New Jersey—both shine clearly through.

The story struck a perfect chord between horror and mystery; humor and fear. And the behind-the-scenes look at the filming of a ‘reality television’ show was highly entertaining—you’ll never look at one in quite the same way again. While the ending felt a bit rushed, all in all this was a very enjoyable read. We can only hope this talented team has more in store for us.


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This entry was posted on September 22, 2015 by in Horror, Reviews, YA and tagged , , , .
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