Not gonna lie, I love YA books. And this week is Teen Read Week, where kids are encouraged to “read for the fun of it!” Since it happens to be October, month of Halloween and horror – and since it is also Black Speculative Fiction Month, I’m highlighting author Dia Reeves, who writes deliciously dark YA fantasy that delves into horror and fully embraces the weird. If you want a YA read that’s a little dark and different, I suggest you check her out.
This debut novel introduces the wonderfully unique little world of Portero, a small town in Texas with magical doors and monsters and twisted teen girls — there are no basic main characters in Dia Reeves’ world. Nope. And I love it! Here, the main character Hanna is dealing with being biracial and bipolar when she hitchhikes her way to the mysterious town.
Hanna simply wants to be loved. With a head plagued by hallucinations, a medicine cabinet full of pills, and a closet stuffed with frilly, violet dresses, Hanna’s tired of being the outcast, the weird girl, the freak. So she runs away to Portero, Texas, in search of a new home.
But Portero is a stranger town than Hanna expects. As she tries to make a place for herself, she discovers dark secrets that would terrify any normal soul. Good thing for Hanna, she’s far from normal. And when a crazy girl meets an even crazier town, only two things are certain: Anything can happen and no one is safe.
First of all, I love the cover of this book. I mean, look at that – it’s so delighful yet dark, the perfect cover for this particular book. This book returns to the world of Portero, only this time it follows two sisters who take after their serial killer dad – they may be the girls next door, but if you cross them, they will cut you. Literally!
Kit and Fancy Cordelle are sisters of the best kind: best friends, best confidantes, and best accomplices. The daughters of the infamous Bonesaw Killer, Kit and Fancy are used to feeling like outsiders, and that’s just the way they like it. But in Portero, where the weird and wild run rampant, the Cordelle sisters are hardly the oddest or most dangerous creatures around.
It’s no surprise when Kit and Fancy start to give in to their deepest desire—the desire to kill. What starts as a fascination with slicing open and stitching up quickly spirals into a gratifying murder spree. Of course, the sisters aren’t killing just anyone, only the people who truly deserve it. But the girls have learned from the mistakes of their father, and know that a shred of evidence could get them caught. So when Fancy stumbles upon a mysterious and invisible doorway to another world, she opens a door to endless possibilities.