Nightingale

Nightingale

“Takes a slice of mid-twentieth-century Americana and exposes it as an utter and ongoing gender inequality nightmare. Electric, tense, horrifying, and a righteously angry yowl.” —Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and The Cabin at the End of the WorldAt seventeen, June Hardie is everything a young woman in 1951 shouldn’t be—independent, rebellious, a dreamer. J...

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Title:Nightingale
Author:Amy Lukavics
Rating:

Nightingale Reviews

  • Cillian

    Ready for this, Ruby?

    Just like the good ol' times...

  • destiny ♎ [howling libraries]

    I am a tremendous fan of historical horror, and more specifically, historical horror set in asylums, so as soon as I read the synopsis of this one, I was intrigued. I really had no idea what to expect, but I appreciate that Lukavics has a twisted imagination and tends to go to

    than most YA horror authors are willing to explore, so my hopes were very high for

    I am a tremendous fan of historical horror, and more specifically, historical horror set in asylums, so as soon as I read the synopsis of this one, I was intrigued. I really had no idea what to expect, but I appreciate that Lukavics has a twisted imagination and tends to go to

    than most YA horror authors are willing to explore, so my hopes were very high for

    Thankfully, I was not let down

    by this creepy little read! First, let me say that, if you are a fan of American Horror Story’s

    season (season 2), I think this will absolutely be right up your alley. That happens to be my favorite AHS season, and this gave me such similar vibes without ever feeling like it was ripping off the show in any way. What starts off as a horror story in an asylum in the 50s quickly gains a sci-fi element that’s

    in the best way.

    There isn’t a ton I can tell you about what

    in the book without spoiling things, so I’ll just say that I genuinely enjoyed the progression of events, loved the twist at the end, and found June to be an absolutely fantastic narrator. I loved seeing the world through her perspective, where

    and what she’s misinterpreting or possibly making up altogether. There’s a lot of speculative fiction feels to the storytelling here, which I love (but I

    spec-fic isn’t for everyone, so if you’re not a huge fan, maybe go into the book preparing yourself).

    There’s also a lot of solid social commentary in here. The way the patients at the asylum are treated is terrifying, especially because so much of it is obviously inspired by real events. There’s also a load of sexism present: June is placed into the asylum for being too “unusual”, because rather than cooking, cleaning, and having a family, she wants to live on her own, travel the world, and write terrifying science fiction novels. She’s confused and frustrated by the gender roles placed upon her, and things aren’t made any easier for her by the fact that she’s

    —and we actually get to see her form sexual and romantic relationships with a man

    a woman, the latter of which I found to be so sweet and precious that I couldn’t help but root for them.

    I thought

    was a tremendously fun read, and I flew through it in no time at all. I loved the creepy elements, the slow dread brought on by June’s confusion and lack of control, and the surprisingly gore-filled scenes near the end. Like I said, I love how far Amy Lukavics is willing to go, and

    made me want to immediately pick up the older releases of hers that I haven’t gotten to yet. I strongly recommend adding this one to your TBR if you’re a fan of horror with some sci-fi elements thrown in, and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!

    for parental abuse/neglect, domestic violence, ableism, mistreatment of mental health patients (lobotomies, shock therapy, etc.), gore, body horror, violence, sexism, suicidal ideation.

  • Latasha

    This is the first book I've read by Amy Lukavics. a friend ask if anyone wanted to buddy read it, so I checked to see if it was on my to read list and it was. I didn't refresh my memory as to what it was about. Meet June, 18yrs. in 1951. Through her we see what was expected of girls in this era and how they were to behave, act, think, etc. thank god I missed this time. She is committed to an insane asylum. The book switches to time the before the asylum and to time in the institute. As it does,

    This is the first book I've read by Amy Lukavics. a friend ask if anyone wanted to buddy read it, so I checked to see if it was on my to read list and it was. I didn't refresh my memory as to what it was about. Meet June, 18yrs. in 1951. Through her we see what was expected of girls in this era and how they were to behave, act, think, etc. thank god I missed this time. She is committed to an insane asylum. The book switches to time the before the asylum and to time in the institute. As it does, reality becomes more and more unclear. I'm still not sure how much of what I read really happened and how much was June's story. Yes, she writes a story and it's extremely important to her. This was a very good book. I liked the writing, the characters, the setting. I will definitely read more by this author.

  • Emily

    Nightingale was my first Amy Lukavics book, and I am happy to say that I loved it! This book is about June, who graduates from high school & wants to grow up to be something besides her mother. I found June to be a relatable character - she loves things she isn't "supposed to" love (like sci-fi and writing), and she feels alone in her family because she doesn't match their standard of the idea girl. It's a lonely story, and I think many women will be able to relate to June. This book is grim

    Nightingale was my first Amy Lukavics book, and I am happy to say that I loved it! This book is about June, who graduates from high school & wants to grow up to be something besides her mother. I found June to be a relatable character - she loves things she isn't "supposed to" love (like sci-fi and writing), and she feels alone in her family because she doesn't match their standard of the idea girl. It's a lonely story, and I think many women will be able to relate to June. This book is grim, but it's not entirely devoid of hope.

    I don't think this book is going to be for everyone. It's sort of like a speculative fiction version of The Bell Jar or Girl, Interrupted. These are books that both had a big impact on my life when I was younger, so I thoroughly enjoyed Nightingale. The storyline is pretty vague at times since you can't always tell what's real and what's not, so just know that going in if you decide to pick this one up.

    This book does have a romantic aspect, which often bores me, but I really like how Amy Lukavics handled it in this book. I was rooting for them - it's fun to actually like the characters enough to care. It was a good story.

    Nightingale has a few good creepy scenes, like the opening one, but overall, I think the horror is in the creeping sense of dread and lack of control that June has over her own life. There's some good gore toward the end, and I had fun reading this one. It is a YA book, but I think it has more mature tones than most. I enjoyed this story, and I can't wait to read more from Amy Lukavics.

  • Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)

    I have a huge love for Lukavics and think her horror books, while YA, have a very mature and adult like read to them that keep me coming back and devouring all of her books. Anything dealing with asylums and I'm SOLD. GIMME!

    We are set in 1951, the "Past Days", where June is about to graduate from high school and her parents have a very distinctive role for her to play and she just needs to be "better". Sigh. The author does a great job in giving us that trapped feeling where we feel the necessit

    I have a huge love for Lukavics and think her horror books, while YA, have a very mature and adult like read to them that keep me coming back and devouring all of her books. Anything dealing with asylums and I'm SOLD. GIMME!

    We are set in 1951, the "Past Days", where June is about to graduate from high school and her parents have a very distinctive role for her to play and she just needs to be "better". Sigh. The author does a great job in giving us that trapped feeling where we feel the necessity to be one way, as is socially the norm, but what we really want to do is break out of this mold and be our own person... and accepted for it. Then we have the present day, in the Institution, chapters where June is committed for her hysteria and there is absolutely NOTHING that seems right about this place. Is she wrong, or is this place wrong?

    There's a semblance of a book-in-a-book with the science fiction story June is writing which takes this book into a whole different atmosphere (ha! see what I did there?). Honestly, this is the part that got lost on me and where I think the blurb is slightly misleading. I am just not the right audience for this - though I was reminded at times of Coraline and a season of Supernatural - but you're going to have to read this to understand where I'm coming from. (It's ok, I rarely make sense to myself either.)

    What is fantastic is the eerie feeling of this book - it's a build up of dread and insanity and the unknown of what is or isn't real as we ride through June's various thoughts before and after being institutionalized. There are also some gruesome and enjoyable scenes as we get further along and these I always do enjoy.

    Another solid bit of work from Lukavics and I'm reminded again of why I am such a HUGE fan - even when something doesn't quite hit the mark for me, I'm still highly entertained and pulled into her stories.

    3 1/2 stars - rounding to 4 for Goodreads.

    Thank you Harlequin Teen for this copy.

  • Rachel

    I really like this author so I was excited that she had a new book coming out. I got to buddy read this with a friend on here and introduce her to Amy's writing :)

    SO many things I like are in this book. I can't tell you all of them because that would be a bit spoiler-ish. One thing is that I love the strong female main character (June) and the historical fiction aspect. I love seeing women rebel and try to work together. The body horror aspect to the story was very cool and gruesome. I had a lot

    I really like this author so I was excited that she had a new book coming out. I got to buddy read this with a friend on here and introduce her to Amy's writing :)

    SO many things I like are in this book. I can't tell you all of them because that would be a bit spoiler-ish. One thing is that I love the strong female main character (June) and the historical fiction aspect. I love seeing women rebel and try to work together. The body horror aspect to the story was very cool and gruesome. I had a lot of reactions to the story while reading because June is really put through hell, and the time period in which the story takes place is so oppressive to women - I was SO frustrated while reading what was happening to her! I liked that the story jumped back and forth between the present day at the asylum and the past leading up to it. I desperately wanted to know what had happened to put her in the asylum, so I felt a tension and nervousness as I was reading. I had a lot of questions while reading and was anxious to have them resolved. Overall, it was a stressful, horrific, but at the same time empowering read.

  • Kendall

    So.. I had to sit over this book for a day... because I was THAT confused. I'm not exactly sure what I just read?

    I've heard fantastic things about Amy Lukavics and her horror novels. BUT, wow... this was NOT horror at all. I don't even know what I would categorize this as?..... Sci-fi ish/Science fictionish?

    This book had SUCH potential to be an epic read... but damn was I completely lost on all accounts.

    June Hardie is struggling to make something of herself in a typical suburban town. Yikes..

    So.. I had to sit over this book for a day... because I was THAT confused. I'm not exactly sure what I just read?

    I've heard fantastic things about Amy Lukavics and her horror novels. BUT, wow... this was NOT horror at all. I don't even know what I would categorize this as?..... Sci-fi ish/Science fictionish?

    This book had SUCH potential to be an epic read... but damn was I completely lost on all accounts.

    June Hardie is struggling to make something of herself in a typical suburban town. Yikes.. typical gender roles/norms here... with women cooking/cleaning and men being the primary breadwinners. However, June has found her love of writing and becomes obsessed with her story. Her family of course doesn't support her writing and thinks she's ridiculous. A mysterious event happens and June lands herself in an asylum.

    June beings to realize that there is something very creepy going on in the asylum. Girls start disappearing and June has her work cut out to figure out what the hell is going on.

    The story alternates between June being in the asylum and the event leading up to the asylum with her family and how awful she is treated by them.

    I don't even know where the author was trying to go with this one. I was completely lost at the end of this one and was thinking wtf?

    The only thing that I really liked about this book was the cover. Ugh.. major disappointment. I don't think I will be trying another book by this author.

    2 stars for this one.

    Thank you so much to Harlequin Teen and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this in exchange for my honest thoughts.

    Expected publication date: 10/1/18

    Published to GR: 7/22/18.

  • Jenna Bookish

    Well, this book was certainly… an adventure. What started out looking like a book about a young woman suffering from Capgras delusion (a belief that someone close to you has been replaced with an identical impostor) slowly delved into weirder and weirder science fiction territory. (Or perhaps not; June is an unreliable narrator and it’s possible that the science fiction elements are all the result of a broken mind. Who can say?) I don’t want to give too much away in terms of plot, but rest assur

    Well, this book was certainly… an adventure. What started out looking like a book about a young woman suffering from Capgras delusion (a belief that someone close to you has been replaced with an identical impostor) slowly delved into weirder and weirder science fiction territory. (Or perhaps not; June is an unreliable narrator and it’s possible that the science fiction elements are all the result of a broken mind. Who can say?) I don’t want to give too much away in terms of plot, but rest assured that what you might expect from the blurb for this book bears little resemblance to the book itself.

    While the unexpected is certainly not in itself a reason for a negative review, the plot twists in this book simply were not well executed. It felt like there was insufficient buildup and too many questions left unanswered. The overall result was a flimsy plot with horror elements that were far from horrifying. For example, Lukavics seemed to rely too much on gore and body horror to make the reader squirm. There was a lot of “ick” factor that simply wasn’t scary, with repeated mentions of worms crawling around in the brains of live people and the detailed description of a mangled corpse.

    June had some potential to be a good protagonist, and she definitely had some elements which made her sympathetic. She bristles at the rigid expectations of her gender in the 1950’s, but it seems that Lukavics takes this trait too far in trying to drive the point home. June expresses irritation at one point that her mother expects her to wear clean clothes; hygiene is not a gendered issue, June. She is extremely resistant to learning to cook, and while this is something disproportionately thrust onto women, June honestly just seems disgruntled at the thought of being asked to do anything at all.

    Her desire to be a writer when her family wants to turn her into a housewife was an engaging element of her character. She has no desire to marry the boy they’ve selected for her, for reasons which become more and more obvious as the plot moves along. I wish Lukavics had spent more time focusing on these issues rather than June’s disdain at being asked to do so much as clean up after herself. Flawed protagonists are fine, but whiny protagonists are generally unbearable. June has some internal struggles going on that would have made for really intriguing character development, but they were very shallowly explored. All in all, this book felt like a first draft; there’s a good story hiding under a bit of a mess.

    I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and not influenced by the publisher.

    You can read all of my reviews at my blog, 

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  • Michelle

    Read to to the 1/2 way point and then skimmed the rest.

    It is safe to say that I was the wrong audience for this book. I really enjoyed the authors previous book Daughters Unto Devils so I didn't even hesitate to request a copy of this book. In my defense the blurb is really misleading. Horror this is not. Science Fiction, perhaps more likely, but even at that I don't think it's done particularly well here because it's just so confusing. I am not an avid reader of Science Fiction though so what

    Read to to the 1/2 way point and then skimmed the rest.

    It is safe to say that I was the wrong audience for this book. I really enjoyed the authors previous book Daughters Unto Devils so I didn't even hesitate to request a copy of this book. In my defense the blurb is really misleading. Horror this is not. Science Fiction, perhaps more likely, but even at that I don't think it's done particularly well here because it's just so confusing. I am not an avid reader of Science Fiction though so what the hell do I know!

    For those that are fans of Young Adult / Science Fiction / Asylums - this may be right up your alley!

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