Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Devil and Winnie Flynn by Micol Ostow

The Devil and Winnie Flynn
by Micol Ostow
illustrated by David Ostow

Find out more about this book and author:
Twitter @micolz

Release date: October 13, 2015
Publisher: Soho Teen
Genre: Paranormal, YA
Hardback: 336 pages
Rating: 4

First sentence(s):
"The devil hunters are here for wardrobe."

Told as an ongoing letter to a friend, Winnie’s story is a heartrending mystery and a pop culture critique in the vein of Libba Bray’s Going Bovine and Beauty Queens—with illustrations throughout that recall the quirky, dark, and distinct aesthetics of Ransom Riggs’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

Winnie Flynn doesn’t believe in ghosts. (Though she wouldn’t mind a visit from her mom, explaining why she took her own life.) When her mysterious aunt Maggie, a high-profile TV producer, recruits Winnie to spend a summer working as a production assistant on her current reality hit, Fantastic, Fearsome, she suddenly finds herself in the one place her mother would never go: New Jersey.

New Jersey’s famous Devil makes perfect fodder for Maggie’s show. But as the filming progresses, Winnie sees and hears things that make her think that the Devil might not be totally fake after all. Things that involve her and her family. Things about her mother’s death that might explain why she’s never met Aunt Maggie until now.

Winnie soon discovers her family’s history is deeply entwined with the Devil’s. If she’s going to make it out of the Pine Barrens alive, she might have to start believing in what her aunt is telling her. And, find out what she isn’t.

My two-bits:

A kind of coming of age story for the main character, Winnie, who learns about herself and her past while dabbling into her aunt's paranormal world.

There is an interesting look into the details and making of a ghostbuster/hunter hit tv show with references to current paranormal related films and culture.

Illustrations are sprinkled throughout the book as an extra treat for the eyes.

I found this story to be more mystery than spooky horror.

About the author:
Micol Ostow has been writing professionally since 2004, and in that time has written and/or ghostwritten over 40 published works for young readers. She started her reign of terror with Egmont with her novel FAMILY, which Elizabeth Burns named a favorite of 2012 on her School Library Journal-syndicated blog, A Chair, a Fireplace, a Tea Cozy. Micol's graphic novel, SO PUNK ROCK (and Other Ways to Disappoint Your Mother), was named a 2009 Booklist Top Ten Arts Books for Youth Selection, a Booklist Top Ten Religion Books for Youth Selection, and a Sydney Taylor Notable Book for Teens. She received her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Her young adult horror novel, AMITY, will release from Egmont in August 2014, and her first chapter book series, LOUISE TRAPEZE, will debut in Spring 2015 from Random House.

She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY, alongside her Emmy Award-winning husband, their daughter, and a finicky French bulldog.


* review copy courtesy of publisher

* kicks off my participation in R.I.P. X challenge (here)


  1. Perfect spooky read. Sounds good!

  2. I've always found the New Jersey Devil creepy, I might have to read this one.


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