reviewed by Chelsea Hofmann
Weird, disturbing, creepy, and wonderful, Cackle is one of my favorite books of the year. Annie has been safe and normal her entire life. After being dumped by her boyfriend of ten years, Annie needs to get away.
She takes a teaching job in an idyllic small town where everyone seems to know each other. Things are looking up, because on her very first day she meets the gorgeous and magnetic Sophie who wants to be her friend.
Sophie is self-confident, strong willed, and doesn’t need anyone to be happy. She tries to mentor Annie and Annie starts to wonder why she seems to be the only person who isn’t afraid of Sophie. But Sophie has it all- a huge mansion in the woods, seemingly ageless beauty, and skills and talents that are pure magic. Annie soon begins to suspect that there is more to Sophie than meets the eye, and she can’t help but be intrigued.
Rachel Harrison is one of my new favorite authors for her creativity and lyrical writing. Cackle was everything a book needed- spooky, empowering, campy, and uplifting. Harrison marries that eerie plot with witty and fun writing. It’s if a Disney story came to life, using the supernatural with wonderfully human characters. But beware, if you aren’t a fan of spiders this story will really make you squirm.
The characters in this book were what really made the story enjoyable. They were interesting and unique and flawed in a wonderful way. I didn’t know where the story was going, but I really enjoyed where it ended up. There were many deeper lessons to be learned beneath the main story about women empowerment, inner strength, and finding who we are. This is the perfect book to read around Halloween and will be one I come back to again and again during spooky season!
Thank you to Berkley Publishing and Rachel Harrison for my ARC of this book. Opinions are my own. Cackle comes out on October 5, 2021