“My Dearest Darkest” by Kayla Cottingham Book-Talk (Spoiler free)

My Dearest Darkest by Kayla Cottingham Book Talk

Title: My Dearest Darkest

Author: Kayla Cottingham

Page Count: 350

Published: March 29, 2022 by Sourcebooks Fire

Genre: Young Adult Fiction


Finch Chamberlin auditions for acceptance into a prestigious school, Ulalume Academy in the town of Rainwater, Maine. Prior to the school year, Finch and her family get into a terrible car accident resulting in the loss of her parents. Despite her heart stopping, something refused to let Finch die. Throughout her first year at Ulalume Academy, Finch struggles to find answers to the tragic event and find where she fits in at school.

My Thoughts:

The horror aspects of this book were very cool to read. The book is written in the third person point of view which I am usually not a fan of, but it did not bother me in this case. What did make things feel a bit off had nothing to do with the writing and everything to do with me. This is a book where I truly felt too old for the target audience. I think younger Gen Zs will find it easier to relate to the main characters. 

Most of the story is a mystery as Finch and her new friends do research and go about exploring the island of Rainwater for their investigation. By the end of the book when the main antagonist is on full display, I was hoping for a bit more. Cottingham created a unique character that I wish we had gotten to see more of. I wanted to spend more time in the horror of the villain’s powers and better understand the depth of this character. 

All in all I found this book to be quite enjoyable. The boarding school setting made for an eerie setting that worked well for the tone of the story. I thoroughly enjoyed how much time was spent developing the side characters and making them integral to the arc of the book. 

If you are a fan of supernatural stories, this is a good book for you.

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