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To Break a Covenant

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Debut voice Alison Ames delivers with a chilling, feminist thriller, perfect for fans of Wilder Girls and Sawkill Girls. Moon Basin has been haunted for as long as anyone can remember. It started when an explosion in the mine killed sixteen people. The disaster made it impossible to live in town, with underground fires spewing ash into the sky. But life in New Basin is just Debut voice Alison Ames delivers with a chilling, feminist thriller, perfect for fans of Wilder Girls and Sawkill Girls. Moon Basin has been haunted for as long as anyone can remember. It started when an explosion in the mine killed sixteen people. The disaster made it impossible to live in town, with underground fires spewing ash into the sky. But life in New Basin is just as fraught. The ex-mining town relies on its haunted reputation to bring in tourists, but there’s more truth to the rumors than most are willing to admit, and the mine still has a hold on everyone who lives there. Clem and Nina form a perfect loop—best friends forever, and perhaps something more. Their circle opens up for a strange girl named Lisey with a knack for training crows, and Piper, whose father is fascinated with the mine in a way that’s anything but ordinary. The people of New Basin start experiencing strange phenomena—sleepwalking, night terrors, voices that only they can hear. And no matter how many vans of ghost hunters roll through, nobody can get to the bottom of what’s really going on. Which is why the girls decide to enter the mine themselves.


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Debut voice Alison Ames delivers with a chilling, feminist thriller, perfect for fans of Wilder Girls and Sawkill Girls. Moon Basin has been haunted for as long as anyone can remember. It started when an explosion in the mine killed sixteen people. The disaster made it impossible to live in town, with underground fires spewing ash into the sky. But life in New Basin is just Debut voice Alison Ames delivers with a chilling, feminist thriller, perfect for fans of Wilder Girls and Sawkill Girls. Moon Basin has been haunted for as long as anyone can remember. It started when an explosion in the mine killed sixteen people. The disaster made it impossible to live in town, with underground fires spewing ash into the sky. But life in New Basin is just as fraught. The ex-mining town relies on its haunted reputation to bring in tourists, but there’s more truth to the rumors than most are willing to admit, and the mine still has a hold on everyone who lives there. Clem and Nina form a perfect loop—best friends forever, and perhaps something more. Their circle opens up for a strange girl named Lisey with a knack for training crows, and Piper, whose father is fascinated with the mine in a way that’s anything but ordinary. The people of New Basin start experiencing strange phenomena—sleepwalking, night terrors, voices that only they can hear. And no matter how many vans of ghost hunters roll through, nobody can get to the bottom of what’s really going on. Which is why the girls decide to enter the mine themselves.

30 review for To Break a Covenant

  1. 5 out of 5

    emma

    THIS IS WHAT READING IS ALL ABOUT. Picking up a random book you haven't heard much about and just. FALLING IN LOVE WITH IT. Have decided to use the one moment of earnestness I'm allotted per year on this to say: I read for moments like this! Yes, I'm critical, yes, my most common rating is a 3 by a country mile, yes, I bring suffering to the timelines of us all: But I'm willing to bet that when I want to give a five star - when a book is PERFECT and makes me FEEL and I love the CHARACTERS and it SU THIS IS WHAT READING IS ALL ABOUT. Picking up a random book you haven't heard much about and just. FALLING IN LOVE WITH IT. Have decided to use the one moment of earnestness I'm allotted per year on this to say: I read for moments like this! Yes, I'm critical, yes, my most common rating is a 3 by a country mile, yes, I bring suffering to the timelines of us all: But I'm willing to bet that when I want to give a five star - when a book is PERFECT and makes me FEEL and I love the CHARACTERS and it SURPRISES me... Well, I bet my five stars feel better than your five stars. This is like if Emily Henry wrote young adult paranormal horror, which is the greatest compliment I can give...any young adult paranormal horror. It's funny, the banter is A+, the friendships are fantastic, there's some sweet little sapphic friends to lovers action, and it is so goddamn spooky I could perish. What a dream. Bottom line: I'm going to live forever!!!!!!!! --------------- pre-review what the hell? what the actual living screaming f*ck? where did this come from?? review to come / FIVE STARS?????? --------------- tbr review sapphic hauntings sapphic hauntings sapphic hauntings (thank you to the publisher for the ARC) --------------- reading all books with LGBTQ+ rep for pride this month! book 1: the gravity of us book 2: the great american whatever book 3: wild beauty book 4: the affair of the mysterious letter book 5: how we fight for our lives book 6: blue lily, lily blue book 7: the times i knew i was gay book 8: conventionally yours book 9: the hollow inside book 10: nimona book 11: dark and deepest red book 12: the house in the cerulean sea book 13: the raven king book 14: violet ghosts book 15: as far as you'll take me book 16: bad feminist book 17: a song for a new day book 18: one last stop book 19: to break a covenant

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lex Kent

    4.50 Stars. Now this is a horror book! I’m taking another quick ARC break, to try to get in as many Halloween books as I can, and I was ready for something scary. YA horror is pretty popular right now, which I love, but I’ve found a lot of the books to be more creepy and gross as oppose to creepy and scary, which is the combo I’ve been looking for. Well let’s just say that I made a big mistake of starting this book at 9pm because this was finally the scary horror book I’ve been waiting for. This 4.50 Stars. Now this is a horror book! I’m taking another quick ARC break, to try to get in as many Halloween books as I can, and I was ready for something scary. YA horror is pretty popular right now, which I love, but I’ve found a lot of the books to be more creepy and gross as oppose to creepy and scary, which is the combo I’ve been looking for. Well let’s just say that I made a big mistake of starting this book at 9pm because this was finally the scary horror book I’ve been waiting for. This is a story about a group of three girlfriends that are spending their summer vacation together. The live in one of the most haunted towns on earth, that regularly sees ghost hunting teams putting microphones in their faces. When a new girl comes to town, they instantly friend her but things take a sharp turn when the find out what her father does for a living. He was sent there to decide what should happen to the mine, the mine that most people blame for all the town’s paranormal activity and which has been sitting vacant since an explosion that killed many. While his studying of the mine seems to make it more powerful, the girls soon realize that to save themselves and maybe even the whole town, they must expose the mine’s secrets once and for all. This is Ames debut and I was pretty floored by that. Her writing is excellent and it completely sucks you into this book. Not only was I totally creeped out, I also knew I could not stop reading this book until I was finished. Like the mine that has its hooks in the town, this book had its hooks in me and there was no way I was not going to keep turning every page. I’ve been reading as much YA horror -especially if it has sapphic characters- that I can get my hands on the past few years, but this was the first time I felt actually scared while reading. This reminded me of watching a scary movie where you want to hide your eyes behind the blanket just until the next scene. The setting of the mine was this terrifying character in itself. It was so well written about how it smelled and the heat and how it made the characters feel that I kept feeling wicked claustrophobic just sitting on my couch. This book definitely messed with my head, but in the best sort of horror entertainment way. The characters were really great. The only one I didn’t connect with as much was the girl who moved into the book later. I liked her, but I felt more connected with the other three since they had an older bond. This book is in first person, so you have the biggest connection to Clem, but the other two friends had very unique voices so I didn’t miss not being in their POV. There was a tiny, baby sapphic romance starting. Clem has feels for one of her friends and you see something very slowly developing. It was just enough to be cute and to give such a suffocating book at times, a breath of fresh air. TLDR: An excellent debut and a well done YA horror book. I have not felt this scared and creeped out reading a horror book in a few years. There is a tiny sapphic romance that is cute but it’s not a big part of the story. Characters are great and the mine is one of the spookiest characters I’ve read in a while. This book really delivered on its promises and it makes me excited to think of the kind of impressive book career that Ames has in front of her. Read this book with the lights on!

  3. 4 out of 5

    charlotte,

    i need a moment to process read my review on reads rainbow Rep: lesbian mc, bi li CWs: animal death, death of a parent, gore i need a moment to process read my review on reads rainbow Rep: lesbian mc, bi li CWs: animal death, death of a parent, gore

  4. 4 out of 5

    marta the book slayer

    My biggest pet peeve is when authors write “we did this but don’t know why”. If you’re too lazy to explain something why should I care about reading it? This book had a lot of these moments, especially at pivotal times. You have a mine that is making people crazy and these girls continue going to it multiple times without sensible reasoning. I wish I highlighted this but there was one point when they are driving out of the state to get away from this mine and suddenly "we just turned to drive to My biggest pet peeve is when authors write “we did this but don’t know why”. If you’re too lazy to explain something why should I care about reading it? This book had a lot of these moments, especially at pivotal times. You have a mine that is making people crazy and these girls continue going to it multiple times without sensible reasoning. I wish I highlighted this but there was one point when they are driving out of the state to get away from this mine and suddenly "we just turned to drive to the mine, none of us knowing why but we all knew we had to go there one last time". No we all didn't know that, there is no reason for you to do that. You were all clearly sane enough to get in the car and talked about not going there and suddenly you all decide to go. Stupid, sloppy and lazy writing. The title of this novel makes no sense. 80% of this novel is focused on this mine on how crazy it is making the residents who physically cannot leave. We get two pages were these four teenage girls "just know" they have to share blood and become a covenant. Do you see what I mean about this being lazy? It happens out of nowhere - it really didn't need to be a plot point. Then it comes up one other time later on in the novel, again not making any sense just adding more to the plot. That ending - talk about poorly written. **spoilers ahead but i don't really care about this novel so read at ur own risk** There is strong build-up and slow pace throughout the whole novel and towards the end the girls enter the mine. My internal thoughts: oh my god there is going to be a sequel! i can't wait to read about the fucked up shit that happens in this mine Cut. Fade to black. Let's skip a huge chunk of time of what happens there because why would we care about what goes on in this fucked up mine we have been reading about for 300 pages?!?! Hope you enjoy the final two pages summarizing the girls exiting the mine. The end. :) read as part of spooky season haunted tales that hopefully keep me up till the witching hour 🕸 picture of dorian gray 🕸 we have always lived in the castle 🕸 rules for vanishing 🕸 dracula 🕸 dangers of smoking in bed 🕸 fever dream 🕸 dr.jekyll and mr.hyde 🕸 the houseguest and other stories 🕸 frankenstein in baghdad 🕸 the woman in black 🕸 carmilla 🕸 the collector 🕸 the only good indians 🕸 the black spider 🕸 to break a covenant

  5. 5 out of 5

    bie

    give me a second to collect my jaw from the floor trigger warnings: animal death, child abandonment, gore, parental death, mention of suicide/attempt (drowning, cutting).

  6. 5 out of 5

    rachel ☾

    queer ya horror pitched as "perfect for fans of Wilder Girls and Sawkill Girls" with a wlw romance, ghost hunters & a girl who trains crows! Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram queer ya horror pitched as "perfect for fans of Wilder Girls and Sawkill Girls" with a wlw romance, ghost hunters & a girl who trains crows! Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram

  7. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    Thank you so much to Page Street for providing an ARC copy! All thoughts and opinions are still my own. When I saw this book compared to Wilder Girls and Sawkill Girls I knew I needed to add it to my TBR immediately. And this spooky story fit that description perfectly! I absolutely love the atmospheric setting and creepy small town vibes of this! I loved small town, paranormal stories and this one was done fantastically. I loved that there was a multi-media aspect to it by having episode footage Thank you so much to Page Street for providing an ARC copy! All thoughts and opinions are still my own. When I saw this book compared to Wilder Girls and Sawkill Girls I knew I needed to add it to my TBR immediately. And this spooky story fit that description perfectly! I absolutely love the atmospheric setting and creepy small town vibes of this! I loved small town, paranormal stories and this one was done fantastically. I loved that there was a multi-media aspect to it by having episode footage interspersed between chapters. It was a really fun and effective way to develop the history of the town. But like in the 2 books this is compared to, this really shines in the female friendship. These girls are ride or die friends and I loved following them. They're all so unique and different from one another and I loved that they all had their own voice. Without going into spoilers, this ending won't be for everyone. But I thought it was absolutely genius. Ugh I just really loved how this all came together and it's definitely a book that will stick with me. If you love ghost hunters, haunted towns, and fierce female friendships - get this one on your TBR immediately! It's the perfect edition to a spooky TBR this fall. And I absolutely cannot wait to see what Alison Ames writes next. This was a wonderful debut and I'll definitely be picking up more from them in the future!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Althea

    I have been in a real sapphic horror kick and have been dying to pick this one up ever since it was first announced. I love a good spooky, mysterious town and this ticked so many boxes for me! To Break a Covenant follows Clem and her best friends Nina and Lisey as a new girl, Piper, comes to town. Piper’s dad has been hired to ensure that the town’s old mine shaft is still stable and won’t collapse suddenly, but the only problem is that the mine has been causing the townspeople to have strange n I have been in a real sapphic horror kick and have been dying to pick this one up ever since it was first announced. I love a good spooky, mysterious town and this ticked so many boxes for me! To Break a Covenant follows Clem and her best friends Nina and Lisey as a new girl, Piper, comes to town. Piper’s dad has been hired to ensure that the town’s old mine shaft is still stable and won’t collapse suddenly, but the only problem is that the mine has been causing the townspeople to have strange nightmares and hear strange voices. When Piper’s dad starts acting strangely the girls must take things into their own hands and enter the mine themselves. I absolutely adore atmospheric writing and I think Alison Ames managed to construct one of the most atmospheric books I’ve ever read. The book is set in Moon Basin in the height of summer – imagine sweltering heat and hazy horizons, coyotes howling and humid mineshafts – and the author managed to capture the essence of the town perfectly. I could easily imagine myself there alongside Clem, practically smell the smoke from the underground fires and feel the heat wash over me, and it made for a particularly unnerving read. I am a frequent complainer of spooky things always being set in some dark town with really dim lighting (I have poor eyesight, okay, let me have something!), but I always find horror novels and shows that much scarier when they focus on a town that is terrifying even in the middle of the day, so I thoroughly enjoyed this book. One of the absolute highlights of this book is the main characters, and I’m far from being the only person to love this! Clem, Nina, Lisey and Piper would do absolutely anything for each other – even dying for each other – and their strong, unbreakable bond was, for lack of a better word, just so good to read. Seeing their love and immediate acceptance for each other and all their quirks, as well as the lengths they would go for one another was just so heart-warming and I adored their bond. There’s a sapphic romance in this book which was just so wonderful – and featured some of my absolute favourite tropes (hello friends-to-lovers and we-might-not-make-it-through-this-so-I-have-to-kiss-you-Right-Now!). It didn’t go in the direction I thought it might from the beginning of the book but I adored it nonetheless. I can’t go too much into the plot for obvious reasons but aside from the amazing atmosphere, this book was just unbelievably creepy. I loved how we got snippets throughout of transcriptions from recordings that paranormal investigator shows had done throughout the past and I think it really added to the sense of foreboding as the mine took over. There is some mild gore at times in the book so be aware of that, but I think it was done really well, as someone who is extremely squeamish. My one negative remark about the book is the ending. It’s an open ending which I generally don’t like, though I do think that it worked really well for this book and can’t see it ending any other way. However, I don’t think we got enough explanations – what was that weird clearing where everything was okay all about, what actually happened to the miners, what was going on in the mines in the first place and what was the root of the paranormal activity, Lisey?????? Like I said, I think the overall ending to the story was perfect, but as I got to the 95% mark and there was still so much unresolved, I was starting to have my doubts, and I wish it had been a tad bit longer so that everything else could have got wrapped up because it felt like the author had come up with this wonderful idea of a haunted mine but didn’t really know how to explain it and just went here’s an ambiguous ending, please work it out on your own. But we couldn’t work it out on our own because we weren’t supplied with enough information! Regardless, I would highly, highly recommend this book for the upcoming spooky season, and if you’re trying to hold onto that summer weather then this book will be perfect for you. I absolutely adored the female friendships in this book and the unsettling nature of the book was absolutely fantastic, and I can’t wait to read what Alison Ames releases next! Thanks to TBR & Beyond Tours, Page Street Publishing, and Netgalley for an eARC in return for an honest review! Want more sapphic books? You can find me here: Book Blog | Twitter | Instagram

  9. 5 out of 5

    Leanne

    4.5 stars Reading this on a rainy night, alone in my room, was a mistake. I’m terrified, but it’s worth it, because this was so good! The plot revolves around around an ex-mining town that has long been rumoured to be haunted. We follow Clem, Nina, Lisey, and Piper — four close friends — as they investigate the mystery behind why the townspeople start behaving strangely. Their quest leads them to the town’s mine, the site of an old mining disaster.
 The best horror books aren’t the ones that have 4.5 stars Reading this on a rainy night, alone in my room, was a mistake. I’m terrified, but it’s worth it, because this was so good! The plot revolves around around an ex-mining town that has long been rumoured to be haunted. We follow Clem, Nina, Lisey, and Piper — four close friends — as they investigate the mystery behind why the townspeople start behaving strangely. Their quest leads them to the town’s mine, the site of an old mining disaster.
 The best horror books aren’t the ones that have lots of dramatic violence and gore. Rather, they're the ones that slowly get under your skin and leave you with a distinctly unsettled feeling. And that’s exactly what this book did. I mean firstly, the mine felt like it was its own character. The darkness, its dark history, the mystery of the people who disappeared within it, the strange noises in it — it all felt incredibly real, and I really did feel like I was in the mine with the girls. The atmosphere of the book was definitely the highlight; much like the characters, I kept feeling like something was wrong, but it was hard to pinpoint. It’s not often that the atmosphere and writing of a book matches perfectly with the plot, but that was 100% achieved here. For example, a key point throughout the story is that whatever is haunting the town refuses to let the girls leave, even when they try. That idea that they were physically tied to the town and whatever lay within, completely unable to escape it… I loved it. The friendships/relationships in this were also great! Clem, Nina, Lisey, and Piper had distinct personalities and they all brought something unique to their friendship group. I loved their dynamics. And there’s a cute sapphic friends to lovers subplot. Overall, this is an excellent YA horror novel that is delightfully creepy. It’s also well balanced with some fantastic characters and friendships. Definitely recommended!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Heather M

    i love a gothic bitch house vibe so i had a feeling i was gonna love: gothic bitch mine~ the author understands how to create a genuinely tense and spooky atmosphere, as well as how to have fun with YA voice and it strikes a nice balance. no spoilers but she also understands breaking hearts. I got really invested in this little crew, all in all a great debut novel that makes me want to read whatever she decides to write next! extra points for the Sadie-esque serialized segments throughout that th i love a gothic bitch house vibe so i had a feeling i was gonna love: gothic bitch mine~ the author understands how to create a genuinely tense and spooky atmosphere, as well as how to have fun with YA voice and it strikes a nice balance. no spoilers but she also understands breaking hearts. I got really invested in this little crew, all in all a great debut novel that makes me want to read whatever she decides to write next! extra points for the Sadie-esque serialized segments throughout that the author uses so effectively to build that sense of mystery and dread. cheers to netgalley and the publisher for fronting me a review copy!

  11. 5 out of 5

    gauri

    hmmm this book is one of those 'its not you its me" kind of books. i really liked the paranormal element. the spooky descriptions and tense atmospheric moments stayed strong throughout. but it didn't keep me engrossed in the story or the supposed mystery element. thank you page street and netgalley for the arc! hmmm this book is one of those 'its not you its me" kind of books. i really liked the paranormal element. the spooky descriptions and tense atmospheric moments stayed strong throughout. but it didn't keep me engrossed in the story or the supposed mystery element. thank you page street and netgalley for the arc!

  12. 4 out of 5

    talia ♡

    finishing this book and absolutely loving it means that spooky season is officially upon us !!

  13. 4 out of 5

    scar

    one of my biggest horror pet peeves are scenes with or about visions, hallucinations, weird dreams (there's just no way this can be done well for the whole length of ANY book) and this had a TON of them. they were creepy and interesting for quite some time, but by the end i was tired of them. they became repetitive, and in the final parts of the book i was just rolling my eyes so hard. the characters were just good; not bad, but not great either. i was seriously disappointed in some of the decisi one of my biggest horror pet peeves are scenes with or about visions, hallucinations, weird dreams (there's just no way this can be done well for the whole length of ANY book) and this had a TON of them. they were creepy and interesting for quite some time, but by the end i was tired of them. they became repetitive, and in the final parts of the book i was just rolling my eyes so hard. the characters were just good; not bad, but not great either. i was seriously disappointed in some of the decisions they made. they (just a tiny spoiler; it happens very early on) (view spoiler)[went to the place that was clearly evil numerous times (hide spoiler)] . and for no good reason at all, which was so frustrating. a major plot point was wildly unbelievable, too. in this case i'm not even buying the (view spoiler)["evil mine influence" (hide spoiler)] reasoning in any way. i won't spoil what that thing was because it's a pretty big event (happening somewhere in the middle of the book), but dude. i just can't believe it got resolved (or rather, it didn't get resolved) like that. and then it led to the main characters making even more horrendous decisions. the ending fell rather flat, unfortunately, so that's disappointing. also, the sapphic romance was just an afterthought in this. the friendships were more important, which is fine. but i was still kind of hoping for more. last complaint. i wish the spiral thing went somewhere. it was such a tease. from the good things: the writing style was good. and i admit that a few moments gave me very strong creeps and one image in particular was stuck in my mind, it was so haunting ((view spoiler)[the woman's story about the eyes outside the window (hide spoiler)] ). the plot itself was absolutely my kind of vibe and i was interested to see where it would go. the short chapters in found footage style about various paranormal shows were fun but they, too, became tiring after a while. bonus points for the ghoul boys reference, i adored that. love the cover, too.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    I stayed up til 3am reading the first draft of this book and I cannot WAIT to hold a published copy in my hands next year!!!!!!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Renee Godding

    3.5/5 stars Rounded down for a bit of a dissatisfying ending. Nonetheless very much worth the read if you're on the lookout for a YA small-town-horror novel. PS: is it just me, or is this book só similar in set up and vibe to The Dead and the Dark. Both came out around the same time, both have LGBTQ+ representation, both deal with a small town haunted by a supernatural presence, and both have a ghost-hunting show at their centre... Not that I'm complaining: if you liked one, you will probably li 3.5/5 stars Rounded down for a bit of a dissatisfying ending. Nonetheless very much worth the read if you're on the lookout for a YA small-town-horror novel. PS: is it just me, or is this book só similar in set up and vibe to The Dead and the Dark. Both came out around the same time, both have LGBTQ+ representation, both deal with a small town haunted by a supernatural presence, and both have a ghost-hunting show at their centre... Not that I'm complaining: if you liked one, you will probably like the other!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book teetered between a 3 and 4 rating, but that ending dropped it all the way down to a 2. Such a disappointing and unfulfilling ending. The plot was pretty decent throughout the book, and I enjoyed the world building, itself. Majority of the characters felt flat and not well fleshed out, and some of the plot was a little too unbelievable, though. More detailed issues I had with the book, below. Warning: Contains Spoilers Spoilers below: Plot - * did I miss it or??? WHAT WAS THE ORIGIN OF T This book teetered between a 3 and 4 rating, but that ending dropped it all the way down to a 2. Such a disappointing and unfulfilling ending. The plot was pretty decent throughout the book, and I enjoyed the world building, itself. Majority of the characters felt flat and not well fleshed out, and some of the plot was a little too unbelievable, though. More detailed issues I had with the book, below. Warning: Contains Spoilers Spoilers below: Plot - * did I miss it or??? WHAT WAS THE ORIGIN OF THE "EVIL MINE"???? * I'm not sure about anyone else, but I would've 100% called Piper's mom to file the missing police report for Carlisle * if that didn't work, I'd start contacting media and any other outlet I could (I'm aware this is supposed to take place in the early 2000's, but news channels and SAR still exist) * if the mine doesn't want "out of towners" Carlisle and Piper should've been safe. They weren't from there and were only there to assess the mine. They would've left after it was done. * why didn't they just go to the clearing. They knew the mine left their brain there??? They could've camped out for a while in that clearing. The "road trip" was pointless. Characters - * I absolutely hate that we only got to see the romantic relationship between Clem and Nina at the last few chapters. If that's all there was going to be, I would've been fine with no love interest going on at all. Also. It seemed to come out of nowhere. Just because they are best friends who also like girls, doesn't mean they'd fall for each other??? * I literally could not tell you what any of the characters looked like, except for "henna red hair" for Nina, and "basically albino" for Lisey. Miscellaneous - * while yes, I liked the world building, a story can't base all of it's substance on that alone. Everything else in the book felt flat * The horror/nightmare/mine sequences were thrilling, they were way too long and not really adding anything to plot. Nothing came back into play except the crows, and the tooth. Which, we never find out where it's from??? * why even have the "unreleased footage" chapters? We don't even know when they're taking place, so many names to keep track of, and majority of the information we learn in those chapters, is just repeated in a normal chapter. Pointless. I feel like a lot more pissed me off with this book, but the way it was written distracted from the bad stuff, and I'm still so pissed about the ending that I can't think of anything else. I have never written a review this long or broken down, for any other book. That's how much the ending pissed me off. Obviously their plan worked (or did it ??), and I'm assuming the girls died, but wtf.

  17. 5 out of 5

    patri

    rtc but this was brilliant, supernatural-fighting sapphics in the most breathtakingly sinister and spectral setting you ever did see, for sure the best sort of book to start off the spooky season 👻 ......................................................................................................... here we go: To Break a Covenant was another surprise hit in the bag - a nail-biting horror standalone (though that ending??) that'll scare you stupid and leave you with your heart in your throat wit rtc but this was brilliant, supernatural-fighting sapphics in the most breathtakingly sinister and spectral setting you ever did see, for sure the best sort of book to start off the spooky season 👻 ......................................................................................................... here we go: To Break a Covenant was another surprise hit in the bag - a nail-biting horror standalone (though that ending??) that'll scare you stupid and leave you with your heart in your throat with its spine-tingling hauntings, the literally suffocating small-town setting, and the hazy, boxed-in atmosphere it sets out. the blood-sworn loyalty and shatterproof bond that exists between Clem, Nina, Lisey and Piper is nothing short of heart-rending, and the low-key love story was a lovely bonus, as were the horde of eerie easter eggs (Buffy references, the nod to the Ghoul Boys/Shane Ryan, radio show host Cecil and his beloved Carlos) the author slotted in. i'm super eager to see what Alison Ames sets her sights on next!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lousbookstuff

    4.5 I absolutely love stories like this with paranormal, small town vibes and this book has that in spades! A fantastically written, wonderfully spooky story of a town with a dark history. A terrible mine accident that left the town haunted. A mine that is still burning years after the accident, raining ash into the town and giving the townsfolk nightmares. I think the plot was written amazingly well and loved the way that media footage was included as a way to provide more history about the tow 4.5 I absolutely love stories like this with paranormal, small town vibes and this book has that in spades! A fantastically written, wonderfully spooky story of a town with a dark history. A terrible mine accident that left the town haunted. A mine that is still burning years after the accident, raining ash into the town and giving the townsfolk nightmares. I think the plot was written amazingly well and loved the way that media footage was included as a way to provide more history about the town and to paint the bigger picture as to what was going on in this crazy, strange place. It's a very creepy book that will make your spine tingle and have you on the edge of your seat.  I really enjoyed the friendship group in this book. They are a closely bonded group of weird and wonderful... all very different from each other but as close as sisters, willing to do whatever it takes for each other. I really liked the way that their beliefs surrounding the town hauntings were all so different from each other and the way that those beliefs shifted and changed throughout the chapters. All four were characters you could really love and get behind. Lisey was by far the most interesting as a girl who is a little bit odd... she trains crows, believes in omens and hauntings and as the one who is generally the weirdest that sort of makes her my favourite by default.  This is a very fast paced book and I genuinely read it all in less than 24 hours. I just couldn't stop reading. I loved the way the town was developed with all the history and "ghost-busting" videos just added that little bit extra for me as well. I also adored the characters and the way they were all introduced and the way their friendship was portrayed. They are a super fierce bunch of girls and it was such a rollercoaster ride really... but like, a ride in the dark? Because it was so spooky!  I had so much fun reading this story and would definitely recommend to anyone who likes strong female characters & friendships, haunted towns and general paranormal craziness. This would make for the perfect addition to anyone's TBR for the upcoming spooky season! I am not 100% sure how sold I was on the ending... it was a solid ending with no cliff-hanger but wasn't what I was expecting or hoping for. Not a bad ending but not one that blew me away either so that is probably my only real criticism. The fact that this was a debut absolutely blew me away. I am keen to see what the author writes in the future and would be happy to dive into more of her books! 

  19. 5 out of 5

    Liz Parker

    I had the pleasure of reading this book before publication, and It. Is. Everything. Spooky and atmospheric and wonderfully queer. You really get to know these girls and how they relate to each other and their town. It's a story of friendship--and all the good and bad that entails. Also, it freaked me out reading it at night. So there's that. Put this book on your list! I had the pleasure of reading this book before publication, and It. Is. Everything. Spooky and atmospheric and wonderfully queer. You really get to know these girls and how they relate to each other and their town. It's a story of friendship--and all the good and bad that entails. Also, it freaked me out reading it at night. So there's that. Put this book on your list!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Eden

    I WILL READ THIS ASAP

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Cripes, what a fucking book! First of all, the horror of this book is so awesome, it's kind of like, everything I wanted IT to be but... with a girl gang. And body horror. And more strange, unclear... creepy... like, the visuals from this book. I could see it so clearly in my mind and I'll be honest, I was fucking spooked! Second of all, did anyone else notice the radio broadcasters name was CECIL...? And his partners name was Carlos!? I am going to pretend that this has some kind of overlap with Cripes, what a fucking book! First of all, the horror of this book is so awesome, it's kind of like, everything I wanted IT to be but... with a girl gang. And body horror. And more strange, unclear... creepy... like, the visuals from this book. I could see it so clearly in my mind and I'll be honest, I was fucking spooked! Second of all, did anyone else notice the radio broadcasters name was CECIL...? And his partners name was Carlos!? I am going to pretend that this has some kind of overlap with Welcome to Nightvale, no one can convince me otherwise. Third, and most importantly, a fucking stellar ending. There is nothing more disappointing than a good horror/mystery with a boring ending - this totally delivered me to new heights. Much like David Soddergren, the ending is just in perfect sync with the story. A billion stars! Cannot wait to read more from this author!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rachael

    I was lucky enough to read an arc of this book and it is everything my haunted-town loving heart could have asked for! Featuring a group of friends who I would literally go into the mine for, this book was haunting, beautiful, sad, hopeful, and at times laugh out loud funny. Whilst the setting is absolutely amazing (think Silent Hill if people actually lived next to it) and the scenes in the mine itself gave me goosebumps, it was the character dynamics that had me truly invested. Alison knows ho I was lucky enough to read an arc of this book and it is everything my haunted-town loving heart could have asked for! Featuring a group of friends who I would literally go into the mine for, this book was haunting, beautiful, sad, hopeful, and at times laugh out loud funny. Whilst the setting is absolutely amazing (think Silent Hill if people actually lived next to it) and the scenes in the mine itself gave me goosebumps, it was the character dynamics that had me truly invested. Alison knows how to write relationships, and I wanna be part of Clem, Nina, Lisey and Piper's friend group so bad. I also adored the bits of transcripts of footage from ghost hunting squads - it really ramped up the suspense. Basically, I devoured this book and I will be yelling about it for the forseeable future.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Maddie (Inking & Thinking)

    4 Stars This was my first time reading a YA book in the genre of Horror. I have never read any books or watched anything that has a horror element to it. I decided to take a risk on this book because once I read the synopsis I was hooked. Let me say that I was not disappointed. From page one, you get this creepy and unsettling atmosphere from the town of Moon Basin. From the strange occurrences of pets disappearing, ghost shows showing up every few years, and stories of the mine that lingers n 4 Stars This was my first time reading a YA book in the genre of Horror. I have never read any books or watched anything that has a horror element to it. I decided to take a risk on this book because once I read the synopsis I was hooked. Let me say that I was not disappointed. From page one, you get this creepy and unsettling atmosphere from the town of Moon Basin. From the strange occurrences of pets disappearing, ghost shows showing up every few years, and stories of the mine that lingers near the old town. It creates a nail-biting, dark atmosphere making you want to get away from them as soon as possible. You get submerged in the town of Moon Basin, and in a way, that narration draws you towards it. Books sometimes lack friendships that readers can fall in love with, and sometimes characters can fall flat in those situations. But in this book, It wasn’t a problem. All of the girls in the group had their personalities and quirks that made them who they were. They had a ride-and-die friendship, where nothing could tear them apart. When things started to get rough, they never abandoned one another. In the end, they came back together. It was absolutely enjoyable to read, and what friendships should be like. Within each chapter, there would be interviews between Ghost Hunters from various shows and the residents of Moon Basin. This was such a clever way for the author to add more world-building to the town of Moon Basin avoiding the dreaded info-dumping that occurs in many books. Through these interviews, we were able to see how other residents viewed these paranormal experiences and how they affected their day-to-day lives. We saw how these experiences didn’t just affect residents of Moon Basin, but the ghost hunters as well. It showed how many residents had no idea what was going on; they were in fear of their lives. Many tried to cope with the activity, but it was hard to once the darkness got ahold of you. I’m not going to go into too much detail because I may spoil it, but there is LGBTQ+ representation in this book! This is always great to see because people can feel represented in literature and be recognized. The author does a fantastic job of not letting this overtake the story but to help to advance the characters’ arc and the overall storytelling. Sometimes having the romance aspect take over the story can lead to a slow-moving plot, but this did not occur here! Writing a good book that readers will enjoy is a hard task. But one of the things I’ve noticed is that readers like to be kept on the edge of their seats and spawn a slew of theories of what will happen next. I questioned why these abnormal occurrences were happening in Moon Basin and what they were fueled by. Even when I finished the book, I still had more questions that I wanted to be answered. What makes a good book is when the author leaves lingering thoughts in your brain. It gets you talking about a book and sharing it with others. A big thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours as well as the author and publisher for providing me with an early copy of this book!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 3.5* To Break a Covenant had some really great parts, and then a few things that I had some trouble with, but was definitely a mostly positive experience! Let's break it down! What I Liked: ►Loved the friendships. Clem and Nina and Lisey are great friends, and maybe Clem wants to be a little more than friends with Nina, but shh. Anyway, they've been a bestie group for eons, but when Par You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 3.5* To Break a Covenant had some really great parts, and then a few things that I had some trouble with, but was definitely a mostly positive experience! Let's break it down! What I Liked: ►Loved the friendships. Clem and Nina and Lisey are great friends, and maybe Clem wants to be a little more than friends with Nina, but shh. Anyway, they've been a bestie group for eons, but when Parker is new to town, they welcome her too. I love that, frankly. Like, they're just decent people who want to be kind to someone new. How refreshing! Even if a mine is trying to kill them. I loved how they stuck by each other, even when things were more than precarious. ►It's like Centralia, but with people! True story, I always wanted to write a book based on Centralia. Heck, maybe I will, don't steal my ideas guys. But this definitely had that sort of vibe, which I enjoyed! ►Speaking of the vibe, it was definitely on point. The author did a great job making the whole town feel eerie and just "off" in general. And look, I would not go down in the mine. I just would not. But when Piper's father is involved, I do kind of understand why the girls chose to risk it. But yeah, Moon Basin is a weird place and you just sense it is a weird place, from the start. ►The snippets from the paranormal shows were a fun addition. I love stories that add that little something extra into the mix, and in this case, it worked wonderfully. Bringing in outsiders' opinions was great, and kind of broke up the story a bit. What I Didn't: ►I just didn't buy the whole demonic mine bit, honestly. I couldn't wrap my head around it, for whatever reason. Maybe that is on me, who knows. But it did lessen my enjoyment a bit, because I just didn't understand why or how a mine could like, drag folks across the country and such. 🤷 ►Where the heck is this? I think it mentioned the East Coast, but the way the heat was described, it felt very... Arizona to me. I needed more details, I guess? Bottom Line: Definitely atmospheric with a huge emphasis on friendships.

  25. 4 out of 5

    thereadingowlvina (Elvina Ulrich)

    The Story: Moon Basin was a mining town and after a mine explosion that killed sixteen people, it is said to be haunted. Now called New Basin, the mine still has its hold on everyone and no one ever leaves this place. When the residents of New Basin begin to experience strange phenomena, Clem and her friends decide to begin their own investigations on this mysterious mine. My thoughts: What an enjoyable YA horror! It was creepy, haunting and I loved how the author keeps the suspense goin The Story: Moon Basin was a mining town and after a mine explosion that killed sixteen people, it is said to be haunted. Now called New Basin, the mine still has its hold on everyone and no one ever leaves this place. When the residents of New Basin begin to experience strange phenomena, Clem and her friends decide to begin their own investigations on this mysterious mine. My thoughts: What an enjoyable YA horror! It was creepy, haunting and I loved how the author keeps the suspense going throughout the story. I mean I had to keep turning the pages to find out what is really going on down in the mine! There were snippets from unused footages from different paranormal shows in each chapter. It was fun reading the interviews where people talked about their supernatural encounters in this town. It was refreshing and added more spookiness to the story. I think the strongest point for me in this story is the friendship. The characters are so endearing and I loved how different they are. I think I liked Lisey the best. Hey, who doesn't like a girl who can train crows right? In a nutshell, this is a great read for this coming spooky season! It has all the small town creepy vibes and characters you would love! Pub. Date: Sep 21, 2021 ***Thank you Page Street Publishing, author Alison Ames and TBR and Beyond Tours for this gifted reading copy and for having me on this tour. All opinions expressed are my own.***

  26. 4 out of 5

    The Wiccan

    I found To Break A Covenant written by Alison Ames a great supernatural, YA horror story, as it has all of the things that a good horror story has: spooky atmosphere, a strange threat of some form and a town struggling with it all. But it brought something different to the table and that was beautifully written friendship with great LGBTQIA representation. If you are looking for a spooky read, this is definitely the one for you. The plot development was really good and it definitely kept you hoo I found To Break A Covenant written by Alison Ames a great supernatural, YA horror story, as it has all of the things that a good horror story has: spooky atmosphere, a strange threat of some form and a town struggling with it all. But it brought something different to the table and that was beautifully written friendship with great LGBTQIA representation. If you are looking for a spooky read, this is definitely the one for you. The plot development was really good and it definitely kept you hooked as you wanted to know more about the mine. The characters were all loveable in different ways that made you feel for them because of what they were going through and the friendships between our four main characters was beautifully built from the start to the end. I did find the pacing to be slow in places, especially more at the beginning, but once it picked up it did not stop. The way that To Break A Covenant built atmosphere and creepiness was really great and as a horror fan I really loved it. The language used to help covey that was really good in my opinion. I also loved the way that the author showed the history of the mine through the use of paranormal files between the chapters to help the readers understand the history. Overall, a brilliant creepy supernatural young adult story that has great LGBTQIA+ representation, its one to read during this spooky season! Thank you to Netgalley, Alison Ames and TBRandBeyond for giving me a copy to review.

  27. 5 out of 5

    USOM

    (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) I thought I was ready for scary when I started To Break a Covenant. I was wrong. It had me looking over my shoulder and rushing to finish before dusk. Delivering "Silent Hill" vibes, To Break a Covenant starts off unsettling, before devolving into pure terror. Reading felt like an experience of simultaneously rooting for these friends, while also screaming, "DON'T GO!" I became so (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) I thought I was ready for scary when I started To Break a Covenant. I was wrong. It had me looking over my shoulder and rushing to finish before dusk. Delivering "Silent Hill" vibes, To Break a Covenant starts off unsettling, before devolving into pure terror. Reading felt like an experience of simultaneously rooting for these friends, while also screaming, "DON'T GO!" I became so invested in the book, I finished it in almost a day. The creepiness slowly creeps up on you and soon you're shivering while reading. Yet the suspense, intrigue, and tension pull you through To Break a Covenant. I couldn't have stopped reading if I tried. Around halfway through, the tension train fully departs the station having fully established a foundation of uncertainty and friendship. Ames manipulates our feelings of being unsure what is real. Of not knowing when someone we love is truly gone, and what we will still do for them. To Break a Covenant, at the end of the day, retains its core of friendship and the friends who become our family. full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...

  28. 4 out of 5

    Paola

    Thank you to the publisher for the arc in exchange for my honest review! This was the spookiest book I have had the pleasure of reading in a bit and LET ME TELL YOU, I was freaking out while reading this. I still kinda am. There is one scene from this book that is burned in my memory and well.....let's just say that I can't stare out of any window while it's dark outside. Okay? That's how spooked I was. I absolutely LOVED this book. The friendships in this? *chefs kiss* The characters? I just wan Thank you to the publisher for the arc in exchange for my honest review! This was the spookiest book I have had the pleasure of reading in a bit and LET ME TELL YOU, I was freaking out while reading this. I still kinda am. There is one scene from this book that is burned in my memory and well.....let's just say that I can't stare out of any window while it's dark outside. Okay? That's how spooked I was. I absolutely LOVED this book. The friendships in this? *chefs kiss* The characters? I just want to keep them safe from the world and give them all my love. This book is easy to love and it will devour you. In the best way. The reason it's not 5 stars you ask? I wanted more crows and Lisey. But that's my personal opinion.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jenilee Houghtailing

    When I read that this story was about a haunted mine that gets in people's heads and won't let them go, I was like yes please especially because it was Halloween time. I enjoyed the element of friendship and hallucinations were spooky and fascinating. I felt like the unused footage of various paranormal shows filmed in the Basin was just thrown into the story and was confusing at times. Overall, it was okay but nothing really stood out. When I read that this story was about a haunted mine that gets in people's heads and won't let them go, I was like yes please especially because it was Halloween time. I enjoyed the element of friendship and hallucinations were spooky and fascinating. I felt like the unused footage of various paranormal shows filmed in the Basin was just thrown into the story and was confusing at times. Overall, it was okay but nothing really stood out.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Calliope

    Synopsis: Moon Basin has been haunted for as long as anyone can remember. It started when an explosion in the mine killed sixteen people. The disaster made it impossible to live in town, with underground fires spewing ash into the sky. But life in New Basin is just as fraught. The ex-mining town relies on its haunted reputation to bring in tourists, but there’s more truth to the rumors than most are willing to admit, and the mine still has a hold on everyone who lives there. Clem and Nina form a p Synopsis: Moon Basin has been haunted for as long as anyone can remember. It started when an explosion in the mine killed sixteen people. The disaster made it impossible to live in town, with underground fires spewing ash into the sky. But life in New Basin is just as fraught. The ex-mining town relies on its haunted reputation to bring in tourists, but there’s more truth to the rumors than most are willing to admit, and the mine still has a hold on everyone who lives there. Clem and Nina form a perfect loop—best friends forever, and perhaps something more. Their circle opens up for a strange girl named Lisey with a knack for training crows, and Piper, whose father is fascinated with the mine in a way that’s anything but ordinary. The people of New Basin start experiencing strange phenomena—sleepwalking, night terrors, voices that only they can hear. And no matter how many vans of ghost hunters roll through, nobody can get to the bottom of what’s really going on. Which is why the girls decide to enter the mine themselves. Review: Thank you so much Page Street, for providing me with a physical ARC in exchange for an honest review! AHHHH THIS WAS AMAZING! I'm so mind-blown my this book, easily my favorite of 2021. The characters jfkdljglkfslk! Finally, Clem, a main character who I loved. The other 3 main girls were so great. Lisey was my personal favorite of the four: she trains crows, believes in omens, and is more than a little 'out there'. Nina was probably the character who I related most to, just because of her rigid practicality. Piper didn't get as much page time as the other 3, but I still found her to be interesting and relatable for sure. I was initially a little bit skeptical about the plot, paranormal stuff isn't my thing usually (because I'm a weakling who gets scared easily), but I heard that it was gay, so I put aside my judgments right there. I ended up enjoying it massively, and I felt that, unlike many other 'ghost' books, it was written with so much grace that it barely even felt like a horror novel. I really appreciated that it felt like a considered coming of age and sweet friendship story, while also giving me all the spooky vibes. The writing was my favorite part. This is going to sound super weird, but THE DIALOGUE! Ahhhh! Finally a book that doesn't feel like the dialogue is literally so unrealistic. The formatting was super interesting, I liked how it swapped from first person in the 'now' timeline, to clips from ghost hunting shows centering around Moon Basin, the town where the book is set. Aside from that, the writing/inner monologue was amazingly detailed and really orientated me with the world. Speaking of world, let's talk about world building! I was astonished by the captivating, lush and creepy prose that describes Moon Basin. I'm not going to say too much about this, just because of the somewhat spoiler-y parts of setting, but! I am very impressed. I will cut my ramble short, just to spare you the pain of not having this book in your hands now. (You know you want it!!) Antcipation: 4: I'm scared but I'm also gay lol Enjoyment: 5: WAIT WHAT- --> 5 stars *cries of perfection* Request this book on Netgalley:https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/boo... Pre-order from Blackwell's (UK):https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/pro... Pre-order from Mrs. Dalloway's (US):https://www.mrsdalloways.com/book/978...

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