Perfect for fans of The Hazel Wood, this genre-bending page-turner from New York Times bestselling author Madeleine Roux follows two girls who transport themselves into the world of their favorite book only to encounter the sinister alternate reality that awaits them.
No matter how different best friends Adelle and Connie are, one thing they’ve always had in common is their love of a little-known gothic romance novel called Moira. So when the girls are tempted by a mysterious man to enter the world of the book, they hardly suspect it will work. But suddenly they are in the world of Moira, living among characters they’ve obsessed about for years.
Except…all is not how they remembered it. The world has been turned upside down: The lavish balls and star-crossed love affairs are now interlaced with unspeakable horrors. The girls realize that something dark is lurking behind their foray into fiction—and they will have to rewrite their own arcs if they hope to escape this nightmare with their lives.
The proprietor of the Witch's Eye Emporium offers best friends Adelle and Connie, both 16 and white, the opportunity to physically enter the world of their favorite gothic romance novel, Moira, in Roux's (Tomb of Ancients) atmospheric portal fantasy. For occult- and romance-obsessed Adelle, it's a chance to meet her "book boyfriend," debonair Severin Sylvain, and live out her favorite scenes. Athletic, practical, and closeted Connie hopes to meet the book's titular character, her first crush, and "kiss a pretty girl under a full moon with nobody there to whisper or judge." Transported individually via spell, Connie and Adelle arrive at different parts of the story, but the novel's realistic Victorian-era Boston setting has transformed into a terrifying nightmare in which beloved characters act in unpredictable ways and an abomination lurks in the harbor. Roux's sense of place is vivid, and Moira's escapist romance, Lovecraftian horror elements, and the fangirl-tinged levity of the protagonists' third-person voices create a meta tale that's successfully imbued with an air of dread and paranoia. Ages 14–up.