Series: The Casquette Girls, #1
Published by Skyscape on November 17, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Fantasy & Magic, Historical, Paranormal, Supernatural, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 565 pages
Sexual Content: kissing
Reviewed by: Kristina
Seven girls tied by time.
Five powers that bind.
One curse to lock the horror away.
One attic to keep the monsters at bay.
After the storm of the century rips apart New Orleans, sixteen-year-old Adele Le Moyne wants nothing more than her now silent city to return to normal. But with home resembling a war zone, a parish-wide curfew, and mysterious new faces lurking in the abandoned French Quarter, normal needs a new definition.
As the city murder rate soars, Adele finds herself tangled in a web of magic that weaves back to her own ancestors. Caught in a hurricane of myths and monsters, who can she trust when everyone has a secret and keeping them can mean life or death? Unless . . . you’re immortal.
THE CASQUETTE GIRLS is a fascinating and haunting paranormal YA novel. The plot starts off a tad slow though once it gets started it really moves. It's a tale that takes some of New Orleans' more famous ghost and vampire stories and gives them an even more sinister bent. I loved the setting as its a city so entrenched in mystery and has its own very colorful history. The description of the French Quarter and its ghost stories were so vivid I could smell the beignets at Cafe du Monde and recalled the creepy feeling of walking around the Quarter during a vampire tour I took last year.The story switches between a city still reeling from the after effects of Hurricane Katrina and the early days of New Orleans. I could really feel the devastation of the characters trying to pick up after Hurricane Katrina cleaning out their homes and starting their lives over again in a city they love. The connection between these two times was cleverly interwoven into the fabric of a haunting tale of murder, betrayal, magic, and family.
At the center of this story is Adele who comes into her powers by accident which unravels the plot. She spends a bit of time denying that she has powers which is understandable but once she becomes comfortable with it and tries to find out about where her powers come she really shines and shows off just how brave and clever she is. I loved getting glimpses of the past through a diary Adele reads about some of the Casquette Girls who came to New Orleans in the 1700s. I would have loved to spend more time with the 1700s characters but since the stories of the past and present are so connected it didn't really matter what time period the book was being written from in the end. The vampires were evil and with so many good reformed vampires out there in fiction it was kind of nice to have vampires be the monsters they were meant to be. I enjoyed the vampire plot and seeing how Adele and her friends are able to foil them...sort of...
I tend to be extremely picky about YA novels and as a result don't read that many due to my dislike of some of the tropes that show up constantly. THE CASQUETTE GIRLS was one of those YA books that piqued my interest enough with its setting and interesting story that I just had to see what it was about. I'm so very glad I did not skip past it! It drew me in and I was enamored with the story from start to finish. It's not only masterfully written with a compelling paranormal mystery but it really brings out the haunting history and character of New Orleans both in the present and in the past. There are some loose ends which I assume means more books and that is a very good thing as I'd like to return to this world.