ARC Review: The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart by Lauren DeStefano

ARC Review: The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart by Lauren DeStefano
The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart
by Lauren DeStefano

Genres: Gothic, Paranormal, Middle Grade
Publication date: September 13th, 2016
by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Format: ARC


Amazon | Book Depository

Lionel is a wild boy, who doesn’t much like to be around other people. He’d rather be a purring cat or a wolf stalking the woods.

Marybeth is a nice girl. She doesn’t need to be told to comb her hair or brush her teeth, and she’s kind to everyone at the orphanage . . . Lionel most of all.

Different though they are, Lionel and Marybeth are best friends in a world that has forgotten about them. So when a mysterious blue spirit possesses Marybeth—and starts to take control—they know they must stop it before the real Marybeth fades away forever.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

A Curious Tale of the In-Between might have been more intense than The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart but The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart won my heart in a way A Curious Tale of the In-Between did not (even though I loved both books). 

Lionel is a wild boy. He doesn’t like other people a whole lot and would rather be an animal than a human on most days. Marybeth is a nice girl. She likes obeying rules and is everything Lionel isn’t. Yet the two are best friends and understand each other in ways other kids and adults at the orphanage don’t. They got each other’s backs and are basically the cutest pair of friends in the world (honestly, I shipped them).

It’s their friendship that made this book so special for me. Lionel hates being human but when Marybeth is possessed, he has to be the normal one and he is as human as possible so that he can help his friend and make sure he is there whenever she needs him. Their loyalty to one another made me feel all mushy inside and I just wanted to cuddle these two forever.

I also love that Mrs. Mannerd, the orphanage head lady, isn’t the bad guy. She is strict and struggles to understand what it is that Lionel and Marybeth are going through but she also genuinely cares for them and would go to lengths to protect them.

Much like A Curious Tale of the In-Between, A Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart is a lot darker than your usual middle grade but in the best way possible. DeStefano’s books are more gothic-y and honestly just make me want to sit down and analyse the hell out of them (#litmajor).

DeStefano has such a lovely writing style and while I haven’t read any of her YA novels, her Middle Grade novels are wonderful and I have a lot of love for them. I cannot wait to read whatever else she has to offer and in the meanwhile, if you love darker MG, pick up this book and A Curious Tale of the In-Between.

Rating Report
Overall: 4.5
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Rashika is a mysterious creature who likes to hide in the shadows. It's impossible to get to know her but if you must know, she is a huge bookworm. She also happens to have a huge sweet tooth so you can always lure her over the dark side by offering her something sweet (or bribing her with books).


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  1. says

    Aww this book does sound super adorable. Especially the friendship. I haven’t read anything by Lauren DeStefano, but I’ve heard her name often enough. I keep forgetting what YA books she has written, I always have to look them up!
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  2. says

    Welp, I’m sold! I will be adding this to my tbr shelf as soon as I finish typing here^^ I love MG books but ESPECIALLY when they’re dark thematically And a friendship that brings on lots of mushy feelings?! YES PLEASE. Friendships like that are the best thing. I’ve never read Destefano’s YA either but I will be reading this AND A Curious Tale of In Between (that one’s already on my tbr shelf – I think) Lovely review my friend! ♥
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  3. says

    Ahh I still haven’t read any of Lauren Destefano’s MG books but i did read her YA series and I absolutely fell in love with her writing. Lovely review Rashika!