A Study in Drowning Review

Hello, all!

Rejoice, all dark academia fans! Your new favorite book, A Study in Drowning by Ava Reid, is finally here. Big thanks to the publisher for the early copy!

Pub Date: 9-19-23
YA - Fantasy

Effy Sayre has been plagued by visions of the fearsome Fairy King ever since she was young. When Effy tried to confide in those around her about it, instead of believing her, they gave her pills to quiet her mind. Effy's only solace is in her tattered copy of Angharad by Emrys Myrddin. The story is about a brave mortal girl who falls in love with the Fairy King and destroys him. Angharad has been like a lifeline for Effy, so when the Myrddin estate announces a contest to redesign the family's manor, Effy jumps at the chance.

But when Effy arrives at the remote Hiraeth Manor, it's even more decrepit than expected. Effy's barely passing her architecture courses and knows this project is more than she can handle, but she refuses to give up. To Effy's annoyance, she also has to contend with Preston Héloury, a literature student determined to expose Myrddin as a fraud. The pair decide to work together, but the more they investigate, the more secrets they uncover.

I've only read one other book by Reid that I thought was okay, but I couldn't pass this up. I loved how atmospheric this was. I could picture so clearly in my mind this crumbling estate perilously perched on a cliffside. It was eerie and cold and lived up to the Gothic description. I also enjoyed the characters. There are so many things about Effy that felt otherworldly but also relatable. She's one for the anxiety-ridden girlies; for those who overthink and second-guess everything. She and Preston have a little rivalry at the beginning, but it feels one-sided. I liked seeing their relationship blossom. I also thought Reid did a wonderful job tackling tough subjects such as mental health and sexism within academia. If you're looking for a dark, compelling read for the fall, I recommend checking it out.

Rating: 3/5


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