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Review: Smoke and Key | Blog Tour

Hello bookdragons! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Smoke and Key by Kelsey Sutton hosted by YA Bound Book Tours.

  • Book: Smoke and Key
  • Author: Kelsey Sutton
  • Release Date: April 2nd 2019
  • Publisher: Entangled Teen

A sound awakens her. There’s darkness all around. And then she’s falling…
She has no idea who or where she is. Or why she’s dead. The only clue to her identity hangs around her neck: a single rusted key. This is how she and the others receive their names—from whatever belongings they had when they fell out of their graves. Under is a place of dirt and secrets, and Key is determined to discover the truth of her past in order to escape it.

She needs help, but who can she trust? Ribbon seems content in Under, uninterested in finding answers. Doll’s silence hints at deep sorrow, which could be why she doesn’t utter a word. There’s Smoke, the boy with a fierceness that rivals even the living. And Journal, who stays apart from everyone else. Key’s instincts tell her there is something remarkable about each of them, even if she can’t remember why.

  • Plot: 4/5
  • Characters: 4/5
  • Writing: 4/5
  • Overall: 4/5

Smoke and Key was a creepy yet intriguing novel that captivated me from the very first sentence.

The book was about a girl who was dead but fell down from her grave into a mysterious world called ‘Under’. She didn’t know why she was there, she didn’t have any memories of her life before Under and she couldn’t even remember her own name. The only possession she had on her was a key, so she called herself Key. All the other residents of Under were named after the possessions they had when they fell such as Journal, Smoke, Doll, Ribbon and Tintype. All the people were in semi-decomposed states and their skin had a greyish tint as if they had already started to rot before they fell, however, Key was oddly preserved. No one could remember anything, just like Key but then a series of brutal murders started and Key’s memories started to return.

Key was a pretty good character and it’s interesting how she reacted to the memories that she remembered and the shame she felt even though she was technically the same person she had been before. Her relationship with Smoke was intriguing as we got to see it unravel in the past and in the present even though the romance was probably a bit too forced. I liked how her friendship with Journal developed as well.

The thing I loved the most was how the tension and the sense of mystery were built up throughout the novel as we learnt more about the eerie world of Under and those who lived there. For some reason, I kept imagining all of the characters like ones from a Tim Burton movie! However, even though the tension was gradually rising it still felt like not that much really happened in the book overall and there was probably a bit of filler that could have been taken out

The book was mainly about the extent of the damage that hate and jealousy can cause and how it can easily get out of control. The plot might sound a bit odd but the ideas were very original in the best possible way. There is definitely buckets of imagination behind it. I thought it was a really fun yet macabre read and I think more people should give it a go!

Thank you to Entangled Teen and Kelsey Sutton for providing me with a digital arc of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author:

Kelsey Sutton is a young adult and middle grade author. She lives in Minnesota, where she received a dual bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from Bemidji State University. She will soon have a master’s degree from Hamline University. Her work has received an Independent Publisher Book Award, an IndieFab Award, and was selected as a Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2013. When not writing, Kelsey can be found watching too much Netflix, ordering a mocha at the nearest coffee shop, or browsing a bookstore. You can visit her online at her website, like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

Author Links:

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

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