A Study in Drowning

A Study in Drowning
Age Range
Release Date
September 19, 2023
“Achingly atmospheric and beautifully sharp, A Study in Drowning will draw you in from the first page.” —Rory Power, New York Times bestselling author of Wilder Girls
Bestselling author Ava Reidmakes her YA debut in this dark academic fantasy perfect for fans of Melissa Albert and Elana K. Arnold.
Effy Sayre has always believed in fairy tales. Haunted by visions of the Fairy King since childhood, she’s had no choice. Her tattered copy of Angharad—Emrys Myrddin’s epic about a mortal girl who falls in love with the Fairy King, then destroys him—is the only thing keeping her afloat. So when Myrddin’s family announces a contest to redesign the late author’s estate, Effy feels certain it’s her destiny.

But musty, decrepit Hiraeth Manor is an impossible task, and its residents are far from welcoming. Including Preston Héloury, a stodgy young literature scholar determined to expose Myrddin as a fraud. As the two rivals piece together clues about Myrddin’s legacy, dark forces, both mortal and magical, conspire against them—and the truth may bring them both to ruin.

Part historical fantasy, part rivals-to-lovers romance, part Gothic mystery, and all haunting, dreamlike atmosphere, Ava Reid's powerful YA debut will lure in readers who loved The Atlas Six, House of Salt and Sorrows, or Girl, Serpent, Thorn.

Editor review

1 review
Darkly Haunting
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
A dark academia mixed with the fanciful of fairy tales, sign me up.

A Study in Drowning by Ava Reid is a YA gothic about a girl named Effy Sayre, who aspires to create the best home design for her favorite fairy tale author. Effy has always believed in fairy tales, especially when one of them lives inside her head. But as fanciful as her mind is, she is dedicated to her only allowed studies of architecture. Until her favorite author's family decides to renovate the old home, and is only looking for a bright student to make up the design. And Effy is the perfect candidate. But not everything is as it seems, as she must be better than her rival and try not to let herself drown in the rising sea.

What I liked most about this book, is that it combined the eeriness of being a gothic novel, with a mostly desolate house overlooking a raging sea that seems to be haunted by something supernatural. With the more fanciful fairy tales of the youth. Ie. Fey. I also just really liked Preston (just a tad bit more than Roman from Divine Rivals, sorry not sorry). BUT ALSO THAT END LINE. You can't go wrong with that kind of ending.

I've tried and been burned by Ava Reid (I'm looking at you, Juniper and Thorn) and I really wanted to love this one. But just couldn't. The first thing I absolutely detested, was the mere mention of a student/teacher relationship. Even if it was off page in the past. I thought I could get past this, but it kept getting mentioned over and over again. And I know this was a huge trauma point for the main character, but I just couldn't get behind it.

Overall, this was a solid read. Just not my exact cup of tea. But I would highly recommend it to anyone needing something following the devastation that is Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross and just can't wait for Ruthless Vows.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account