By Ann Davila Cardinal
Published June 2019 by Tor Teen
Five friends cursed. Five deadly fates. Five nights of retribución.
If Lupe Dávila and Javier Utierre can survive each other’s company, together they can solve a series of grisly murders sweeping though Puerto Rico. But the clues lead them out of the real world and into the realm of myths and legends. And if they want to catch the killer, they’ll have to step into the shadows to see what’s lurking there—murderer, or monster?
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I’m just going to come right out and say it, Five Midnights is a cool book.
Set in Puerto Rico, Lupe Davila is visiting her tio and tia for the summer. She typically lives with her dad in Vermont. Her father is from Puerto Rico, but her mother is not and thus Lupe is called gringa because of her pale skin.
When she arrives, her uncle is investigating a mysterious murder. Lupe finds a way to go on the scene and thus involves herself in what becomes a series of murders.
This is a fast paced book with a lot of drug elements and scary, dark supernatural elements thrown in. Being that I’m not entirely familiar with this culture and the stories of El Cuco, I appreciated that we learn more about this cultural boogeyman throughout the story.
Along with Lupe, we have Javier who is a recovering addict. His friends are the ones that are dying and he’s starting to realize there may be a pattern to these killings. He’s been clean for 2 years and no longer associates with any of his drug addict friends. It’s easy to see how much of a struggle he has within himself regarding drugs.
There are a host of other characters too that make up the whole of this book and through them you really get a feel of their world and this story. There is a bit of romance too but it definitely takes a backseat to the overall plot of this story, which is to figure out how to stop these boys from being murdered.
I loved the setting of this book, I felt like I was really there in Puerto Rico and I realllly want to eat their food now based on how it was described. And obviously I’d love to go visit, because I’m pretty sure a supernatural being isn’t going to come after me (I’m not a child so I should be ok I think haha).
There are a lot of Spanish words in this story, and some I couldn’t figure out how to pronounce, but thankfully I felt comfortable enough to understand their meaning through the context of the sentence and story.
Overall though, this story has such a cool/creepy vibe to it and I loved it. It’s entirely unique from anything I’ve read before and I always love when I find a book like this. Definitely pick this book up if you love supernatural elements, because this is one you shouldn’t miss out on!