• Booktastically Amazing

Daughter (ARC Review)

by Kate McLaughlin

Shooketh doesn't even begin to unravel how much I adored this book.


Spoiler Free- Synopsis:

Scarlet’s life is pretty average. Overly protective mom. Great friends. Cute boy she’s interested in. And a father she’s never known – until she does.

When the FBI show up at Scarlet’s door, she is shocked to learn her father is infamous serial killer Jeffrey Robert Lake. And now, he’s dying and will only give the names and locations of his remaining victims to the one person, the daughter he hasn’t seen since she was a baby.

Scarlet’s mother has tried to protect her from Lake’s horrifying legacy, but there’s no way they can escape the media firestorm that erupts when they come out of hiding. Or the people who blame Scarlet for her father’s choices. When trying to do the right thing puts her life in danger, Scarlet is faced with a choice – go back into hiding or make the world see her as more than a monster’s daughter.

Kate McLaughlin’s Daughter is a novel about trying right deadly choices that were never yours to begin with.

Hello, I would like my soul back, please.

~👑Special thanks to Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!👑~

I just found my new favorite author and I'm not even ashamed to admit that she made me cry.


In amazement.

Rating: ✨✨✨✨✨ 4.5

I'm basically a walking corpse with decent hair and intense opinions. So this book was one of the last options I had before giving up on YA (adding a dramatic flair for special effect) and lo and behold, I was hooked and reeled in without any care for my mental health.

Put in a serial killer, someone with an ultimatum (that could kill them) and a smart (ish) main character, and you bet I'll be there! With donuts, a chainsaw and a clan of vikings ready to lead the war.

I'm nothing if not efficient, pfft.

Since I read What Unbreakable looks like, a story about a human trafficking survivor that had to deal with the aftermath of such horror written by the same author, I've been somewhat... I don't know the word- oh yes, consumed with the need to read more books of this author. (that is indeed a word, just separated)

And consumed is a little too light a word as well. Perhaps- absolutely, completely drenched with the urge to get my hands on more stories such as this one, would be a better choice.

The plot was magnificent. If I could sacrifice a fictional person for it, I would. (just take any of the books from the pile of 'MC should off herself' (kindly of course) rip out some characters and watch them burn) I threw the book across the room (in my head), yelled at the twists and turns (actually happened), gasped in amazement with glittering eyes and all (uh-huh I looked high on faerie dust. Either fictional worlds supply me with it or I create my own) and basically died fangirling too many times to be proper.

Because of course, the proper feminine urge to hug some dead trees to death (the syntax needs work but roll with it please) was too much to resist! So instead I had to squeeze my e-reader between my palms in rage, grace and a kick to the face? I'm pretty certain someone kicked someone in this book. Mainly with words, I think. Alright, the pace was excellent, I was in to finishing this book in a day and I kind of did (the bags under my eyes could rival a cliff). The whole atmospheric devices added in to create a sort of vicious landscape of hardened emotions and smiling blades left me with a sort of feeling inside because... what the heck was I going to read after such a masterpiece???

I wouldn't classify this as a horror, nor as a contemporary, thriller doesn't ring right with me either. Maybe a crime- psychological torture device that grips you from the start by the wings and threatens to rip them apart while maniacally cackling?

Okay, yeah, let's go with thriller.

(If they added the words 'based on a true story' oh nuh uh, this girl would've been OUT. As in, not present. Flying away while the song 'we're going on a trip on my favorite rocket ship, soaring through the skyyyyy' plays in the background)

(don't lie, that ish was so lit)

Then we have the writing. If I were to classify it in a sane and logical category *cough* where I could nitpick it to hell come and fangirl over it till pigs have tails-- I would say that it was an A+ on every level. I liked how it added the necessary details to represent what was occurring, loved the dialogue-- nay, adored it. Would kneel for it.

I *exaggerated Briticism accent when it's actually a person with an American accent speaking* thought incredibly highly of such a work.

The conversations y'all... do you ever just feel like closing a book, inhaling really deeply, judging your life decisions and then opening it again? Because that's how I was the whole entire novel. This author has the gift of bringing my obsessive book devourer out to the light when I don't even know when it's supposed to be, out of the cage I clearly left that alter ego in.

The way the characters spoke, how they were written to sound, I felt each note spreading across my skin so agonizingly slow I swear I think I died during their convos.

Am I writing whole paragraphs dedicated to the way conversations were *written* in a book? Pfft, absofreakinglutely.

How could I not???

Dudes, the conversations with the serial killer.


AND WHERE CAN I GET IT- hold up, let me clarify. Not me having satisfying convos with killers, I mean the characters- Alright, I'll stop digging the hole for myself and maybe actually let the characters do so for me.


Because as the beginning stated, y'all are looking at a corpse.

Through a screen.

Shhh, it makes sense.

The main character was ultimately an entire bloody (no pun intended, but actually yes) piece of cake infused with sassy comebacks, remarkably placed threats and just enough sprinkling of 'I want that guy dead' to make me relate.

Does that sound like a good piece of cake?

Because yes, yes it is.

(minus the bloody, I'll leave that to Mr. 'You're my drug' Edward C, pfft)

I loved how even when she was clearly on the verge of breaking, she held herself up using toothpicks and, along the story, stitched herself back into a decent being. I have no idea what I would've done if I had been in her place (probably ignore everything until that 'everything' dies off and I can look at oxygen particles again). Her charisma, her confidence, THE WAY SHE OWNED THAT ISH WHEN SPEAKING TO A MONSTER LIKE HER DAD. *sigh* It's been a while since I've felt satisfied when reading a confrontation between parents and their kids. Mostly, I'm like... bro. Punch each other (please don't follow this poor judgement).

The background characters lent my lifeless being a portion of light, so my soul could absorb it and be a lantern for some time.




























The love interest was adorable and even though unneeded, the added romance and the guy's PERFECTION (all caps, it was necessary) was everything I could've hoped to have. (that is a lot to say when I usually abhor romances in thrillers)

Am I swooning right now? Why yes, yes I am.

What gave me away? The fact that I'm clutching a pillow to my chest while sighing to the heavens in adoration and despair, or the way I'm picturing those scenes where that man left my heart for dead on the side of the road? The way he leaned against walls was so hot.

On a closing note, I need more books, y'all. More books like this. More books that make me frustrated and happy and consumed by feelings I can't begin to comprehend. More books that put that line between good and bad blurry yet agonizingly clear. This book is one that I'm looking forward to re-reading. The plot was so amazing (*cue me dying 'dramatically' all over again*), the writing was awesome, THE CHARACTERS LEFT A GAPING HOLE ON MY CHEST THAT IS BEING HELP UP WITH CRAPPY CLEAR TAPE.

And if I have to put myself through the (looked for) torture of having to deal with a poophead of such big dimensions the guy could block the sun and make Hades feel like a pebble, to feel as if it's the first time I'm reading it...

I will do so.

Can somebody hand me a tissue now? My dead eyes are secreting a watery substance, and in this grave there ins't a faucet to clean my face.


  • The serial killer monster of a dad had some of the best sentences I've ever read.

  • Every conversation.

  • All the times I had to stand up in rage and squeal into pillows.

  • Basically, the book was a masterpiece.