The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek by Rhett McLaughlin & Link Neal (Mini Review)

The Goonies meets Stranger Things in this nostalgic supernatural thriller.

Leif, Rex, and Alicia are stuck in Bleak Creek, North Carolina circa 1992. The town has one strip mall, two churches, and a thousand gossips… oh, and a reform school. Whitewood School. The place where delinquents are sent to become dutiful good-mannered citizens. Welp, when the crew try to shoot their no-budget horror flick at the town pig roast some accidents happen… and Alicia is sent to be reformed.

Enter Janine a NYU film school grad who thinks her big break could be in a film about kidney stones in Bleak Creek, but she quickly pivots when she starts digging into Wayne Whitewood and his school. The two parties unite into to investigate…


This book is a decent Weekend Read. I zipped through it in a couple of days. -The creepy reform school where it seems like much more is happening… -The infatuation triangle… -and the cookie cutter (at times) nostalgia. Stranger Things and Ready Player One seem to be the pinnacle of speculastalgia (I just made that up! Ha!)… at least for me. The Lost Cause of Bleak Creek felt forced in an effort to squeeze plot points together, and there was a lack of flow also, especially with the references. I did like Janine’s character. She’s the outsider who starts to see things in Bleak Creek as being a bit off. Her perception and mentoring is a huge part of the book. Good stuff there.

Check this one out for a fun yet unoriginal ride in 90s nostalgia.

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