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Title: They Stay
Authors(s): Claire Fraise
Publication Date: October 12, 2021
Edition: Paperback. eBook, audiobook; 372 pgs
Publisher: Sabertooth Press
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
PurchaseAmazon - Kindle - B&N - BAM! - TBD - Bookshop.org
Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publisher as part of a blog tour in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.  Please note the purchase links above are affiliate links.

Tour Schedule

Week One
11/8/2021 - Devouring Books - Guest Post
11/9/2021 - Writer of Wrongs - Guest Post
11/10/2021 - For the Love of KidLit - Excerpt
11/11/2021 - BookHounds YA - Excerpt
11/12/2021 - Don't Judge, Read - Review
11/13/2021 - Phannie the ginger bookworm - Review

Week Two
11/14/2021 - The Phantom Paragrapher - Review
11/15/2021 - More Books Please blog - Review
11/16/2021 - Once Upon a Twilight - Review
11/17/2021 - Rajiv's Reviews - Review
11/18/2021 - A Court of Coffee and Books - Review
11/19/2021 - The Momma Spot - Review
11/20/2021 - BookishConnoisseur - Review

Week Three
11/21/2021 - Jazzy Book Reviews - Review
11/22/2021 - Review Thick And Thin - Review
11/23/2021 - Book-Keeping - Review
11/24/2021 - Lifestyle of Me - Review
11/25/2021 - Karen Dee's Book Reviews - Review
11/26/2021 - @curlygrannylovestoread - Review
11/27/2021 - The Book Review Crew - Review

Week Four
11/28/2021 - Coffee and Wander Book Reviews - Review
11/29/2021 - Eli to the nth - Review
11/30/2021 - Two Points of Interest - Review

The Summary

For fans of Stranger Things comes a suspenseful YA mystery about a missing kid, a girl who can see ghosts, and a horrifying crime only four outcasts have the power to stop.

What if the only person who could help you find your missing brother was dead?

Nothing is as important to sixteen-year-old Shiloh Oleson as her little brother Max. So when the six-year-old goes missing without a trace, a heartbroken Shiloh refuses to believe nothing can be done and sets out to find him.

When one of Shiloh’s classmates says she knows where Max is, Shiloh hesitates to believe her. Francesca is creepy. She says she can see ghosts, but everyone knows ghosts aren’t real … right?

But Francesca says that Max is going to be murdered.

And a ghost told her where he is.

As the line between the dead and living begins to blur, Shiloh starts to think Francesca might not be as crazy as she believed. One thing is becoming clear. Someone has gruesome plans for Max, and Shiloh must confront her worst nightmares to find him before it’s too late.

THEY STAY is the first book in the thrilling They Stay Series by award-winning author Claire Fraise. Read on if you like ghost stories, plot twists, enemies-to-friends, creepy circuses, budding romance, and unlikely heroes.

CONTENT WARNINGS: This book contains physical and mental abuse, death, violence, kidnapping, gun violence, alcohol abuse, references to suicide, implied sexual abuse (non-graphic), bullying, and mild adult language.

Praise for THEY STAY:
"Fraise successfully creates an atmosphere like a cold graveyard, and a heart-thundering story that will haunt you more than any ghost can." — Briar Esterline, author of Ablem's Sanctuary

My Review

They Stay by Claire Fraise is a twisty, supernatural read that melds contemporary thriller and supernatural thriller very well.

There are two story lines going on when we open the book: one following Shiloh, a girl desperately seeking her brother who was abducted, and one following Francesca, the town's resident crazy who can actually see and talk to ghosts.  Both of them feel othered, either by their own family or the town at large.  We follow their two stories until they come together, when Francesca tells Shiloh she knows how to find her brother.  I won't say more than that because :spoilers:.

While I don't often love first person narrative when it comes to thrillers, I think the subject matter for this story fits well with it.  It is deeply personal on both girls' parts and the direct look into their mindset puts the reader in the driver's seat. This makes the events that happen that much more impactful.

Please be aware of the Content Warnings that are included by the author, because the story can get very intense, and may be triggering for some readers.  While I got into the plot, I did find there was a little too much explaining (backstory etc.) for my tastes.  but with that said, I still found it enjoyable and to be a solid thriller novel.  

From just a "judge a book by it's cover" view, this one knocks it out.  Very eerie and bold, definitely giving the correct vibe for the story.  This is not a standalone, so if you're looking for a new YA thriller series to start, then They Stay by Claire Fraise will be a great choice.  

Final Rating


Chapter 2

In the whole of my sophomore class at Bethany High School, there isn’t a girl who’s more odd than me. 

I can see it in their eyes when they look at me. The other children at school. The boy with the kind face doing the bags at the grocery store. Even my teachers side-eye me when I walk into the classroom and sink into a desk in the back in the hope it will stop everyone from staring at me. I have gotten used to the stares, but I do not particularly enjoy them. 

Do you see that creepy girl? they whisper. That’s Francesca Russo. Francesca Firestarter. Eight years ago, she burned a guy. Lit his dead body on fire at his own funeral. They laugh, they shout. Hey Francesca, he was dead anyway. What was the point? 

While their words are mean, it is true. I did exactly what they said I did. But what is also true, but what nobody cares to believe, is that I didn’t burn him because I’m crazy. 

I burned him because he asked me to. 

I was eight years old on the day of George R. Haggarty’s funeral. The service was boring—I remember that much. George Haggarty died not long after my mother, and I remember not being pleased being back in the pews, sandwiched between my father and brother, smelling of wood polish and sanctity and listening to strangers give speeches full of words I didn’t understand. Next to me a woman was crying silently. I watched her chest heave, saw her tears flow, and felt nothing. Death, as a concept, had never been elusive to me, even when I was eight. Once people die, they exit their bodies and transform into versions of themselves made of mist and moonlight. I can’t touch them. Most people don’t even see them. They wander the earth until they fade away and sink back into its fabric after a few years. Sometimes more, sometimes less. My friend Mrs. Lewis has lived in the cemetery for close to ten years, but when my mother died she faded away before I even got a chance to see her. My heart squeezed at the thought.

I missed her. I wished I could still see her. Even the afterlife isn’t fair.

About the Author

Claire Fraise earned her B.A. in English from Tufts University. She published her debut novel when she was 16 (award-winning YA dystopian novel Imperfect), and her YA supernatural thriller They Stay is coming out in October 2021. When Claire’s not writing, she likes crocheting amigurumi animals, reading, and hanging out with her dogs. Even though it goes against every introverted bone in her body, she is on social media. Connect with her on Instagram at @clairefraiseauthor, on YouTube at Write with Claire Fraise, or visit her website at clairefraise.com.

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1 winner will receive a finished copy of THEY STAY, US Only.


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