Three girls in sunglasses stare out at you. In their sunglasses is a reflection of a girl running away looking back in terror. You can see the middle girl's eyes as her glasses slide down her nose. The other two girls frame her resting their heads on her shoulders. They are underlit by a red light and fog which also surrounds the title “In Nightfall.”

About the Book

Title: In Nightfall
Published: 2023
Swoonworthy Scale: 5

Cover Story: Montell Jordan
BFF Charm: Oda Mae Brown
Talky Talk: Dialogue and Gore Galore
Bonus Factor: Podcasts
Factor: Siblings
Anti-Bonus Factor: Dan Scott Award for Awful Parenting
Relationship Status: Bite Me

Spoiler Alert: This review contains a major spoiler, but it’s also not something the book tries to hide very much. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Content Warning: This book contains violent and graphic injury/death.

Cover Story: Montell Jordan

GIF from Montell Jordan's music video "This Is How We Do It"

This book cover screams to be looked at. These girls seem way too cool for anyone… I need to be friends with them. I was so busy staring into the eyes of the girl in the middle that it took me a while to notice the reflection in the sunglasses. So, kudos to the artist for immediately setting the tone of the book and letting everyone know that something sinister is going on in Nightfall. Also loving the red glow and fog; it’s very Forks, WA

The Deal

After throwing a house party and losing home alone privileges, Theo and her brother Marco are sent to Nightfall, Oregon for the summer to live with their dad and grandma. Nightfall is cute but rainy, and their grandma is nice but kind of a loner and odd, with her warnings to be back before the sun sets. 

In town, the siblings run into some of the locals: three girls named Minnow, Beatrice and Annemarie who are gorgeous and charismatic. They also meet a boy named Parrish who’s moody and attractive and maybe into Theo, but that’s up for debate.  

Once their curfew gets lifted, Theo begins to notice things about Nightfall and its residents that have her questioning her sanity – and the locals. When Theo learns the truth, it might be too late to save anyone or leave. And in my professional opinion, it’s pretty hard to escape a town full of vampires. 

BFF Charm: Oda Mae Brown

BFF charm of Oda Mae Brown from GHOST

Theo seems like she has a good head on her shoulders and thinks logically. She occasionally ignored good solid advice and cautionary tales, but I probably would have done the same. Honestly, there were times where I was questioning everything, and all the supernatural speculation seemed like it could be easily explained. I did wish Theo had someone she could rely on and protect her, because her dad and grandma did an awful job of it. Where’s Sarah Michelle Gellar when you need her?!

Swoonworthy Scale: 5

I was really rooting for Parrish and Theo. Who among us doesn’t want a good vampire romance?! Alas, it was wishy-washy, and the good guy vampire thing never lasts. Would I have liked some smooching and forbidden love? Yes. But all you get is a couple lingering looks and some sweet gestures. Blah.

Talky Talk: Dialogue and Gore Galore 

I’m used to some heavy introspection and description between people talking (like an episode of You), and this book had a lot of back-and-forth dialogue. I wasn’t mad about it, but it was noticeable. 

This book has a slow beginning and then accelerates quickly to the end – so much so that I was worried I was going to be left without closure or need a sequel, because I didn’t think it possible to wrap up with the few pages I had left. And I was left unsatisfied.

Bonus Factor: Podcasts

Microphone and computer for podcasts

Theo is very into true crime podcasts, and what a coincidence that she meets two of her favourite podcasters on the beach, who help her unveil Nightfall’s secrets.

Factor: Siblings

Brothers Loki and Thor from Marvel movies

I definitely cringed at the beginning of the book when Theo and Marco were interacting with their dad. They didn’t play the annoyed, bratty teenagers very well, and they came off as close friends and not siblings who were just caught throwing a party the police had to shut down. As the book continued, their interactions got tolerable, so maybe it was me just getting used to the writing.

Anti-Bonus Factor: Dan Scott Award for Awful Parenting

Evil Dan Scott from One Tree Hill

Dragging your kids across 2 state lines to live with you and the grandmother they never met is a torture all on its on. But knowing the dangers of after-dark activities and allowing them to go out is the most irresponsible thing a fictional father has done in a while. Especially when you don’t even try to help.  A+ human being *heavy sarcasm*

Relationship Status: Bite Me

Really hoping for a spinoff series to scratch my unsatisfied itch, because Minnow, Annemarie and Beatrice definitely need their own stories. I might have to rewatch some Buffy.

Literary Matchmaking

Real Vampires Don’t Sparkle (Real Vampires Don’t Sparkle #1)

For some more non Twilight-esque vampires, check out Real Vampires Don’t Sparkle by Amy Fecteau.

What Big Teeth

Need some supernatural family ties? Read What Big Teeth by Rose Szabo.

The Book Eaters

The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean has all the monsters hiding in plain sight.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received this book from Penguin Random House and have not received payment for my review. In Nightfall is available now.

Amanda Bell (she/her) is a planner of events, reader (and listener) of books, a consumer of pizza and a crafter of all things! Propelled by caffeine and carbs – she found her love of reading again when she started a book club with her friends in 2019. Since then, books have consumed her life and her TBR pile is outta control. Amanda resides in Edmonton with her husband and daughter.