The Bad Ones

A cinematic, spooky small-town tale

Raegan’s book review of The Bad Ones

One cold winter night, four people across a small town vanish without a trace.

Nora’s former BFF, Becca, is one of the disappeared. As Nora tries to figure out what happened to Becca, she discovers a darkness lurking in her town’s past…and a string of coded messages Becca left for her to unravel. These clues lead Nora to a town legend: a goddess of forgotten origins who played a role in Nora and Becca’s own childhood games. 

A heart-pounding, crossover horror-fantasy threaded with dark magic, The Bad Ones is a love letter to semi-toxic best friendship, the occult power of childhood play and artistic creation, and the razor-thin line between make-believe and belief.

I especially loved this one for its cinematic style. It felt super dreamy, yet also spooky and sinister. There’s definitely a paranormal aspect to this! 

“Somewhere far above us, hidden in a skein of white cloud, the moon was making her solitary rotation. What would it sound like, if you could hear it? A scrape of stone on stone. The closing of an ancient door. You’d have to get right up close to hear it over the stars’ silver chatter.”

The Bad Ones

Discussion Questions:

☆ What is the relationship between Nora and Becca before Becca disappears?

☆ What role does the town’s past play in the unfolding mystery?

☆ How does Nora come across the string of coded messages left by Becca?

☆ How does the childhood friendship between Nora and Becca influence the events of the story?

☆ What themes does the book explore regarding friendship and its complexities?

☆ How does the town’s atmosphere contribute to the overall sense of dread and mystery?

☆ What challenges does Nora face as she unravels the clues left by Becca?

☆ How does the author create tension and suspense in the narrative?

☆ What emotions does the story evoke in the reader?

☆How does the book’s ending tie up the various threads of the plot?

You’ll love The Bad Ones if you also loved…

The Book of Night by Holly Black | Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw