The Hills of Estrella Roja
The Hills of Estrella Roja
By Ashley Robin Franklin. Published by Clarion Books / Harper Alley.
Softcover, 400 pages, Colour, 2023.
In this delightfully creepy and unapologetically queer horror romp of a graphic novel, sometimes dreams do come true. Nightmares are technically dreams, after all....
When college freshman Kat Fields receives a mysterious email urging her to visit a relatively unknown Texas town with a history of witchcraft, strange sightings, and “devil lights”—glowing red stars that appear above the town’s hills every night—she ditches her plans for spring break and takes a solo road trip to Estrella Roja to investigate for her podcast, Paranormal Texas, catchphrase: “Y’all stay spooky!”
Meanwhile, Marisol “Mari” Castillo, is also headed for Estrella Roja to attend the funeral for her abuela whom she hasn’t seen since childhood, when her mom cut ties with the family and left town. Feeling lost and bored, she decides to help Kat after a chance meeting at the local diner—and, okay, it doesn’t hurt that Kat is super cute.
As the two girls grow closer not only to each other, but to uncovering the dark legacy that the town was built on, they discover that something hungry lurks beneath the strange stars and that in the hills of Estrella Roja, some secrets should stay buried.
'Psychedelic full-color pages burst with intricate detail and dynamic panel configurations. Franklin expertly captures the spirit of campy paranormal mysteries in this queer supernatural graphic novel interpretation of Latinx folklore.' — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
'Franklin’s energetic, full-color artwork pulses with emotion and movement. A queer graphic horror with an upbeat vibe.' — Kirkus Reviews
'This campy and spine-tingling graphic novel is an excellent choice for teenagers seeking an a rom-com horror read.' — Booklist
'A winding paranormal mystery about loyalty, bravery, and familial trials.' — School Library Journal
'Stranger Things and The X-Files inform this creepy yet charming graphic novel set in a gorgeous desert landscape.' — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
'Deliciously creepy grip from page one. Come for the town-with-a-secret story and stay for the tenderhearted queer romance.' — Emily M. Danforth, author of The Miseducation of Cameron Post and Plain Bad Heroines
'An immediately engrossing and spooky mystery featuring deeply charming protagonists, tense family drama and the paranormal. Once I started reading, I couldn't put it down until it was done with me.' — Jenn Woodall, creator of Space Trash
'A heartfelt and rascally joyride.' — Chelsey Weber-Smith, host of the podcast American Hysteria