THE SPECIAL ONES: Review and Giveaway!


Hello, everyone! I’m thrilled to be participating in the blog tour for EM Bailey’s The Special Ones. This book is creepy and captivating and will keep you up late into the night reading and definitely NOT sleeping! Be sure to enter the giveaway and get this one added to those TBR lists!

Wine Pairing

I paired The Special Ones with this Cult Cabernet Sauvignon, because the main character in this story, Esther, is a “Special One,” a sort of figurehead at the heart of a very creepy cult run by the mysterious “Him.” This wine has a strong, dark flavor that will linger with you awhile, just as this haunting story will.

About the Book

9780544912298_hresTitle: THE SPECIAL ONES

Author: Em Bailey

Release Date: July 18, 2017

Pages: 304

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook

Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iBooks | TBD


Esther is one of the Special Ones: four young spiritual guides who live in a remote farmhouse under the protection of a mysterious cult leader. He watches them around the clock, ready to punish them if they forget who they are—and all the while, broadcasting their lives to eager followers on the outside. Esther knows that if she stops being Special, he will “renew” her. Nobody knows what happens to the Special Ones who are taken away from the farm for renewal, but Esther fears the worst. Like an actor caught up in an endless play, she must keep up the performance if she wants to survive long enough to escape.

My Review


The Special Ones by Em Bailey is a captivating thriller full of suspense and mystery that was creepy and nearly impossible to put down. The looming presence of the unknown “Him” had me hooked from the very beginning of the book and kept ratcheting up the suspense level continuously as the story progressed.

This story had me asking questions from the very beginning and the need to uncover the answers kept me turning those pages. The idea of these young characters being kidnapped and forced into positions of having to portray these paragons of perfection in a cult was both horrifying and fascinating. One of the main questions that propelled me through this story was the fact the if the characters weren’t sufficiently fulfilling their designated roles or had displeased “Him” in some way, they would be “renewed,” replaced by someone else to take on their role, but in what way they were forced to leave the house was the unknown element that really kept me in suspense.

Reading through Esther’s perspective was fascinating. The fact that she was an unreliable narrator certainly added to the overall mystery and intrigue of the story.

While the shifts in perspective during the second half of the book were a bit confusing, I did enjoy getting to see into the inner-workings of “His” mind. I think the more you can show of a villains motivations in a story, the more fascinating they become. And that was certainly the case here.

This book is original and haunting, and while I certainly enjoyed reading this book in July, I think it would be such a perfect book to add to a fall TBR list.

About the Author


Em Bailey is an Australian living in Germany where, despite having been a vegetarian for many years, she now enjoys the occasional Wurst. Em used to be a new-media designer for a children’s television production house and is now a full-time author. Shift is her first YA novel, although she has written a number of books for children under the name Meredith Badger.

When she’s not writing, Em is generally getting lost, losing stuff, reading, hanging out with her friends and family, and listening to Radiolab podcasts. Like Olive, she doesn’t like leggings that look like jeans, but has no problem with tofu schnitzels.


Enter the Giveaway!

3 winners will receive a hardcover of THE SPECIAL ONES! US Only.


Follow the Blog Tour!

Thanks so much to Rockstar Book Tours for hosting this tour! Be sure to check out their website here as well as the other amazing posts on this tour!

Week One:

7/10/2017- YA Books Central– Interview

7/11/2017- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review

7/12/2017- YA Book Madness– Guest Post

7/13/2017- A Dream Within A Dream– Review

7/14/2017- Novel Novice– Interview

Week Two:

7/17/2017- The Best Books Ever – Review

7/18/2017- Literary Meanderings– Excerpt

7/19/2017- Book Sniffers Anonymous– Excerpt

7/20/2017- YA and Wine– Review

7/21/2017- A Gingerly Review– Review

Have you read The Special Ones? Will you be adding it to your TBR? What is your favorite creepy YA read?

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15 thoughts on “THE SPECIAL ONES: Review and Giveaway!

    • KrystiYAandWine says:

      It definitely seems like a book you would enjoy based off of your other reviews. You’ll have to let me know if you read it! <3

    • KrystiYAandWine says:

      Thanks so much, Kourtni! It’s pretty creepy. I really enjoyed reading it, but the whole time I kept thinking how much more I would have enjoyed reading it in the fall. Maybe while breaking tradition and drinking some pumpkin spice chai…

      • Kourtni @ Kourtni Reads says:

        I always say I’ll wait and read creepy books in the fall and then end up with so many that I’m supposed to be reading that I barely get through any of them, haha. I can’t help it though; it’s the perfect season for creepy reads!

      • KrystiYAandWine says:

        Hahaha. That’s so true! I just love reading them. I usually binge them all in September though, and then I’m sick of them by October. LOL.

  1. carlrscott says:

    I’ve been hearing a lot about this book during the week. Good luck Em, I hope it does really well!

    • KrystiYAandWine says:

      Thanks so much, Meggy! I do think you would probably liked this one based off the books you usually review positively. I would recommend it as some great fall reading. 🙂

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