The Pledge by Cale Dietrich
Scream meets Clown in a Cornfield in this young adult horror novel by bestselling author Cale Dietrich featuring a masked killer who targets frat boys.
Freshman Sam believes that joining a fraternity is the best way to form a friend group as he begins his college journey – and his best chance of moving on from his past. He is the survivor of a horrific, and world-famous, murder spree, where a masked killer hunted down Sam and his friends.
Sam had to do the unthinkable to survive that night, and it completely derailed his life. He sees college, and his new identity as a frat boy, as his best shot at living a life not defined by the killings. He starts to flirt with one of the brothers, who Sam finds is surprisingly accepting of Sam’s past, and begins to think a fresh start truly is possible.
And then… one of his new frat brothers is found dead. A new masked murderer, one clearly inspired by the original, emerges, and starts stalking, and slaying, the frat boys of Munroe University. Now Sam will have to race against the clock to figure out who the new killer is – and why they are killing – before Sam loses his second chance – or the lives of any more of his friends.
Elements of horror, mystery, and a gay romance make this a story readers won’t want to miss.
Expected publication February 14, 2023
This is a quick read. I actually read it in one sitting.
The book starts with Sam and his boyfriend (and two others) staying at a cabin in the woods. They are attacked and not everyone survives. Sam does what he has to and makes it out alive. But it’s changed his life. He homeschools and has multiple locks on his door. He checks each room for places that someone could be hiding. It doesn’t help that his mom wrote a “fiction” book that is basically based off is life. She has a masked killer though.
Two years later, Sam is starting college. He’s terrified, but determined to have a fresh start. He meets a cute guy right away that invites him to a party at his fraternity. Sam decides to go and actually has fun for the first time in years. He thinks about his ex, but he also wants to move on. Sam actually makes friends and decides to do rush week. He gets close to a few, but he really likes Oren. Maybe as more than a friend or possible hook up. But then frat boys start getting killed. There is video and the killer is wearing the mask from Sam’s mom’s book. It can’t be random. Sam knows he’s being targeted, but he can’t figure out who would do this to him. He has to face his fears and try to keep more boys from dying.
I enjoyed this one. It was fast paced. I did find it a bit repetitive with Sam always thinking about his ex. I liked the college setting and the chapters where the killer is attacking. I had an idea of who it was, but I was only partly right.
I gave this book 4 stars.
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my earc.
Have you read this? Is it on your TBR?
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