Saint Juniper's Folly (Hardcover)
July/August 2023 Kids Indie Next List
“Saint Juniper’s Folly captivated me. I fell in love with the atmospheric setting, this trio of unlikely friends, and the haunted house and secrets that bring them together. This queer fantasy-gothic mystery is a force of healing.”
— Gabriella Crivilare, Prairie Fox Books, Ottawa, IL
Cemetery Boys meets The Haunting of Bly Manor in this spellbinding queer paranormal romance!
"A slow, ominous creep of a book." —New York Times bestselling author Aiden Thomas, Cemetery Boys and The Sunbearer Trials
For Jaime, returning to Saint Juniper means returning to a past he’s spent eight years trying to forget. But every gossip in town already knows his business, so he seeks out solitude into the nearby woods—Saint Juniper’s Folly—and does not return.
For Theo, Saint Juniper means being stuck. His senior year is going to be like all the rest, dull and claustrophobic. That is until he wanders into the Folly and stumbles on a haunted house with an acerbic yet handsome boy trapped—as in physically trapped—inside.
For Taylor, Saint Juniper is a mystery. She struggles to practice the magic her dad banned from the house after her mom, an accomplished witch, suddenly died. Then a wide-eyed teenager barges into her life, rambling about a haunted house and a trapped boy. He needs a witch.
The Folly and its ghosts will draw these three teenagers together. But can they each face their demons to forge a bond strong enough to escape the Folly's shadows?
Alex Crespo’s queer haunted house mystery is equal parts spine-tingling thrills, a celebration of found family, and must-read for paranormal romance fans.
About the Author
Born and raised by the Great Lakes, Alex Crespo writes about queer love, magic, and all the ways they intersect. When not writing, you can find him making art or daydreaming about Mothman. He currently lives in Chicago with an endless anime watchlist and his black cat Hex. Saint Juniper’s Folly is his debut novel. Find him on Instragram, Twitter, and TikTok @byalexcrespo.
★ "The vividly drawn features of Saint Juniper's Folly create a suspenseful, unsettling atmosphere, but the chills and frights are interspersed with moments of levity and warmth. . . ."—Shelf Awareness, Starred Review
★ "Teens feeling stuck—in various identification boxes, in the Sisyphean cycle of school days, or in the sometimes poisonous, sometimes nurturing bounds of family—will likely relate to Jaime’s yearning for freedom, and this remarkable debut novel carefully explores these struggles with grace and sympathy. . . . Theo, Jaime, and Taylor are unforgettable."—The Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books, Starred Review
"This sweet, supernatural love story features a trio of likable protagonists with each chapter alternating among their perspectives. . . . A recommended first purchase for teen collections looking to expand their supernatural fiction and LGBTQIA+ titles."—School Library Journal
"Crespo's debut blends together magic and mystery, love and connection, and romance to create a creepily engaging gothic narrative."—Booklist
"Readers who enjoy watching a queer love story unfold amid peril will enjoy. . . ."—Kirkus Reviews
"Centering themes of found family and identity, Crespo depicts Theo’s unfolding understanding of his sexuality with sensitivity and realism, and his strengthening romance with Jaime sparkles with anticipatory tension and affable banter."—Publishers Weekly
“Deeply atmospheric and unexpectedly moving, Saint Juniper’s Folly is a slow, ominous creep of a book. Alex Crespo demonstrates how trauma can build walls and trap us in our own haunted houses, but they also show us the way out.” —Aiden Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of Cemetery Boys and The Sunbearer Trials
“A tale of friendship and love wrapped up in haunted houses and bloody magic. Alex Crespo stretches out a hand to teens who feel alone and assures them that they’ll find friends who will fight for them, even if it means facing down the dead.” —Andrew Joseph White, New York Times bestselling author of Hell Followed with Us
“A wholly original ghost story filled with secrets—the kind we keep from each other, and the kind we keep from ourselves. Alex Crespo's trio of unlikely friends ground the story with their tangible love, making Saint Juniper's Folly unputdownable and entirely stunning.” —Sasha Peyton Smith, New York Times bestselling author of The Witch Haven
“The perfect combination of the things of my nightmares, coming of age in a small town, difficult legacy, and first love. Terrifying, suspenseful, and emotional, led by characters who have my entire heart, this book is a must-read for everyone!” —Jonny Garza Villa, author of Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun
“Saint Juniper’s Folly is the type of book that would’ve had me staying up late to read on a school night. Alex Crespo pulls on every single heartstring while weaving a uniquely magical story that is equal parts haunting and touching. Through Jaime, Theo, and Taylor, teens get characters to relate to and root for, and the romance is an absolute knockout. Alex Crespo injects new life into the YA paranormal genre with this stunning debut.” —S. Isabelle, author of The Witchery
“I asked the universe for a beautifully written story of a haunting set In The Middle Of Nowhere that was equal parts heartwarming and heart-stopping with lots of family baggage, brujería, reluctant besties, and slow-burn romance. Alex Crespo’s Saint Juniper’s Folly is the answer!” —Amparo Ortiz, Author of Last Sunrise in Eterna.
“Set in an atmospheric town where the characters are haunted by a mysterious ghost as well as themselves, Saint Juniper’s Folly shows the beautiful power of finding connection in the unlikeliest of places. A gorgeous queer debut that’s as eerie as it is endearing.” —Racquel Marie, author of Ophelia After All