Skip to main content




June is content with staying in her room and writing all day. Her mother has other plans. In order to make June into a perfect woman, her mother believes she must learn how to cook, slave over her brother’s and dad’s every whim and fall in love with a financially stable man. Obsessed with writing her alien abduction story, June plans to escape and live the way she wants. However, when her escape turns sour, her parents send her to an awful asylum --- and nothing is as it seems. All June ever wanted was to be free. NIGHTINGALE by Amy Lukavics is a crazy whirlwind that will leave you shocked.

Going into NIGHTINGALE, I was leaning more towards the horror genre, expecting ghosts or other paranormal activity. Instead, NIGHTINGALE is more of a science fiction, delving into the unknown. The novel is extremely compelling. Science fiction has never been my favorite but this page turner has a way of gripping you right in.

"NIGHTINGALE was gruesome and undeniably entertaining, setting a terrifying atmosphere you will definitely want to read during autumn."

The 1950s setting gives the book the perfect atmosphere. NIGHTINGALE will be sure to start gender role discussions when June’s mother explains her desire in making June the perfect woman. All June wants is to escape suffocating societal rules, gender roles and doing what's always expected of her. She doesn’t want a future that's already mapped out for her, on the road to becoming the perfect woman, the perfect wife. She’s the type to color outside the lines and readers will absolutely love her narrative.

NIGHTINGALE is a young adult SHUTTER ISLAND. With monsters in dark tunnels and things pretending to be humans, NIGHTINGALE is sure to haunt both your waking hours and your dreams. June is an unreliable narrator of the best kind. She constantly doubts her actions, her thoughts and even her own eyes. Readers will trust June in her assessment one moment and the next, shaking their head at the absurdity of it. The book messes with readers’ minds. Readers will not know what to think.  

It does showcase a female/female romance which is appreciated. However, since the relationship is not the main focus of the work, it seems underdeveloped and superficial.

Amy Lukavics is an incredible writer. The careful structure of the book mixes with the imaginative descriptions that jump off the page. Lukavics takes readers back and forth in time, explaining June's present life in the asylum and her past leading up to the asylum. Despite sounding a bit confusing, the structure is quite brilliant. Lukavics only reveals so much at any given point, leaving readers curious to know more. However, the descriptions are cringe-worthy, gruesome even. June becomes obsessed over writing detailed torture scenes of her own protagonist. It gets quite gory. If you are a queasy reader, this one may not be for you.

The ending leaves something to be desired. It took a direction no reader will foresee. However, this unpredictability quickly turns unbelievable and too ridiculous. Overall, NIGHTINGALE was gruesome and undeniably entertaining, setting a terrifying atmosphere you will definitely want to read during autumn.

Reviewed by Jeanna Michel on October 16, 2018

by Amy Lukavics