MAYHEM: A YA feminist mash up ofThe Lost Boys and The Female of the Species coming from Wednesday Books/Macmillan July 14, 2020 

It’s 1987 and unfortunately it’s not all Madonna and cherry lip balm. Mayhem Brayburn has always known there was something off about her and her mother, Roxy. Maybe it has to do with Roxy’s constant physical pain, or maybe with Mayhem’s own irresistible pull to water. Either way, she knows they aren’t like everyone else. But when May’s stepfather finally goes too far, Roxy and Mayhem flee to Santa Maria, California, the coastal beach town that holds the answers to all of Mayhem’s questions about who her mother is, her estranged family, and the mysteries of her own self. There she meets the kids who live with her aunt, and it opens the door to the magic that runs through the female lineage in her family, the very magic Mayhem is next in line to inherit and which will change her life for good. But when she gets wrapped up in the search for the man who has been kidnapping girls from the beach, her life takes another dangerous turn and she is forced to face the price of vigilante justice and to ask herself whether revenge is worth the cost.

Here are some places to purchase Mayhem: 

Call Op.Cit. in Taos at 575-758-1999 (they ship!)

Audiobook via Libro

Cover design by Kerri Resnick at St. Martin’s Press, illustrated by Nicole Rifkin

  Early Praise for MAYHEM

Laure’s prose is the ideal vehicle for a story of beaches, mystery and magic. I devoured it and recommend you get this into the hands of every girl you know immediately! -Kristen Gilligan Tattered Cover Bookstore 

“With Mayhem, Estelle Laure offers a beguiling, lyrical, beach-gothic page-turner. I loved every twist and turn of this story about the darkness that lurks beneath paradise. Mayhem is her best book yet.” – Jeff Zentner, acclaimed author of The Serpent King and Goodbye Days 

Laure has crafted the genre-busting, 80s romp-of-a-read we need right now. A sweeping generational story, MAYHEM comes with all the trappings I’ve come to expect from Laure’s writing—flawed characters, gorgeous prose, rich settings—only this time, infused with a dose of gothic fairytale. MAYHEM is full of magic. -David Arnold, New York Times bestselling author of Kids of Appetite and Mosquitoland

“…readers will be rewarded with a vivid tale that deftly explores pain and empowerment. A compelling, unrelenting work of magical realism that will enthrall fans of nuanced feminist revenge fantasies.” Sidebar: I like to think you might enjoy it even if you aren’t into feminist revenge fantasies. -School Library Journal 

Content Warning: 

 Rape: the Brayburn family’s backstory centers around the matriarch’s rape and explores the ensuing generational trauma and its effects on the women within its lineage. The rape is on the page but is not graphically depicted. 

Suicide: a suicide takes place off the page.

 Drug use: there is one scene in which multiple adolescents take hallucinogenic mushrooms. There is much use of pills and alcohol by one of the adults in the story as a coping mechanism for chronic pain and trauma. 

Serial kidnapping and murder: part of the story centers around an active serial kidnapper and killer. There is also murder depicted throughout, sometimes on the page and sometimes off, including the murder of two of the children’s parents, which takes place in dialogue and is not explicitly on the page. 

Child abuse: central to the story is a depiction of violence experienced by a child. 

Domestic violence, intimidation, and emotional abuse: also central to the story is long-term domestic violence and its attendant cycle. This is mostly off stage, however there are several scenes of emotional manipulation and intimidation, and one scene that contains stalking and breaking and entering and a physical altercation.