**** - Girl A
'Girl A,' she said. ‘The girl who escaped. If anyone was going to make it, it was going to be you.’
Lex Gracie doesn’t want to think about her family. She doesn’t want to think about growing up in her parents’ House of Horrors. And she doesn’t want to think about her identity as Girl A: the girl who escaped. When her mother dies in prison and leaves Lex and her siblings the family home, she can’t run from her past any longer. Together with her sister, Evie, Lex intends to turn the House of Horrors into a force for good. But first she must come to terms with her six siblings – and with the childhood they shared.
I was very excited to get the ARC of Girl A – from everything I had been seeing on social media it looks to be one of the ‘watch for’ books of 2021. Perhaps the high expectations going into the book ruined it slightly, however this book disappointingly fell a little flat for me.
The book itself shows a great premise – I enjoyed the flashbacks which showed the slow decline of the family from being ‘normal’ (if a little religious) to disturbing. Usually books like this would grip me and keep me reading until I finish it in one or two sittings. However, I found this book hard to keep picking up and that wasn’t to do with the subject matter. I found the characters a little hard to empathise with which is ridiculous considering the plot! The main character of Lex I felt too detached from in particular and this didn’t help with my engagement.
I enjoyed that the author took the time to fully explore each character per chapter in terms of what happened to them in the past and their journey since being adopted. However, I found the jumps between the timelines and character perspectives to be a little confusing and disorientating at times. The storyline of trying to spend the inheritance felt a little too forced and didn’t really introduce tension or suspense in any way to help hurry the plot along. The book also felt a little too long in places and I feel like it needed a better edit to make it punchier. I really liked the end twist though and I truly didn’t see it coming – this was what bumped it up to a 4 star read for me instead of 3.
Overall, for me Girl A felt a little over-hyped but it’s a moving and interesting book nonetheless. Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins UK – HarperFiction for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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