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Girl A’s Back-of-Book Description

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“A stunning debut.” —Washington Post

 
“Haunting [and] powerful.” —The New York Times

 
“A modern-day classic.” —Jeffery Deaver, New York Times bestselling author of The Bone Collector

 

“Fantastic, I loved it.” —Paula Hawkins, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl on the Train

 

She thought she had escaped her past. But there are some things you can’t outrun.

 

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, the eldest sister who freed her older brother and four younger siblings. It’s been easy enough to avoid her parents–her father never made it out of the House of Horrors he created, and her mother spent the rest of her life behind bars. But 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 home into a force for good. But first she must come to terms with her siblings–and with the childhood they shared.

 

What begins as a propulsive tale of escape and survival becomes a gripping psychological family story about the shifting alliances and betrayals of sibling relationships–about the secrets our siblings keep, from themselves and each other. Who have each of these siblings become? How do their memories defy or galvanize Lex’s own? As Lex pins each sibling down to agree to her family’s final act, she discovers how potent the spell of their shared family mythology is, and who among them remains in its thrall and who has truly broken free.

 

For readers of Room and Sharp Objects, an absorbing and psychologically immersive novel about a young girl who escapes captivity–but not the secrets that shadow the rest of her life.

My Thoughts

This was another adventure in “my friend picked a book from Book of the Month so I picked the same one”.  Honestly, I was thinking of skipping that month, but she thought the psychological thriller sounded good, and I like that genre, so we chose it!

Well… Girl A was an interesting read, overall. But I must admit, I kind of struggled through the beginning. The writing style was a little hard to get used to. It has a nonlinear timeline – which I usually like – but rather than the traditional style of using chapter breaks to go back or forward in time, the author did the jumps all in the same chapter. It was confusing at first and hard to get used to.

But eventually, I did get used to it and by the end of the book, it made a lot more sense that she chose to write it that way. The present-day story progressed as did the past, and they kind of all coincided and brought clarity to the plot and characters.

I enjoyed the premise of the story – that siblings who survived growing up in a terrible environment and then got adopted into new homes would reconnect and discuss the past. But the execution was a little bit …painful at times. I feel like we didn’t get to really know most of the characters; some felt like they were barely introduced and not fully fleshed out.

As I said, the nonlinear time jumps in the same paragraph were rough at times. You have to use context clues to figure out what time you’re in.

The story takes place in England mostly, but the writing seemed like a bend of American and British. I may be remembering that wrong…it’s been a couple of weeks since I finished. (I procrastinated finishing the book and I procrastinated writing about it!)

Honestly, my friend who started this at the same time as me has decided to not even finish it. Even though I have adamantly told her that the second half gets way better!  I mean, Girl A is getting stellar reviews from a lot of other people so… just because she didn’t finish it doesn’t mean it’s all bad…right?

 

Buy it now!

Favorite Quotes From Girl A

“To them, the past was a sickness that [some people] still carried; you could catch it from a conversation.”

 

“I understood there was a difference between being playful and cruel, but I only ever recognized it once the words were said.”

 

“It was difficult to distingue between what had changed and what I had forgotten.”

 

“If anybody was going to make it, it was going to be you.”

 

“The body is notoriously efficient at forgetting pain…Is it any great surprise – with a little encouragement – that the mind can do the same thing?”

 

“You offered me a lie and I staggered inside it and closed the door behind me.”

In Conclusion

This one is tough for me – I really struggled to get into it, but it did get better in the end. I’m gonna say 3 stars. While Girl A was intriguing, there were a lot of weird time jumps and things were hard to follow at times. There were also a lot of character weaknesses. But I did get pretty invested by the end. Honestly, I can imagine it being better as a movie if that makes sense.

All that being said – if you like psychological thrillers you might add this one to your list. The back-of-book acclaim was right about it being similar to Room and Sharp Objects, so if you liked those books it stands to reason that you would like this one, as well.

 

Thanks so much for reading this review of Girl A – there are plenty more reviews to check out here.  Be sure to share this site with other readers and consider pinning one of the quotes below to your favorite quote or book board!

“If anybody was going to make it, it was going to be you.”
“The body is notoriously efficient at forgetting pain…Is it any great surprise – with a little encouragement – that the mind can do the same thing?”
“It was difficult to distingue between what had changed and what I had forgotten.”
“You offered me a lie and I staggered inside it and closed the door behind me.”
“I understood there was a difference between being playful and cruel, but I only ever recognized it once the words were said.”
“To them, the past was a sickness that [some people] still carried; you could catch it from a conversation.”
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