The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney

And here we are with another thriller with “Girl” in the title. But I decided to ignore that when it came to this book, in an attempt to not be biased in my opinion. This book has been getting a lot of attention and I’ve been recommended it multiple times. So I finally decided to give it a go! Here is my review:

Emma
After a traumatic break-in, Emma is desperate to move into a newer, safer place. But nothing seems perfect – until she comes across One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece with its minimalist design…. but it also comes with many rules. The architect who built this house retains full control of it and only his word goes. The space is meant to transform its occupant completely – and it does.

Jane
After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start – and she finds it at One Folgate Street. But it isn’t just the house she’s fallen for; the seductive creator keeps coming into her mind. Once she moves in, Jane soon learns of the untimely demise of the previous tenant, a woman who resembles Jane. As Jane tries to make sense of the truth, she unwittingly begins to make the same choices and experiences the same terror as the girl before.

I’m surprised by how much I liked this novel. The story was addictive and while I didn’t like everything about it, I can’t deny that it had the thrill and the twists that I was hoping for. The two perspectives were quite interesting and the author did a really great job of making them match up and integrate. Emma’s character gave me a lot of warning signs, and it became more and more clear that she was not what I expected as I kept reading – but that’s what I loved about the book. I love that the main characters didn’t conform to my initial assessment, and I liked to see how they acted in similar situations. This book is all about depraved characters, each who have their own mental issues. They’re very twisted and I like that the author kept them true to that trait throughout the book. I wasn’t very comfortable with some of the ways that the author handled sexual consent and rape … but it worked in the context of this story because the story itself is all about individuals who don’t really conform or believe in those norms. A lot of people are saying that this novel is a bit of a combination between 50 shades of grey and Girl on the train …. I kind of agree with the first part of that. There is a lot of sexual stuff going on in this novel and even though I haven’t read 50 Shades of Grey, I can see where people can draw the parallels. However, this aspect didn’t make me as uncomfortable as I expected, as I still quite enjoyed the story. Overall, this was a very interesting thriller that had me hooked from the start!

Happy reading ~

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The End of Alice by A.M Jones

When I told my roommate what this novel was all about, she gave me a look filled with disgust and said “I have no idea how you can stomach reading this kind of stuff.” In all honesty, I get that look a lot. I don’t always read books that are “normal” or “safe”. It’s not as if I hunt for books that deal with disturbing content, but if I find one and I think the premise is interesting, then I will definitely give it a shot. I think that books dealing with topics that are controversial make you think differently, and it can be useful to hone that ability. Anyways, this is one of those books that is sexual and graphic in nature, so consider this a warning: this book is not for the faint of heart!

My synopsis itself will be brief: This is a story about a pedophile in prison who begins to receive letters from a 19-year old girl who lives in the suburbs. She plans to follow in our pedophile prisoner’s footsteps and her letters are erotically charged, showing the way in which she seduces and claims her victim – a 12-year-old boy. The prisoner, on his end, uses this as an opportunity to live vicariously through the girl’s actions and recall his own dalliances with little girls.

So. This novel was definitely erotic and it will definitely make you feel uncomfortable. That being said, the prose was not my favorite thing. There were long rambling passages that bored me to tears, and I ended up skimming most of the novel in order to focus on the plot. Most of what was said was unnecessary; this book could definitely have been written in fewer pages/chapters. I thought the letter writing concept was cool and was hoping that the author would actually write out the whole letter for the reader to see. But no, instead we get the pedophile inserting certain parts of the letter, while summarizing the rest; it is also clear that his “summary” isn’t just composed of whatever the girl has written but also what he himself has imagined is happening. That was a bit disappointing, as I would have liked to read it from her perspective instead. The overall concept of this novel was interesting but the actual writing of it left me disappointed. If you are expecting something thrilling or shocking, then don’t go for this novel; other than making you feel uncomfortable at times, it doesn’t do much else.

Happy reading ~