Grit
His presence beside me is like heat, like weight, something I’ve carried around on my back too long.Raw and moving, this contemporary realistic debut novel will leave readers of E. Lockhart and Gayle Forman breathless as it unflinchingly unfolds the tragic secrets being kept in a small, deceptively idyllic Maine town.Seventeen-year-old Darcy Prentiss has long held the title of “town slut.” She knows how to have a good time, sure, but she isn’t doing anything all the guys haven’t done. But when you’re a girl with a reputation, every little thing that happens seems to keep people whispering—especially when your ex-best friend goes missing.But if anyone were to look closer at Darcy, they’d realize there’s a lot more going on beneath the surface. Staying out late, hooking up, and telling lies is what Darcy does to forget. Forget about the mysterious disappearance of her friend. Forget about the dark secret she and her cousin Nell share. Forget about that hazy Fourth of July night. So when someone in town anonymously nominates Darcy to be in the running for Bay Festival Princess—a cruel act only someone with a score to settle would make—all of the things that Darcy wants to keep hidden threaten to erupt in ways she wasn’t prepared to handle…and isn’t sure if she can.

Grit Details

TitleGrit
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 16th, 2017
PublisherHarperTeen
ISBN0062642553
ISBN-139780062642554
Number of pages304 pages
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary

Grit Review

  • Sarah
    April 14, 2017
    (I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.) “We may not have been friends anymore, but Rhiannon was my age, sixteen last summer, and one way or another, she never came home again.” This was a contemporary story about a girl whose ex-best friend had gone missing the year previously.Darcy was an okay character, and I thought it was really unfair the slut-shaming she had gone through. Everyone seemed to think that she was sex mad, which wasn’t the ca (I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.) “We may not have been friends anymore, but Rhiannon was my age, sixteen last summer, and one way or another, she never came home again.” This was a contemporary story about a girl whose ex-best friend had gone missing the year previously.Darcy was an okay character, and I thought it was really unfair the slut-shaming she had gone through. Everyone seemed to think that she was sex mad, which wasn’t the case at all, and she even got turned down for a job because of it! “Sorry, honey pie, this is a family business.” The storyline in this was about Darcy working picking blueberries over the summer with her sister and cousin, and there was also a storyline about her ex-best friend Rhiannon going missing the previous summer. The mystery in this was very low key though, with a lot more emphasis on Darcy’s day-to-day life, and her reputation than what had really happened to Rhiannon. We did get a bit of romance, and a storyline about Darcy being nominated for Bay Festival Princess, as well as a bit of a competition going on to see who could pick the most blueberries, but it all felt a bit like people picking on Darcy. “It’s not fair and it isn’t right, but it’s always, always harder on the girl.” The ending to this tied things up pretty well, and I was pleased that at least part of the mystery was solved.6.5 out of 10
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  • Allison
    January 8, 2017
    Just..... innumerable heart-eyes.RTC
  • Kristin
    November 22, 2016
    Loved loved loved this book! Definitely one of the best YA's I've come across (and I've come across a lot)!
  • Charlotte Black
    January 30, 2017
    Grit is a solid and intensely sincere story with a dark tale that's rugged and sharp. The characters are all flawed. Some more so than others.The writer did a great job enabling me to escape to the small fictional town of Sasanoa near the Penobscot river, Maine. A tiny community where everybody knows everybody else's business. Your life and what you make of it gets to be heard by all, young or old. At the heart of the novel is a missing girl. Rhiannon was Darcy Prentiss' friend up to a year ago Grit is a solid and intensely sincere story with a dark tale that's rugged and sharp. The characters are all flawed. Some more so than others.The writer did a great job enabling me to escape to the small fictional town of Sasanoa near the Penobscot river, Maine. A tiny community where everybody knows everybody else's business. Your life and what you make of it gets to be heard by all, young or old. At the heart of the novel is a missing girl. Rhiannon was Darcy Prentiss' friend up to a year ago. Not necessarily best friends but they used to hang out, chat about guys they wanted to get off with, talk about their school peers, and visit the quarry or the drive-in movie at night to get drunk or smoke some weed. At school Darcy became uncomfortable with Rhiannon when she started asking questions about Darcy's cousin, Nell. Darcy's life spins into a downward spiral the night Rhiannon disappeared. They'd been with Kat, Darcy's other go-to friend but no one knows where Rhiannon went. Or if they do know they're not telling. It's summer and harvest time. Darcy's working at picking blueberries for a summer job. She needs the money to buy new school clothes and books for her senior year. She lives with her sister, Mags, and her mother. Her father died when she was eleven in a stupid tragic accident leaving them all to fend for themselves. They've done okay but there's not very much money around that doesn't get spent on bills or Darcy's mum's smokes. Nowadays her mum loves nothing more than to smoke and remembers her days with the girl's father. She's somewhat idle. Sometimes food isn't bought. Sometimes there's no milk in the fridge. They all live life near the grindstone and life is tough. In a trailer on the grounds of their house lives Darcy's aunt Libby and her daughter, Nell. Nell is a lovely but simple. She's smart, though, in her own way, beautiful and truthful to the core. But under the surface, and even though she's almost nineteen Nell is treated by her mother like a twelve-year-old. Darcy, Mags and Nell spend most of their time together and Darcy is very protective of her cousin but in a different way than Nell's mum. Darcy can't escape the shadow of Rhiannon. Even as work starts with the blueberry picking a police car turns up and the rumours start. Have they found Rhiannon? Do they know where she went? Or why she disappeared? Did she go with someone? Soon the police are at Darcy's home again asking more questions. What happened the night she disappeared? Who was she with? Rhiannon's disappearance dogs Darcy's day-to-day living like a stone in a shoe. The police won't let it go, they think Darcy is hiding something. Even Darcy's family isn't convinced she's telling the whole truth. And Darcy isn't. But that's the point. She isn't telling anyone what she knows. And because she's keeping this gigantic secret that could rip a huge hole across not just her family but the town also, Darcy buries the secret by 'escaping.' She goes out with her friends who do anything to have fun and just have a laugh out loud. That means making out with boys and a whole lot more. But Darcy will protect Nell at all costs. From the outset, Grit is a truthful and sometimes painful attempt at making us want to look further below the surface. Not everything is cut-and-dry and crystal clear. Not everything is what it seems. Without the support system guiding Darcy to do the right thing, either by friends or family, she's forced to make decisions that are defeatist at best and head turning at worst. Gillian French has proven her worth with this dark, deep and gritty tale that twists and turns even until the end - CBx
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  • Cindy
    February 3, 2017
    Wow! Grit is a story most people want to sweep under the rug. Kudos to Gillian French for writing about it. There are many things going on in this novel but the underling issue is still in the forefront. Darcy is the main character who you can't help but love. She is who she is and she owns it. She has so much love for her cousin who is in special education classes that she will do anything for her........until she can't any more.I really loved this book. The true, raw emotion, the feeling that Wow! Grit is a story most people want to sweep under the rug. Kudos to Gillian French for writing about it. There are many things going on in this novel but the underling issue is still in the forefront. Darcy is the main character who you can't help but love. She is who she is and she owns it. She has so much love for her cousin who is in special education classes that she will do anything for her........until she can't any more.I really loved this book. The true, raw emotion, the feeling that this was real, because we all know it happens, the love of three cousins and the one guy who just might be a good guy and not a creep.
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  • Teresa
    February 22, 2017
    Loved this book....once I picked it up I couldn't put it down. What I loved most about this story was the ties and relationships between the Prentiss family; Darcy, Mags, their mother, aunt and the innocent Nell. All these women are dealing with some sort of sorrow in their life and it makes them all act out in different ways...I found their relationships to be the most intriguing. BUT.....I can't forget the relationship between Jesse and Darcy...that was pretty special as well. A wonderful, gri Loved this book....once I picked it up I couldn't put it down. What I loved most about this story was the ties and relationships between the Prentiss family; Darcy, Mags, their mother, aunt and the innocent Nell. All these women are dealing with some sort of sorrow in their life and it makes them all act out in different ways...I found their relationships to be the most intriguing. BUT.....I can't forget the relationship between Jesse and Darcy...that was pretty special as well. A wonderful, gripping debut novel that has me excited to see what Gillian French will come out with next. Thanks to HarperCollins for the ARC!
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  • Jennifer
    February 10, 2017
    For a debut author, Gillian French is going to be one to watch. Darcy is a wild child, a teen who likes to drink and go with boys and she's got a reputation to match. She works hard on hot summer days raking blueberries, competing with the boys and the migrant farm workers. The specter of a missing girl is hanging over the town and the sheriff thinks Darcy knows more than she's saying, plus she's been nominated for Festival Princess, which might just be a mean joke. There's a lot going on, but F For a debut author, Gillian French is going to be one to watch. Darcy is a wild child, a teen who likes to drink and go with boys and she's got a reputation to match. She works hard on hot summer days raking blueberries, competing with the boys and the migrant farm workers. The specter of a missing girl is hanging over the town and the sheriff thinks Darcy knows more than she's saying, plus she's been nominated for Festival Princess, which might just be a mean joke. There's a lot going on, but French knows how to create characters with depth and Darcy, for all of her flaws, has an iron core and strength that readers can admire. Looking forward to French's next book. Review from galley.
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  • Katharina
    December 22, 2016
    I liked this SO much more than I expected to! Raw and fierce style, great and varied characters, complex female friendships and family relationships.
  • Rebecca Plaza
    February 11, 2017
    Another fierce girl, alive in all ways. Full of loyalty, lust, maybe pig-headed determination, complex and human. Just a great character!
  • Bookworm LLC
    February 3, 2017
    Wow! Grit is a story most people want to sweep under the rug. Kudos to Gillian French for writing about it. There are many things going on in this novel but the underling issue is still in the forefront. Darcy is the main character who you can't help but love. She is who she is and she owns it. She has so much love for her cousin who is in special education classes that she will do anything for her........until she can't any more.I really loved this book. The true, raw emotion, the feeling that Wow! Grit is a story most people want to sweep under the rug. Kudos to Gillian French for writing about it. There are many things going on in this novel but the underling issue is still in the forefront. Darcy is the main character who you can't help but love. She is who she is and she owns it. She has so much love for her cousin who is in special education classes that she will do anything for her........until she can't any more.I really loved this book. The true, raw emotion, the feeling that this was real, because we all know it happens, the love of three cousins and the one guy who just might be a good guy and not a creep.
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  • Nicka
    April 10, 2017
    2.5 stars!Grit was definitely a disappointment on my part, I was buddy reading this with my friend. The first chapters were boring, there was too much happening I couldn't focus on one thing at a time. I thought the plot of the story will be executed very well but to my surprise it didn't. The only thing I liked about this book is that it's a quick read that's all. I think this book has potential if the plot would focus on the main story. I actually didn't know what was happening. It was all ove 2.5 stars!Grit was definitely a disappointment on my part, I was buddy reading this with my friend. The first chapters were boring, there was too much happening I couldn't focus on one thing at a time. I thought the plot of the story will be executed very well but to my surprise it didn't. The only thing I liked about this book is that it's a quick read that's all. I think this book has potential if the plot would focus on the main story. I actually didn't know what was happening. It was all over the place.
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  • J Hall
    January 5, 2017
    OMG! I want to be Darcy, I want to be her best friend, part of her group, hang with her. Could not put this book down until the fantastic end and thought WOW! Loved this book! The story, the atmosphere, the characters were all so real and intriguing. The action kept me turning the pages, and the mystery...well, read the book. You will only be sorry because it has to end as do all great reads. I look forward to more of Gillian French's work.
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  • Luke Reynolds
    March 5, 2017
    ARC Review (3/6/17, received from Sarah Prineas)I feel like the odd little duckling with this one. The premise for Grit sounded like it could have been a winner, and the little positive review hype out right now made me excited, not gonna lie. To me, this seemed like a The Female of the Species situation (even Mindy McGinnis blurbed this), and although I went back and forth on whether to read this constantly, I caved and decided to read it immediately. After all, I'm all for interesting combinat ARC Review (3/6/17, received from Sarah Prineas)I feel like the odd little duckling with this one. The premise for Grit sounded like it could have been a winner, and the little positive review hype out right now made me excited, not gonna lie. To me, this seemed like a The Female of the Species situation (even Mindy McGinnis blurbed this), and although I went back and forth on whether to read this constantly, I caved and decided to read it immediately. After all, I'm all for interesting combinations of plot, and the missing ex-best friend, references to sexual assault, dark secrets, blueberry harvesting, and beauty pageant had me intrigued.Too bad this fell flat on its nose. Grit could have worked incredibly well if it was cleaned up in its plot, especially in the first third. A lot happens, but it doesn't move anything along at all, and despite some great similes in the writing, I couldn't care about anything. The second third was surprisingly in stride, reaching the perfect balance of light and dark (or grit, he he), tension and awesome sisterly love given in spades. Then the ending came along and ruined everything, leaving loose ties and not resolving anything well (it all felt incorrect with the tone of the book). Even despite some genuinely good writing and some great dynamics among characters, Grit attempted too much and fell hard.So what happened? The plot is the perfect place to start. Darcy Prentiss is spending the summer before senior year raking blueberries, since that has somewhat become a tradition. Her family is made up of her levelheaded older sister Mags, her beautiful and purehearted cousin Nell (who also attends Special Ed classes, which I found surprisingly well touched upon), her smoking mother, and the grouchy Aunt Libby, Nell's mom, who Darcy despises due to her open criticism. All three girls work in the barrens and harvest the small blue fruits that make up so many breakfasts, but there's a lot Darcy hides underneath her hard work and playful banter with her sisters. There's the secret she's been keeping for Nell ever since an event last year broke her cousin's heart. Then there's the reason why Darcy had a falling-out with her best friend, Rhiannon Foss, and what happened the night she disappeared from the small town of Sasanoa, Maine. Those feed her partying and her status as the town "slut," but it also led to a terrifying drunken incident that occurred during last year's Fourth of July that involved the absolutely vile Shea Gaines, who is now going out of his way to torment and harass Darcy to no end.But that's not all. Darcy receives word from her mother that a telephone message was left to confirm her nomination as a Bay Festival Princess, competing in a pageant with a bunch of other girls at the end of the summer. Darcy is convinced someone is putting her on stage as a joke in order to publicly humiliate her a la Carrie, but she begrudgingly participates as Nell will be alongside her and seems excited about the whole thing. Things get messy from there, with Darcy having to gather courage to be honest about her experiences when Rhiannon's case is reopened, compete with Shea for the top blueberry harvester title to get back at him, but also experiencing maybe more than a fleeting attachment to older harvester Jesse Bouchard. Looks like this summer's gonna be one to remember.Do you see what I mean by a busy plot? So much is going on in Grit that it's hard to tell what French wanted the main point of the novel to be. It seemed she was trying for a story revolving around Darcy and her experiences while knowing she could crack at any minute, but with all the different threads, not enough time was spent on anything. Also, most of the storylines didn't click together. I could understand Darcy wanting to protect her cousin and the incident she experienced, and I did enjoy the blueberry harvesting bit, but where did the missing girl and the beauty pageant come from? The former felt added to create drama, while the second attempted to add some lightheartedness to the story but felt glossed over when it was mentioned. It actually didn't feel necessary at all, even though it seemed like it was going to be important.I also was mixed on Darcy as a protagonist. While I enjoyed the dynamic she had with her older sister and cousin (their conversations where they played card games and had fun were the best parts of the book), she wasn't particularly interesting as a character. I felt bad that she was associated with everything bad just because of a thing she did sophomore year that circulated, but she didn't really try to challenge those rumors or her reputation. By the end of the novel, I found her incredibly selfish for trying to escape from her own problems and trying to solve her cousin's when her cousin could do that on her own. Even though the book ended on an incredibly sad yet kind of hopeful note, it made Darcy seem like a savior when that honor should have belonged to Nell, who I ended up really liking because she was precious and didn't deserve all the sad stuff that had happened to her in the past.Darcy and Jesse's romance didn't do anything for me, either. Jesse was obviously the good guy that was perfect for Darcy, and she has had a crush on him for a while, but when you have their first extended conversation consist of them making out and almost having sex, it looks less like a genuine relationship and more like a heavy dose of insta-affection. Some of their moments were cute (and the dynamic flipped; usually Darcy made the first moves) when they actually took the time to not rub their bodies against each other, but I really didn't care at the end of the day. (view spoiler)[Additionally, Jesse thinking he was cheating with Darcy because she was Shea's girl was just stupid. JESSE, THEIR INTERACTIONS HAVE BEEN ANYTHING BUT CUTE BANTER! Shea is obviously trying to make her squirm in the worst possible way because of what he did to her on the Fourth of July. (hide spoiler)]The writing was probably the saving grace that kept me going. French was able to craft some interesting and cool similes that I couldn't help but note, and her way of capturing the people that made up Sasanoa was appreciated. I did feel like she brushed over issues that could have been addressed (the very obvious racism towards the migrants from the townspeople that worked on the blueberry farm, (view spoiler)[whether what Shea did to Darcy was rape is never clearly stated, which might have been to prevent a trigger warning but still felt like a wasted opportunity to actually clarify (hide spoiler)]), but for the most part, the gritty (ha) edge the book was going for was somewhat achieved by the second third in at least capturing the absolutely sinister edge between Darcy and Shea (which I lived for) and livening it up with some genuine sisterly love.But everything fell apart with the ending. Just when I thought I would like this debut, all the plot points came to an abrupt end and felt halfhearted. Everything the book was setting itself up to be just dissolved, and the book ended in a completely different vein from the rest of the story. (view spoiler)[Like I predicted, the nomination of Darcy to the Bay Festival Princess competition wasn't a vicious attack but rather a genuine belief from an old family friend, repairman Hunt. But even the resolution that focused on getting the teacher that Nell had been in a relationship with away from her felt like a complete 180 from where we started. I always pictured this narrative as one about Darcy, but having her just turn to her cousin's problems instead of solving her own felt strange. Yes, one of Darcy's greatest weaknesses was continuing to protect Nell even when Nell wanted to break out on her own, but the realization by Darcy solving Nell's issues for her made me feel uncomfortable.I also didn't like how Shea was not dealt with. He literally assaulted Darcy and tripped her into a trailer, but Darcy doesn't want to file a police report even though she obviously should have. The last time we see him, he's smug and spreading more garbage about Darcy, and the whole thing was vile. Him getting away with it felt so wrong when Darcy should have gotten the justice she deserved, and while I understand the way it turned out in the end was realistic, it made me really upset because I thought the entire point was to get payback on this complete a-hole.The only thing I liked was finding out that Rhiannon had been connected with the same teacher Nell had been. It definitely put those last fraught moments between Darcy and Rhiannon as friends in a whole new light. (hide spoiler)]Lastly, can we please stop creating manipulative police officers in YA when it's very clear the teens aren't being honest at all? The shtick is old and annoyed me when it was very obviously shoehorned in to add some drama that would eventually force Darcy to be honest.In the end, Grit was disappointing. The premise had so much potential, but the delivery was uneven in its thirds and the plot felt over-baked. With some cleaning up, I could see this novel working better and actually being good, but from where it stands right now, it's simply okay.I'm not gonna lie, though: I really do want to see the finished copy for this. I was invested with my notes for this ARC, and I want to see if some of the formatting errors are fixed and if some other things will receive that same treatment. I honestly doubt it, though.
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  • Donna Davis
    April 13, 2017
    Sometimes there is so much in a novelist’s heart that their debut novel tries to do too much. Perhaps that is what happened here. I expected to enjoy Grit, and I tried to engage with the story, but every time I thought we were on our way, it turned out we were going somewhere else. Regardless, my thanks go to Edelweiss, Above the Treeline, and Harper Teen for the DRC, which I received free in exchange for this honest review. It is scheduled for release May 16, 2017. The novel starts out strong. Sometimes there is so much in a novelist’s heart that their debut novel tries to do too much. Perhaps that is what happened here. I expected to enjoy Grit, and I tried to engage with the story, but every time I thought we were on our way, it turned out we were going somewhere else. Regardless, my thanks go to Edelweiss, Above the Treeline, and Harper Teen for the DRC, which I received free in exchange for this honest review. It is scheduled for release May 16, 2017. The novel starts out strong. Darcy Prentiss is a rebellious teenager, and the voice of the rural working class of Maine is a resonant one, and it’s what keeps this from becoming a one-star review. The teens of the small town of Sasanoa rake blueberries for summer spending money. The story devolves around the disappearance of Darcy’s best friend, Rhiannon; there are so many side stories and diversions here that I feel as if Rhiannon gets lost in the muddle. The mores of this tale are to some degree set to the values of the Caucasian middle and working classes of 1950. All teenagers are assumed to be heterosexual by the default of the story line, but there are a lot of novels that still do this, and if it were the only issue here I would have smiled, nodded, and moved on. The plot, however, is partly teen romance, with girls that have crushes on this boy, that one, and the other, and the plot is also partly about our protagonist’s obsession with—wait for it—the local beauty pageant. Seriously. I keep turning the pages, waiting for this story to either become a real mystery, or to take us somewhere important. There are some tense moments in which the local kids are forbidden to mix with the migrant workers; immigration is a huge issue right now in the USA, and so my pulse beat a bit quicker as I waited to see where French would take this thread. I could happily forget all about the missing-or-dead ex-pal Rhiannon if some sort of social justice theme was in the offing. Instead, this aspect of the story leads nowhere and is abandoned. I am sad.During a conversation that Darcy overhears between her mother and aunt another red-hot issue is raised and again, my heart beats quicker. The aunt refers to Darcy’s clothing and says, "'She's asking for it. Every time she walks out that door in those skimpy little shorts with her shirt cut way down to here, she's asking for it.'" I think perhaps this is where things will start to move, perhaps using the narrative to explore body image issues among teenagers along with stereotypes and the slut-shaming that sometimes causes girls to hate themselves and sometimes hurt themselves, or perhaps to look at sexual assault and the way that society enables sexual violence by blaming the victims. But once again, the opportunity is squandered. Add to this strange, wandering plot some nasty stereotypes about fat women and we end up with a story more likely to do harm than good, although there is really no message here powerful enough to do much of anything. We find our way back to Rhiannon eventually, but it’s a waste because the momentum has been lost. When the story is finally over, I am delighted to be finished with it. In the end, we have a resonant setting with dubious characters to populate it and a plot that has too many dead ends to gain momentum. Clear focus and assistance from a high profile editor might make this story a winner, but as it stands now, I cannot recommend it.
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  • Kira DeSomma
    April 5, 2017
    Darcy is a girl surrounded by rumors and secrets. In her seventeenth year, she is spending the summer raking blueberries alongside migrant workers as mystery and treachery run deep in the veins of her tiny town. She is cruelly nominated for her town's pageant as a joke, and as the summer progresses, all the walls Darcy has built threaten to come tumbling down. This books was compelling - not just because of the fully developed characters, but because of the sense of danger that had me turning pa Darcy is a girl surrounded by rumors and secrets. In her seventeenth year, she is spending the summer raking blueberries alongside migrant workers as mystery and treachery run deep in the veins of her tiny town. She is cruelly nominated for her town's pageant as a joke, and as the summer progresses, all the walls Darcy has built threaten to come tumbling down. This books was compelling - not just because of the fully developed characters, but because of the sense of danger that had me turning page after page. The plot had twists and turns that left me breathless. The blend between coming-of-age story and pure pulse-pounding mystery was seamless. After all is said and done, Darcy is a human character, one we relate to and see - either in others or in ourselves. She is the champion of her own story.
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  • Ameema Saeed
    March 30, 2017
    4.5 stars.I really really liked this.(Full review to come)
  • Anna Cruz
    February 25, 2017
    This book was definitely a page turner. The overall structure of the story was different from anything I personally have ever read. There are a few different mysteries throughout the book, and each one of the issues that presents themselves are really only hinted (i.e. why does a car park outside randomly in the middle of the night? Where is Rhiannon? What secrets are Darcy and Nell hiding?) and you are left in the dark about some things for a while. The way that French keeps these secrets from This book was definitely a page turner. The overall structure of the story was different from anything I personally have ever read. There are a few different mysteries throughout the book, and each one of the issues that presents themselves are really only hinted (i.e. why does a car park outside randomly in the middle of the night? Where is Rhiannon? What secrets are Darcy and Nell hiding?) and you are left in the dark about some things for a while. The way that French keeps these secrets from us readers definitely keeps me on the lookout for the next hint or clue. She leaves us off at the end wanting more.
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  • Teresa
    January 3, 2017
    * ebook provided by publisher via Edelweiss *
  • Jayvee
    April 11, 2017
    TBH, It was a mess. Ugh. Full review to be drafted
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