Tuesday 20 September 2016

All the Girls, all the Books

I looked back over the last year or so to see how many books I'd read with the word "girl" or "girls" in the title. Surprisingly it was only six out of the 73203 listed on Goodreads, I thought it had been more.

But they're all so good. And not one of them is written by a man. Interesting, that? Maybe it's just the ones I've read, or maybe it takes a real man to write a book that has "girl" in the title - with a pink cover, of course.

So here they are.

And if you click each of the covers, you can see my full review.

Ani FaNelli (yes really!) has it all.
And she's planning her perfect wedding to a dashing and successful investment banker. But a secret, hidden in the shadows of the world she came from  - which is not as awesome as the one she's in - threatens to topple everything and bring it crashing down.

Jessica Knoll's debut switches between the gossipy cut-throat fashion magazine in NYC and the exclusive high school where she as TifAni first hid away. A great read. 

I read The Girl on the Train before the hype started. And now it's going to be a movie, you should read it too. It's about Rachel, who takes the same train, every day, at the same time. She makes up names for the people she sees, and the stories of their lives. Until one day her life actually does intersect with these lives, and all is not as it seems.  Paula Hawkins' first book in this genre is a gripping, fast-paced psychological thriller that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Confession time. I have read every single Karin Slaughter I can get my hands on. And this was my favourite. Of all. Even though it doesn't have Will Trent (and that is saying something, because he is my favourite detective, sorry Harry Bosch.) Sisters - wonderfully drawn, survivors and a sinister plot - the story is about the abduction of young girls. Karin nailed it in every way. It's dark, chilling, intense (too much at times) and I couldn't put it down. Both covers are great, too.

This is also called The Girls in the Garden, but it's the same book. I read it weeks after the Karin Slaughter of the same name, and it didn't worry me in the least. It was as good, but in a different way. Grace is found lying in a garden, a kind of "park" shared by the residents living nearby. There had been party, and Grace had disappeared, and obviously hurt. Her sister, Pip, her mother Clare, and Grace herself fill us in on what happened. Loved the characters in this one, and the voices. Not as dark as some of the others, but still gripping and dramatic.

I wrinkled my nose when I discovered that this story is told backwards, from day fourteen, to day one. Why, I wondered? And there isn't really a good reason, but it does work. Nicolette Farrell (Nic) has moved on from Cooley Ridge, where her best friend, Corinne, disappeared. Nic returns to see her father, who struggles with dementia, and sort out the family home. And another girl goes missing. The remaining members of the gang - her brother, Daniel, ex-boyfriend Tyler, Corinne's ex-boyfriend Jackson and the younger Annaleise (now dating Tyler) are are now implicated in both cases, and there is a strong sense of eeriness and distrust, which is unsettling. A diverting read.

Another one with two great covers. I honestly think that when there are two such brilliant designs, one should be the front cover, and the other the back - who needs a blurb, anyway? This is also a debut novel. Emma Cline can write. There's no doubt. In this beautiful prose, she explores how young girls are so easily "led astray" - the whys and the hows, by showing and not telling. It's a wonderful read, and although it's kind of "historical fiction" because it is based on the Charles Manson story, it's actually better to forget that when you read this, if you can.

So as you can tell, I've enjoyed all these books - have you got any more for me that feature "girl" in the title? And can you find one that is authored by a man? Because I always need more book recommendations, I never have enough to read.

Seriously, leave a comment if you've enjoyed a similar book. You'll make my day.

And click on the covers below for more reviews.

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