Sunday, March 10, 2019

Book Review: The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

Title: The Broken Girls
Author: Simone St. James
Genre: Paranormal, Psychological Thriller
Release Date: March 20th 2018
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The "clever and wonderfully chilling" (Fiona Barton) suspense novel from the award-winning author of The Haunting of Maddy Clare, now in trade paperback!

Vermont, 1950. There's a place for the girls whom no one wants--the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It's called Idlewild Hall, and local legend says the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming--until one of them mysteriously disappears . . .

Vermont, 2014. Twenty years ago, journalist Fiona Sheridan's elder sister's body was found in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And although her sister's boyfriend was tried and convicted of the murder, Fiona can't stop revisiting the events, unable to shake the feeling that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during renovations links the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past--and a voice that won't be silenced . . .

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My Review:
When I first read the synopsis for The Broken Girls by Simone St. James, I knew it was a book I had to read. I was going to wait for it to come down in price, but the more I thought about the book, the more I knew I had to read it as soon as possible. Luckily, it was such a fantastic read!

The Broken Girls has such an interesting plot with everything I love such as a creepy boarding school, a scary ghost, and very big mystery. It felt like I was reading two different stories at the same time whilst reading this book, but it worked very well. Two mysteries at different time frames within the same book made for a great read. I loved reading about the mystery of Deb, the main character's sister, as well as Mary Hand, the ghost that haunts Idlewild Hall. I enjoyed how the two desperate stories came together brilliantly. Nothing felt rushed. It just flowed together so well. I also loved the little bit of true life history in the book. I had never heard of Ravensbruck prior to reading The Broken Girls. That tidbit was interesting. Although there were a few plot twists, I found them to be easily predictable. Saying that, this didn't take away my enjoyment from the book.

The characters in The Broken Girls were written fantastically! Almost every single character was fleshed out perfectly. I felt as if I was reading about real life people instead of fictional characters. The character that felt the most real to me was Sonia. My heart went out to her the most after all she had endured at such a young age. I admired Katie's leadership qualities. I also admired Fiona's thirst for the truth throughout everything. Mary Hand made such an excellent ghost! I enjoyed her backstory as well. She was so spooky to read about and what she could make people see was even more scary! The only character I would have loved to read a little more about was Rose Albert. I felt as if she could have had a very interesting back story as well.

The pacing for The Broken Girls was done very well. Nothing ever felt rushed nor was the pacing too slow where reading the book felt tedious and like it had to be done. Everything flowed so well.

Trigger warnings in The Broken Girls include violence, murder, attempted murder, ghosts, profanities, and drinking alcohol.

All in all, The Broken Girls was such a thrilling read that held my attention throughout. I loved the Gothic feel as well as just how beautifully written this book was. I would definitely recommend The Broken Girls by Simone St. James to those aged 16+ who enjoy a fantastically written mystery with a bit of the paranormal. This is one book that won't disappoint!

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