Friday, July 2, 2021

Book Review: The Girls Are All So Nice Here by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Title: The Girls Are All So Nice Here
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: March 9th 2021
Print Length: 304 pages
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Two former best friends return to their college reunion to find that they’re being circled by someone who wants revenge for what they did ten years before—and will stop at nothing to get it—in this shocking psychological thriller about ambition, toxic friendship, and deadly desire.

A lot has changed in years since Ambrosia Wellington graduated from college, and she’s worked hard to create a new life for herself. But then an invitation to her ten-year reunion arrives in the mail, along with an anonymous note that reads, “We need to talk about what we did that night.

It seems that the secrets of Ambrosia’s past—and the people she thought she’d left there—aren’t as buried as she believed. Amb can’t stop fixating on what she did or who she did it with: larger-than-life Sloane “Sully” Sullivan, Amb’s former best friend, who could make anyone do anything.

At the reunion, Amb and Sully receive increasingly menacing messages, and it becomes clear that they’re being pursued by someone who wants more than just the truth of what happened that first semester. This person wants revenge for what they did and the damage they caused—the extent of which Amb is only now fully understanding. And it was all because of the game they played to get a boy who belonged to someone else and the girl who paid the price.

Alternating between the reunion and Amb’s freshman year, The Girls Are All So Nice Here is a shocking novel about the brutal lengths girls can go to get what they think they’re owed, and what happens when the games we play in college become matters of life and death.

I love a good psychological thriller. In fact, it's one of my favorite genres. When I read the synopsis of The Girls Are All So Nice Here by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, I knew it was a book I had to read. It was giving me Pretty Little Liars vibes in a way. I ended up really liking this book.

I really enjoyed the plot of The Girls Are All So Nice Here, and the pacing was perfect. To say I devoured this book is an understatement. I had to know more. I had to know more about Amb, Sully, and Flora. I was totally invested in this story. I will say that most of the book is predictable with a few unpredictable plot twists. It's quite obvious, for the most part, how the story will end and who the guilty party is. However, the execution was done very well that knowing what was going to happen didn't put me off reading the book. I wanted more backstory for my theories, and the author did not disappoint. I enjoyed that the story alternated between Amb in college and Amb in the present time. One thing I didn't predict was what happened to Sully and Amb at the end of the book. I will say the ending was a tad rushed and a bit unbelievable with how easy it was for one such character to get away with what they did. However, this book does try to convey the lesson of be careful how you treat people.

I found the characters in The Girls Are All So Nice Here to be fleshed out enough to feel more like real people instead of just some random characters in a book. I really, really did not like Sully and Amb, not because they weren't written very well (which they are written amazingly), but because they were just so mean and selfish. They were the total mean girls at college. I think everyone knew at least one mean girl at some point in their life. I enjoyed reading about Sully and Amb then and now. It was fun to learn how much they had (or hadn't in some cases) matured. I really loved Flora and how much she genuinely seemed to care about everyone even those she never met. I wanted to be friends with Flora, and when I read about how mean Amb and Sully were to her, it broke my heart. Flora did not deserve any hate.

Trigger warnings for The Girls Are All So Nice Here include profanity, promiscuity, many sex references though not super graphic, rape, murder, mentions of suicide, underage drinking, drugs, and gaslighting.

Overall, The Girls Are So Nice Here is an intriguing read that will pull its readers in from the very first page. With characters the reader will love to hate and a story line that sucks you in, this is one novel that you won't soon forget. I would definitely recommend The Girls Are All So Nice Here by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn to those aged 18+ who are after a well developed story that will leave you gasping by the last page.

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