"The Girl Before" by J.P. Delaney
I think I found this on an "If you liked Gone Girl" list. And I did like Gone Girl. This one, I'm up in the air about.
In typical BBTTR fashion, there were aspects of this book that distinctively resonated with me as a result of my recent life experiences - most notable, the fact that I recently experienced a high-risk pregnancy. This personal experience definitely fueled my attachment to one of the characters in this book.
The manner in which the story was told – alternating systematically between the past and the present – was also naturally engaging. This method of exposition definitely required masterful planning on the author’s part, and I appreciated it.
As I read, I became invested in both of the dueling main characters, the one now, and…the girl before.
I read – or in this case, listened, as I audiobooked this baby on a trip to St. Louis – as the plot unfolded and was on the edge of my seat – or as close to the edge as I could be and still drive safely – waiting for the twist that I knew was coming.
Imagine my disappointment, then, when it was at the point that the twist was revealed that the wheels started to fall off the cart.
It all seemed too forced.
Ultimately, there weren't sufficient clues to allow the reader to predict the culprit with any degree of certainty.
And then the ending happened.
Oh, the ending.
Why are endings so shitty lately?
At the end, character to whom I had grown most attached - because I felt like I understood her - suddenly morphed into someone whose thoughts and actions couldn't have been more different from my own.
Given these serious strengths and just as serious weaknesses, I would still recommend this book.
Just don't expect it to be Gone Girl... or Girl on a Train... or In a Dark, Dark Wood... Basically, don't expect to be left thinking about the book after it ends.
From me, it gets 3 out of 5 cocktails.
Very little is more disappointing than a stellar book with a shitty ending. What's the last book you read with a truly terrible ending? Tell me about it in the comments, below.
I've reviewed this book...and many more... here.