Book Review: Good Girls Lie by J.T. Ellison
Set in an elite girls-only boarding school in a quiet Virginia town, the major protagonist is a student at the school, but this is definitely not a YA novel… and that’s where I think it goes a little bit wrong. The teenagers come off as far too adult; they don’t talk like teenagers, even wealthy and well-educated ones. The twists and turns are interesting, but we know from the beginning that at least one of the major protags is an unreliable narrator, so I was constantly critical, examining everything for inconsistencies.
Nothing is as it seems at The Goode School, and new girl Ash has secrets she must hide. Her fellow students are supposedly chosen for their character, but every single one of them would fit right in with the meanest girls in any clique anywhere. It was very hard to care about the deaths of two of the girls because frankly, they’d been absolutely appalling to Ash, the character whose PoV we spend the most time with. Bullying, hazing, prying, spreading of gossip, you name it, Ash has to put up with it, and every time it looks as though she might be just about to get a break, something else terrible happens, plummeting her to the depths of despair yet again.
Readers should be aware of triggers for suicide, suicide ideation, parental violence, death of a child, and a couple of fairly graphic death scenes. While overall this was a good read, I feel like it was a bit too long and needed some stern editing to both cut down extraneous descriptions and make the teenagers read more like actual teenagers. I’m giving it four stars.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.