Sunday 17 October 2021

BOOK REVIEW: Girl Gone Mad by Avery Bishop

Girl Gone Mad
Author: Avery Bishop
Genre: Thriller / Crime / Mystery / Suspense
Publication Date: 1 September 2020

Book Description:
They say everything is fun and games until someone gets hurt. Well, someone did—and now the game has changed…

Emily Bennett works as a therapist in Pennsylvania, helping children overcome their troubled pasts—even as she struggles to forget her own. Once upon a time, Emily was part of a middle school clique called the Harpies—six popular girls who bullied the new girl to her breaking point.

The Harpies took a blood oath: never tell a soul what they did to Grace Farmer.

Now, fourteen years later, it seems karma has caught up to them when one member of that vicious circle commits suicide. But when a second Harpy is discovered dead shortly after, also from apparent suicide, the deaths start to look suspicious. And when Emily starts seeing a woman who looks a lot like Grace Farmer lurking in the shadows, she’s forced to wonder: Is Grace back for revenge? Or is Emily’s guilt driving her mad?

Sticks and stones may break your bones, but the Harpies are about to find out just how much words can hurt you. 

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Fourteen years ago, a group of school friends known as the Harpies tormented new girl Grace Farmer and now, after the apparent suicide of one Harpy, it appears as though the past has finally caught up with them. Following the death of a second Harpy, another apparent suicide, Emily Bennett starts to suspect foul play. When all the clues point to Grace Farmer, Emily realises their old friend is out for revenge. But is Emily's guilt of her involvement in Grace's torture leading her astray or is Grace Farmer really behind all the deaths?

I tried very hard to love this book, but no matter how much I stuck with it, I just couldn't connect with the characters or enjoy the way the plot was unfolding. I enjoyed the first quarter of the book, being introduced to Emily and her psychological imbalances and seeing how her relationships have been affected by past events. It was intriguing and had the qualities of suspense and mystery that I was looking for. However, the plot quickly started to drag, so much that it started to seem as though it was on a repetitive cycle. The one or two clues here and there took far too long to unravel, and even so, there were no surprises (or at least none that I didn't anticipate) thrown in the mix to add some excitement to the story.

Throughout the book, we get to see flashbacks of the Harpies at school and how they treated others and each other, which was insightful in terms of coming to an understanding of why Grace would be seeking revenge. These girls were more frenemies than they were friends. Their portrayal was very one dimensional, which made it difficult to empathise or sympathise with them or their situation. Their malevolence stemmed from wanting attention and wanting to feel important, but there was no depth to their characters. While Emily seemed remorseful for her part in their treatment of Grace, there wasn't much character development or growth from start to finish.

The story certainly dealt with serious subject matters that I really wanted to enjoy exploring, however, the story was just too cliche and stereotypical for me, and I just didn't enjoy it.


Rating: 2 Star
Source: Amazon Prime Reading

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