I’m writing this review so late and I’m so tired, but it’s one of those that I feel I need to get done straight after finishing the book. I fear that if I wait too long I’ll forget what I want to say. I apologise in advance for any gibberish; I’m very tired!
Thank you to @abigailsdean and @HarperFiction for this copy of Girl A in return for an honest review. Girl A was published on 30th September 2021 and you can get a copy here.
Lex Gracie didn’t have the childhood that most people take for granted. She grew up in the house of horrors. As an adult she doesn’t want to think about her past and her identity as girl A; the eldest daughter who escaped and freed her older brother and four younger siblings. Their father never made it out of the House of Horrors but her mother did and went straight to prison.
Lex is forced to think about all of this when her mother dies and the house is left to her and her siblings. Lex and her sister Evie have plans for what to do with the house of horrors, but first, Lex must confront her past as well as her present.
General Thoughts 🤔
This was certainly a change from the last bunch of books that I’ve read. I had read the blurb for this book so I knew it was going to be a difficult read, but I don’t think I was ready for just how dark it was going to be. It was spine chillingly bleak, sinister and uncomfortable to read.
I had such an overwhelming sense of sadness throughout this book. I’d like to say that I put it down with at least a feeling of hope but I didn’t, I still feel sad and I have a feeling this is going to play on my mind for some time. I’m not usually so sensitive about books like this; I love true crime and I always have to know all of the details. As a work of fiction, I am impressed at how hard this book has hit me.
Lex is the main character in the book and I could have cried for her the entire way through the book. I think that she had put up an emotional barrier at such a young age, she didn’t know how to remove it or even know that it was there. Although successful professionally in her adult life, she was obviously and understandably suffering emotionally but in a stoic and guarded kind of way. My heart completely shattered for girl A, right until the very end.
I thought that Ethan was a really interesting character and was written fantastically. He was the oldest child and I had so many questions about him. Nothing was explicitly said about the full extent of his involvement in the house of horrors as kids but it was implied from early on. Likewise, nothing was explicitly said about the kind of adult he had turned out to be, but I think he had grown up having learnt how to be “man” from his father.
Writing Style ✍️
I can’t believe that this is a debut book. It was written so so so so well. The best way I can describe the tone of the book is numb. It was written from Lex’s perspective and every sentence felt detached which married perfectly with how I think Lex felt as a child and an adult.
Each chapter was dedicated to a child of the Gracie family and flipped between the past and the present. They were quite lengthy chapters so it gave me a good understanding of both the individual character and the relationship that Lex had with them as children and as adults. I liked that the mother and father did not have a chapter in the book; I like to think it was because they were undeserving.
Conclusion & Scoring 🎖️
Girl A was absolutely breathtaking. I can’t shake off the disturbed feeling that I had whilst reading every single word. If you’re planning on reading this book (which you should) prepare to embrace the most intense and uncomfortable feelings; it’s worth it.