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The troublemaker. The overachiever. The cheer captain. The dead girl. Like every high school in America, Jefferson-Lorne High contains all of the above. After the shocking murder of senior Emma Baines, three of her classmates are at the top of the suspect list: Claude, the notorious partier; Avery, the head cheerleader; and Gwen, the would-be valedictorian. Everyone has a lab The troublemaker. The overachiever. The cheer captain. The dead girl. Like every high school in America, Jefferson-Lorne High contains all of the above. After the shocking murder of senior Emma Baines, three of her classmates are at the top of the suspect list: Claude, the notorious partier; Avery, the head cheerleader; and Gwen, the would-be valedictorian. Everyone has a label, whether they like it or not--and Emma was always known as a good girl. But appearances are never what they seem. And the truth behind what really happened to Emma may just be lying in plain sight. As long-buried secrets come to light, the clock is ticking to find Emma's killer--before another good girl goes down.


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The troublemaker. The overachiever. The cheer captain. The dead girl. Like every high school in America, Jefferson-Lorne High contains all of the above. After the shocking murder of senior Emma Baines, three of her classmates are at the top of the suspect list: Claude, the notorious partier; Avery, the head cheerleader; and Gwen, the would-be valedictorian. Everyone has a lab The troublemaker. The overachiever. The cheer captain. The dead girl. Like every high school in America, Jefferson-Lorne High contains all of the above. After the shocking murder of senior Emma Baines, three of her classmates are at the top of the suspect list: Claude, the notorious partier; Avery, the head cheerleader; and Gwen, the would-be valedictorian. Everyone has a label, whether they like it or not--and Emma was always known as a good girl. But appearances are never what they seem. And the truth behind what really happened to Emma may just be lying in plain sight. As long-buried secrets come to light, the clock is ticking to find Emma's killer--before another good girl goes down.

30 review for The Good Girls

  1. 5 out of 5

    daph pink ♡

    2.25 stars My level of interest in writing a review for this book is at the same level as that of police in solving the case in this book. Zero (Extra .25 stars for the cover.)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell

    At this point, I would read anything this woman writes. ANYTHING.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ink&Paper

    Why do mysteries keep disappointing me...? Don't get me wrong, the 2 stars are for the cover. If you want to experience some cliché elements, you can read this book. There's nothing wrong about the writing, the problem lies in the whole plot. It talks about things that we have read over and over and over again. No disrespect to the author, but this was disappointing... Didn't work for me, but might work for you. Why do mysteries keep disappointing me...? Don't get me wrong, the 2 stars are for the cover. If you want to experience some cliché elements, you can read this book. There's nothing wrong about the writing, the problem lies in the whole plot. It talks about things that we have read over and over and over again. No disrespect to the author, but this was disappointing... Didn't work for me, but might work for you.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alexa

    This is a solid 4.5 stars rounded up. More of a slow-burn, character driven suspense read than a breakneck, page-turning thriller, but I enjoyed the "mood" of the book a lot and enjoyed returning to the pages and sitting with the characters. In particular, I loved the small town Colorado feel; the town was vivid for me, as were the typical "types." Where I think for some readers they might not be as sure-footed with this one is that it's in third person and it's multi-POV, with some chapters a bi This is a solid 4.5 stars rounded up. More of a slow-burn, character driven suspense read than a breakneck, page-turning thriller, but I enjoyed the "mood" of the book a lot and enjoyed returning to the pages and sitting with the characters. In particular, I loved the small town Colorado feel; the town was vivid for me, as were the typical "types." Where I think for some readers they might not be as sure-footed with this one is that it's in third person and it's multi-POV, with some chapters a bit more omniscient. There are also many chapters that are half police interview/half narrative. I enjoy close third person, and it's part of what contributed to the tone I ended up liking about it--it had a grander feel than a typical 1st person might have. But the trade-off is definitely that more almost languid mood and there's a little bit of distance to the story. This wasn't a "whodunnit" read for me, but more of a whydunnit... even with the things I was able to piece together relatively quickly, I enjoyed the journey and what the book had to say. It's all about high school girl stereotypes, the assumptions we make, etc. So really it's all about the characters: Claude the "slutty" bad girl, Avery the peppy cheerleader, Gwen the intense academic, and Emma the "good girl." Emma is murdered at Anna's Run, a treacherous stretch of river and Claude, Avery, and Gwen are suspects--they all had a reason to want Emma gone. We get Emma as a character through her diary entries from the year+ leading up to her death. She was obsessed with solving the murder of another girl who also died at Anna's Run--Lizzy, Gwen's older sister. You move through Emma's diary, seeing how deep she got and who might have actually killed her... while the present day narrative covers a 48 hour stretch as the police hyper-focus on Claude, Avery, and Gwen. There was just one aspect of the ending structure that I'm not 100% sold on, though it's a quibble (and one I won't elaborate on for spoilery reasons). There were also a few moments where the book's message as a bit heavy-handed, and I could see some readers chafing against it. Ultimately a solid multi-POV moody suspense read that I think will appeal to many Actual Teens. The girls are well drawn and in many cases play against type (or when they play to type, they do so with depth). There's also solid LGBTQIA rep I know many readers will be drawn to/appreciate. One main character is bisexual and another is a lesbian. One is out, the other is not, and there are no forced outing scenes or scenes of bigotry/violence against queer characters. No gays are buried, either!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Stacey-Lea

    The thing is, girls can tell. There’s a little voice in our heads that says get out, get out, but men spend years telling us to ignore it. To tell ourselves we’re wrong. A lot of the discussions really stuck out to me in The Good Girls and I think it’s a great addition into the teen thriller genre. It’s unique in that it is far more character driven and has a much slower pace than what many of us are used to. However, the little twists that are sprinkled throughout will still keep you guessin The thing is, girls can tell. There’s a little voice in our heads that says get out, get out, but men spend years telling us to ignore it. To tell ourselves we’re wrong. A lot of the discussions really stuck out to me in The Good Girls and I think it’s a great addition into the teen thriller genre. It’s unique in that it is far more character driven and has a much slower pace than what many of us are used to. However, the little twists that are sprinkled throughout will still keep you guessing. Bartlett’s writing is quite seamless and flows really beautifully as we cross between the third person point of view chapters, police interviews and diary entries. There’s definitely a moody vibe in here that lends well to the book’s overall content. As mentioned, there are multiple points of view in The Good Girls, but no one gets lost. We follow four main girls: Emma, the good (and dead) girl, Claude, the resident ‘bad girl’ who owns her sexuality but is belittled for it, Avery, the picture perfect cheerleader and Gwen, the focused and dedicated student. When Emma is missing and presumed dead at the beginning of our story all of the girls are under suspicion. Each girl was wonderfully fleshed out and I really felt I understood them all. We get to experience their lives and it helps us understand the underlying motives behind each person. I will say, that while I was able to guess a lot of what was happening that didn’t take away from the story at all because it still left the question of why it was happening, and that was the deeper question of the book. This could definitely have fallen to the classic ‘children/teens handling something that they should have gone to an adult for’ but in the context, I believe it can makes sense. This is a small town and something like the situation these girls are in is already difficult enough to see justice for (deliberately trying to be vague here). Really appreciated the queer rep in here! We have a main character who is bi and discusses the idea of performative actions and the deep feeling of being misunderstood, especially when in a relationship with someone of the opposite gender (because guess what they’re still bi!). There’s also a non-out lesbian lead as well and while I don’t come from a small town I think the handling of this and how much it means to come out on your own terms is dealt with really well. *ARC provided by Edelweiss for an honest review*

  6. 5 out of 5

    ;3

    3.75 i am once again asking gr to give me HALF STAR OPTIONS

  7. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    You can also read my review here: https://devouringbooks2017.wordpress.... Review: 3.5 Stars I requested an ARC of The Good Girls because I really enjoyed The Winter Duke by Claire Eliza Bartlett. The Good Girls is completely different from The Winter Duke and not what I normally read, so I was a little nervous that I wouldn't like it. I picked it up because I needed a change of pace from my typical reads and I'm actually surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The Good Girls was a fast paced YA thri You can also read my review here: https://devouringbooks2017.wordpress.... Review: 3.5 Stars I requested an ARC of The Good Girls because I really enjoyed The Winter Duke by Claire Eliza Bartlett. The Good Girls is completely different from The Winter Duke and not what I normally read, so I was a little nervous that I wouldn't like it. I picked it up because I needed a change of pace from my typical reads and I'm actually surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The Good Girls was a fast paced YA thriller that wound up tackling some really important issues. While I feel like the mystery aspect of this novel was poorly done I still really loved this book, and not for the reasons that I expected to. The Good Girls dove into some heavy topics and the struggles that teenage girls face. It focused on three girls who each struggled with some pretty big issues. Avery struggled with perfectionism and parents who placed some really unhealthy expectations upon her. Claude struggled with being labeled a slut because she was sexually active. Gwen struggled with competing for a scholarship for her only chance to get into college while also grieving her sister's death. This book really highlighted the struggles that young girls face and I thought that all three of these girls' struggles were so real and easy to relate to and empathize with. The thing I found so interesting about this novel is that it explored how parents can affect their teens. There were several different parenting styles explored and it was easy to see how these parents had affected their children's actions. Personally I found Avery's relationship with her parents the most interesting. It was extremely unhealthy and it made me so angry. On the other hand, I felt that Claude's relationship with her mother was a little too far on the other side of the spectrum. While Avery's parents were extremely controlling and expected her to be perfect, Claude's mom was a little too hands off. I feel like parents are hardly ever present in YA and while not all of the relationships were healthy I think it added important context to the lives of teenagers. I would like to see more parents in the YA genre and this book delivered flawed families that felt real. One thing I totally didn't expect was that this novel was told in different formats. I'm actually really intimidated by different formats for some reason, so I don't know if I would have picked it up if I knew, but I actually loved that aspect of the novel. It included diary entries, blog posts, police interviews, text messages and more. All of that was alongside the stories following the three girls. The formatting of this novel really brought it to life and made it interesting. I felt like including those aspects added to the whole story and now I am much more willing to give books told in different formats a chance. I did feel like this book fell apart a bit at the end. I felt like the reveal had no build up to it and fell a bit flat and the twist just had me confused. There were a few holes and motivations that didn't make sense to me. As a mystery I think that this book falls a bit flat, but that's not to say that I wasn't on the edge of my seat at times or invested in the story. Plot wise I think this book struggled at times, but character wise it was a lot deeper than I expected.

  8. 4 out of 5

    PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

    THE GOOD GIRLS is an interesting story with complex characters and beautiful word building. Sounds like a 4-5 star review, right? Not so much. Reading THE GOOD GIRLS, despite all its positive attributes, felt like a chore. I kept picking up, then putting down the book. Claire Eliza Bartlett’s words are clever and engaging, the pacing however was dreadful. While some of characters THE GOOD GIRLS were tropes, they also had a complexity and depth that made me want to root for them. I bet I’d enjoy a THE GOOD GIRLS is an interesting story with complex characters and beautiful word building. Sounds like a 4-5 star review, right? Not so much. Reading THE GOOD GIRLS, despite all its positive attributes, felt like a chore. I kept picking up, then putting down the book. Claire Eliza Bartlett’s words are clever and engaging, the pacing however was dreadful. While some of characters THE GOOD GIRLS were tropes, they also had a complexity and depth that made me want to root for them. I bet I’d enjoy a movie or miniseries version better, with good acting and pacing.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Hunter

    Wow. I kinda expected one of the biggest plot twists towards the middle, but the other ones were a complete shock until the information was given to us in pieces. I loved the way it was written. There were article entries, diary entries, interviews, police reports, and a regular novel format. I'm a sucker for mixed media books. Anyways, love this book. Trigger Warnings: rape, sexual abuse, pedophila, eating disorders, suicide, abuse, underage drinking, and underage drug use. Wow. I kinda expected one of the biggest plot twists towards the middle, but the other ones were a complete shock until the information was given to us in pieces. I loved the way it was written. There were article entries, diary entries, interviews, police reports, and a regular novel format. I'm a sucker for mixed media books. Anyways, love this book. Trigger Warnings: rape, sexual abuse, pedophila, eating disorders, suicide, abuse, underage drinking, and underage drug use.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Marisa (literatelady)

    I started this one hoping for a page-turning thriller that would really draw me in which this is not. It's definitely more a slow build, which isn't bad, just made it a little boring overall. I also felt that the characters, especially the "bad guy" were very flat, surface level, and stereotypical. Unfortunately not my fave. I started this one hoping for a page-turning thriller that would really draw me in which this is not. It's definitely more a slow build, which isn't bad, just made it a little boring overall. I also felt that the characters, especially the "bad guy" were very flat, surface level, and stereotypical. Unfortunately not my fave.

  11. 5 out of 5

    ElphaReads

    Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this novel! THE GOOD GIRLS has a solid message and theme, taking rape culture and misogyny and putting both at the forefront, and exploring them through different characters who have different perspectives and backgrounds. I really enjoyed how Bartlett showed how girls who are perceived differently by their peers (be they seen as promiscuous, prudish, innocent, or outsiders) have different experiences with misogyny, but it is still damaging Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this novel! THE GOOD GIRLS has a solid message and theme, taking rape culture and misogyny and putting both at the forefront, and exploring them through different characters who have different perspectives and backgrounds. I really enjoyed how Bartlett showed how girls who are perceived differently by their peers (be they seen as promiscuous, prudish, innocent, or outsiders) have different experiences with misogyny, but it is still damaging nonetheless. We get the perspectives of Claude (the party girl who has a reputation), Avery (the cheer captain who hides her sadness), and Gwen (the overachiever with few friends), and see how they handle the potential murder of classmate Emma (an all around good girl). The mystery is what happened to Emma, but there are bigger things at play, and when we focused on those themes and messages, it worked pretty well. All that said, none of the characters really went beyond the boundaries you'd expect of their tropes. There were a couple of surprises and twists, but none of them really blew me away. I think that if you go in more interested in a character study or an examination of how rape culture can be detrimental to many different people in different ways, this will be a pretty okay read. If you are going in for a fast paced mystery, you may be disappointed. Overall THE GOOD GIRLS has a lot of things going on, and some of those things work better than others.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight The Good Girls was quite a trip! From the start, I was so invested in what happened to Emma, and what the girls we read about had to do with it. It's clear from the start that this will not be a cut and dry murder investigation. And a big part of the reason why is because the police have seemingly doled out roles for the girls to play before they even begin to gather evidence. It's so cl You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight The Good Girls was quite a trip! From the start, I was so invested in what happened to Emma, and what the girls we read about had to do with it. It's clear from the start that this will not be a cut and dry murder investigation. And a big part of the reason why is because the police have seemingly doled out roles for the girls to play before they even begin to gather evidence. It's so clear from the start that they'd love to pin any and all crimes on the "town bad girl" Claude. But as we the reader know, both from the start and as the book evolves, no person is all good or all bad.  And while the mystery of what happened to Emma (and other young women before her) is at the forefront of the book, it tackles a host of other issues as well. From the controlling nature of some of the parents, to inappropriate behavior from teachers and staff, to the young women in the book being shoved into roles for the convenience of society, it's definitely more than a simple whodunit.  The characters are all fairly well-developed (especially for a mystery), and while I'd probably have liked to have been a bit more connected, I did enjoy them regardless. I also enjoyed their interactions with everyone else, especially each other.  Bottom Line: I found myself completely drawn into the story from the start, wanting to know all the answers, and I found the mystery satisfying throughout. 

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    Thank you to HCC Frenzy for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 4.5/5 stars. "Girls can be one thing or the other. We are good, or we are bad. We are smart, or we are stupid. We are the Madonna, or we are the whore." This book was a wild mystery ride and I loved it! It kept me guessing and trying to piece together clues all the way to the end. It also tackles the ways in which girls are treated by others, CW sexual assault, and it shows female characters reclaiming control ov Thank you to HCC Frenzy for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 4.5/5 stars. "Girls can be one thing or the other. We are good, or we are bad. We are smart, or we are stupid. We are the Madonna, or we are the whore." This book was a wild mystery ride and I loved it! It kept me guessing and trying to piece together clues all the way to the end. It also tackles the ways in which girls are treated by others, CW sexual assault, and it shows female characters reclaiming control over the narratives of their lives. I have been enjoying the mysteries with the mixed media style. This one uses police interviews, text conversations, blog posts, and diary entries as well as presenting a clear narrative to follow. The characters in this one were really well written. I really liked Claude's character. She was strong and she knew who she was and she wasn't afraid of it. She also had insecurities that she struggled with through the book. Avery and Gwen were also really interesting characters with their strengths and weaknesses. Each girl has her own motivations for possibly murdering Emma, and watching their stories unravel and become more and more linked kept me guessing constantly. The mystery aspect was twofold because it wasn't just us trying to figure out what happened to Emma, but Emma's diary entries showed that she was looking into the death of her friend Lizzy from a few years before. It left me trying to guess how their stories would end up linked, and I wasn't disappointed. The mystery was really well handled. I was back-and-forth on my ideas about what had happened and who had done it, but I did end up being right in the end. I thought the writing style was easy to follow and it flowed really well. The switches between the characters felt natural. The author did a good job of setting up the emotions hanging over a scene, and there were several times where I got chills. CWs: in addition to the topic of sexual assault this book also deals with teen drug use and suicide.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Madison

    Review forthcoming.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa Thomas

    DNF at 12% This just isn't catching my attention, I skipped throughout and skimmed the ending and I don't think this is going to be anything extraordinary so I don't want to waste my time on it. Was hoping for something similar to Sadie by Courtney Summers. No rating because I didn't read enough to rate it fairly. DNF at 12% This just isn't catching my attention, I skipped throughout and skimmed the ending and I don't think this is going to be anything extraordinary so I don't want to waste my time on it. Was hoping for something similar to Sadie by Courtney Summers. No rating because I didn't read enough to rate it fairly.

  16. 4 out of 5

    elise (the petite punk)

    Thank you NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. 3.5 stars The Good Girls has a compelling premise. Emma Baines ends up dead a few years after the supposed suicide of Lizzy Sayer. Unlike Lizzy, however, Emma was a good girl--well-behaved and qualified to win a prestigious scholarship. Ruled as a murder, there's three main suspects behind the death of Emma: Claude, a troublemaker known for sleeping around; Avery, a cheerleader with strict parents; and Gwen, a com Thank you NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. 3.5 stars The Good Girls has a compelling premise. Emma Baines ends up dead a few years after the supposed suicide of Lizzy Sayer. Unlike Lizzy, however, Emma was a good girl--well-behaved and qualified to win a prestigious scholarship. Ruled as a murder, there's three main suspects behind the death of Emma: Claude, a troublemaker known for sleeping around; Avery, a cheerleader with strict parents; and Gwen, a competitive student who was also aiming for the same scholarship as Emma. Although all three girls claim they weren't behind the death of Emma, it's clear they know something that others don't. This was a difficult book for me to rate because some parts worked so well and some parts didn't. The pacing at the beginning was strange. It was both boring and slow, and it took me an unreasonable amount of time to push past the first chunk of the book. However, towards the middle, things really picked up and had me hooked until the very end. I think part of the reason this book was so difficult to get into was the POV style. There are alternating third-person point of views--Emma, Claude, Avery, and Gwen--along with diary entries and police records that were mostly told in first person. While I do understand that the intention of this narration style was most likely to convey the different sides of this story and keep the readers on their toes about which characters are actually suspicious, it was a bit much at the beginning. There were way too many facets of the story for me to keep track of so I didn't feel like I had a good understanding of who was who until maybe the middle of the story. However, despite the confusion, I ended up really loving all of the main characters. As I mentioned before, it wasn't easy to tell the characters apart at first, but once the book delved deeper into the individual stories and personalities of these girls, I appreciated how such different characters could somehow still be linked together. The themes of feminism and victim blaming were well done. Often times, I think the endings of thrillers are most at risk for being the weakest part of the story but I actually thought the ending was the strongest part of The Good Girls. I wish the beginning/part of the middle wasn't so slow and confusing because I'm sure this will put some people off from finishing the book, which is a shame since the ending is so powerful. Overall, I have some mixed thoughts but I do think it got better as the book progressed. Trigger warnings; murder, mentioned suicide, eating disorders / body image, drug use and selling, underage drinking, pedophilia, rape, grooming, sexual assault, slut shaming, victim blaming

  17. 5 out of 5

    Pine Reads Review

    “The silenced. So many of us are. You don’t see it, because we talk, but we make sure to talk only about the things that make you comfortable. The things that won’t make you uncomfortable. We wouldn’t want that.” When Jefferson-Lorne High School senior, Emma Baines, goes missing, rumors begin to circulate about her disappearance—and her possible death. Although, it wouldn’t be the first time that a top student at Jefferson turned up dead. When the police interview the student-body, they begin to “The silenced. So many of us are. You don’t see it, because we talk, but we make sure to talk only about the things that make you comfortable. The things that won’t make you uncomfortable. We wouldn’t want that.” When Jefferson-Lorne High School senior, Emma Baines, goes missing, rumors begin to circulate about her disappearance—and her possible death. Although, it wouldn’t be the first time that a top student at Jefferson turned up dead. When the police interview the student-body, they begin to suspect three of Emma’s classmates: Avery Cross, the cheerleader who spent the majority of her time with Emma; Gwen Sayer, another star student who was competing with Emma for a full-ride scholarship; and Claude Vanderly, the troublemaker with a police record. Will they be able to find the culprit before another student ends up dead? As a captivating new YA thriller, The Good Girls kept me guessing the entire time. With every page turn came a new mystery, a new secret that revealed just enough to keep me wanting more. As I read further, I began to admire the courage and strength that Emma, Avery, Gwen and Claude shared. Once I started to put the pieces together, I realized that their decision for hiding the truth wasn’t easy, but it was necessary—which led to a twisted revelation that would shock the entire town. After all, people aren’t always who you think they are. The Good Girls is also a reminder of the current MeToo movement that has inspired so many, like these strong characters, to break their silence. This book is perfect for anyone who enjoys mystery thrillers with empowered female leads. Content warnings: Murder, rape, sexual assault, drug abuse and underage drinking (Pine Reads Review would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for sending us an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and may be subject to change upon final publication.) Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @pinereadsreview and check out our website at www.pinereadsreview.com for reviews, interviews, blogs, podcast episodes, and more!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ariel

    This book was okay for me. It had some interesting working parts and had a cool way of narrating, but there were also some things I didn’t enjoy. First, the mystery was pretty good. This book does a great job of making each character, big or small, seem suspicious. I was constantly trying to figure out what each person was hiding and what their endgame was. Murder-mysteries with so many questionable people are the best! I also really loved seeing how everything fit together. There was the crime of This book was okay for me. It had some interesting working parts and had a cool way of narrating, but there were also some things I didn’t enjoy. First, the mystery was pretty good. This book does a great job of making each character, big or small, seem suspicious. I was constantly trying to figure out what each person was hiding and what their endgame was. Murder-mysteries with so many questionable people are the best! I also really loved seeing how everything fit together. There was the crime of the past that was being related to the murder of the present. I loved seeing why each thing was mentioned and how each situation was relevant. This also went well with how the book was narrated. It went between 3rd person POVs of the main characters, but also seemed to have an unknown narrator telling a bit about other things happening. One thing that really affected my rating and enjoyment of this book was the beginning. It took me a little while to get into this book and to really get excited about the plot. I felt like there were interesting pieces, but they didn’t come together and translate into an interesting book as whole until about halfway through. I wish I could have been pulled in sooner. Overall, there were many things that did and did not work for me in this book. The ending was wonderful and I wish that energy could have been felt throughout the entire book. Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Blog | Instagram | Twitter

  19. 5 out of 5

    Aoife

    I thought this sounded interesting, a good mystery story to try to figure out. Sadly, it wasn't. It took me a long time to tell anyone apart (partly my fault I know, I have trouble with people sometimes, but I do think that especially Avery and Gwen were very similar - I finished the book a couple of hours ago and I'm already having trouble remembering which was which.) The plot is convoluted and didn't make much sense to me even at the end. I've genuinely sat here for a minute trying to remembe I thought this sounded interesting, a good mystery story to try to figure out. Sadly, it wasn't. It took me a long time to tell anyone apart (partly my fault I know, I have trouble with people sometimes, but I do think that especially Avery and Gwen were very similar - I finished the book a couple of hours ago and I'm already having trouble remembering which was which.) The plot is convoluted and didn't make much sense to me even at the end. I've genuinely sat here for a minute trying to remember what the ending even was. Some of the topics raised - abuse by a powerful figure, slut shaming, a character forced to don a persona just to be unharassed - deserve to be dealt with and I'm glad they were. This story wasn't for me, though. I hope other people enjoy it. I won't be reading it again.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Greer

    I have tried so hard to read this book. It sounded so good and the cover it is just the best I have seen in a long while. I love a good story set in a high school situation and not the lovey dovey kind and this one sounded like my cup of tea but I think this tea bag has steeped too long. I get all the characters confused I'm up in the air of who is dead? it just does not keep my attention and I have no compassion for anyone in this book.. I have tried so hard to read this book. It sounded so good and the cover it is just the best I have seen in a long while. I love a good story set in a high school situation and not the lovey dovey kind and this one sounded like my cup of tea but I think this tea bag has steeped too long. I get all the characters confused I'm up in the air of who is dead? it just does not keep my attention and I have no compassion for anyone in this book..

  21. 4 out of 5

    Maabena Nti

    This book is like AMAZING.it gives me HEATHERS VIBES and THE CRAFT VIBES.I want very ya mystery to take a good luck at this books and take notes.The narration was amazing and it had a great way of making every one seem suspicious.I loved it.I’m so obsessed with this book I want it to become a tv series. I loved the sensitive topics of grooming and sexually assault I give this book a Spectacular 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  22. 5 out of 5

    Cameron [Beacon Book Box]

    So Claire is writing another book and no one told me about it?? AHHH

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader

    4 1/2 stars RTC Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for my earc.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Teenage Reads

    Plot: Emma Baines, the daughter of the police chief, was known to be a good girl. She never partied, always came home after her extracurriculars, and was a top student in all of her AP classes. Only she was not alone at the top, as hot on her heels was Gwen. Both of them were in the running for the Devino Scholarship, which would pay for university, and a one-way ticket out of Jefferson-Lorne forever. When Emma went missing one night, with a video showing someone pushing her in Anna’s Run, a bend Plot: Emma Baines, the daughter of the police chief, was known to be a good girl. She never partied, always came home after her extracurriculars, and was a top student in all of her AP classes. Only she was not alone at the top, as hot on her heels was Gwen. Both of them were in the running for the Devino Scholarship, which would pay for university, and a one-way ticket out of Jefferson-Lorne forever. When Emma went missing one night, with a video showing someone pushing her in Anna’s Run, a bend in a river with a deadly fast undercurrent, police needed someone to blame. Where Gwen, an obvious consideration was not the only high schooler the police were looking into. Claude Vanderly caught the police’s attention with her issues with the law in the past, along with Avery who was the cheer captain on a team Emma was bringing down. Where each girl fits their stereotype well, there is always more than meets the eyes. As these four form an unlikely group to track down a shockingly likely killer, Emma’s body is not the only one to find itself in Anna’s Run, but for our girls, Emma is going to be the last. Thoughts: Claire Bartlett wrote this book about breaking stereotypes and being genuine in a very straightforward way. Each girl had two sides, the one the cops saw and targeted each of them by, and the side that no one knows that really makes their character pop unexpectedly. Like the LGBT+ aspect of the story, as one of the girls is bi, and another is in a closet, and how that affects their day-to-day life in their small rural town. Bartlett kept the writing quick with a fast-moving plot, easy to follow the narrative as it took a closed third-person perspective that follows each of the three girls around. For character development from most to least would be Claude, Gwen and Avery being kind of the worst. Bartlett spent too much time and energy making sure each girl fit a stereotype but “surprise they have more depth” to make that depth worthwhile and something to relate to. It could be the third-person narrative that keeps you from connecting with the girls, but in the end just make their character okay, and basically the same as when they started the novel. Bartlett did a really good job on the “who done it” aspect as we do have a dead Emma to deal with, although no body evidence due to the fast river, and she keeps the classic “the killer was always there in the background”, so you can play the guessing game along with the cops. Which brings us to the worst aspect of the story: the police force. There was something unrealistic in the way they were acting that drew you out of the story. With Emma’s dad being the chief, he should have been taking off the case, and not leading interviews on the girls he thinks killed his only daughter. Showing up to the girls' houses, cuffing them and bringing them down to the station for questioning where they had little to no evidence on them, also seemed a bit bizarre. Overall, this book proves that not all good girls are good, not all bad girls are bad, and the head cheerleader and honor student may have some surprises for you, as all four are capable of catching a killer and bringing justice to their victims.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Evelyn

    Actual rating: 4.5 stars! Review on blog! Actual rating: 4.5 stars! Review on blog!

  26. 4 out of 5

    The Library Ladies

    (originally reviewed at thelibraryladies.com ) Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this novel! I am not too proud to admit that while I was an outcast and a weirdo in high school, I was not without my own faults when it came to judging other people, especially girls. It takes a lot of time and effort to try and unlearn the malignant lessons that society teaches you when it comes to how girls are supposed to be and act, and even as a woman in her mid thirties I’m STILL learning. (originally reviewed at thelibraryladies.com ) Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this novel! I am not too proud to admit that while I was an outcast and a weirdo in high school, I was not without my own faults when it came to judging other people, especially girls. It takes a lot of time and effort to try and unlearn the malignant lessons that society teaches you when it comes to how girls are supposed to be and act, and even as a woman in her mid thirties I’m STILL learning. I wish that I had read books at that age that would have helped the process along a bit. The good news is that girls these days can pick up books like “The Good Girls” and get some pretty good insight into how to reject internalized misogyny and rape culture! What I thought was going to be a YA thriller turned into something that had more value than I anticipated when it comes to theme and message. The strongest aspect of “The Good Girls” is how Bartlett examines the damage that rape culture and misogyny wreaks upon young women no matter what their ‘social standing’ is, and how the damage can manifest in different ways. I think that one of the more popular ways to address it in teen fiction these days is to give a perspective to an ‘outcast’ character who is seen as promiscuous or ‘bad news’ in other ways. We do get that here with Claude the party girl and (deceased) Lizzy the addict, but we also see how it can still be damaging to girls who are seen as ‘good’ or ‘successful’, like cheer captain Avery and ‘good girl’ Emma. I think it’s especially important for this kind of ‘representation’ (for lack of a better term) in YA literature, as those who aren’t targeted in the more obvious ways may be less able to recognize it. I also liked that this book addresses that sometimes people in authority positions, because of their own biases, can stumble and fail when it comes to protecting those who are victimized. Or, even worse, use their position of authority to intimidate others into silence, or perpetuate abuse themselves. I thought that “The Good Girls” tackled these themes really well. All of that said, in terms of mystery and thrills, “The Good Girls” missed the mark for me. While the characterizations were valuable and felt pretty realistic, they also managed to not work outside the box of the tropes that they fit into. I liked all of the main characters well enough, but none of them felt that different from other iterations of the boxes that they fell into. And when it comes to the mystery of who pushed Emma into the river, and what actually happened to Lizzy and how the two connect, I didn’t find myself raring to find the answer or terribly shocked by how it all played out. Even the smaller mysteries that add into the larger parts didn’t really surprise me, and I called a couple of the reveals pretty early on. Admittedly a couple caught me by surprise, but even then I wasn’t wowed. It just feels pretty run of the mill when it comes to the story itself. Not bad by any means. But also not unique. And at the end of the day, valuable message and explorations aside, I read “The Good Girls” because I was looking for a thriller, which it didn’t really provide. I think that if you go into “The Good Girls” looking for a character study on the effect of misogyny and rape culture on girls from all kinds of labels, you will find something interesting, and certainly something with an important message that could help YA readers. But in terms of mystery and thrills, it isn’t really anything new.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nia Dragin

    Originally reviewed on Cyn's Workshop A powerful novel, Bartlett will astound readers with The Good Girls, a story about assault and girls coming together to take their abuser down. Riveting Story The Good Girls follows the death and disappearance of Emma Baine’s. The power behind this story comes from the narrative and structure. The story breaks apart with police interviews before moving into the storytelling. This is where the reader gets to know the little town and the girls. It puts the story i Originally reviewed on Cyn's Workshop A powerful novel, Bartlett will astound readers with The Good Girls, a story about assault and girls coming together to take their abuser down. Riveting Story The Good Girls follows the death and disappearance of Emma Baine’s. The power behind this story comes from the narrative and structure. The story breaks apart with police interviews before moving into the storytelling. This is where the reader gets to know the little town and the girls. It puts the story in perspective, and it rises to the occasion of the #MeToo movement, highlighting the injustice women continue to face. The girls are as different as they come, and they are treated differently in the town. Bartlett highlights how their gender is used against them by teachers, parents, classmates, and law enforcement and it is powerful to see it playout for the reader. Bartlett has done something incredible with The Good Girls, creating this captivating narrative about the sexism and objectification girls face daily. In the police interviews, in subtle changes in body language, and the general treatment of the story, Bartlett shows the reader the difficulties women face when reporting an assault. Portrayed compellingly and realistically, the direction the story takes to unravel the mystery surrounding Emma’s last days. The Good Girls never loses its momentum and pacing, building up the mystery as the reader tries to solve the death of Lizzy alongside Emma and the disappearance. There are many red herrings, and Bartlett does not give anything away until the end. Powerful Language Bartlett has this ability to use language and structure to her advantage. Bartlett puts so much behind subtle gestures and langue, showcasing those dynamics between those in power and the young girls. By going back and forth from police interviews, news articles, blog posts, diary entries, and third-person storytelling, Bartlett creates a mystery. More importantly, it flows. Fluidity is critical here because there are many elements. Not only are all the above used to build the story, but the story also switches between characters. There is a great scope to the storytelling, and it gives a voice to women everywhere. That makes this story so compelling, how it relates to readers, and highlights the most important fact: no one ever asks to be assaulted. Final Thoughts There is so much I want to say about The Good Girls, and yet I do not think I will ever be able to do it justice. The Good Girls is a powerful novel, one that needs to be read. Cleverly written and structured, giving power and a voice to anyone who needs the courage. See more reviews at Cyn's Workshop and follow me on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Spotify Podcast | YouTube | BookBub | Goodreads+ | LinkedIn

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Leigh

    The premise of The Good Girls is fairly straightforward - after the murder of a well-liked cheerleader, and all-around good girl Emma Baines, the police must figure out who did it. They have three suspects to choose from; the party girl, the head cheerleader, and the academic ice queen. But while it's easy to put people into boxes and apply narrowly defined labels (especially to young women), people are more complicated than that. When the truth eventually comes out, it's not going to be as simp The premise of The Good Girls is fairly straightforward - after the murder of a well-liked cheerleader, and all-around good girl Emma Baines, the police must figure out who did it. They have three suspects to choose from; the party girl, the head cheerleader, and the academic ice queen. But while it's easy to put people into boxes and apply narrowly defined labels (especially to young women), people are more complicated than that. When the truth eventually comes out, it's not going to be as simple as it seems at first. I was surprised by how much I ended up enjoying this novel. Initially, I was a bit off-put by the non-traditional narrative style; much of this novel. This story is being told through interviews with the police, through diary entries, text conversations, and the occasional third-person omniscient narration for context. It can be challenging at first to follow both what is happening and to remember who all of the characters are. Eventually, three characters become the focus (Claude, Avery, and Gwen) with additional focus on Emma (the murdered girl) and Lizzy (Gwen's sister and a girl who supposedly killed herself a few years prior). The narrative follows the investigation of Emma's murder and we eventually get to see how all of the different threads of the story come together to bring about a satisfying conclusion. The story is satisfying and told in a way that keeps the reader guessing and trying to figure out what will happen next. The pacing was well done and I appreciated that this novel tried to do something new in the genre. Although the story is certainly suspense/thriller, there are larger questions about how we define and categorize people (especially young women) that is ultimately damaging because we refuse to view them as complex human beings. I really enjoyed the fact that even within the stereotypes, we got to see more information about how these young women categorized and classified themselves and the ways in which they see each other. The ending of the novel is satisfying, although I did struggle with some of the choices during the conclusion. Although most of the loose ends were tied up, there are some questions I still had especially about how the characters move forward from the end and the ways in which interpersonal relationships may have changed or shifted. I don't want to say too much about the plot because I think that this is a novel best read with limited prior information, but I still have a few unresolved questions that I wish the novel had answered. Nothing that is crucial to the plot, but still, questions that I wish had been answered. I would give this novel a solid 3.5 star rating (although I'll round up to 4 stars for this posting). The novel is absolutely enjoyable and different enough to stand out from other novels in the same genre.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    CN: sexual abuse/rape, violence/murder, diets and unhealthy body image, eating disorders, biphobic tropes I wanted to like this so much. "The Good Girls" promises to tackle a very serious topic that has been showing up a lot in YA lately: Rape Culture and how sexual abuse victims are often ignored or called liars. But I was expecting an emotional read that packs a lot of punches and this book, despite the sensitive topics addressed, seemed tepid and unoriginal. I've seen all of this done before a CN: sexual abuse/rape, violence/murder, diets and unhealthy body image, eating disorders, biphobic tropes I wanted to like this so much. "The Good Girls" promises to tackle a very serious topic that has been showing up a lot in YA lately: Rape Culture and how sexual abuse victims are often ignored or called liars. But I was expecting an emotional read that packs a lot of punches and this book, despite the sensitive topics addressed, seemed tepid and unoriginal. I've seen all of this done before and done better. The characters were flat which was a shame because this book's message is that girls are more than the labels applied to them by men/society. Yet all these characters - the school slut, the good girl, the popular cheerleader - never actually break out of these assigned roles at all. So the book says "Hey, women and girls are more complex than the roles you want them to play" but the characters actually aren't which is a real pity. The mystery at the heart of the novel - The murder of straight A student Emma Baines - wasn't too interesting to me either. I've read a lot of mysteries - YA and adult - and I just felt "The Good Girls" had nothing new to say. Add to that how many plot twists and decisions made by the characters actually didn't make much sense. (view spoiler)[ Like how the police saw two girls who obviously almost got murdered towards the end and thought: "Yupp, these people must be the killers, makes total sense, let's arrest them instead of getting them to hospital!" Or how one of the villains literally wasn't given a motive other than "Someone asked me to do it, so..." (hide spoiler)] I was going to give this book three stars for being what it is: A mediocre mystery thriller that was somewhat fun to read but nothing more. But the author just had to use the "bisexuals are cheaters" trope in a book published in 2020 so nah. There's this character who likes her nice boyfriend but she also likes this cute girl so she has to secretly date both, you see. That's so harmful. "The Good Girls" isn't a bad book but it's just not a very good book either. Compared to other books about rape culture, female rage and revenge like "Sadie" or "Foul Is Fair" (which I both found compelling, harrowing and emotionally complex), this one just doesn't hold up, mostly due to the meandering plot, uninspired mystery and flat characters.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ro

    I thank Edelweiss+ and the publisher for providing me a digital ARC of this novel. Well, I have a lot to unpack about this book. This novel had some very nice and positive sides, and some negative ones. The first thing I noticed when I started it is that it's quite stereotypical. The main characters fit into easily seem like a trope, and I guess that one of the points of the novel is that people can't really fit into archetypes. Sadly, I feel like this "giving good girls secret dark sides" and suc I thank Edelweiss+ and the publisher for providing me a digital ARC of this novel. Well, I have a lot to unpack about this book. This novel had some very nice and positive sides, and some negative ones. The first thing I noticed when I started it is that it's quite stereotypical. The main characters fit into easily seem like a trope, and I guess that one of the points of the novel is that people can't really fit into archetypes. Sadly, I feel like this "giving good girls secret dark sides" and such other things isn't really that controversial, so I struggle to decide if this point of the worked or not. The plot is clearly interesting, it may seem like a thousand you have already seen before and the villain was quite easy to spot, but at the same time there were several minor yet important plot twists that gave the story an original and surprising spin. The thing that truly leaves me undecided about this novel, though, is its execution. As I said a moment ago, some minor twists came out of nowhere, sometimes in a positive way, but more often than not they came absolutely out of nowhere. It was quite hard to pick up and remember every detail and scene that happened, and I often felt confused about who was who and what role did they have, or how two people knew each other, or what brought something to happen. The chosen method of narration, alternating normal, narrative chapters, diary pages and police questionings, was very nice, yet this was also quite messy. I think it would have worked better if at the start of every chapter it was inserted the date and the time of when the chapter lay scene. Not only that, but the writing style was also quite messy and confusing at times, and it seemed like the author forgot to give the readers some important details about the scene. Overall I feel like this is a nice story, but it needed a bit more polishing and to reorganize some things to make the final result look more solid before being released.

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