Friday, 22 December 2017

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

This is going to be another short and sweet review because I think you have to go into this one knowing as little as possible. I actually got this because I'd seen the cover everywhere, I really knew nothing. And what you end up finding out is so unexpected and twisted ! Like, Dr Phil level twisted.

Where do I even start with The Roanoke Girls?! We follow Lane Roanoke, a fifteen year old who's mum commits suicide meaning she has to move to a rural Kansas estate and live with her grandparents and cousin Allegra. And for the first couple of years everything seems great and she's really embracing her new life. But at the same time, something about her family and the town doesn't quite sit right. A few years later after her cousin has run away, she discovers a really dark family secret. And all of a sudden, everything begins to unravel
... and that's all you need to know !

Amy Engel wrote a dystopian YA series which I reviewed and honestly, it was alright. The plot wasn't that original and I had nothing striking to say about her writing style. The Roanoke Girls was a vast improvement. If you go in knowing very little I think the twist will shock you. And rather than explicitly telling us the twist, we find out through chapters authored by earlier generations of the family.  Even when I started to realise what had been happening for years in this family,  I did still think ... surely not?! No ...

But like I said, I really had no idea what the book was even supposed to be about, and didn't really expect a book like this from Amy Engel. Most readers I reckon will clock on pretty quickly. And that  won't necessarily ruin the reading experience because it is quite nicely executed, very much a slow burn with a lot of unexpected details you won't guess.

I'd say my main hangup about the book was it's ending. WE HAD SUCH A GOOD CREATIVE BUILD UP AND THEN ... everyone just reacted exactly how we'd expect them too. That would've been the perfect opportunity to have some characters do some crazy shiz. Instead the whole story just fizzled out and justice isn't really served. SO unsatisfying.



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