The Girl Before by J P Delaney | Book Review (No Spoilers)

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Rating: 4/5

Review: Ok so let me start by saying that if you love to hate the characters in the thrillers you read then The Girl Before is the book for you!

It follows Emma and Jane, on two separate timelines, as they rent and live in an extremely minimalistic house at One Folgate Street. There’s all sorts of silly rules they must follow. Like no curtains are allowed or rugs or pictures or plants or books (*GASP* I know!) or bins or flat pack furniture (poor Ikea) or anything really. Just the very basics are allowed.

Sounds weird so far right? But it gets worse. Because multiply people have died mysteriously here!

Not that I realllly cared. Because the two main characters are horribly unlikable people. I *should* feel for them because they’ve both been through a lot already and now they’re living in this strange house.

Emma, who was the previous renter, moved to One Folgate Street because she is still suffering after a traumatic break in and needed a place that made her feel safe. And Jane, who is the current renter, suffered a stillbirth only recently and so she wants a fresh start somewhere completely different. But still, I just didn’t feel much for either of them.

In fact, now that I really think about it, every person in this book is rather unlikable, nauseating, the exact type of people I wouldn’t want to be around for more than five minutes. Especially Edward, the landlord, who somehow has both women falling over themselves to please him and accommodate his weird and obsessive and narcissistic behaviour. He was honestly a constant awkward cringe in my eyes.

Also, I have to mention how much I hated the abomination that is the house too and was really hoping it’d be destroyed or burnt down or something. It’s full of this futuristic technology that does things like set the shower temperature and judge what lighting is required. Oh and it will turn off appliances if it’s questionnaires aren’t answered by the tenants in a timely manner! Basically it has wayyy too much control over it’s tenants lives. Who could possibly put up with that?!

But that was part of the fun for me. I love reading about characters I don’t like (or even hate). Characters that I can’t relate to. I enjoy hoping they’ll all fail at some point. That’s how I felt about everyone in The Girl Before. And there was so much emotion in each chapter and between all the characters in this book that it felt like anything could happen at any moment. It kept me on edge the entire time I was reading.

It helped as well that the chapters are all short and fast paced. They alternate between Emma and Jane so we never get too much of one side of the story and not enough of the other. And both points of view were equally enjoyable which is something I was surprised by. I usually always favour one over the other. But both Emma and Jane were heading towards equally exciting big reveals and their own shocking twists. None of which I can write about because I want you to go into this book not knowing much, like I did. Because where’s the fun in knowing exactly what’s going to happen?

So overall I will just say that The Girl Before is definitely worth checking out if you like quick and thrilling reads!

Have any of you read The Girl Before? What did you think? Or do you have a great thriller you read recently and would recommend?

(Huge thank you to Bookbridgr and Quercus for providing me with a copy of The Girl Before to review)

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