Book Reviews

The Girl Before By J.P. Delaney (Review #17)

Thank You very much to publisher – Quercus books and NetGalley for the review copy.
Pages:  ~320
Release date: 02/02/2017
Genre: Mystery & Thriller/General Fiction (Adult)
Price: £4.99 (GBP)*
My Rating: 10/10
Summed up in few words: past versus present, minimalist living, adapting to new rules, finding yourself.
Description of the book: Jane stumbles on the rental opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to live in a beautiful ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect, on condition she abides by a long list of exacting rules. After moving in, she discovers that a previous tenant, Emma, met a mysterious death there – and starts to wonder if her own story will be a re-run of the girl before. As twist after twist catches the reader off guard, Emma’s past and Jane’s present become inexorably entwined in this tense, page-turning portrayal of psychological obsession.
How this book made me feel: I would like to begin by saying one simple word, WOW.  This book left me absolutely speechless to be honest. This book is a masterpiece and I’m absolutely in love with this author. This book begins quite calm, by looking for some properties in London and introducing the characters: then – Simon and Emma and now – Jane. It tells two stories at the same time, the action which happened three years ago and the action which is happening currently. I really enjoyed that there is not story from one person’s perspective but two characters are telling their story at the same time. All the main characters are really disturbed in this book and have their own problems which influenced their personalities.  There is this taste of “fifty shades of Gray” in this book; just it doesn’t flatter the book unfortunately. I really liked the way characters where untangled while you flip the pages, the way their personalities unfolded. They were not boring, one thing what I would’ve liked, is more insight into Simon’s and Edward’s personalities and how do they think, I would’ve liked their perspective in the book.  Even though the men in this book seemed like strong and demanding ones, in the end of the day I think the women were the strong ones and the most determined ones in this book. 
I found the plot original and I loved all the twists and turns which were going on in the book. Every chapter had something happening and it didn’t leave me bored.  The more you go into the book, the more plot thickens, the more twists happen and it really kept me hooked.  I think it was really great, that the book talked about really important topics, and the psychological aspects of eating disorders, how parents feel after still birth, parents thought about disabled children or how minimalist sees world. I’m new to minimalism and just briefly checked on it, but after reading this book I’m confused if I really want to know more… I loved that the name “the girl before” had deeper meaning than only finding out Emma’s story, it felt way deeper than it looked.  The book itself is easy to read and the writing style was not difficult. The chapters are quite short so it doesn’t drag along. I really loved the ending of the book, which concluded the book really nicely but at the same time left me questioning. So to conclude, even though a lot of reviewers bashed this book, I loved this twisted, fast paced and full of suspense and psychological labyrinths creation and I recommend to try it and decide for yourself. 
About author: J.P. Delaney is a pseudonym for Tony Strong.  Tony Strong was born in 1962 in Uganda, though his parents came back to the UK when he was six weeks old. He read English at Oxford under the playwright and poet Francis Warner and then went on to work as an advertising copywriter at Ogilvy and Mather, an agency which had already bred writers such as Salman Rushdie and Fay Weldon. Tony Strong has made more than thirty television commercials, including the celebrated BUPA ‘You’re Amazing, We Want You To Stay That Way ‘ campaign, and the American Express campaign. He has won a BAFTA for a campaign aimed at reducing solvent abuse – one of the very few drug abuse campaigns that have ever been shown to have a measurable effect. Tony Strong was recently poached by Abbot Mead Vickers, whose main account is British Telecom. He has published four novels: THE POISON TREE, THE DEATH PIT, THE DECOY and TELL ME LIES. THE DECOY has been bought for film by Twentieth Century Fox for Arnold Kopelson. TELL ME LIES was recently adapted by Granada Television into a series entitled LIE TO ME. He has also written under several pseudonyms, including Anthony Capella.
*-the price was taken from Amazon.co.uk at current date. Price might change at your time of purchase.

7 thoughts on “The Girl Before By J.P. Delaney (Review #17)

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