Book Reviews

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel (Review #19)

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Thank You very much to publisher – Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley for the review copy.
Genre: General Fiction (Adult) 
Release date: 07 March 2017
Price*:£8.99 (GBP)/ $13.21 (USD)
Pages: ~288
My rating: 8/10
You can get this book here: 
Summed up in few words: Family secrets, looking for love, twisted relationships.
Description of the book: A gripping, provocative thriller about the twisted secrets families keep, perfect for fans of The Girls.
Everyone wants to be a Roanoke girl.
But you won’t when you know the truth.
Lane Roanoke is fifteen when she comes to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin at the Roanoke family’s rural estate following the suicide of her mother. Over one long, hot summer, Lane experiences the benefits of being one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls.
But what she doesn’t know is being a Roanoke girl carries a terrible legacy: either the girls run, or they die. For there is darkness at the heart of Roanoke, and when Lane discovers its insidious pull, she must make her choice…
How this book made me feel: this book was one of the most anticipated spring publications, and after reading it I didn’t feel disappointed. The main characters of this book were two girls, Lane and Allegra.  Both of the girls are uneasy personalities. They have got troubles since they were little. Both had a lack of parents’ love, which affected their lives and personalities. The plot of this book is happening at two different times. Lane is telling the story of her summer in Roanoke, which happened when she was fifteen, and the time spent together with Allegra. Then the chapters take us back to the present, where author tells us, how Lane is feeling now. It is very interesting to read these time travel stories, because Allegra doesn’t participate in the present ones. The author introduced Allegra through Lanes’ memories from the summer spent with her. I really liked that the author told the story not only of Lane and Allegra, but also, let the dead Roanoke girls to speak and tell their story.  That, I believe, allowed me to understand the characters better and made the whole book way more interesting to read. At least for me, Allegra’s character had a lot of similarities to Alaska from the book “Looking for Alaska” by John Green. Both of them were attention seeking little brats, who were hiding big secrets.
The plot of the book was quite interesting and original to read. However, I think, that the author gave away the most important secret in the book too early. I didn’t feel any building up suspense to find out what the family was hiding. The chapters of the past, were the most interesting to read for me, that was because Allegra was participating in them, and she is very charismatic, entertaining character to read about. I think, author of this book didn’t go very far from young adult genre; she still kept the teenage girls with their interesting story in the book, and added adults to it, to make it richer. The chapters of the present times kind of plodded along, and I missed more suspense in them.
There were some interesting twists in this novel, which made it livelier, but I would not be angry, if there would’ve been more.  The writing style used was easy to read, and I really liked that the chapters were not long in this book. It does contain some rough language and swear words, which might not be suitable for young readers. There were some interesting topics discussed in this novel, such as: how lack of good parenting influence kids’ personality, how children try to hide their true pain and sorrows by putting on extravagant behaviour, ect. The ending of this book didn’t really leave me impressed. It was quite predictable and not very fair. Overall, it was a nice book to read, filled with teenage love which hasn’t faded, and lots of different types, sometimes even disturbing, and nasty feelings between the characters.
About Author: Amy Engel is the author of THE BOOK OF IVY young adult series. A former criminal defence attorney, she lives in Missouri with her family. THE ROANOKE GIRLS, is her first novel for adults.
*-the price was taken from and at current date. Price might change at your time of purchase.

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