My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Ok I admit it, I avoided reading The Girl Before because I just couldn’t face yet another ‘girl’ book – until, that is, a friend insisted I would love it.
And love it I did!
Delaney drip-fed me just the right amount of info to make me think I knew the facts, and just enough clues to think I knew everything. I was busily updating my guesses, mapping and re-mapping events and motives in my mind, feeling completely in control right up until the bombshell-moment that I did not see coming.
I loved the paralleling of the two girls’ stories, the way Delaney sometimes used repetition, sometimes left things unsaid (but obvious).
More than anything (and no matter what happened later) I loved the way Emma’s brokenness was portrayed: the shame she felt after a sexual assault, and her twisted need for acceptance. As alien as parts of her character were to me, I have no doubt they are real and valid to some.
Let this be a lesson to me to never judge a book by its title!