Genre: Psychological Thriller
Perched atop a hill in the tiny town of Marchburg, Virginia, The Goode School is a prestigious prep school known as a Silent Ivy. The boarding school of choice for daughters of the rich and influential, it accepts only the best and the brightest. Its elite status, long-held traditions and honor code are ideal for preparing exceptional young women for brilliant futures at Ivy League universities and beyond. But a stranger has come to Goode, and this ivy has turned poisonous.
In a world where appearances are everything, as long as students pretend to follow the rules, no one questions the cruelties of the secret societies or the dubious behavior of the privileged young women who expect to get away with murder. But when a popular student is found dead, the truth cannot be ignored. Rumors suggest she was struggling with a secret that drove her to suicide.
But look closely…because there are truths and there are lies, and then there is everything that really happened.
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Book Review | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Favorite character: Kate Wood
She is the one sane mind in a sea of doubt, anxiety, and mental illness. I love her stoic determination to unearth the truth, never once succumbing to the gaslighting and losing focus. Kate Wood is relatively a minor character in the amount of time dedicated to her scenes in the novel, but a significant character based on the impact she has on the story.
What I Loved About Good Girls Lie
The delightful intensity of being inside so many minds set me in the right mood to enjoy the story as it unfolded. By the end, I felt like I was gaslighted along with the characters. Moving from mind to mind kept me in an unsettled state and made guessing the who, the why, and then what will happen next tricky. Up to the last page, I wasn’t sure who did it, and even now, I’m not entirely sure. This uncertainty is fascinating to me as it allows me to draw my unique conclusion to go with the ending.
Seeing the story unfold through several characters’ minds is also inherently unreliable, but that is an excellent technique for a psychological thriller. Nothing is scarier than knowing what is in someone else’s head, though at times, I found that my reading slowed down as a result. So, I found the pace to be fast at some points and slow at others, like a natural ebb and flow.
The bits of real boarding school elements intrigue me. I find the whole idea of boarding school to wrapped in mystique due to its exclusivity, and this portrayal enhances my perception. The students, though born to wealth and knowing all the privileges that provides, still have to deal with the same issues as public-school students. They experience bullying, questioning sexuality, pregnancy, and drug and alcohol use and abuse. It’s just wrapped up in a more mysterious package since the secret societies are a big part of these problems.
The character development is based on the unreliability of the narration, so I was never sure that I had a handle on any one character. I realized that as much as I knew, I didn’t really know anything. I loved that I found the characters well-developed but unreliably so. How intriguing!!!
To Read or Not to Read.
If you love intense psychological thrillers, this should be your next read. It will leave you guessing till the last page and maybe even beyond. It is so good!
Thank you to NetGalley and MIRA Books for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and a special thank you to Harlequin Trade Publishing and Justine Sha for my spot on the blog tour.
About the Author
J.T. Ellison is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 20 novels, and the EMMY-award winning co-host of A WORD ON WORDS, Nashville’s premier literary show. With millions of books in print, her work has won critical acclaim, prestigious awards, and has been published in 26 countries. Ellison lives in Nashville with her husband and twin kittens.
Be sure to check back on Thursday for a Q&A with J.T. Ellison!
See my “About me” on my site.