Saturday, February 1, 2020

Review: Good Girls Lie by J.T. Ellison

Good Girls Lie
by J.T. Ellison
Release Date: December 31st 2019
2019 MIRA
Kindle Edition; 384 Pages
ISBN: 978-0778330776
Genre: Fiction / Suspense
Source: Review copy from publisher

3.5 / 5 Stars

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.

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.

My Thoughts
Good Girls Lie is one of those books that I would immediately find intriguing simply because it takes place in a boarding school. Doesn't matter if it's historical, mystery, YA, paranormal, etc... I would read it simply because I am fascinated by stories that take place in big, historical buildings that have secrets, secret rooms, and secret tunnels.   Gets me every time. The story itself was interesting, but I did find it predictable and very easy to figure out.  

First of all, I have always liked this author's writing style.  She has this way of creating spooky, exciting atmospheres that just draw the reader into her stories, atmospheres full of secrets, secret rooms and secret tunnels and secret societies, things I just love about these stories.  To be honest, I wish there had been more information given about the spooky stuff that had happened as I found it quite interesting and it could have been woven into the story line to create an even greater effect.  I mean you've got this rich, privileged, private school located in the Virginia mountains with a century of history behind it, so there could have been so much rich history intertwined in the story. These girls are taught that their Honour Code is the most important thing, but don't think twice about bending the rules if necessary.  This leaves the door open for so much mischief and mayhem.

Unfortunately, I thought the plot was quite predictable and as soon as I read this one specific chapter about the main character's background, I pretty much had the whole story figured out which really ruined the twists and turns in the rest of the book for me.  I really wish the author hadn't given us so much information as it's much more interesting to figure things out for ourselves.  The beginning of the book was quite interesting, with a lot of disturbing incidents as well as some interesting moments between the girls, but then...bam, the scene that I mentioned.  And then things got really predictable, although the writing style still draws you in. But I got a bit bored because I knew where things were going and nothing was surprising.

Good Girls Lie is not one of my favourite books by this author as it doesn't make you think too much about what is happening; in fact, if you are good at puzzles, you pretty much have the whole book figured out one-third of the way in.  I wasn't overly impressed with any of the characters and definitely didn't empathize with any of them.  And while the story is not overly boring, it's not overly memorable either.  Would I recommend it? Hard to say at this point. I guess it's one of those books you'd have to read and judge for yourself.