“Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.”
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I’m soo happy that I was approved for a pre-publication copy of THE ROANOKE GIRLS from NetGalley and Crown Publishing! (I think I HAVE to say that I was given a copy in exchange for an honest review, but I really hate seeing that as the first line of other reviews. I requested a copy, and was approved -(yay!)- they didn’t seek me out to give me free stuff.)
After her mother’s suicide, fifteen year-old Lane Roanoke came to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, on their vast estate in rural Kansas. Lane knew little of her mother’s mysterious family, but she quickly embraced life as one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But when she discovered the dark truth at the heart of the family, she ran – fast and far away.
Eleven years later, Lane is adrift in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls to tell her Allegra has gone missing. Did she run too? Or something worse? Unable to resist his pleas, Lane returns to help search, and to ease her guilt at having left Allegra behind. Her homecoming may mean a second chance with the boyfriend whose heart she broke that long ago summer. But it also means facing the devastating secret that made her flee, one she may not be strong enough to run from again.
As it weaves between Lane’s first Roanoke summer and her return, The Roanoke Girls shocks and tantalizes, twisting its way through revelation after mesmerizing revelation, exploring the secrets families keep and the fierce and terrible love that both binds them together and rips them apart.
I couldn’t put this book down!
I had a hard time at work because it was on my mind, and I needed to know what happened!
No, it’s not exactly the type of book that you normally see reviewed here – (full of blood, depravity, and ‘oh so wrong’ humor), but let that fact help convince you that this is an outstanding story. It’s listed as Mystery / Thriller / Suspense, and I think Psychological Thriller fits nicely.
I always say “I hate comparing books to other works…” blah blah blah, but then I usually go on to do it anyway. Since the author made this comparison herself to another reader I feel better about doing it now 🙂 Amy Engel said it’s a “dark novel along the lines of Gillian Flynn’s books” – (and I fell in love with those!).
Let me give you a slight nudge of a warning… this story goes to some pretty dark places, and might be uncomfortable for some readers. Those readers don’t usually follow The Bloody Book Blogger ::winks:: but… you know… just in case.
Even though I am mainly referring to ‘the devastating secret’ that is lurking there in those dark places – it’s not just the secret that may bug some readers. When Lane comes to grips with that secret, she has a distressing realization about herself as well. A lot of authors wouldn’t tread into this territory for fear of offending readers, but (IMO) it helps us truly understand the characters inner turmoil, and the story is better for it. So – applause to Amy Engel for taking us there, and not trying to be (for lack of a better term :p) ‘PC’ just for sales sake.
I enjoy a lot of the YA titles that I pick up once in a while, so I definitely think I am going to pick up THE BOOK OF IVY series.
AmyEngel is the author of the young adult series The Book of Ivy. A former criminal defense attorney, she lives in Missouri with her family. The Roanoke Girls is her first novel for adults.
Find out more about the author here.
Amy’s first book, The Book of Ivy, has been nominated for the 2016-2017 Georgia Peach Book Award for Teen Readers and the 2016-2017 Missouri Association of School Librarians Gateway Award.