Book Reviews

The Girls Are All So Nice Here by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Sometimes, books just show up at my door. Occasionally, they’re Goodreads giveaway wins, but other times, I think I’m just on a magical list with publishers that delivers books sometimes. I’m not going to fight it. That’s how I came to possess a copy of The Girls Are All So Nice Here by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn.

The Story

Two former best friends return to their college reunion to find that they’re being circled by someone who wants revenge for what they did ten years before—and will stop at nothing to get it—in this “propulsive” (Megan Miranda, bestselling author of The Girl from Widow Hills) psychological thriller.

A lot has changed in years since Ambrosia Wellington graduated from college, and she’s worked hard to create a new life for herself. But then an invitation to her ten-year reunion arrives in the mail, along with an anonymous note that reads, “We need to talk about what we did that night.

It seems that the secrets of Ambrosia’s past—and the people she thought she’d left there—aren’t as buried as she believed. Amb can’t stop fixating on what she did or who she did it with: larger-than-life Sloane “Sully” Sullivan, Amb’s former best friend, who could make anyone do anything.

At the reunion, Amb and Sully receive increasingly menacing messages, and it becomes clear that they’re being pursued by someone who wants more than just the truth of what happened that first semester. This person wants revenge for what they did and the damage they caused—the extent of which Amb is only now fully understanding. And it was all because of the game they played to get a boy who belonged to someone else and the girl who paid the price.

Alternating between the reunion and Amb’s freshman year, The Girls Are All So Nice Here is a “chilling and twisty thriller” (Book Riot) about the brutal lengths girls can go to get what they think they’re owed, and what happens when the games we play in college become matters of life and death.

My Thoughts

Before we get too far into it, please know that there are conversations and allusions to suicide and sexual assaults in this book. Proceed with caution.

The Girls Are All So Nice Here has been on my shelf for a few months. I’ve visited a few bookstores recently, and have seen it greatly discounted, so I did not have high hopes for it. Afterall, it only came out earlier this year. It felt like a movie sent straight to DVD. Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised.

The whole college reunion thing made me think it was going to be like The Lying Game. I did not care for the lying game, so, again, I did not have high hopes. However, the US-ness and “older” age of these characters warranted a more developed story.

One of the “scariest” parts of this book is reading the lengths someone will go to in order to fit in or be accepted. We’ve all been there…adjusted our personality so that someone will like us or to hold on to a relationship for just a little bit longer. In your formidable years (like a college freshman somewhere new for the very first time), then lengths Amb went to in order to be accepted and desired by Sully makes sense. I would never have behaved that way, but I can’t say that I don’t get it.

It’s also terrifying to think of what can possibly follow you into adult life. If big trauma happens, are you ever able to really move past it? Also, be careful how you speak to each other. You never know how your words can affect someone.

The twist in the last chapter got me. I even flipped ahead to the end of the book to read the last page (Yes, I do that sometimes), and didn’t see it coming. Did it make sense? Not entirely. It felt a bit out of left field, but there were just enough strings to tie it all together that it was reasonable to accept it as fact.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Girls Are All So Nice Here (as much as anyone can enjoy this twisted of a story). In fact, I am bringing it to our holiday book exchange at Book Club!

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