March 9, 2021

The Girls Are All So Nice Here

The Girls Are All So Nice Here

by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Published March 9, 2021
by St. Martin’s Press

Rating: 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (Stephanie), 4 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (Chelsey)

Genre: Thriller/Mystery

SYNOPSIS:

Carefree and wild, the girls at Wesleyan are anything but nice.

When Amb leaves her small hometown of New Jersey to attend Wesleyan, she’s determined to become the person she thinks she has always deserved to be – pretty, popular, desired. But once on campus, Amb realizes that everything she thought she knew about becoming an “it” girl was wrong and the girls at Wesleyan are effortlessly everything she wants to be which means she needs to try even harder.

Sloane “Sully” Sullivan is a wild child. She doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her and her only goal for college seems to be to sleep with as many guys as possible and party harder than anyone else. With an “I don’t care” attitude and brimming with self-confidence, girls and boys alike flock to Sully, vying for her attention and affections. When Sully turns her gaze on Amb, Amb will do whatever it takes to keep it. But Sully gets bored easily, and as their fun turns more dangerous and more vindictive, Amb must decide how far she’s willing to go keep Sully’s friendship.

Years later, at their ten year college reunion, Amb and Sully are reuniting for the first time in nearly fourteen years. Their reckless freshman year and “Dorm Doom,” aptly named after things got out of control for Amb and Sully, have haunted Amb. Now, she’s receiving notes that suggests someone else knows what her and Sully did and they want revenge.

Stephanie’s Thoughts:
I loved this book!!! I love the first person perspective from Amb and I loved the “then” and “now” alternating chapters. Every chapter was a twisty shock of mean girls horror over and over again! I had heard such great things from other advanced readers that I was really afraid it wouldn’t live up to the hype so I was beyond blown away that it totally surpassed everything I was expecting! It was a crazy hot mess that I just couldn’t put down and never wanted to end!!! Definite 5 stars from me! I highly recommend GIRLS!!! I can’t wait to see what Laurie Elizabeth Flynn cooks up next!!!

Thank you so much to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for allowing me the incredible privilege of reading this one in advance!

Chelsey’s Thoughts:
This was a really fun (and disturbing!) read that in many ways brought me back to my college days – trying to fit in and find my place at a new school and partying with friends I thought I would have forever. At Wesleyan, everything seemed to be taken up several notches. The parties were every parents’ worst nightmare with free flowing drugs and sex, and the girls were so pretty and sweet at face value, but ruthless and cutthroat in reality.

The novel alternates between the past (Amb’s freshman year) and the present (the reunion). Amb is dreading going back to her college campus, worried her husband will find out about what really happened all those years ago. Slowly, we learn about the chaos that Sully and Amb created and the cruelty with which they inflicted their wrath.

This is one of those books where you really dislike the lead characters, and that may not work for some people. I thought the author did a really good job of developing Amb’s character and slowly pushing her closer and closer to the dark side. With each small act of cruelty, it was easier to see how Amb was justifying her behavior to herself and who she was truly becoming.

I wouldn’t say anything about the book is entirely unpredictable, but there were definitely a couple surprise moments that added to the wow factor. Some parts dragged a bit and felt repetitive, but overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down.

Readers beware – lots of trigger warnings: suicide/depression, rape/sexual assault, underage drinking and partying, drug use, bullying.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for a copy of this novel.

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