Book Review: The Girls Are All So Nice Here By Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

March 8, 2021 in Mystery & Thriller

AD • I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This post also contains affiliate links. Affiliate links are marked with a (*). When you purchase an item through these links, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. For more information, please read my Disclosure.


Hello, again! I’m back with another book review. Today I’m going to be talking you through my thoughts about new thriller: The Girls Are All So Nice Here by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn. This is a college-based revenge thriller where two former best friends are beckoned to their reunion to deal with the consequences of what they did ten years ago. It’s mysterious, gripping and super intense! (And if I may say so myself, it’s a must-read for fans of Pretty Little Liars.) So without further ado, let’s get into my book review!

Many thanks to HQ and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Girls Are All So Nice Here by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn - Book Review

The Girls Are All So Nice Here
by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Publisher: HQ
Date of Publication: 9th March 2021
Genre: Mystery & Thriller
Format: eBook (316 pages)
Rating: ★★★★★

Buy The Girls Are All So Nice Here on Bookshop.org*

 

Content Warnings:

Bullying, Rape, Suicide, Self-Harm, Cheating, Drug Use, Murder, Profanity, Sexual Scenes

 

Synopsis

A lot has changed in the 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’d 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 shocking novel 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.

 

A Preface to My Review

CW: Bullying

There’s no way for me to review this one without talking first about why I connected with it as much as I did. The truth is: my teenaged years were hell. We’re talking constant agonising drama. In my twenties, I became a bit of a loner. Happiest in my own company, away from the drama I’d convinced myself was my own fault. It took this book to finally connect the dots. None of it was ever my fault. I just had what someone else wanted and the mean girls wanted to take that away, one way or another.

I’ve never spoken publicly about this mainly because I spent so long running away from it. However, this book has emboldened me to share my truth. There were many mean girls in my life but two main ones. One later apologised and admitted that it came from a place of insecurity. The other still talks crap about me online even though we haven’t seen each other in over a decade.

Now there was this one year that was literally the worst of my life. They both targeted me at the same time, from different angles. The latter mean girl was aggressively encouraging my then-boyfriend to leave me for her friend. (He had a side thing with the friend for pretty much the entire duration of our relationship.) On the other hand, the former took a more direct approach. I had to deal with being shouted at in public, so-called-friends determined to shame me. Rumours. Threats. One plan to shave off my hair at a party and others to seduce my then-boyfriend. Every day I’d put on my make-up, listen to my emo music and fight my way through another day. The saddest thing is that he wasn’t even worth the drama. But the more they tried to pull us apart, the more determined I was to hold on. So yeah, this book took me back and hit me HARD.

 

My Review

Now that’s been said, I’m going to attempt to review the book without ANY spoilers. To give it balance, I’ll follow the exact same structure that I used for my review of The Coven. Starting with what I liked and following it up with a few things that I didn’t.


The Good Stuff

  • This thriller will resonate with a lot of people. Especially with anyone who was ever bullied just for being themselves. Or for being the person with whatever it was that someone else wanted. (And again, I really connected with it for this reason.)
  • Absolutely gripping! I found myself reading much later than I intended and picking it straight back up again in the morning.
  • It’s more than just a revenge story. The Girls Are All So Nice Here is also a story about toxic friendships, identity and accountability. In fact, the dynamics between Ambrosia and Sully take centre-stage throughout with the ominous presence of revenge looming in the shadows.
  • Easy to relate with Ambrosia at points and then something would happen to sever that likeability which I thought was really well done. Characters in books like this always tend to be either likeable or unlikeable but rarely a mix of the two.
  • Very satisfying ending with a lot of accountability!
  • Plenty of twists that I didn’t see coming at all!


The Not-So-Good Stuff

  • Lots of trigger warnings including a very graphic description of suicide by self-harm.
  • This book uses ‘Now’ and ‘Then’ timelines which works well but as both timelines were so gripping, it was a little bit jarring to go from one to the other.


Read This Book If You…

  • Wish there was an adult version of Pretty Little Liars because this is exactly that!

Overall, I really enjoyed The Girls Are All So Nice Here. I haven’t read too many thrillers that centre that complexities of female friendship but after this, it’s something I want to explore more of in the future. All in all, a great all-rounder.

Will you be reading The Girls Are All So Nice Here? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

24 Comments

  • Stephanie @ Bookfever March 8, 2021 at 10:48 am

    This sounds like a gripping book! It’s good that there is more “good stuff” than the “not so good stuff”. I also like that it’s a more adult version of PLL. Great review!

    • Hayley March 9, 2021 at 9:49 am

      Thanks Stephanie! It was very gripping!

  • Helen March 8, 2021 at 4:02 pm

    that is a great review!! i just added this on my tbr as it sounds right up my alley!!

    • Hayley March 9, 2021 at 10:10 am

      Thanks Helen, hope you enjoy it as much as I did! 🙂

  • Eleanor Jones March 9, 2021 at 10:49 am

    Great post! Thank you for sharing this review, I think this sounds like my kind of thing so I’ll have to check it out this March 🙂

    • Hayley March 9, 2021 at 11:32 am

      Thanks Eleanor, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 🙂

  • Rosie Ireland March 9, 2021 at 10:55 am

    Wow this book sounds really dark and twisty – right up my street for a book to read while lazing in the garden. Great review!

    Rosie

    • Hayley March 9, 2021 at 11:35 am

      Thanks Rosie! 🙂

  • Jennifer March 9, 2021 at 11:03 am

    This one sounds interesting! Love the way your format your reviews. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Hayley March 9, 2021 at 11:46 am

      Thanks Jennifer! 🙂

  • Miragail March 9, 2021 at 11:14 am

    Sounds like a great book to me!

    I applaud you for sharing your story and I wish you happiness always, you deserve it!

    • Hayley March 9, 2021 at 12:51 pm

      Thank you so much Miragail <3

  • Jenny in Neverland March 9, 2021 at 2:04 pm

    Thank you for sharing your own story that this book encouraged you to talk about. I’m sorry that happened to you. But this sounds like a great read. Definitely right up my street!

    • Hayley March 10, 2021 at 1:13 pm

      Thanks Jenny <3 I hope you enjoy it!

  • Jodie | That Happy Reader March 9, 2021 at 2:36 pm

    I love thrillers that include strong female friendships so I’m very intrigued! Thanks for sharing your great review!

    • Hayley March 10, 2021 at 1:18 pm

      Thanks Jodie, I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

  • Cristina Rosano March 9, 2021 at 6:38 pm

    This sounds like a great read! Love the unexpected twist and if you recommend it after Pretty Little Liars, it’s a big yes! Thanks for sharing your review x

    • Hayley March 10, 2021 at 1:19 pm

      Thanks Cristina! I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

  • Beth Anne March 10, 2021 at 11:06 am

    Great review and this sounds like it would be right up my street.
    Thanks for trigger warnings also.

    • Hayley March 10, 2021 at 1:26 pm

      Thank you! 🙂

  • Louize March 12, 2021 at 6:12 pm

    Hi. Thanks for sharing your story and this review.
    Haven’t had any thriller in a long while. I will list this one down.

    • Hayley March 17, 2021 at 2:34 pm

      Thank you so much. 🙂

  • Lindsey March 14, 2021 at 11:32 am

    This sounds like it was a really powerful read – anything that you relate to in such a strong way gives a book an extra element, doesn’t it? Great review – this sounds like a good read.

    • Hayley March 17, 2021 at 2:27 pm

      100% agree with you there, Lindsey! Thank you for reading 🙂

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