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
Date of Publication: 9th March 2021
Genre: Mystery & Thriller
Format: eBook (316 pages)
Bullying, Rape, Suicide, Self-Harm, Cheating, Drug Use, Murder, Profanity, Sexual Scenes
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
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.
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.