Book Review: Nowhere Girl
ashley | I’ve been reading a lot of crime, mystery and thriller novels lately, mostly about girls who go missing and the people who try to find them. When I saw Nowhere Girl by Susan Strecker on Netgalley, I requested it right away. It fit right in with everything I was reading, but I was hoping it would stand out among the rest. It did, but not necessarily for the right reasons.
There’s a conversation towards the beginning of the book between Cady and her husband Greg, where they’re discussing Cady’s writing and how dark and twisted she is. This conversation made me excited for the book, it made me think that this book would follow in the same footsteps, be as dark and disturbing as Cady’s writing is. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. In fact, for growing up after losing a twin and having this tragedy hanging over your ever move, I really didn’t see a lot of dark and twisty in Cady. She was definitely haunted and in pain and said that she had reacted in awful ways, self harm and depression and the like, but these were all minor details that were littered throughout the rest of the text, which was basically Cady whining about being overweight and trying to find a true, real love.
I did not like Cady. There was definitely something a bit rough and calloused about her, which is understandable, but the way she phrased certain things, the way pleasantries and moralities slipped to the wayside in certain conversations, she just seemed a bit rude and pushy. She was also incredibly judgemental and insecure, specifically about people’s looks. Comments about weight and food came up quite a bit. She was a very harsh character and while I didn’t doubt she loved her sister and wanted to find her sister’s killer, she was definitely very sidetracked with her personal life and the majority of this book was spent on her crumbling marriage and her fantasies about her high school crush. Which is fine, but it all drew away from the murder mystery and it was like that sat on the back burner until the very end.
The writing of this also had a hardness to it that rubbed me the wrong way. I felt like my tongue kept getting stuck on certain phrases and it certain words just sort of stuck out, like they were trying to trip me. But the hardness, actually, didn’t really translate into dark and disturbing. I just didn’t believe the depths that Cady claimed her pain reached. Not to mention that I was certain of the killer by chapter 4. I didn’t nail down the circumstance of the death, but I certainly knew who was there when it happened and that took away from the big twisted reveal in the end. A reveal that I thought was a bit of a let down as oppose to dark and twisted.
I did like that there was a lot of talk about writing and books (inevitable when the main character is a novelist). It offered a bit of insight into the life of an author, working with an agent, where inspiration for books come from, how titles are born. It didn’t do much to move along the story, but I found it very interesting and imagine Strecker was putting her own experience into the story a bit.
This wasn’t a bad book, but I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I was expecting, I was looking for more of a crime or mystery book with different thrills and different twists, but this ended up being a lot more about Cady’s life struggles. Granted, the mystery of her sister’s death kept her trapped in an unhappy marriage and an unhappy life, but I just didn’t care so much for how it was all going down.
march 1, 2016