Book Review: The Broken Girls by Simone St. James
ashley | There is nothing more intriguing for me than a story about broken girls, so naturally I was intrigued by The Broken Girls by Simone St. James the minute I saw that cover. It looked eery and seemed like something I was looking for.
Oh the love I have for this book! I was just so smitten with the entire story, the dark atmosphere, the girls, the mystery. There are a lot of players at work here and the tense shifts from present to past and is told from multiple points of view, but each narrator is a strong and fierce woman with their own vibrant personality that nothing seems muddled together.
I loved the concept of this abandoned old school coming to life in the past passages, the kindred bond between the wayward girls, their subtle understanding and shared fears. And at the heart of this is a murder and a ghost story, woven nicely together, without being too transparent or hokey. Everything just came together so perfectly well.
This ghost story is immediately creepy. St. James has a way with building a whole atmosphere that centres around an eery, creepy feeling and I couldn’t shake this for the entire book. I don’t usually find ghost stories scary, they remind me too much of cliche horror movies, but the way Mary Hand is described here and the reactions of the girls involved, it really put me on edge and had my hairs standing on end.
The ending came together pretty quickly, perhaps a bit too conveniently at some points, but it didn’t feel rushed or like a letdown. I was perfectly satisfied with the end result and thought it tied up all the tangents quite nicely. I really thought it was a great book, a great story, and I enjoyed every page of it. I didn’t realize St. James was a Canadian writer, located not far from where I live, which I’m thrilled about. I can’t wait to go back and read more of her work.
march 20, 2018