Monday, July 6, 2015

Review: Those Girls

Summary: Life has never been easy for the three Campbell sisters. Jess, Courtney, and Dani live on a remote ranch in Western Canada where they work hard and try to stay out of the way of their father's temper. One night, a fight gets out of hand and the sisters are forced to go on the run, only to get caught in an even worse nightmare when their truck breaks down in a small town. As events spiral out of control they find themselves in a horrifying situation and are left with no choice but to change their names and create new lives. Eighteen years later, they are still trying to forget what happened that summer. But when one of the sisters goes missing, followed closely by her niece, they are pulled back into the past. And this time there's nowhere left to run.

With Those Girls Chevy Stevens presents her most visceral thriller yet: an unforgettable portrait of desperation, loyalty, and evil. A story of survival...and revenge. -- St. Martin's Press

I am embarrassed to say that I've never read a novel by Chevy Stevens. Her books have always appealed to me, and I even have a few of them on my bookshelves; however, I've never actually picked up one of them... until now. Her latest book is called THOSE GIRLS and it tells the story of three sisters who have had more than their fair share of heartache in their lives.

After suffering years of abuse from their alcoholic father, the Campbell sisters, Jess, Courtney and Dani, end up fighting back one night. Things get out of control and the teenage girls are forced to leave their home and go into hiding. But when they arrive a small town and accept some help from two local boys after their car breaks down, life gets even worse for the three. After escaping from the guys, the sisters are forced to change their names and start over.

For eighteen years, the girls are getting by and trying to recover from the traumas they experienced as teens; however, when one of the sisters and her niece Skylar go missing, they other two sisters discover that they have never really escaped from their past. As a family, they are forced to confront their past and the secrets they've been keeping while at the same time fight for their lives.

I really enjoyed THOSE GIRLS! So much so that I now want to read all of Ms. Stevens' novels. In this book, she created an intriguing cast of characters that I actually cared about. She also had enough tension and suspense to keep things interesting. I honestly read the book in one day and I couldn't wait to see what happened to this family.

While there is no doubt that Ms. Stevens' has major skills as a suspense writer, she is also very talented when it comes to character development. These three sisters were well drawn characters and very believable. What occurred during the girls' past definitely had a major impact on each of their personalities and actions; and even though they tried to create new lives, they could never really escape the fear from being found out.

One thing that really impressed me about this novel was how the story was told. Initially, the story was told by the youngest sister Jess. Eighteen years later, though, the story was told by her daughter Skylar. I loved both of their voices and thought that hearing the story through both of their eyes was especially poignant. While the book was a thriller, it was also much more complex than just a suspense story. I enjoyed the realistic relationships between the sisters, but I especially loved the relationships between mother and daughter.

Another aspect of THOSE GIRLS that I appreciated was the characterization of the "bad guys." The girls' father was horrible to them, although he was also a just a pitiful man. However, the teens that these girls encountered after fleeing their home were so interesting... albeit creepy. I definitely enjoyed that the portrayal of these men was disturbing but at the same time realistic.

THOSE GIRLS is a terrific thriller and I highly recommend it to fans of literary suspense!

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read. Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.


bermudaonion said...

I'm in the same boat you were. I have several of her books - including this one - but haven't read one yet. I'm sure I'll love them when I finally read one, though.

ChaosIsAFriendOfMine said...

I actually haven't heard of this author if that makes you feel any better! This book sounds really good - I like thrillers with some depth to them.

Marjorie/cenya2 said...

Still Missing is a wow, page turner. It has a storyline you will not forget. Thanks for the review.