Book Review | The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

Hello, readers! After two weeks of back to school stress, I finally finished The Broken Girls. And I have to say, it did not live up to the hype for me. I do wish I had waited to read it during fall/Halloween, but I still don’t think that would have made me love the book.

**Disclaimer: As with all of my reviews, I do post the entire plot synopsis before my review. However, I will always recommend for Thriller Thursday reviews that you skip the plot synopsis. Thrillers are better when you go in knowing little to nothing about the plot. Happy reading!

Goodreads Rating: ★★★☆☆ 3.79
My Rating: ★★★☆☆
Page Count:
 336 pages
Genre(s): Mystery/”thriller”/paranormal
Publisher: Berkley
Published: March 20, 2018

Plot: A suspense novel from the award-winning author of The Haunting of Maddy Clare…

Vermont, 1950. There’s a place for the girls whom no one wants–the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It’s called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it’s located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming–until one of them mysteriously disappears. . . .

Vermont, 2014. As much as she’s tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister’s death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister’s boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can’t shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past–and a voice that won’t be silenced. . . .

Review: Fiona is a journalist whose sister was killed when she was a teenager. Her sister was found on the property of the Idlewood Hall boarding school for girls. The school had long been closed, and Fiona discovers that someone has decided to reopen the school. Fiona decides to investigate why the school is being reopened and gets more than she bargained for when there is a mysterious discovery during the renovation of the school.

So this book started off with a bang. I had NO idea that it was a ghost story, so the opening chapter drew me in immediately. The story is told in alternating timelines, and the present timeline with Fiona was definitely a snoozer. I would have much rather the book been about four girls at the boarding school in 1950. The story was too busy by the last fourth of the book. I realize that Fiona’s anger at her sister’s killer fueled her involvement in the Idlewood Hall present day story, but there was enough going on with the discovery at the school that we didn’t need a side story about her sister’s killer and police corruption. I think I would have been happier if Fiona’s story had focused on her investigation into Idlewood’s past only.

The chapters about the girls at Idlewood in 1950 were gold! The writing was incredible because I could feel the fear and despair that the girls felt at the school. The scenes with the ghost gave me chills and I never get scared while reading books. I also enjoyed reading about their friendship and their “troubled” pasts that led them to be sent to such a terrible school. There was some excellent historical facts in the story that I don’t want to give away, but I think the author missed a great opportunity to raise even more awareness about a place I never knew existed during that time.

Final Thoughts: The Broken Girls did not live up to my expectations. There was way too much happening in the plot, and Fiona’s obsession with “solving” the case of her sister’s death was annoying considering that the killer was convicted and behind bars. This book in a (painfully) slow burn, but I never let myself put it aside because I kept hoping the next chapter I read would be better (and sometimes it was). With so many plots and mysteries, one would think this book would be fast paced and thrilling, but this book did not thrill me. I gave it three stars because of the chapters set in 1950. Normally this type of book is right up my alley, but unfortunately, the author was trying too hard and created way too many mysteries for one book.

Thank you so much for reading my review! Do you agree with my thoughts on The Broken Girls? Is it on your TBR?

2 thoughts on “Book Review | The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

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