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review 2018-01-09 04:02
The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel
The Roanoke Girls: A Novel - Amy Engel

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I thought that this book was fantastic! I actually have looked at this book several times since its release and didn't pick it up sooner because I wasn't sure that I would like it. I had nothing to worry about. This story is disturbing and made me very uncomfortable but I loved it. Once I started reading this book, there was no stopping and I ended up reading it in a day.

As I said, this book tells a rather disturbing story. In some ways, it was like a train wreck that you know you shouldn't look at but you can't help yourself. This book deals with sexual abuse and could be difficult for some readers. I went through a wide range of emotions while reading this book. There were parts that made me mad, others that made me want to cry, some parts gave me hope, and some parts just made my skin crawl.

Lane goes to live with her grandparents after her mother's suicide. She has never met her Gran and Granddad, not to mention her cousin, Allegra. Allegra and Lane bond right away and become quite the pair. They spend almost all of their time together either in town with Tommy and Cooper or on the farm. Years later, Lane is called back to the farm because her cousin is missing. Lane works to figure out exactly what happened and where Allegra is.

This story is told through two timelines. One timeline follows Lane and Allegra as teenagers when Lane first comes to live at the farm. The other timeline is set in the present with Lane back at the farm to look for her lost cousin. These two timelines worked perfectly together. Information from the past that would be needed to fully explain the present seemed to be worked in at just the right moment. There were also a few passages from the other Roanoke girls which gave a lot of insight as to the history of the family.

I would highly recommend this book to others. This is the kind of story that will stay with me for a long time. I really appreciated that the book ended on a hopeful note with all questions being answered. This is the time that I have had the chance to read Amy Engel's work and I am looking forward to reading more of her novels in the future.

I received a review copy of this book from Random House via Blogging for Books.

Initial Thoughts
Honestly, this was great! It was disturbing and uncomfortable but I never wanted to put it down. I wanted the Roanoke Girls to be okay and hated everyone who threatened that. There were a few surprises and a lot of heartbreaking moments. I love that the book ended on a hopeful note.

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review 2017-11-22 22:01
Review: The Roanoke Girls
The Roanoke Girls: A Novel - Amy Engel

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

I snagged a copy of this one when it was a read it now for the first 100 members. It promised some of my favourite tropes in novels – rich family, idyllic setting, dark twisty secrets.  This book has one of those annoying boats in the title tag line saying the most dark twisty shocking plot! However, this one did deliver on the dark twist.

 

My biggest issue with this (side from the really nauseating disturbingness of the plot twists) is that it was predictable. I’d guessed the Roanoke family secrets almost immediately. Anyone who’s ever seen Law and Order: Special Victims Unit could probably guess what’s going on here. I also guessed correctly who the killer was.

 

That being said, there was something utterly compelling about the story telling. I really liked Lane, the main character. Told in a then and now format, what happened when Lane was a teenager and went to live with the Roanokes after her mother committed suicide. Her grandparents and her cousin the same age as her Allegra. And the now chapters of what happens when Lane goes back as an adult after Allegra disappears.

 

Lane was by no mean a good, nice person. Not as a teen, nor as an adult. She was a flat out bitch, she was blunt and cold and didn’t even bother to hide the fact that sometimes it was easier to be cruel than to be kind. Despite her personality flaws, she made a very interesting character, and I kind of loved her. While her cousin Allegra was your typical spoilt rich girl. She could manipulate people easily, and wrap boys around her finger. She could convince you to do anything, regardless of consequences. She had a certain charisma about herself, despite the fact Allegra could be stroppy selfish and childish. She tells Lane about the sordid history of the Roanoke girls before them. All the girls in their family line - including both their mothers  - all got pregnant young and either ran away or committed suicide.

 

The Roanoke household is a big mansion and a farm run by its patriarch Yates Roanoke Lane and Allegra’s grandfather. He has an old world charm about him. Firm when needed without being overbearing, yet very witty, charming and always with a kind word and encouragement, while grandma is your typical blue blood grandma. Beautiful but cold and kind of passive.

 

In the summer in their teens Lane learns about farm life and meets Allegra’s current boyfriend Tommy, and his best friend Cooper. Tommy is your average small town good boy from a nice family while Cooper is the good looking dude with the shady family and bad history, he and Lane hit it off immediately and begin a relationship, more hooking up when they can than anything else.  

 

When Lane comes back to town as an adult she reconnects with Tommy, now married and a police office and Cooper, now a mechanic. The Roanoke house is still the same as it was when Lane ran away in her teens. With one exception. Allegra is gone. Lane searches for answers to what happened to her. Flipping back and forth between what happened that summer when she arrived and her investigation on return.

 

Also flittered into the novel is chapters on various Roanoke women and what happened to them either when they ran or when they died.

 

The writing is top notch, even though none of the characters are particularly likeable. The story telling makes you want to know what’s going on, what happened back in that summer, why did Lane run away, what did she learn about the Roanoke secrets. And when she comes back what happened to Allegra. Did she finally leave – was she murdered? What happened? It’s twisty and very disturbing in parts. The answers to the Roanoke secrets are actually in the text if you look between the lines. And it is sick. It’s stomach wrenching and utterly utterly wrong in very way possible.

 

It’s a pretty fucked up book but it’s excellently written.

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder and Stoughton for the review copy.

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text 2017-04-30 23:24
April Re-Cap
Daughter of Deep Silence - Carrie Ryan
Queen of Always (Stolen Empire Book 3) - Sherry D. Ficklin
Unknown - Wendy Higgins
The Edge of Everything - Jeff Giles
The Hooker and the Hermit - Penny Reid,Luci Cosway
Ten Thousand Words - Kelli Jean
How the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back - Diana Rowland
The Roanoke Girls: A Novel - Amy Engel
All In: (The Naturals #3) - Jennifer Lynn Barnes
GHOST (Boston Underworld Book 3) - A. Zavarelli

(Audiobook) Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan

Finish Date: 04/03

4/5 STARS


(eBook) Queen of Always by Sherry D. Ficklin

Finish Date: 04/04

4.3/5 STARS


(eBook) Unknown by Wendy Higgins

Finish Date:  04/09

5/5 STARS


(eBook) The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles

DNF on 04/12


(Audiobook) The Hooker and the Hermit by L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid

Finish Date:  04/13

4/5 STARS


(eBook) Ten Thousand Words by Kelli Jean

Finish Date:  04/19

3.8/5 STARS


(Audiobook) How the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back by Diana Rowland

Finish Date:  04/22

4/5 STARS


(Audiobook) The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

Finish Date:  04/24

5/5 STARS


(eBook) All In by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Finish Date:  04/26

5/5 STARS


(Audiobook) Ghost by A. Zavarelli

Finish Date:  04/29

3.3/5 STARS

 

 

10 Books Total for the month of April (3,331 Pages)

(5 eBooks and 5 Audiobooks)

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review 2017-04-28 18:45
The Roanoke Girls: A Novel - Amy Engel

♪♫My Pick For Book Theme Song♫♪

♫Picking a song for this was difficult…if you've read it then you know, nothing is really quite right…but if I picked something, than it would be Alive by Sia…sometimes they fit for Lane…and sometimes they fit for Allegra and even for Cooper sometimes.  Overall, it's a really moving song and so is this book…regardless of how twisted it really is. ♫

 

 

Book Title:  Roanoke Girls

Author:  Amy Engel

Narration:  Brittany Presley

Series:  Stand-Alone

Genre:  Mystery, Thriller

Source:  Audiobook (Library)

 

Add to Goodreads

 

OVERALL RATING:  5/5 STARS

GRADE = A+

 

My Thoughts

 

What a versatile storyteller Amy Engel has turned out to be.  I've also read her YA Duology; The Book of Ivy.  This is nothing like that…I would have to say it's not YA, either.  Small town seediness at it's most seedy.  A sick and twisted affair to be sure…and yet, so addicting.  I could not stop listening, even though I knew where it was headed. beautifully and hauntingly written...but so f*cked up!  Warning:  It will, at least partially, if not wholly...wreck you.  You'll seriously be thinking...

 

 

Ratings Breakdown

 

Plot:  4.7/5

Main Characters:  5/5

Secondary Characters:  5/5

The Feels:  5/5

Addictiveness:  5+/5

Theme or Tone:  5/5

Flow (Writing Style):  5/5

Backdrop (World Building):  5/5

Originality:  5/5

Book Cover:  3/5

Narration:  5/5

Ending:  5/5  Cliffhanger:  Nope

 

Will I read more from this Author?  Yeah, I will

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text 2017-04-22 20:55
My 99p eBook Haul or Don't Look at Books When You Have Had a Bad Week!
The Witchfinder's Sister - Beth Underdown
The Roanoke Girls: A Novel - Amy Engel
Sometimes I Lie - Alice Feeney
Our Endless Numbered Days - Claire Fuller
Yellow Crocus - Laila Ibrahim
We Were Liars - E. Lockhart
The Light of the Fireflies - Simon Bruni,Paul Pen
Carrion Comfort - Dan Simmons
Black Hills - Dan Simmons

So, a while back I promised myself I wouldn't succumb to the £0.99 temptation and I would only buy reduced books if they were on my tbr. Well, I was doing really well until...I had a bad week. Let's face it, other people buy shoes and handbags when they feel they need a boost but we buy books. Not that I need them, my physical bookshelves are full to bursting - I have had to start storing books in a (dangerous) third row as two deep just doesn't hack it - my kindle is full of freebies and deals I never will read and even my kobo, which I swore faithfully to myself would mainly be used to borrow books from overdrive, is slowly filling up with unread (but very good and mostly cheap) books. What can I say? I stand up now and confess:

"My name is Julie, I'm a bookaholic" (but I can stop anytime I like, it's just I have these books reserved at the library...)

 

Edit: I might as well go the whole hog and buy two more. I've added Carrion Comfort and Black Hills to my Kobo, I like Dan Simmons and I've wanted to read them for a while, I'm ruined anyway.

 

Oh dear, I'm depressed now, I wonder what's on offer at Amazon...

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