by J.P. Delaney
Genres: Mystery, Psychological, Suspense, Thriller
Publication Date: January 24th 2017 by Ballantine Books
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Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.
The request seems odd, even intrusive—and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.
Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant—and it does.
After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space—and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
When I started reading The Girl Before, I was immediately reeled in and captivated by the author’s writing. It was only the beginning but I could feel myself being frightened by the eerie sense the story gave. By this alone, I was amazed by how the author could do this to my reading experience so very quickly.
One Folgate Street is very secure and private. It has the latest technology for the security system. The house comes with a whole set of rules and is set for a simple lifestyle without the added essentials of our lives. The house felt like a character in the story and it’s what elevated the creepy feel.
“It has—well, it’s a pretentious word, but it has integrity. I think he’s looking for people who are prepared to be equally honest about the way they live in.”
Emma is an unreliable, unlikable character who has issues. She went through a burglary and a possible sexual assault, which is what leads her to want to move out of her home and search for a safe place to start over. One Folgate house is the perfect place to start fresh, especially after what she went through. She meets Edward, who’s the architect of the One Folgate House. Very soon, they start dating and Emma loves all the attention she receives from him. Unfortunately, something happens that ends with Emma being dead.
Perhaps the house will turn me into a better person. Perhaps it will bring order and discipline to the random chaos of my life.
Jane is a strong, independent, brave woman who went through a miscarriage. After the miscarriage, she quit her job and found a job in helping other mom’s who go through miscarriages. Because of this, her income is low, but the prices for an apartment or house are high. One Folgate Street is the only one that Jane can afford. She sends in her application and is accepted. She feels very safe in the house and is happy with her decision of living there. When she starts seeing Edward, a few questions arise and slowly, she starts to question her relationship and her living situation.
But what if the house itself decides not to protect me? How safe am I really?
Edward is a controlling, manipulative man that I found myself being disgusted by. At first, I was kind of liking him and drawn to him, but when he treats Emma in the past the same way he treats Jane in the present, says the same things, gifts the same things, I was just appalled and creeped out by him. His character did enhance the eerie feel of the story, which I did like a lot. I couldn’t figure out his motives and that still made him interesting to me.
“Excellence is what matters. Excellence and originality.”
The last two chapters of the story had me saying WTF so many times. I have no idea how many times I re-read those pages. I’m telling you, there’s a whiplash at every turn the story makes! The story had lots of twists that had me doing a double-take and re-reading the pages because I couldn’t believe what was happening.
The Girl Before is a mindblowing and addicting masterpiece that left me completely transfixed and fascinated.
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