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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

#allthebookreviews: The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel @aengelwrites @crownpublishing

The Roanaoke Girls
by Amy Engel
Crown Publishing / Broadway Books


Thank you Crown Publishing for this book - what a fantastic and disturbing read. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!  See what Jessica and I had to say about this one!

"Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die."

After her mother's suicide, fifteen year-old Lane Roanoke came to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, on their vast estate in rural Kansas. Lane knew little of her mother's mysterious family, but she quickly embraced life as one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But when she discovered the dark truth at the heart of the family, she and far away.

Eleven years later, Lane is adrift in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls to tell her Allegra has gone missing. Did she run too? Or something worse? Unable to resist his pleas, Lane returns to help search, and to ease her guilt at having left Allegra behind. Her homecoming may mean a second chance with the boyfriend whose heart she broke that long ago summer. But it also means facing the devastating secret that made her flee, one she may not be strong enough to run from again.

As it weaves between Lane's first Roanoke summer and her return, The Roanoke Girls shocks and tantalizes, twisting its way through revelation after mesmerizing revelation, exploring the secrets families keep and the fierce and terrible love that both binds them together and rips them apart.

My Review:

Everyone in this book is absolutely out of their mind... and I LOVE it!  This story is told mainly through Lane's eyes - who never knew who her father was and didn't understand why her mother couldn't love her.  She's taken in by her grandparents after her mother commits suicide and in one short summer, her life gets flipped, turned upside down.  She runs and never looks back... until her cousin, Allegra, disappears and now she must go back to find out what happened to her.  In doing so, she faces her past again and it may break them all.

I had heard amazing things about this book over the past few months... but I also heard from some people that it was hard to read due to the subject matter.  I finally decided to pick this one up and wow.  Such a multilayered and complex novel regarding family secrets, loyalty, familial relationships and manipulation.  All families have problems, some just bury deeper into your soul than others... and these are the ones that will never let you go.

This story jumps back and forth through Lane's past and present.  We also get glimpses into various characters weaved throughout the book - the brief stories of the other Roanoke Girls... and these make such an impact.  Ever character in this book is flawed, but somehow you just can't blame them either.  Lane, as the main character, is deeply flawed but I loved her.  I wanted to throttle her at times, but really she, as screwed up as she is, is self aware - she just doesn't know how to be any other way.  the things that impact you as a child and continue to reverberate throughout your adulthood can cause this vicious circle of behavioral patterns.  The question is - what does it take to start moving in a different path?

Such a well written book.  I turned the last page and let it soak into my brain as I fell asleep.  This caused some interesting dreams and missing my alarm!  I woke up feeling the same.  The Roanoke girls has a very V.C. Andrews vibe to it.  It's dark, disturbing and I can understand why it may have been a difficult read for some.  For me, however, I was enthralled and dove deep into the underbelly of this story and highly recommend it to everyone.


Jessica's Review:

I had heard very mixed reviews about The Roanoke Girls, but I really liked it! The tagline alone was enough to draw me in, "Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.”

The different timelines, going from each of the Roanoke Girls and their lives/perspectives throughout the years. The mystery behind the deaths and disappearances were really fascinating. Why these girls in particular? 

We follow Lane, and when her mother dies she is sent to live with her grandparents in Kansas. Where she meets her cousin Allegra and learns of the history of her aunts and cousins. All the woman have either run away under mysterious circumstances, or they died in what appeared be freak accidents. Years later, after Lane moved out to California, she is called back to her grandparents' home when her cousin Allegra goes missing. Why did she run away? Will they find her?

I enjoyed how Amy Engel weaved the stories together and how the story went back and forth from "Then" and "Now" - but each one was from the eyes of the different Roanoke women. While it's not a "sitting on the edge of your seat" kind of mystery/thriller, it was still fast enough to where you didn't lose interest. It was a quick read for me. 

I give this 5/5 stars!

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