The Girl Next Door // Review

The Girl Next Door // Review

I’m back on the reading train. I don’t know when or how I got off but it kind of just sucked that I wasn’t reading as much as I used to. I used to read loads before I came to university but then I just never had the time or felt like reading or I was a little obsessed with my bae Netflix. Maybe because it’s nearing up to summer and we had two days of nice weather in Glasgow where we lay outside and read books or maybe because it’s exams and I want to procrastinate from studying, I found myself back in a book. I read this novel, The Girl Next Door, by Ruth Rendell in two days and I’m already deep into another one. The life of a crazy student am I right?

This is a book which I have borrowed from my mum and I found the blurb really intriguing as it is a story which looks back at a certain event in the past from the present and has a crime at the centre of it all. I’m a huge fan of Kate Morton (The Distant Hours, The Secret Garden) and I love the style of her novels, with the past and present flick between. I find them very interesting reads and I am quite passionate about history so it just suits me. This blurb seemed to appear as being similar to a Kate Morton book so I was eager to read it.

But.

Not quite as good. I felt the story lacked a lot of substance. It lacked a good layer of mystery throughout despite being described as a mystery novel. The time jump I did like and at the beginning the plot seemed interesting. However, the incident described in the blurb, the “finding of the hands” is explained in the very first chapter. I thought it would be some big murder mystery but nope, unfortunately not. Literally no mystery at all. I kept reading because I don’t like giving up but it was a bit of a let-down. I found all the characters either annoying, wet or completely unbelievable. There wasn’t a single character I really liked or rooted for. They all annoyed me and they were all bit stupid in my opinion. I also found the title a bit misleading in correlation to the story. Sure “the girl next door” is sort of significant but was she the core of the story? I personally found the plot a bit all over the place, disjointed and a lot of unnecessary stuff was included. I wasn’t sure if the author was trying to make it one huge mystery with lots of little interlinked ones included or what. I was just a bit confused. However, it did manage to captivate my attention and it’s not very long so if you are stuck for something, give it a try.

If you like reading stories about old people rediscovering their youth with a smidge of mystery, then this is your girl. But for me, it really ain’t. I currently have my head stuck in Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clark so I’ll let you all know how I get on with this one when I’m finished.

I hope everyone’s revision is going a hell of a lot better than mine!

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