Title: The Tenth Girl
Author: Sara Faring (Debut)
Genre: YA Thriller/Historical/Horror
Release Date: September 24th 2019 from Imprint (MacMillan)
Format: Physical ARC (requested from publisher)
Goodreads Synopsis: Simmering in Patagonian myth, The Tenth Girl is a gothic psychological thriller with a haunting twist.
At the very southern tip of South America looms an isolated finishing school. Legend has it that the land will curse those who settle there. But for Mavi—a bold Buenos Aires native fleeing the military regime that took her mother—it offers an escape to a new life as a young teacher to Argentina’s elite girls.
Mavi tries to embrace the strangeness of the imposing house—despite warnings not to roam at night, threats from an enigmatic young man, and rumors of mysterious Others. But one of Mavi’s ten students is missing, and when students and teachers alike begin to behave as if possessed, the forces haunting this unholy cliff will no longer be ignored.
One of these spirits holds a secret that could unravel Mavi’s existence. In order to survive she must solve a cosmic mystery—and then fight for her life.
DNF after 100 pages
Back when BEA and BookCon were happening, I saw an image of this book on Twitter as well as the blurb and it really captured my attention. I had seen the cover on Goodreads a couple times before that, but didn’t think anything of it until people were getting ARCs of it. I l really liked the idea of an Argentinean boarding school that was also haunted. I immediately requested an ARC from the publisher and I was really happy to get a copy a few months back. But then, the really polarizing reviews started coming in and I was worried about where my thoughts would stand once I picked the book up. After a fantastic prologue and solid first chapter, I was interested and hoping this would be another favorite book.
Unfortunately, by the time I had finished reading the second chapter, Angel’s POV, my motivation tanked and I was confused about what was going on. With this second POV, other than Mavi’s, it didn’t take me long before I had lost interest and didn’t agree with how the story was being told. I eventually called it quits after 100 pages total. The problem I had with this second POV is that it would kill any tension that was present in Mavi’s chapter. Something creepy would happen in 1978 with Mavi, but then the next chapter would show what was really happening and that it was Angel or others he knew. Seeing what was happening behind the scenes made Mavi’s chapters not as important or impactful. Once I had read Angel’s chapters a few times, and since my motivation was not doing well, I read the twist ending.
I will say that I give the author points for creating a twist that wasn’t expected at all and that it was different. I know some both like and hate the twist. For me, I can respect what the author did for the twist and how some of the hints were hidden in the book (the parts I read anyway). But with this book being over 400 pages, this felt way too long, especially with a second POV that explained what the creepy stuff actually was. I know that if Angel’s chapters were mostly cut from the book, except for maybe towards the end, the tension and creep factor in Mavi’s time would’ve had me keep on reading. But the build up seemed way too slow with the first 85 pages or so that I had read. So sadly lost interest and gave up. I wanted to love this so much, but a few major factors killed any excitement that I had, and while the twist gets points for creativity, it didn’t completely blow me away.
This book could work for some people. If this does sound interesting to you, then definitely try it. While this book is polarizing, I’m glad that I did give it a try. I might try the author’s future books, but sadly this debut was too long and had a tension killing second POV. This book comes out today September 24th so you can get your copy today! A huge thank you to the publisher for sending me a physical ARC in exchange for review.
Have you read this book? If you did, what did you think of it? Do you know of other books similar to this that you would recommend? Let me know in the comments!