Scary, chilling, and thrilling.
Thank you so much to TBR and Beyond and Sarah Glenn Marsh for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary eARC and media kit!
The Conjuring meets Sadie when seventeen-year-old podcaster Dare takes an internship in a haunted house and finds herself in a life-or-death struggle against an evil spirit.
Dare Chase doesn’t believe in ghosts.
Privately, she’s a supernatural skeptic. But publicly, she’s keeping her doubts to herself—because she’s the voice of Attachments, her brand-new paranormal investigation podcast, and she needs her ghost-loving listeners to tune in.
That’s what brings her to Arrington Estate. Thirty years ago, teenager Atheleen Bell drowned in Arrington’s lake, and legend says her spirit haunts the estate. Dare’s more interested in the suspicious circumstances surrounding her death—circumstances that she believes point to a living culprit, not the supernatural. Still, she’s vowed to keep an open mind as she investigates, even if she’s pretty sure what she’ll find.
But Arrington is full of surprises. Good ones like Quinn, the cute daughter of the house’s new owner. And baffling ones like the threatening messages left scrawled in paint on Quinn’s walls, the ghastly face that appears behind Dare’s own in the mirror, and the unnatural current that nearly drowns their friend Holly in the lake. As Dare is drawn deeper into the mysteries of Arrington, she’ll have to rethink the boundaries of what is possible. Because if something is lurking in the lake…it might not be willing to let her go.
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55588056-the-girls-are-never-gone
- Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Girls-Are-Never-Gone/dp/1984836153
- Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-girls-are-never-gone-sarah-glenn-marsh/1138435039
- Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Girls-Are-Never-Gone-Sarah-Glenn-Marsh/9781984836151?ref=grid-view&qid=1625517934195&sr=1-1
- Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/the-girls-are-never-gone/9781984836151-item.html?ikwid=The+Girls+are+Never+Gone&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0#algoliaQueryId=5a0ada747a1f514c85ecdfaf88d2bef0
- IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781984836151
Content and Trigger Warnings
For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.
About the Author
Sarah Glenn Marsh writes young adult novels and children’s picture books. An avid fantasy reader from the day her dad handed her a copy of The Hobbit and promised it would change her life, she’s been making up words and worlds ever since.
When she’s not writing, Sarah frequents the pottery studio, volunteers her time to sighthound rescue, and raises awareness about her autoimmune disease, Type 1 diabetes. She often enjoys pursuits of the nerd variety, from video games to tabletop adventures. She’s never met an animal or a doughnut she didn’t like.
Sarah lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and their tiny zoo of four rescued sighthounds, two birds, and many fish. She is the author of Fear the Drowning Deep, the Reign of the Fallen series, and several books for younger readers.
Review (no spoilers)
If you’d like to follow along with the rest of the tour, you can find the tour schedule here.
I don’t consider myself someone who reads many horror novels, mostly because I’m a huge scaredy cat, but I’m trying to branch out. I’m a sucker for a good mystery and horror novels are often a mixture of mystery and terror, which makes them seem like a good option. I read this book late at night right before bed, and I will admit that The Girls Are Never Gone left me with some lingering unease as I tried to fall asleep. Thankfully I was tired enough that I eventually passed out.
The Girls Are Never Gone does an amazing job working with the “Is it Supernatural?” trope. If you don’t know what this trope is (it might be called something else) it’s basically when the book you’re reading is constantly toying with the idea that the events might be supernatural/paranormal or might eventually be scientifically/rationally explained away at the end. The reason this trope worked so well in this novel is because the main character, Dare, is a skeptic, but her love interest, Quinn, is 100% convinced the place is haunted. The third girl in the house, Holly, is on the fence and tends to play both sides. Giving the reader these three girls who are all experiencing the same terrorizing events but under very different lenses allows for us to kind of choose which girl to levitate towards (hehe) depending on how we feel about ghosts and hauntings personally while getting a more complete picture of what is happening.
As far as the writing goes, this book was written pretty solidly and the book has a good amount of rep. Dare is bisexual/pansexual (I don’t think she’s ever explicitly labelled) with Type 1 Diabetes. Quinn is Puerto Rican from her dad’s side and is sapphic (again I don’t know if she is explicitly labelled either). I was a bit unsure about how to feel about the diabetes rep because Dare is basically constantly checking her blood sugar levels throughout the book, so much so that I felt like it was beginning to affect my immersion in the story. However, I think this was the entire point, to expose readers to the reality of what it means to have to monitor your blood sugar almost constantly and the effect it can have on day to day life. I don’t have diabetes and my mom is Type 2, not Type 1, so definitely check out what OwnVoices readers have to say about it.
The pacing was very solid throughout the book and picked up quite a lot in the last 20% or so as the tension comes to a climax. The ending was slightly predictable (in my opinion), but there was one unexpected final twist that I thought was an amazing decision. Overall, I really enjoyed this experienced and I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out for more Sarah Glenn Marsh books and for more YA horror in general.
The Girls Are Never Gone released last week! Pick up your copy today!