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The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel
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The Roanoke Girls (2017)

by Amy Engel

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1759567,867 (3.44)9

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Showing 1-5 of 96 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The Roanoke Girls capture you from the first page and dosent let you go til the end. The story alternates between the past and the present. As messed up as the Roanoke's are as a family you cant turn away! you have to finish reading til you get to the ending, you might be surprised by it. I felt like a teenager again locked in my room reading Flowers in the Attic by V.C.Andrews. ( )
  WKinsey | Mar 27, 2017 |
4.5 stars

Fifteen year old Lane Roanoke moves to Kansas to live with her grandparents and cousin after her mother commits suicide. Through the course of one summer, she learns the deep and sordid family history and why Roanoke girls either die or flee from the family estate. Eleven years later, Lane receives news that her cousin Allegra has gone missing and she returns back to Kansas to help find her.

This book deals with some dark subject matter so if you are in the mood for something light and uplifting to read, stay away. I had a fairly good idea where this book was going to go early on but I still felt compelled to read and find out how it would all end. Despite Lane being an unlikable character at times, I just felt this need to make sure she was going to end up okay. I couldn't put this book down which given the disturbing story line, makes me feel strange.

The timeline switches back and forth from the summer Lane came to live with her grandparents and present time when Allegra has gone missing. Authors seem to be using this technique often, but in this case it really seems to work well. I also liked how each of the stories of the Roanoke girls were revealed during the course of the book.

Would recommend to anyone that likes a different and unusual book and can handle dark subject matter.

I received a free copy of this book from Read it Forward and Crown Publishing and that is my honest review. ( )
  fastforward | Mar 24, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Oh boy, I see that most people liked this book, even loved it and gave it 5 stars. It didn't work for me at all. I was expecting an interesting, good suspense novel. I rarely read murder mysteries so I thought I'd give this one a shot. I won't summarize the story as it's been done in other reviews.

Here's my take in a nutshell.

Reasons I "liked" this book:

Title was intriguing
Book cover was intriguing
Blurb about it was intriguing
Different points of view telling story

Reasons I didn't like this book:

Characters were not developed well and were just generally unlikable.
Dialogue was unbelievable as in unrealistic
Too many gratuitous sex scenes
Too many cliches
Predicable plot
Over all, trashy

I received an advance review copy of The Roanoke Girls through Library-thing.

That's it, I'm done. I'm glad it's over. ( )
  homeschoolmimzi | Mar 24, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Thanks to Crown Publishing, via LibraryThing, for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

This is Amy Engel's first novel for adults. She is also the author of a young adult series. I don't want to put spoilers in my review so this will be focused on my feelings. Ms. Engel picked a disturbing subject which is the heart-breaking focus of this entire adult novel. I didn't like any of the characters but I was interested enough to keep reading in order to find out what happens to the protagonist, Lane. I also wanted to have the novel's mystery solved and see just punishment for the most twisted member of this dysfunctional family.

The chapters alternate between "Then" and "Now." Mostly it's Lane's viewpoint during both times but the author did a nice job of revealing dark secrets of all the family members. I got tired of reading about how hot the summer was, how much sweating everyone did, and how their clothes stuck to their bodies. The setting was in Kansas but the heat was described as though they were living in the tropics!! ( )
  pegmcdaniel | Mar 22, 2017 |
Lane Roanoke is just a teenager when her mother commits suicide, and Lane is sent to live with her grandparents in Kansas. While Lane lived a sad life with her depressed, volatile mother, her wealthy grandparents represent a chance for a new start - and Lane can meet her cousin, Allegra, who is close to her age. But when Lane arrives in Kansas, while she quickly befriends Allegra and is amazed by the kindness of her grandfather, she also realizes not everything is as it seems.

Eleven years later, after Lane has fled the farm (and left her family there behind), Lane receives a call from her grandfather: Allegra is missing. Can she please come home? Reluctantly Lane returns to a place she vowed she'd never see again to search for her cousin, whom she has always felt bad about leaving behind. But returning only brings up bad memories, and Lane quickly worries that something terrible has happened to Allegra. Can Lane face her fears and figure out what happened to her cousin?

This book, oh this book. Wow. This is quite the novel! The story alternates between the present-day and that fateful summer (from Lane's point of view), with a few snippets from earlier generations of the other Roanoke girls thrown in. It's slightly confusing at first (you'll need easy access to the family tree at the beginning of the book), but quickly pulls you in and never lets you go. I was immediately captivated by this novel and read it in less than 24 hours. It's not some "feel good" novel, but it's amazingly well-written and just spellbinding. It starts off with a bombshell and then hooks you from there with the dark story of the twisted Roanoke family.

There is something completely alluring about how messed up and sick the Roanokes are. I couldn't turn away from them. The book is great because you become quickly intrigued and invested in the story of what happened to Allegra, but there's also a bit of suspense to the "then" storyline as Lane finds out something terrible about her family. Engel is remarkably talented because we know the secret already, and Lane knows it in the present-day portion of the book, but it's still enthralling watching it unravel as she's a teen. There's also just a pure fascination and horror at this family. There are also periodic shockers throughout the entire novel and several "wow" and "didn't see that coming" moments for me. The whole thing is extremely well-done.

I was extremely expressed by Engel's characters. For instance, Lane is a broken and damaged person who cannot trust or love. As such, she is frustrating with her guarded heart but still sympathetic. She drove me crazy, but I loved her. Engel did an excellent job with all of these characters. Even those that seemed (or were) absolutely awful; they all seemed so real. She also did a great job at portraying small towns and their tangled web of secrets. The broken Kansas town where the Roanokes lived was expertly done, with all of its bit characters and the descriptions of its streets and happenings.

Overall, I was incredibly impressed with this book. Its entire plot was creepy and twisted, and it was compulsively readable, with plenty of shocking moments. Yet it also had empathetic, well-written characters. It was an amazing dark look at the power of childhood, your parents, and your past. It's a mean and twisted novel and impeccably written, because you feel such a range of emotions for its characters. Definitely recommend.

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher and Netgalley (thank you!) in return for an unbiased review; it is available everywhere as of 03/07/2017. ( )
  justacatandabook | Mar 17, 2017 |
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Epigraph
Look at this tangle of thorns. - Vladimir Nabokov
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For Brian, you know why
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The first time I saw Roanoke was a dream.
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