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The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

The Roanoke Girls (2017)

by Amy Engel

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28514439,557 (3.54)23

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A twisted tale of lies and deception that unfolds at the Roanoke's family home. Lane Roanoke leaves Los Angeles and returns back to Kansas after she learns that her cousin, Allegra, has gone missing. Author Amy Engel slowly reveals the secrets that have been kept in the old house by alternating between Lane's stories of "then" when she spent her only summer at the Roanoke family home and "now" as she's drawn home along with chilling interludes of the other Roanoke girls who once inhabited the house. The reader discovers just what makes the Roanoke girls special and why they don't seem to last long. The Roanoke is equal parts disturbing and intriguing. Readers of Gillian Flynn and Ruth Ware will enjoy this book. ( )
  sonyaskibicki | Jun 22, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
One word comes to mind when I think about this book: chilling. I went into this book knowing very little about it. I skimmed the summary and thought it sounded good so I requested it from the Early Review batch.

Amy Engel is a phenomenal author. I loved the writing style, the character building, the picture she painted, everything. I felt like I was there with Lane in this small Kansas town. I felt like I knew the characters; the good, the bad, and the ugly. I loved how it unfolded chapter by chapter, jumping through time to reveal a different part of the story. Her manipulation of time was one of my favorite parts of how the story of was told. For me it was the writing that saved this book. It deals with a dark topic, no doubt about that, and typically I do not enjoy reading these types of stories. But I wanted to keep reading the Roanoke Girls. I wanted to get lost in the words and descriptions, and find out everything that happened.

That being said, this book is not for everyone. I found it upsetting at times, and considered not finishing it. Had I not been reviewing it, I may have decided to put it down after the first few chapters. As many other reviews have mentioned, the story revolves around incest. Readers that find this topic upsetting should probably skip this book, as Engel does not shy away from physical and emotional descriptions. I would not judge anyone for deciding that they do not want to journey through the world presented here. ( )
  MelTorq | Jun 21, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This books is well written, has interesting characters, and does an excellent job of creating a time and place. I just didn't like it. The Roanoke family is wealthy. They are the biggest thing, by far, in the small Kansas town where they live. Generations of Roanoke girls, however, either run away or die at a young age. Something is wrong at Roanoke. I think it is what that something is that kept me from liking this novel. It reminded me in some ways of the old Flowers in the Attic series. Like that series, I think this book will be popular with a lot of younger readers. I fear that the sex in the book may be a bit too graphic for it to be included in most high school libraries. ( )
  DrApple | Jun 20, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book needs to have a trigger warning. I am a survivor of incest and had no idea what the book was about but was a bit distressed when I began to figure out the plot. Although I am able to handle this material after many years of therapy, there may be some who are not, and should have the option to not read.

Having said all that, the book itself was pretty well written. Lane Roanoke comes across as a strong woman with a lot of broken parts, and I found myself rooting for her. I would have liked a few of the other girls' plotlines fleshed out a bit, but we see the damage Yates Roanoke has done to all these girls culminated in Allegra. One thing I do have to compliment is the description of the summer heat -- I could literally feel myself suffering along with Lane whether it was younger Lane or contemporary Lane.

Good read if you are of the mind to tolerate this type of material. ( )
  beachmama43 | Jun 19, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
When I write a review, I provide an overview of the book, give examples of what I liked, what I thought the author could do differently and which type of reader the book would appeal to. Sometimes, this is a very easy thing to do and other times, it can be extremely difficult. I am not an author - I have never tried to write a book. I can only empathize will the hard work that goes into the creation and publication of a book.

With that being said, this is very hard for me - this is one of the worst books I have ever read. In fact, I have no idea why any publisher would use their limited resources to produce it. The plot covers the only remaining taboo in today's modern society, incest. The author wrote one dimensional characters with unrealistic dialogue and even more unrealistic actions. The mystery didn't exist because anyone who read 1 suspense novel in their life could figure out the killer was and why they committed it. Each of these negatives alone doesn't make a bad book, it is all of these things in a 300 page book that makes it shreddable.

Some people find negative reviews tempting because they want to see what all the fuss is about. In this case, please don't. Don't support this type of poor writing, non-existent editing or the for-shock-value-only topic. Your time is more valuable and you certainly have better uses for a library hold (because no one should ever pay for this book.)

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review. ( )
  mfbarry | Jun 16, 2017 |
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Look at this tangle of thorns. - Vladimir Nabokov
For Brian, you know why
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The first time I saw Roanoke was a dream.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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