August 29, 2016

The Girls in the Garden Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

The Girls in the Garden
Author: Lisa Jewell
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Publisher: Atria Books


Imagine that you live on a picturesque communal garden square, an oasis in urban London where your children run free, in and out of other people’s houses. You’ve known your neighbors for years and you trust them. Implicitly. You think your children are safe. But are they really?

On a midsummer night, as a festive neighborhood party is taking place, preteen Pip discovers her thirteen-year-old sister Grace lying unconscious and bloody in a hidden corner of a lush rose garden. What really happened to her? And who is responsible?

Dark secrets, a devastating mystery, and the games both children and adults play all swirl together in this gripping novel, packed with utterly believable characters and page-turning suspense.
The Girls in the Garden is an intense look inside what appears to be a perfectly safe community in London - until one girl is attacked inside the private park they all share. It claims to be a suspenseful novel with a mystery to solve - who harmed the young girl and what happened - and it did have these elements, just not to the degree I was hoping. In my opinion, it was more contemporary fiction with an in depth view at a specific tight knit neighborhood and the people who inhabit it. There was a sense of mystery surrounding the attack, but it didn't feel like the main concern of the book. 

The characters were well written and very realistic, including the secondary characters (the neighbors and their children). We get to know each of them pretty well, so they really come to life before our eyes and it makes the mystery all the harder to solve. I enjoyed getting to know every one in the story, watching them meet and interact with one another, and see it all play out. The story was written in the third person point of view with multiple narrators, so we don't get the chance to really connect with any one character in particular. That was another disappointment for me personally, as I love the first person writing style and all it brings to a novel. In my opinion, if the story had been done in the first person POV, it would've been a lot different and much more engrossing. The writing itself was well done with lots of vivid imagery and detailed descriptions that brought every aspect of the story to life - from the setting to the characters and the plot. Another issue I had was the pace - it was slow right from the very beginning and I had to really fight to keep interested. The speed picks up a bit further into the novel, but it still seemed too slow for a suspense/mystery. Overall, it was a good book with several great aspects - it just didn't add up to what I had hoped or expected from the description. Perfect for fans of contemporary fiction, general fiction, and readers who enjoy mysteries.

Lisa Jewell (born 19th July 1968, Middlesex, London) is a popular British author of chick lit fiction. Her books include Ralph's Party, Thirtynothing and most recently 31 Dream Street. She lives in Swiss Cottage, London with her husband Jascha and daughters Amelie Mae (born 2003) and Evie Scarlett (born 2007).

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Lisa Jewell’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, August 22nd: Mockingbird Hill Cottage 
Monday, August 22nd: Reading is My Superpower – spotlight
Tuesday, August 23rd: A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, August 24th: The Well Read Redhead
Thursday, August 25th: West Metro Mommy Reads
Friday, August 26th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Monday, August 29th: A Dream Within a Dream
Monday, August 29th: Buried Under Books
Tuesday, August 30th: Bewitched Bookworms
Wednesday, August 31st: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Tuesday, September 6th: The BookBub Blog – author guest post
Thursday, September 8th: Just Commonly
Monday, September 12th: All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
Tuesday, September 13th: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, September 15th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Tuesday, September 20th: Why Girls Are Weird
Thursday, September 22nd: Book Chatter
Wednesday, September 28th: Books a la Mode

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