7.06.2015

THOSE GIRLS by Chevy Stevens


THOSE GIRLS

by Chevy Stevens

to be released July 7, 2015 from St. Martin's Press

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Chevy Stevens is back with her most powerful, emotional thriller yet— a story of survival…and revenge. 
Life has never been easy for the three Campbell sisters. Jess, Courtney, and Dani live on a remote ranch in Western Canada where they work hard and try to stay out of the way of their father’s fists. One night, a fight gets out of hand and the sisters are forced to go on the run, only to get caught in an even worse nightmare when their truck breaks down in a small town. Events spiral out of control and a chance encounter with the wrong people leaves them in a horrific and desperate situation. They are left with no choice but to change their names and create new lives. 
Eighteen years later, they are still trying to forget what happened that summer when one of the sisters goes missing and they are pulled back into their past. 
This time there’s nowhere left to run. 
As much of a thriller as it is a deep exploration of the bonds among sisters, THOSE GIRLS is an unforgettable portrait of desperation, loyalty, and evil.

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Thanks to St. Martin's for the review copy!

I know, I'm kind of making myself look like a Chevy Stevens mega-fan over here, having read everything she's put out and chomping at the bit for this latest title . . .

THOSE GIRLS is about a group of sisters who are on the run from their abusive father, looking to start over in a new place. On the way to their dream city, however, their truck breaks down, and a pair of innocent-looking truckers who offer help turn out to be quite unhelpful. The first third of the novel tells this relentlessly gripping section of the story. From there, we are brought into the present, when the sisters are now older, some with children. When one of the sisters disappears, the past catches up with them and they are sent on a wild chase.

It's clear here that Stevens has the suspense thing down. THOSE GIRLS will make you a nail-biter if you weren't one before. Half of my fingers hurt from biting my nails down to the quicks. This novel is suspenseful, and its subtle magic affected me, if you couldn't tell by the fact that i read this in a solid four-hour chunk (the only break for dinner, because a dude's gotta eat).

My list of issues was short but strong, namely the teenage protagonist that emerges halfway through the novel. Her name is Skylar, and she's a flaming idiot. I'm not going to go into plot details, for those of you who are waiting to read, but Skylar makes one less-than-smart choice after another and winds up in an awful situation. As each awful development occurred, I found myself more and more disappointed in her. I don't think it can be attributed solely to the fact that she's a teenager (and I hope that's not what Stevens is implying).

Stevens's brisk writing style really contributes to the suspense. She doesn't waste time and meander around the plot--she goes in with a knife, and it's really effective.

Anyway. It may not be perfect, but THOSE GIRLS is Stevens's most addictive page-turner yet. From the immediate action to the bittersweet final scenes, you'd better allot a decent chunk of time to get lost in this novel, because once you start, you won't want to stop.

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