Sunday, 16 September 2018

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel + #Giveaway


The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel
First published in America by Crown Publishers in March 2017.

My 2010s read for my 2018-19 Decade Challenge

How I got this book:
Received from my sister

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Where to buy this book:

The Book Depository
Wordery
Waterstones
Amazon US / Amazon UK

EVERYONE WANTS TO BE A ROANOKE GIRL. BUT YOU WON'T WHEN YOU KNOW THE TRUTH.

The girls of the Roanoke family - beautiful, rich, mysterious - seem to have it all. But there's a dark truth about them that's never spoken. Either the girls run away... or they die.

Lane is one of the lucky ones. When she was fifteen, over one long, hot summer at her grandparents' estate in rural Kansas, she found out what it really means to be a Roanoke girl. Lane ran, far and fast. Until eleven years later, when her cousin Allegra goes missing - and Lane has no choice but to go back.

She is a Roanoke girl. 
Is she strong enough to escape a second time?

I really liked Lane as the narrator of The Roanoke Girls. She is often rude and completely lacking in empathy, but I could always understand why she behaved as she did and her attitude made a refreshing change from the more usual 'nice' or 'vulnerable' heroines. Lane's life and choices are determined by the bizarre family situation from which her mother escaped. As the novel progresses we learn more about the ramifications of her ancestry and are given glimpses of the women and girls before her who were consumed by Roanoke. These little vignettes are interesting diversions and I would have appreciated more depth and detail in these chapters.

I was concerned by Engel's writing style. The underlying plot is certainly adult in nature, but Lane and her cousin Allegra read as Young Adult characters and the overall style is young adult too. For me, this contrast didn't sit well and I frequently felt uncomfortable. I also expected a lot more in the way of tension and suspense. The secret of Roanoke is given away surprisingly early so, while the whole book is very readable and I zoomed through it almost without putting it down at all, this was more to discover Lane's ultimate decision rather than because I was gripped by the central mystery.

The Roanoke Girls seemed to be on everyone's reading shelf last year so I waited a while before picking it up myself and I am glad I did so. The novel is a good read in a darkly entertaining way, but I can't say that it warrants all the hype I remember.

And now it's time for the Giveaway!


The prize is my (very carefully read) Signed Hardback edition of The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel. Amy Engel's signature is on a Hodder and Stoughton bookplate on the title page
Open internationally until midnight (UK time) on the 30th September 2018.

Entry is by way of the Gleam widget below. This giveaway is entirely my own and is not affiliated with either the author or the publisher.
(GDPR: Gleam will ask for your email address so that I am able to contact the winner. I will then need the winner's postal address in order to send out the book.)

Signed HB The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel / Literary Flits giveaway


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Amy Engel / Thrillers / Books from America

22 comments:

  1. Truly adult plots with YA characters and writing definitely does sound...off. Still, you have me intrigued.

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  2. While this isn't my usual type of read it does sound like a really interesting book.

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  3. I've been wanting to read this one for a while - shocking right?? But even so, I was super excited to see you had it for your giveaway - does it already count for me if I already follow you here, on Twitter, etc?

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    1. I'd seen this on several other blogs so waited for the hype to fade a bit before reading!

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  4. This sounds interesting. I have it on a wishlist, but haven't moved to grab it yet.

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    1. I'm not sure I'd recommend it outright. There's good points, but negatives too

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  5. Sometimes it's nice to have an unlikeable or different character, and it's cool that you were always able to understand why she acted the way she did. Having it unjustified could put off readers but it's nice to know that isn't the case!

    My recent post: https://oliviascatastrophe.com/2018/09/top-10-smart-genius-book-characters/

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    1. The depiction of Lane is definitely one of The Roanoke Girls' plus points!

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  6. I loved this book. I liked it so much more than I thought I would and actually avoided it when it first came out. I am sorry that you didn't like it a bit more but I do understand.

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    1. I could see good points, but overall not really one for me

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  7. Sounds interesting, but yeah... sometimes tone and content matches can be jarring. I'm so glad someone else tries to leave off reading hyped books in order to give them a fair shot!

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    1. I try to stay away from hyped books generally, but the ones I do pick up have to be once most of the excitement has faded in order to give them a fair chance - I think anyway!

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  8. I passed on this book - too many triggers. Thanks Stephanie! ❤️❤️

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  9. Nearly finished my current read and this sounds like my kind of book

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  10. Congratulations to Mary K, winner of The Roanoke Girls signed HB!

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    1. Thanks so much, Stephanie. I got the book today. :)

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