Monday, December 29, 2014

Book Review: The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

The Good Girl
by Mary Kubica

Genre: Adult, contemporary, mystery
Published August 1st 2014 by Mira
Source: Publisher

Blurb (Goodreads):
"I've been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she has her dry cleaning done, where she works. I don't know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she's scared. But I will." 

Born to a prominent Chicago judge and his stifled socialite wife, Mia Dennett moves against the grain as a young inner-city art teacher. One night, Mia enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn't show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. With his smooth moves and modest wit, at first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia's life. 

Colin's job was to abduct Mia as part of a wild extortion plot and deliver her to his employers. But the plan takes an unexpected turn when Colin suddenly decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota, evading the police and his deadly superiors. Mia's mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them, but no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family's world to shatter. 

An addictively suspenseful and tautly written thriller, The Good Girl is a compulsive debut that reveals how even in the perfect family, nothing is as it seems…. 

My Thoughts:

One day Mia Dennett, a twenty-something art teacher from a prominent family, went missing. She don't just absent from her work, unnoticed, or run away with a lover. In fact, she had a sort-of boyfriend that wasn't missing. But when it's confirmed that she just went out of the blue, her mother Eve did everything to find her and the reason why she's gone.

I didn't new The Good Girl is an adult novel. I was completely surprised when I started reading the first chapter, on Eve's perspective, followed by Gabe the detective, and even Colin the kidnapper, that alternates in different times: before and after. When I checked this out on Goodreads, I just knew there's something interesting in this book that's why I wanted to read it. I guess I have to be aware of the genre as well. Either way, I resumed reading because 1) I don't want another DNF book, 2) it's a mystery and there's a detective--it's something I haven't read and willing to try, 3) I'm already curious.

So obviously, The Good Girl wasn't something I'd read but it caught my eye nonetheless. There were times that I got bored of the slow pace and just wanted to reveal the mystery right away, but thought that wouldn't be as exciting and surprising. At least I wanted to experience or feel something out of it. And I did feel something. I got pretty annoyed with Eve and the life she chosen to stay even if it bores her and make her feel a crappy person. Annoyed at judge James Dennett, Mia's father, for being greedy and crappy father and husband. Annoyed at Grace Dennett, for being the female version of her father. Annoyed at their seemed-perfect family but rotten in reality. Annoyed at what happen in between the ongoing mystery that I cannot mention due to spoiler. And on the ending, annoyed at Mia for being a stupid girl.

The characters were obviously flawed and not easy to like. But the mystery--the unknown--made me turn the pages like a madman. The reason for Mia's disappearance was laid in front of the reader's eyes so you'd know what happens on the after POVs, but the mystery was in the effect of everything that happen to Mia, because she clearly wasn't the same on the before POV. In the epilogue, Mia shares her own POV wherein the major plot twist, biggest shock, WHAT?! moment, and real mystery was revealed. I don't know if I want to cry or be frustrated first after closing the book. It's like when a child believes in Santa but realized it wasn't true when she got older. Like fairytales and prince charmings. All the things you knew and believed in were ruined when you learned the truth. I want to take it all back!

I was frustrated, yes, but I'd give credit to the twisting and turning brilliance of the author on her debut novel. The Good Girl is a mind-blowing and heart-wrenching book I don't know if I'd hate or love. But I do know that I fell in love with the single good thing that happen in this book. I would recommend this to mystery and thriller readers, adult or young adult. I realized if I didn't mind that much, others wouldn't too.

*Thanks to Cara and Harlequin UK for the review copy in exchange of an honest review!


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