The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring
Publication Date: September 24, 2019
Summary from NetGalley:
A haunted Argentinian mansion.
A family curse.
A twist you’ll never see coming.
Welcome to Vaccaro School.
Simmering in Patagonian myth, The Tenth Girl is a gothic psychological thriller with a haunting twist.
At the very southern tip of South America looms an isolated finishing school. Legend has it that the land will curse those who settle there. But for Mavi—a bold Buenos Aires native fleeing the military regime that took her mother—it offers an escape to a new life as a young teacher to Argentina’s elite girls.
Mavi tries to embrace the strangeness of the imposing house—despite warnings not to roam at night, threats from an enigmatic young man, and rumors of mysterious Others. But one of Mavi’s ten students is missing, and when students and teachers alike begin to behave as if possessed, the forces haunting this unholy cliff will no longer be ignored… and one of these spirits holds a secret that could unravel Mavi’s existence.
ARC provided by MacMillan Children’s Publishing via NetGalley for an honest review.
I debated with myself for a long time about whether or not to do a full review of this book. Mostly because I just thought it was ok, and I don’t like to write reviews that might sound negative. So, I want to be upfront and say that this wasn’t a bad book, it just wasn’t the book for me. I can tell from other reviews I looked at that many people love the book, which is great. I can totally see why people would love it, just not me. And so I decided to write the review so that other people can hear from those of us that just thought it was ok and why so that they could make the decision for themselves as to whether or not they want to read it.
There were a couple of things I really liked about the book. The descriptive writing was amazing. It really helped to create the atmosphere of this creepy isolated school. It really gave it that gothic feel, and made it easier to relate to the character’s feelings about the place. The characters are pretty well developed, especially the two narrators and they were both for the most part likable. Mavi is pretty tough and can take quite a bit, but I would have liked her to stick up for herself a bit more. Angel was easier to like, but I was always unsure about Angel’s role in the big picture.
I also liked how the author wove the Patagonia tribe and their beliefs and myths into the story. The curse on the house was awesome and I totally got into how this curse was affecting everyone’s actions and emotions.
My main issue with the book is how slowly things developed. It was painful, and I put the book aside at least twice to read something else for awhile. This may have played into why I just wasn’t able to get into the story or saw what was really happening. I almost DNF’d the book, but I kept looking at those reviews where everyone was raving about how good it was and the big reveal was going to shock me, so I persevered.
Let’s talk about that big twist. While I was shocked by it, it wasn’t in a good way. I just didn’t get it. Without giving any thing away, I just didn’t get why the story went that way? In hind sight I could see that there were hints along the way, including that awesome cover, but I certainly didn’t pick up on them. And that ending was just flat out bizarre.
I hope I haven’t sounded too negative. I think if I had read the book during a time period when I had more time to sit and read for longer periods, I might have felt better about it. It is hard to say. Anyways, my advice to you is this. Look at both the reviews that go on about how great the book is and then some of the others as well. That way you will be fully informed.