Book Reviews

Book Review: The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

I know how betrayal and disillusionment feel, when someone who could give you the world refuses even a tiny piece of it.

It makes me sad that I can’t really hold audiobooks and eBooks in front of my face for reviews like I can with regular books.

Screen Shot 2017-07-14 at 10.05.46 PMThe Good Girl by Mary Kubica follows the people affected when a young woman, Mia, is kidnapped. It’s a multi-perspective novel, and each person has a different idea of what has happened. When Mia turns up after several months of being gone, she can’t remember a thing, and it’s up to her mother, a detective, and her shrink to help her remember. Her mother Eve, is a posh but somewhat reserved woman, and she fears the worst – that Mia will never be herself again. Detective Grant Hoffman is trying his damn best to find Mia – alive. And after she returns, help her remember. The third perspective is that of Colin Thatcher, the kidnapper himself.

This book is supposed to be a suspenseful mystery, maybe even a psychological thriller. Unfortunately, there’s nothing really thrilling or suspenseful about this novel. The mystery is bland, the characters are mostly flat, and the motivations driving all of them are pretty one dimensional and uninspired. I was hoping for a mediocre summer read, like I read every year, but what I got was a boring summer read.

While I did ultimately want to know what happened, 75% of the book was pretty much negligible information. I didn’t care for any of the four main characters, didn’t care for the multiple perspectives because they all had similar voices , didn’t care about the double twist at the end because it just was all so boring. Kubica writes as though the reader is hanging on every word with anticipation, but none of that is earned.

Mia doesn’t have a voice, so we only get perspectives of her from the other characters. They say she is independent, marches to the beat of her own drum, was a little bit of a trouble maker, and never became the uptight lawyer (like her sister, like him) that her father wanted her to be. But whenever they describe interactions with her before the kidnapping, she’s meek. And afterwards, she doesn’t know what the hell her own name is. So we see very little of this so-called bright personality.

Eve is so riddled with guilt, she can barely sleep. Understandable, except she doesn’t really have anything to be guilty over except for not being an ideal mother. James, her husband, is a complete and almost unbelievable jackass. Detective Hoffman does his best to find Mia, and emotionally support Eve in the meantime. And Colin is just a psychopath. He’s almost meant to be painted as a misunderstood anti-hero. He has a sob-story history that feels so generic that I couldn’t be moved to care about him. And altogether, these characters make a really flat group of folks.

Basically, for a thriller/mystery, this was a damn boring Gone Girl wannabe. It feels like even less entertaining than mass market mysteries because I’ve read plenty of those that were just fine. This wasn’t. ⭐️💫/5 goes to this one. The extra half-star is for Detective Hoffman, who at least had some kind of personality and was written like he maybe could realistically exist as a human being.

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