Hello bookworms! Today I have a review of The Girls I've Been by Tess Sharpe. I would like to thank Penguin Teen Canada for giving me an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review! The Girls I've Been comes out January 26th!
Nora's been a lot of girls, being the daughter of a con artist, she's perfected the skill of creating identities and conning criminal men. But when her mom falls for the mark, Nora escapes. For five years, Nora has been living a normal life, but now she has some problems. Her best friend/ex Wes, has just found out she's dating their other mutual friend, Iris. Things are awkward when all three of them have to deposit fundraiser money but things take a drastic turn when two men start to rob the bank. But what these robbers don't know is who they really have taken hostage. (Check out this link for content warnings)
What grabbed my attention immediately when I read the synopsis of this book was how unique it was! The majority of the book we closely follow the events of the bank robbery, but we also see into Nora's past with her con artist mother. I felt that the switch between these perspectives was very well balanced with perfect transitions and breaks in the story. We also had a variety formats to the writing, going between Nora's first person perspective of both the past and present, as well as some transcripts of phone calls and radio recordings. I flew through this book! It has such a binge worthy quality to it. The writing flowed very well and was consistent throughout the book. One aspect that I enjoyed the most was the humour in the writing and in Nora's character. While there was action and tense situations on every page, there was also humour to balance it out. One of my favourite lines from the book was "We're all going to die because I waited for the bacon donuts." At many points I was smiling while reading, but on the other hand the sombre topics that weren't diminished in any way by this. I really enjoyed reading about the characters in this book. My favourite character would have to be Nora, but Iris is a close second. The romance between the two is very sweet and I was rooting for them from the very beginning. I loved how different they were and how well they knew each other and how to comfort each other. I would've liked for a more definitive ending but it still was satisfying. I also wished that we got to know certain characters more. Nora's relationship with her sister Lee was also something I enjoyed reading about. A strong sibling bond is something I love to see in young adult books,
I definitely recommend this to anyone looking for an exciting, fast paced queer thriller! I gave this book 4/5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.
That's all for my review of The Girls I've Been! I hope you enjoyed it! In honour of one of my favourite quotes from the book, what is your favourite type of donut? Let me know in the comments below!