Title: The Girl from the Sea
Author: Shalini Boland
Genres: Thriller, Mystery
Release Day: June 9th 2016
AMAZON US | AMAZON UK
ARC was kindly provided from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book was so frustrating! The synopsis says for fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, but really, that is not the case. At least for Gone Girl, I’m not familiar with The Girl on the Train.
To be honest it was this close to being the next Gone Girl (since everyone is so obsessed with comparing books and making readers compare them) but there’s a huge difference between the two – among others – Amy is such a well developed and complex character, Mia is a psycho for the sake of being a psycho. There’s no solid character here, this is a character driven book from a narrator who up to 85% has no clue who she is, what she does or why. She goes from one scene to another hoping anything will trigger her memory or give her and us any king of information to understand this person and maybe connect with her but ultimately she’s just a girl who has amnesia from a supposed accident, rich, who hates her boyfriend and does nothing all day.
The first half of the book was fast and engaging as the story navigates through this person’s unknown life and family. Little pieces of information that are not nearly enough to humanize her. Mia was found on the beach by a stranger with no memory of how she ended up there, who she is and what’s her name. At the hospital, her boyfriend identifies her for the police and she is free to go home and back to her unknown life since her memory loss was declared as an accident from a rowing trip. From there she tries to go about her day – doing nothing, since she is rich apparently but we’re never given a reason as to why she quit her job. I mean, I get it, if you suddenly inherit money you’d take a small break from teacher – in her case – but what is there to do all day other than walk around your huge mansion and row? We’re never given a piece of her life prior to her memory loss, something to make this woman an actual person with daily little issues and pieces of life.
Throughout the book she’s described as a cow and a bitch from others and I wholeheartedly agree, unfortunately. Spoiled little rich girl that is an utter psycho. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good psychotic female lead but give me something to work with. Show. Don’t tell!
This book could have used a few more chapters to at least tie the million subplots in the end, despite the rushed twisted ending. What happened between her and her family? What happened to her boyfriend? What happened to her company? What happened to her neighbor? How did she miraculously get her memory back 99%? How the fuck is the police so fucking incompetent?! So frustrating! A few more chapters to get a proper character and story arc and this would be a huge book, at least for me. Still it was unique and original but the ending was too rushed, like the book had to end right there, everything happened so fast it didn’t feel resolved. At all. Maybe that was the author’s intention because this will clearly be on my mind for a while.