The Broken Girls Review
Updated: Oct 13
After reading The Sun Down Motel, this one falls a little flat in comparison.
Vermont, 1950. There's a place for the girls whom no one wants--the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It's called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it's located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming--until one of them mysteriously disappears. . . .
Vermont, 2014. As much as she's tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister's death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister's boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can't shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.
When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past--and a voice that won't be silenced. . . .
After reading The Sun Down Motel, this one falls a little flat in comparison. I just expected more. The Broken Girls was picked to be my #EnchantedReadsBookClub pick for May. Even though I didn’t enjoy this as much as I did with The Sun Down Motel, it was fun being able to discuss this one as a group!
Even though I didn’t enjoy this as much as I did with The Sun Down Motel, it was fun being able to discuss this one as a group!
The premise is a bit complicated as we follow Fiona, a journalist, who’s obsessed with her sister’s murder mainly because even though it was marked solved the details didn’t make sense to her. Fiona discovers that where her sister’s body was found, a closed boarding school for girls is being restored. So Fiona decides to investigate the restoration in hopes to gain some closure. While we also get to see four girls who are roommates attending that same school back in the 50s. We get to learn what got them there, what they experienced there, and seeing one of them disappear.
I did enjoy the storyline we follow of the group of girls at an isolated boarding school. I thought learning each of their stories was very touching. There was also a subtle hint of historical fiction in this one that I didn't expect but really enjoyed seeing! I think that was my favorite part of this book.
There was also a subtle hint of historical fiction in this one that I didn't expect but really enjoyed seeing!
As characters go, I usually enjoy one of the characters more than the others. But, this time I didn’t think any of them truly stood out from one another. They all helped with the story, I can’t imagine any of them not being there. I would have liked to see more of the girls’ perspectives at the boarding school especially the one who disappeared. I felt there were still some unanswered questions for her. I would have also just preferred being able to see her point of view of what had happened in regards to her disappearance.
I would have liked to see more of the girls’ perspectives at the boarding school...
It was interesting seeing this dual timeline. Bouncing between all the girls and learning their stories. The pace of this was also slower than I’m used to. I struggled at times to get through it. But that could be from this not going as I had expected. But I did enjoy this to an extent.
As I mentioned, The Broken Girls was picked to be my #EnchantedReadsBookClub pick for May. It won the vote for Paranormal, after The Sun Down Motel which was my April book pick for Horror. And I kind of had the same issue I had with The Sun Down Motel as I do for The Broken Girls. Which is that I personally didn’t think it fit the genre it was picked for. This is ironic to me actually as I initially thought this would be the perfect fit for Paranormal.
If you’re unfamiliar with how I run my book club, I let the community decide what we read based on the options I provide. At the end of each month, I post rounds of voting on my Instagram story for the next month’s pick, starting with the genre. I give four options and whichever genre wins, I then post another vote for the book pick, with four books that fit within that genre. Whichever book wins becomes the next book pick. And I never do the same genre in a row. You can find more information on my book club page here.
Which is no one’s fault really, I hadn’t read this before, The Broken Girls is listed under Paranormal for its genres. I felt The Sun Down Motel had a very strong Paranormal vibe, so I assumed this would be the same. But compared to The Sun Down Motel, this has a much lower paranormal atmosphere. It’s more of a ghost story, the idea of the ghost being there more than we actually see the ghosts. And that leads me to my major disappointment with this one.
It’s more of a ghost story, the idea of the ghost being there more than we actually see the ghosts.
The paranormal vibe was completely unnecessary. It could have just not been there and the story wouldn’t have suffered. The story would have played out exactly the same way. Have you seen The Big Bang Theory episode where Amy ruins the Indiana Jones movie for the guys by saying Indiana Jones had no role in the outcome of the story, that if he weren’t there at all it would have still ended the same? That’s how I feel about this book. For me, I would have preferred a much more involved ghost. Sorry, not sorry.
Overall, I think if you enjoy Mysteries with a hint of Historical Fiction and a small dash of Paranormal, I suggest trying this one out! This would be a great book to pick up if you scare easily or are just getting into paranormal!