*Post contains affiliated links. Book acquired through NetGalley*
I have been DYING to talk about this book. I read it through NetGalley months ago and no one else had read it yet. But, it releases today! *Throws confetti* Check it out and let's discuss!
Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.
The request seems odd, even intrusive—and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.
Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant—and it does.
After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space—and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home's previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before.
The Girl Before creeped me out in the best way possible. Just the description of the house gives an eerie, unsettling feel that you know this is about to be good. Side note: I was traumatized by a short story in Omni Magazine in the 1980s about a "Smart House" that kills its owner when it finds out he's moving. So, the idea of the house being in control already made me leery. But, it's not the house that you have to worry about.
Much of the hype around this book compares it to The Girl On The Train and Gone Girl. I don't think those comparisons do it justice. I liked The Girl On The Train, but I saw how it was going to end about halfway through (I even tortured a friend with texts to document my suspicions). And Gone Girl...let's just say it wasn't for me. I prefer some redeemable qualities in my characters and I just wanted to throat punch everyone in that book.
I didn't figure out the twists of The Girl Before which made for a nice ride. Plus, some of the characters are actually likable, sadly unreliable, but likable. Once things stated to unravel I snuggled deeper into the plot and was pleasantly surprised by how it all came together.
It's told in a dual timeline with alternating point-of-view. Without giving spoilers, I will just say that I don't think a blank page has ever given me chills before!
I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys thrillers/suspense. In fact, I did just that the day I finished it! I immediately told a friend, "You have to read this book! It doesn't come out for three more months, but three months from now you have to read this book!"
Like I said, I've been waiting and waiting to discuss this book. So, if you've read it or after you read it, I'd LOVE to hear what you thought.