A powerful novel, Bartlett will astound readers with The Good Girls, a story about assault and girls coming together to take their abuser down.
The Good Girls follows the death and disappearance of Emma Baine’s. The power behind this story comes from the narrative and structure. The story breaks apart with police interviews before moving into the storytelling. This is where the reader gets to know the little town and the girls.
It puts the story in perspective, and it rises to the occasion of the #MeToo movement, highlighting the injustice women continue to face. The girls are as different as they come, and they are treated differently in the town. Bartlett highlights how their gender is used against them by teachers, classmates, and law enforcement. It is powerful to see it playout for the reader.
Bartlett has done something incredible with The Good Girls, creating this captivating narrative about the sexism and objectification girls face daily. In the police interviews, in subtle changes in body language, and the general treatment of the story, Bartlett shows the reader the difficulties women face when reporting an assault. Portrayed compellingly and realistically, the direction the story takes to unravel the mystery surrounding Emma’s last days.
The Good Girls never loses its momentum and pacing, building up the mystery as the reader tries to solve the death of Lizzy alongside Emma and the disappearance. There are many red herrings, and Bartlett does not give anything away until the end.
Bartlett has this ability to use language and structure to her advantage. Bartlett puts so much behind subtle gestures and langue, showcasing those dynamics between those in power and the young girls. By going back and forth from police interviews, news articles, blog posts, diary entries, and third-person storytelling, Bartlett creates a mystery.
More importantly, it flows. Fluidity is critical here because there are many elements. Not only are all the above used to build the story, but the story also switches between characters. There is a great scope to the storytelling, and it gives a voice to women everywhere. That makes this story so compelling, how it relates to readers, and highlights the most important fact: no one ever asks to be assaulted.
There is so much I want to say about The Good Girls, and yet I do not think I will ever be able to do it justice. The Good Girls is a powerful novel, one that needs to be read. Cleverly written and structured, giving power and a voice to anyone who needs the courage.
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|Pub Date: December 1, 2020||Page Count: 368pp||Age Range: 13 & Over|
|ISBN: 978-0-0629-4310-1||Publisher: HarperTeen||List Price: $17.99|