Book Review: The Girl Before (JP Delaney) @RandomHouseCA


Emma, dealing with a traumatic break in, is looking for a fresh start. Jane, after a stillbirth, needs a place to start over. Both women find themselves at One Folgate Street, a house that is an architectural masterpiece and a minimalist’s dream. Years apart, each woman applies to be a tenant and each woman develop their own relationship with the man behind the design, Edward Monkford. When Jane finds out that years earlier, the previous tenant, Emma, died in the home, she begins investigating the death. Untangling a web of lies, she follows down a similar path and soon finds herself in the same danger as the girl before.

 The Girl Before, by JP Delaney (a pseudonym), is a book that has been getting consistent amounts of buzz in the book blogging world; I was dying to read this one!

I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy and I have to say, I have some seriously mixed feelings about this book.  I found myself feeling equal parts mesmerized and strange while I was reading.

 What I Liked:

The Narration: the novel is narrated with alternating viewpoints from tenants at One Folgate Street: Jane, the present tenant and from Emma, the woman who lived there previously. This technique kept me glued to this book.   The segmented chapters are short and sweet and use the right amount of hook to carry the story along. As the women’s experiences begin to mirror each other, things become creepy really quickly.

Throwback to Gothic Literature: Fun Fact. I have always been a fan of classic gothic fiction and this novel certainly resonates with this genre.     From the massive, sterile house to our female protagonists threatened by a powerful, tyrannical male, this one had moments where it read like Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho. I really liked how this one gave a modern twist on the gothic novel and combined it with the domestic thriller genre that has swept 2016 by storm.

What I Didn’t Like:

Kind of gave me a Fifty Shades of Grey vibe: Edward Monkford was Christian Grey to me. The novel had moments where sexual domination took the lead and the actual story took the backburner. I have a very hard time taking a book seriously when the character, which is supposed to be the antagonist, is consistently referred to as “Daddy”.   I feel like I would have enjoyed the book much more if this part of the book had taken on a smaller role.

Regardless of my feelings about that portion of the book, I cannot deny that this one kept me up, late into the night, to finish. I was consumed by the plot and need to find out what happened.   It already has the movie rights sold so I will be intrigued to see how this will play out on the big screen.

If you are a fan of a dark, twisting thriller, then I would recommend this book. However, if you hated, like really HATED, the idea of Fifty Shades of Grey, then chances are, you will not appreciate this one either!   I gave this one 4/5 stars on Goodreads.

 Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada and the author, JP Delaney, for a copy of this one!

35 thoughts on “Book Review: The Girl Before (JP Delaney) @RandomHouseCA

  1. Great review! I have this one coming up soon and am interested in seeing what all the hype is about. Btw, I guess I’m learning that clicking follow and the WordPress thingy isn’t the same as officially following a blog?! 🙄🤔 Anyway, fixed it and should be officially subscribed now- sorry dear! 😘😘

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Agh. I had no idea had all the sex stuff in it! I was really looking forward to this but now I’m a bit worried. I don’t care about sex in books I just prefer to be told about them beforehand so I don’t think the books going to be one with and then turns out to be another. I have this on my Kindle from Netgalley so at least I didn’t pay for it haha!

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      1. Thank you, I will. Had a little scroll through my Goodreads friends reviews and only saw one who hated it because of its 50 Shades stuff… I might get through it, like I said, I’m alright with sex in books but I don’t really like the whole”daddy” thing.

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  3. Agree about the Daddy stuff, I felt like that came out of left field and had be rolling my eyes. Many parts had me rolling my eyes actually but then I also read it quickly so it’s got that something that keeps you reading for sure

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    1. I know! It was the weirdest thing! I wanted to stop reading because I was annoyed but I needed to know! Can’t deny he writes an addicting book! I am curious to see how they’ll go with the movie- it can really swing two ways…

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  4. Ha, I was warned about the 50 Shades vibe, and I definitely was like, “Eh, not for me.” There’s too many great thrillers that are already releasing in January that I’ll spend my time on!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This was a great review! I’ve been seeing this book pop up everywhere and the mystery aspect of this story really reels me in 🙂


  6. Sigh…I entered a Goodreads giveaway for this one since i’m realllllllly trying my hardest not to hit that request button on Netgalley lol. Didn’t get it though so I will most likely be buying this one. I was hooked on the synopsis & now your review pretty much solidifies my hunch that this is worth a read. I enjoy dark & twisty…also never hated 50 Shades lol. Good to know it’s coming to the big screen though cuz it now serves as motivation 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Now I see where this 50 shades comment has birthed from haha. I should have read your review first. As much as I am very curious about this, and I am, that thought throws me for a loop. I do not care for that idea. So the big question is, what percentage of the book has this vibe roughly? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t agree with the 50 shades comment at all. It’s the merest echo of a man dominating women and psychologically controlling them, but there is no kinky sex at all (well not in my version of kinky sex!)

    Liked by 1 person

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