Title: The Tenth Girl
Author: Sara Faring
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Horror, Historical Fiction, Romance
Publication date: September 24th, 2019
At the very southern tip of South America looms an isolated finishing school. Legend has it that the land will curse those who settle there. But for Mavi—a bold Buenos Aires native fleeing the military regime that took her mother—it offers an escape to a new life as a young teacher to Argentina’s elite girls.
Mavi tries to embrace the strangeness of the imposing house—despite warnings not to roam at night, threats from an enigmatic young man, and rumors of mysterious Others. But one of Mavi’s ten students is missing, and when students and teachers alike begin to behave as if possessed, the forces haunting this unholy cliff will no longer be ignored.
One of these spirits holds a secret that could unravel Mavi’s existence. In order to survive she must solve a cosmic mystery—and then fight for her life.
“Something in the atmosphere is wrong here, a something I can’t articulate— I only feel a discomfort in the hollow of my chest, the same one that tells you you are not alone when you want to be, or that you are entirely alone when you shouldn’t be.”
The Tenth Girl was one of my most anticipated books of this year. Not only I love me a good YA thriller, but also the premise of this novel sounded like the perfect book for fall/Halloween, and I was so looking forward to read it. Overall I think this is a very polarizing book, that either you’re going to love or hate, and sadly for me it was the latter one.
I think that The Tenth Girl had such an amazing and intriguing concept, but it was a bit of a lackluster for me. The first few chapters of the novel were actually very interesting and left me wanting to continue with the story, but as I kept reading I found that it was a bit repetitive. I think that was done on purpose because the author was trying to keep the reader in the dark and make everything appear more mysterious, but I’m pretty sure when we started to learn more things about what was going on was after the 50% mark, which made the first half quite boring, to be honest.
I also thing that some of those triggering situations that happened at certain parts of the story were only there for shocking value, but didn’t add anything to the story. They could have perfectly been left out of the book without any repercussions on the plot or the characters. And that thing exactly could be applied in 30% of the things that happened in this book. There were scenes where I didn’t understand what was going on and felt so incredibly confused, and that didn’t add much to the plot, and it was the same with some interactions between certain characters.
“Hers is a certainty about the world I crave but refuse to feel blindly. Hers is a certainty I could have used in Buenos Aires, and that I could use now, in this otherworldly place, but I’ve never felt more removed from it.”
But the cherry on top that made me lower my rating and said “oh, gosh, I’m not liking this book at all” was everything that happened in the last 20% of the book after a major plot twist. To be honest I don’t know what I was expecting to see or how everything was going to end, but for sure it wasn’t like that. I think that that big twist at the very end of the novel made the other 80% of The Tenth Girl seem insignificant and senseless. It felt as if I was reading more than 300 pages for nothing, and for the story to completely change tone and plot. I don’t know, it was super weird the way everything was done, quite anticlimactic and a bit of a mess.
The characters were pretty flat. I was expecting much more from them, but I think they were quite simple and most of them were underdeveloped. I enjoyed certain interactions between some characters, but maybe because the plot was so focused on the mystery elements and going back and forth between POVs, the layers of these characters weren’t as explored as I wanted or hoped.
Something that I really enjoyed was the mythology and the Argentinian elements that were introduced in the book. They were so interesting and dark, and I would love to read more about that, and I liked how it was own voices on that representation.
Overall, I was pretty let down by The Tenth Girl. I thought I was going to fall in love with this book, but I had so many issues with the plot and the characters, and the ending was definitely a no for me. The writing was very beautifully woven, so I would like to pick up another book by her in the future and give her another chance.
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion whatsoever. All thoughts are my own.
“Souls aren’t like steam, I realize. They’re like viruses, spreading to the surrounding organisms, infecting them with their unfulfilled dreams and inescapable worries.”
TW: pedophilia, rape, miscarriage, gore, child abuse, mention of cannibalism in page
Follow me on BlogLovin’