The American Girl by Kate Horsley

On a quiet summer morning, 17-year-old american exchange student Quinn Perkins stumbles out of the woods near St. Roch in France. She is barefoot, covered in blood, and unable to explain what has happened to her. What’s more, it is soon determined that the Blavettes, Quinn’s host family, has also mysteriously disappeared. With Quinn in the hospital and her memory gone, the idyllic village of St. Roch can’t help but wonder if the American girl was in any way responsible for the disappearance of the Blavettes. Boston reporter Molly Swift smells a story and travels to St. Roch to see if she can uncover anything here. Molly soon becomes close to Quinn and tries to prove Quinn’s innocence as she goes through a trial by media. But as Molly begins to unravel disturbing secrets, she is forced to admit that the American girl makes for a compelling suspect. Is Quinn really an innocent exchange student, or is she a cunning killer?

I really liked the premise of this novel. I’ve always wanted to go on an exchange program, but never had the time or opportunity to do so. After reading this book, I don’t know if I would want to go on one! I really enjoyed the narrative style of the author, with the switching between the voices of Molly and Quinn. I liked that parts of this story were told in blog format because that’s just an interesting medium to use. I liked the thrill aspect of it because I wasn’t expecting it to be as dark as it was, and it was really quite good. I thought that there were quite a few plot holes in the story that made it implausible, but other than that, I really liked the overall story and I don’t think anything suffered because of this. Overall, this was a high intensity, action-packed story that shows how small idyllic towns can hold really big secrets.

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