Family, Mystery/Thriller

The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances

I received this novel as an advance copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Thrillers are one of my most-read genres, apart from fantasy. However, with my avid love for thrillers comes my high expectations; I’m always looking for books that will blow me out of the water and are distinct from the rest of the novels in that genre. I’m a harsh critic when it comes to thrillers, especially when they are compared to other well-known thrillers like Gone Girl. I was drawn to this book because of the cover and the premise …. and now, here is my review:

Synopsis (Goodreads): Laura has it all. A successful career, a long marriage to a rich husband, and a twenty-three year-old son, Daniel, who is kind, handsome, and talented. Then Daniel meets Cherry. Cherry is young, beautiful and smart but she hasn’t had the same opportunities as Daniel. And she wants Laura’s life.

Cherry comes to the family wide-eyed and wants to be welcomed with open arms, but Laura suspects she’s not all that she seems.

When tragedy strikes, an unforgiveable lie is told. It is an act of desperation, but the fall-out will change their lives forever.

Review: I don’t know if this novel should be considered a psychological thriller. If anything, this book falls more in line with a domestic thriller. Maybe I’m being a little too picky about classification but I think it’s important; if I go into a novel thinking it is a psychological thriller, then I’m expecting certain things from it that I might not expect were it a different type of thriller. Anywho, I just wanted to make this clear for everyone else considering reading this book.

In terms of the structure, this novel is told from 3 perspectives: Laura, Cherry, and Daniel. While I liked that the author showed us these 3 sides as it allowed us to contrast the reactions of the different characters, I don’t think it was necessarily done in the best way, especially when it came to Daniel’s POV. His perspective didn’t get its own chapter; instead, as you are reading from Laura’s or Cherry’s side of the story, there would be an abrupt and random shift into Daniel’s viewpoints. This took me aback a lot and created a jarring effect when I was reading, which I didn’t enjoy.

The story itself was also interesting. I don’t think there was any one character that was completely good or bad (except, maybe Daniel) and I really liked that because it gave them more dimension. The pacing was fast, which I enjoyed, and I was happy that the author tried to put some depth into the characters and their backstories even when pushing this fast-paced thriller. I wouldn’t necessarily say I was on the edge of my seat, but I didn’t get bored with the story, either. I have to admit that it was predictable, but it was still a nice read.

Overall, this was a predictable read, but in no way bad for a debut novel. The characters were developed well but the story needed some more unique features. I would give this a 3/5 rating, and I look forward to seeing this author progress further.

0 thoughts on “The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances

        1. I thought that the characters were drawn up well and the pace was good, which is why I gave it 3 stars. It’s not the worst thriller I’ve ever read, either, but it doesn’t pack too many punches.

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