The Girl Before You

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 19 Aug 2019

Member Reviews

The Girl Before You is the debut novel of Nicola Rayner.  Told in 3 voices (Alice, Kat and Naomi) the story takes place in fictional St. Anthony’s College in Scotland and centers around missing student Ruth.  Events lead up to the ‘incident’ and then fast forward to 17 years later.  There is a lot of back and forth, which leads to the suspense, but can be confusing at times.  

The story moved very slowly for me, it seems it took forever for the story to pick up.  The characters never really developed, and were more annoying than anything. Even though the time was 17 years...it felt like the characters never grew up.  It took me forever to get thru this book, at times forcing myself to sit and read.  They story just never got into a rhythm for me.  Many situations in this book were never answered fully.  

I loved the idea of the story line and would probably give the author another chance.
Was this review helpful?
The dynamics of this book are different as each character has something to hide, yet each wants to believe the other.  It does have some of the same twists and misleading clues as The Girl on the Train but it's definitely not a copy cat.  Nicola Raynor spent time and effort to build her characters then launched them into a story where the ending will not be happy.  The back story and the differing perspectives gave the book an extra bump in interest.
Was this review helpful?
Unfortunately this book didn't do it for me. It felt very much a bunch of tropes strung together with a few pretty words between - which I suppose every story is in some way, but this one didn't suck me in and I was very aware that I was reading a story. Would be interesting to study in a writing class.
Was this review helpful?
What’s it about: A college girl disappears and is rumored to have drowned. Her disappearance isn’t solved until many years after the fact. Did she really drown? What happened? 


What I liked about this book: There are three narrators in this book and each narrator offers a piece of the story. I thought the character development in this book was excellent! Most of the characters felt very realistic or at least, very distinct. The book offers some commentary about some problematic behaviors on college campuses. I was entertained throughout the book

What I disliked:  There are a couple of times that a character does something that doesn’t make any sense. 

Overall impression:  I enjoyed this book and recommend it. 4/5 stars.

Special thanks to NetGalley for providing advance review copies in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
The synopsis of The Girl Before You definitely had me hooked from the start. I went into this book with pretty high expectations and was a little let down. Not crazy let down, but just a smidgen. For me, there wasn't anything new or surprising to make it stand out from other thrillers I've read. 

The way the story is narrated -- different character's perspectives and different time frames (past and present) -- was done really well though. It was easy to keep up with the story as well as get a good feel for the main and supporting characters. The past/present was well balanced and really helped you get a feel for the characters. Each character was well thought out and easy to tell from the next. It was also easy to figure out who you were supposed to root for and who you were supposed to dislike. I did find myself wanting to continue reading, which is a huge pro. 

As for the story itself, there were a few really interesting twists and turns. Plus, a lot of drama thrown in for good measure. I found quite a bit of the story to be very believable. In fact, I could see exactly how Alice's obsession grew the more she dug. The characters were interesting and helped move the story along. 

I think what made me "knock a star off" of my rating was the ending. While I thought everything was tied together neatly, I was left with more questions than when I began. I would have loved if the author went into the "why" behind what happened.
Was this review helpful?
I wanted more from this book than it was willing to give to me. I just didn’t get swept up into the storyline like I needed to be to find this a psychological suspense read. Just kind of flatlined.
Was this review helpful?
I received an advanced copy of this book through NetGalley. This book had me from the very beginning. I love that it kept me engaged the entire time. I couldn't wait to see how it ended. I would highly recommend to all my fellow readers. Thank you for the chance to review this book!
Was this review helpful?
Pregnant Alice cannot figure out what her husband is hiding.  As she becomes more paranoid about his secrecy and odd occurrences, she begins to question “Am I crazy, or is this really happening?”  Determined to get to the bottom of her husband’s secrets, Alice begins to link her husband to the disappearance of Ruth years ago.  What was his involvement, if any?  

I really enjoyed this book, and the ending!  I can typically make several guesses as to what will happen in a book, but I was way off on this one.  I enjoyed the characters, and thought much of it was a realistic college scene.  The riding was quick and suspenseful.  Great read!

#TheGirlBeforeYou #NetGalley
Was this review helpful?
Unfortunately I had to DNF this book as I could not continue reading this story. It was very slow and very boring that I put it down for a long time and could not pick it up. It’s unfortunate that I couldn’t finish this book because I was looking forward to reading it. Maybe I’ll be able to pick this story up again another tome and enjoy it better.
Was this review helpful?
I read a lot of thrillers and for me, this one wasn't quite as entertaining as I thought it would be.  I think it tried too hard to emulate other thrillers, but it just didn't quite work.
Was this review helpful?
Alice has always been wary of her husband's past. With a reputation as a ladies' man at college, and a slew of conquests behind him, George was always going to be a risky proposition. But against all odds, the two have been married for years, and both are successful in their chosen fields, Alice as a lawyer and George as a politician and TV personality. 

But everything changes when Alice spots an old college acquaintance on a train one day - Ruth Walker, unmistakable with her fiery red hair. Except that's impossible, because Ruth drowned before she left college. Or did she? 

Ruth disappears before Alice can speak to her, but Alice can't let it go. She starts to contact old college friends and Ruth's family in a bid to uncover the truth. But is she prepared for what she'll find when she goes digging? And who can Alice really trust?

This is a beautifully written and tightly plotted novel, which I enjoyed very much. The story is narrated by three women: Alice herself, Ruth's sister, Naomi, and Ruth's former best friend, Kat, which I loved as each gave different insights and perspectives on Ruth's life. The twists were well structured, and the characters brilliantly drawn. I found myself rooting for Ruth to be alive throughout the book, but quietly convinced she wasn't - I won't spoil anything for readers who haven't read this one yet, but I really liked what the author did in the end. Can't wait to read more from Nicola Rayner - really impressed!

Thank you to NetGalley, who provided a free ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
Was this review helpful?
First of all.. I loved MY LOVELY WIFE. But this book isn’t nowhere near the level of that book. So I felt mislead by that. This book didn’t grab my attention.
Was this review helpful?
Interesting story! Has been compared with The Girl on the Train, but it doesn't quite match it, in my opinion. I love mystery suspense stories,  and this one definitely keeps you guessing.  A missing girl from 20 years ago is seen by the main character,  who then becomes obsessed with finding out what really happened to her. Good read!
Was this review helpful?
I would give this book 3 1/2 stars. 

The story is told from the perspective of 4 women: Ruth, Naomi, Alice, and Kat. Each chapter is told by a different character, sometimes in the present and sometimes in the past. I like the writing style, it was easy to follow and you could see how each person read the situation differently. At times I felt that I was reading without getting anyway closer to the resolution, which in my case can pull my interest elsewhere. I did enjoy how the story develops in the end.
Was this review helpful?
A story about 3 women told in their voices  - 15 years ago Kat's story, present day Alice and Naomi. They are trying to solve the mystery of Ruth's disappearance. 
I was very intrigued by this story - easy to follow narrative, very sympathetic characters.  It picked up in the middle - I had to know what happened. Great read.
Was this review helpful?
This book was a little idk for me. I liked the different POVs from the characters and the premise of the story but it seemed a little slow for me. I felt that at times I didn't know what was going on. But it was still a good book though.

Thank you Netgalley, the author and publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
The Girl Before You by Nicola Rayner was the page turner that I had hoped for. I really enjoyed the multiple perspectives and was eager to get to the end and find out what happened, though once I got there, I was actually quite let down. To me, the ending just didn't gel with the rest of the book and I would have preferred something more surprising or even realistic. 

I really enjoyed the characters and the mood that Rayner created but in the end, I felt like there wasn't enough shock and awe that I was expecting. While I enjoyed it quite a bit while reading but was let down in the end, I am giving this a solid three stars. 



Thanks to Avon Books UK and Netgalley for my advanced copy of this book to read. All opinions are my own and are in no way biased.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed reading this,I didn't put it down until the end.  It kept me gripped till the end. I will definitely read more from this author going forward.
Was this review helpful?
Ruth went missing 20 years ago and a lot of people have something to say about her. Not the least of these is Alice, who has finally caught on to the fact that her husband George is a rat. This moves around narrators and the time line and sometimes it might seem a tad disjointed but it's a good read. Alice, for an intelligent woman, isn't too smart actually but she's digging for truth and that's a good thing for those who knew Ruth. Thanks to net galley for the ARC. No spoilers- a good travel read.
Was this review helpful?
Wow!!! What a story...The tale is centered around Ruth and her disappearance but Naomi, Alice and Kat have integral parts to this tale...The circumstances that led up to that night are buried in each of their memories...well written and fast paced..I may I have liked a more conclusive ending..

Thanks to Netgalley for a ARC and giving me the opportunity to read this book.
Was this review helpful?