Cover Image: The Girls Are All So Nice Here

The Girls Are All So Nice Here

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Ambrosia Wellington (Amb) receives an invitation for her ten-year college reunion along with a hand-written note that reads, “We need to talk about what we did that night.” 

Soon, Amb finds herself leaving her squeaky clean and carefully-constructed present to attend the reunion and revisit a past she’s tried to not only move beyond but shove deep down into the dark places no one else will ever see.

Amb’s attempts to navigate the present-day reunion are nearly as harrowing as her attempts to survive her freshman year. Back then, her desperate need to be liked drew her in like a dysfunctional tractor beam to the worst influence possible -- a beautiful, free-spirited and wild classmate named Sully.

While Amb explored her dark side with Sully, she did something terrible that had deadly consequences. And it becomes clear - at the reunion - that someone is seeking to both out her and seek revenge. 

She realizes that the games she played back in college, under Sully’s watchful eye, may soon become matters of life and death.
----------------------------------------------
This book shocked me a lot, shook me a bit and had me thinking about it long after I was done reading it. It is a psychological thriller, mixed with a dash of psychological horror and a painful pinch of social commentary.

The story is told through the alternating timelines of Amb’s freshman year of college (then) and her current life and attendance at the reunion (now). It’s impossible not to relate, at least to some extent, to the late-teenage angst, insecurities and difficult social dynamics that these female characters endure. The desperation and power jockeying may be heightened for dramatic effect in the book, but those exaggerations are grounded in some painful truths.

For a gender that -- for centuries -- has suffered the terrible pressure of always being polite and sweet and not too ambitious (*eye roll* and *gag*), sometimes it’s cathartic to experience girls being the very opposite of that. And personally, I LOVE stories that explore the darker side of human nature, so that we can recognize it within ourselves. As Carl Jung wrote, the more you become familiar with your own shadow side, the less you project it onto others. Look, Jung said it way better than this, but you get the gist.

If you liked Mean Girls or Heathers or Girl, Interrupted (my favorite!!!) or anything else that is dark and wicked fun, you NEED to get this and read it when it comes out March 9, 2021.

If you don’t like any of those titles, then ‘f*** me gently with a chainsaw,’ I give up.
(Bonus points to whoever knows what that quote is from!!)

Thank you #netgalley and #simonandschuster for the ARC of #thegirlsareallsonicehere!!
------
This will be posted on blog and social about three weeks in advance of the book's publication, unless the publisher requests a different timeline.
Was this review helpful?
"The Girls Are All So Nice Here" is definitely a page turner! A great cat and mouse story that kept me guessing until the end. Flynn perfectly captures what can often be a complex dynamic between female friends, especially during the formative college years.
Was this review helpful?
There were a lot of things I loved about this book and a few things I didn’t. I really hated the main character, which I guess was the point, but I also felt sorry for her. There were also a couple of things I was confused about—lines that I highlighted that later made no sense to me. It was gripping and it was easy to get lost in.
Was this review helpful?
The Girls Are All So Nice Here is told across two timelines: the college years, and the 10-year reunion.

When Ambrosia sets off to Wesleyan, her plan is to shed the trappings of her suburban New Jersey life and become a cool, hip, actor. She is instantly drawn to Sully, a wild child from New York City, and repulsed by her saccharine roommate, with her bunny slippers, stunning beauty, and devoted high school boyfriend. Quickly swept up in Sully's orbit, Amb becomes desperate to impress and entertain her by any means necessary.

Ten years on, Amb and her husband drive up to her class reunion only to find that someone there is hellbent on exposing her role in something horrible that happened that first semester on campus, something that even her husband knows nothing about and may not be able to forgive. Can Amb figure out the truth and escape the wrath of whoever wants to make her pay before it's too late?

This was fast-paced, disturbing and fun, like if A Separate Peace involved mean girls and a lot of frat parties.
Was this review helpful?
This was a wild ride! I wasn’t totally sure what to expect but I couldn’t put it down! The flashback format worked pretty well and added to the suspense. The ending totally caught me by surprise too. I definitely want to read more by this author!
Was this review helpful?
This was a new author to me, but I will be finding other books by her. I found this to be a fresh take on an adult thriller. The writing took me back to my college days in the early 90's where these types of friendships between girls existed. I really enjoyed this book and would love to see a spinoff with other characters from the storyline.
Was this review helpful?
I received an ARC of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

A young woman returns to the literal scene of a crime for her 10 year college reunion.  Drama ensues.
Was this review helpful?
a viciously sharp dual-timeline thriller that is just as likely to stab you in the back as it is to congratulate you on putting the pieces together. 

it's been a while since i've read a thriller that left me reeling like this one did. the characters for the most part were unlikeable, the depiction of college life mildly unrealistic, the ending a wish fulfillment, but "the girls are all so nice here" is more than the sum of its parts. the real treat is the number of breadcrumb details scattered throughout the book that are easy to miss due to the first-person narration; ambrosia's voice is so strong it drowned out my inner skeptic that usually scoffs at the ridiculousness of most thrillers' plots!

while my college experience was nothing like ambrosia's, her constant worry and desperate attempts to fit in resonated with me (and i heard plenty of wild tales from the more adventurous of my friends!). ultimately, "the girls are all so nice here" was a page-turner that i could not put down until i had finished it... at 4am! if that's not high praise, i don't know what is.

thank you to netgalley and simon and schuster for an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Sole pay say this was predictable but I disagree I had no idea this was going to happen. Shocked to the core! Amazing story! 

It gave me mean girls vibes with a thrill.
Was this review helpful?
This was a really twisty psychological thriller. I liked the book a lot and it kept me guessing. I only gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because the language was sometimes a little much for me. I would definitely read more books by this author. I received a free copy of this book from netgalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Wow! I don't even know where to start...

The story is about Ambrosia, aka Amb. The setting goes back and forth between the past and the present. In the present, Amb is married to Adrian - an aspiring writer that has yet to write a single chapter of the novel he uses as his excuse for dropping out of college. The couple lives a nice and uncomplicated life, even though it's in an apartment that's too small for the 2 of them - let alone the child Adrian wants to have. Amb's past comes back to haunt her, though, when she receives an invitation to her 10-year college reunion. Adrian doesn't know about Amb's past, and she intends to keep it that way.

In the past, Amb is a freshman in college and wants so desperately to fit in AND stand out. She quickly clings on to Sloane, aka, Sully, who is carefree and goes through life as if it were a game. Amb's roommate, Flora, is the perfect girl and the complete opposite of Sully. Amb envies her roommate and refuses to believe that Flora is the nice, sweet girl she portrays. Things take a drastic turn when Amb finally meets Kevin, Flora's boyfriend from Dartmouth, and the fire of envy inside her becomes too much to handle.

In a typical story, Sully is the villain - but this isn't your typical story. Although Sully makes Mean Girls' Regina George look like a SAINT, Ambrosia is the true villain. I have never personally hated a main character so much. The author does an amazing job in getting the reader to hate Ambrosia with a passion! She yearns to be accepted by Sully, doing outrageous things to stand out from the other girls. Then she falls in love and is so desperate to get what she wants, she practically stops at nothing! 

The story captivates you from start to finish. There were several times I had to put it down for 5 minutes just to take a deep breath and stop desperately wishing I could climb into the book to shake Amb and slap Sully! The ending was not at all what I expected, and once I finished the book, I just sat there for a while and mentally processed everything that happened. 

Special thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the advanced copy! GREAT READ!
Was this review helpful?
Heartbreaking, suspenseful, and infuriating, this book evokes powerful emotions as it broaches topics such as bullying, suicide, drug use, sexual assault, and infidelity. The author twists your thoughts and feelings so effectively that it feels like you’re the one being manipulated by a psychopathic mean girl. The narrator, Ambrosia, who is both despicable and relatable in her insecurities, slowly unveils the events that took place during her freshman year in college interspersed with a current timeline set during her college reunion. The writing style is unique and brilliant as the reader is presented with painful truths that just seem to get worse and worse. I’m not easily “triggered” by books but this one hit very close to home and left me deeply invested in the story. I applaud the author for conveying in excruciating detail how much mean girls suck and for reminding us all to be kind humans. Thank you to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for providing me with an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Mean Girls meets Gone Girl - this book is going to generate a lot of buzz!

We all have college memories we wish we could forget, but Ambrosia has a lot more than most. She and her BFF Sully wreaked havoc on Wesleyan's campus, and ten years later, someone wants to make them pay. When they return to Wesleyan for their reunion, they find out exactly how far some people will go for revenge.

Why are college novels so intriguing? The drama of close spaces, the new friends, the changes associated with being away from home for the first time - all great material for a dark and twisty thriller. Flynn alternates between the ten year reunion and freshman year, and the dual timelines work really well to flesh out the story. Ambrosia and Sully are unlikeable alone and even worse as a pair, but the mystery surrounding their college misdeeds kept me turning the pages. The ending was a satisfying surprise that wrapped up the story well. I enjoyed Flynn's YA books as well, and I'm looking forward to her next novel for adults!

Thank you to Simon & Schuster for providing an ARC on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to Netgalley for an ARC of this title in exchange for my honest review. I adore books set in elite boarding schools. I further love mysteries set on school grounds. This is a perfect combination of both, where the reader is hand-fed information about an upcoming reunion at a school and the main protagonist (who has married and changed her name) tried desperately not to attend. There was an "incident" that the reader only discovers through flashbacks. This is a thrilling YA/Adult crossover for readers of psychological slow burns. Savor this one.
Was this review helpful?
This one was fast. I damn near read it in one sitting. So I’ll actually talk about what happened- I usually don’t because I’m so scared of spoiling, but I think I can do this:

The book starts in the present with our narrator (Ambrosia aka Amb) looking back on something shady that happened in the past. The story will do that- go back and forth between the present (NYC- Amb married and in her 30s) and 2003 Freshman year at Wesleyan. 

Each new chapter begins with an email invitation to the 10 year reunion - ok so it’s not present-present, it’s 2017 because the reunion is for class if 2007. We know the narrator did something bad and doesn’t want to go. The details are released bit by bit throughout flashbacks. I really liked it and had a clear sense of the setting.

This narrator isn’t unreliable. She’s extremely hard on herself and for the most part, she does own her flaws. For the most part, I said. The dynamic in this who book is really how fucking awful women can be to each other- ESPECIALLY when someone has what someone else wants. That unreliability I was talking about isn’t present only because this narrator is being honest, though her viewpoint is perhaps skewed by a few factors revealed in the story. 

I very much enjoyed this. I gave it 4 stars only because the ending wasn’t my favorite, and there were some things that just wrapped up too perfectly and despite what one character went through, I still didn’t like her ass in the end...but you know what? Just read it. It was a MUCH needed escape from this bullshit that is 2020. I think it’s going to be a popular read in 2021.
Was this review helpful?
Ambrosia Wellington has been invited to her 10 year college reunion but she is not looking forward to it. She has a nice life in NYC living with her husband and working in PR. Things were different for her in college. The book goes back and forth between her college days -hinting at something horrible that ended up happening which changed everything for Amb, and her current life as she and her husband get to the reunion and the past is unearthed. 

I did like this book - it kept me interested and it was twisty and devious, etc. The characters were mostly unlikeable though with each one more toxic than the next. Overall, a good, entertaining book.
Was this review helpful?
Holy cow, there are mean girls and then there is this...

Flynn has created a world so vicious and real that it reminded me of my own private school days and the torture of the popularity parade. 

So apt was she at creating this world that it didn't feel like fiction and it didn't feel fun, even though it was a taut and engrossing read.

To all the Floras, all the Sullys, and the Ambrosias in the world who are still recovering from their college days...Cheers!

Thank you to Simon & Schuster for gifting me a copy of this book. It was my pleasure to write an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I really didn’t care for this book. All of the girls were just so nasty and over the top. I realize that the point was to show the ways the women can destroy each other, but I felt really icky after reading this story. 
There weren’t really any sympathetic characters, and Ambrosia was especially a piece of work. I also felt like the description of the suicide felt way too graphic and potentially triggering. 
I really wanted to like this book a lot more than I did.
Was this review helpful?
I REALLY enjoyed this one! A dark, sinister college campus story with revenge as the top priority.  I was honestly so invested from the beginning! I loved getting to know and figure out the characters. Overall it was a fast paced, twisty read that kept me engaged and guessing the whole time! Loved it!
Was this review helpful?
I love when books go back and forth between past and present it adds to the drama of the story. This is a dark,twisty mean girls in a college dorm.  Love the ironic title. As if Freshman year of college isn’t bad enough. The plot’s twists and turns don’t even prepare you for the wild ending!
Was this review helpful?