Cover Image: The Girls I've Been

The Girls I've Been

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Oh wow! I'm so sad I put this book off for way too long. It is a must read, and needs more attention.

This story is like an onion that kept peeling itself open, and I'm not even sure if we really got down to the center of it and discovered fully who our MC is. As she is a lost girl, lost in her own past life (lives?).

We start with Nora, who tells us right away, that is not her name. Because she has had many names. And her name is the one secret she keeps close. She is a daughter of a con artist. Her mom. She runs a sweetheart con, but she picks bad men, where they are doing something shady so once they get conned, they wouldn't reach out to cops. Till one day her mom actually falls for one of the bad men. It doesn't end well.

Nora, as she wants to be known, finds herself in a bank heist, part of the group of people that get stuck inside with the bad guys. And she wants to get out alive. She will do anything to get out alive. And she tells us her past story, her past lives trying to explain how she came to be smart enough to smart out a couple of baddies.

It was a phenomenal story. Full of pain, and love, and survival. It is worth a read! It broke my heart more than once.

Was this review helpful?

Damn.
Suffice to say this book entirely caught me by surprise, which is really a given considering I didn't expect much going into it. And somehow, this managed to slap me in the face several times over and dunk me in ice water, all in a deliciously intriguing way.
I immediately found myself terribly fond of the characters, and there's real humanity in each of their features and flaws that I find a lot of similar books missing. Nora's internal conflict was heart-wrenchingly relatable and the consistency of it really impressed me. Too often I see YA giving characters really interesting and complex conflicts, only for it to be thrown away in favor of the femme fatale "aesthetic," but Sharpe conquers this perfectly.
The only thing I would cherry-pick would be the pacing of the robbery. The whole story is very fast-paced, and that's part of its appeal, but I sometimes found myself zoning out at moments where it felt like it was happening in real-time. I guess real-time is too slow for me, but that is entirely up to preference.
Altogether, I highly recommend this and I will be looking for more from Sharpe in the future. I also think that no matter where you lean, you might as well give it a shot, because you will know if you like it very quickly. Take that as you will, and happy reading!

Was this review helpful?

I just totally loved this dark YA thriller! I just loved this sapphic story with these three teens trying to make it in-spite of the trauma and abuse and all the odds. A beautiful story of courage that had me on the edge of my seat.

Was this review helpful?

This was a *fun* twisty thriller. Fun, in that the characters are wonderful and you'll come away wanting to befriend all of them. But it also deals with a lot of trauma and real issues that can definitely not be described as "fun." Its genre bending, but all around a great read.

Was this review helpful?

Wow. This book was incredible! The pacing, plot, and writing were all elements that were incredibly done. I will never forget this story and will recommend this book to everyone!

Was this review helpful?

Now this is the kind of YA read I've been looking for! Tell me a book is about a con artist and I'll immediately add it to my TBR. Add in a bank heist, I'm sold!

This sapphic story centers around three characters just trying to get through their teenage life full of abuse and neglect. I truly loved Nora, Iris, and Wes and thought the author did an amazing job developing all their stories. The story flips between Nora's past life and the present bank heist. It is such a unique story and I'm really excited to hear it's being adapted for Netflix and starring Millie Bobby Brown!

This is definitely one to check out.

Was this review helpful?

I absolutely adored this super thrilling feminist story. Lots of fun and powerful. Canโ€™t wait to see it adapted to TV

Was this review helpful?

I was planning to read this in e-arc format but ended up getting a physical copy of it. Although I think it's too long for reluctant readers, I am really excited to read it in print and hopefully recommend it to a lot of teens.

Was this review helpful?

Why is this book not all over the place?! I loved every minute of this dark YA novel.

Nora is the daughter of a con woman who has taught her very well. Nora has lived so many lives and had to keep so many secrets... All in the name of the grift. When her mom falls in love and marries one of her marks.. Nora calls her sister Lee (who got away from their mom years ago).

Fast forward 5 years.. Nora, her ex boyfriend/best friend Wes, and her girlfriend Iris are at a bank and get taken hostage. But Nora knows how to con and she can get them out.

The robbery takes place in a day but we get to look into the many lives Nora has lived before. I felt so bad for her and the way she was brought up . The marks her mom had were always such scum. The ending was so crazy and it made me wonder if we could possibly get more story ๐Ÿคž

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to the publisher and PenguinTeen for the free Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book just blew my mind. Like I literally imagined every scene in my head like a movie. Nora is a daughter of a con artist. Her mother thought her everything she knows and uses it when she, her girlfriend and ex boyfriend are caught in the middle of a bank heist. Action packed, sass, heart break, amazing character development and parts that just make you want to scream. I mean this book is wonderfully written. One of my favorite reads this year. I'm not writing more because if you haven't read this book yet, you need to.

Was this review helpful?

I really enjoyed this book! I like that we were shown the complexity of being in a bisexual relationship. I find that not of lot of books show bisexuality as much so it was very refreshing as I can relate directly to it being bisexual myself.

The intensity of this book was top-notch. You are constantly in this very serious situation while it keeps giving you little flashbacks for backstory and I was here for every second of it. I think that Nora was a fantastic protagonist and she really had me rooting for her.

I have heard that this is being turned into a movie and I will 100% be watching it. The book kept me hooked from start to finish so I can imagine the movie will be just as good. I want to read more by Tess Sharpe after this. Her writing style was a lot of fun and I am excited what other books she has to offer.

Was this review helpful?

Honestly, I wasnโ€™t sure how much I would like this book after the first 50 pages, but then it picked up! I was really blown away. Is that because I lost hope early? Iโ€™ll never know. But what I do know is this book was great.

Was this review helpful?

This was one heck of a YA. Part psychological thriller, part coming of age story, this was one I recommend for a variety of readers. I never quite knew where this was going but I loved it!

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book.

Wow, this book was wild! I wasn't sure what I was expecting, but I definitely got more than I thought I would from this book. Nora grew up with her con artist mother, and has been forced to live a life of cons since she was 6. When she and her best friend and girlfriend end up at the bank while it's being robbed, it gets wild. Just from the day, you get to delve into her last and the identities she's had over the years and the events that led her to be here and where she goes from there. I can't say too much without giving things away, but I loved this book.

Was this review helpful?

Ya, thriller, mystery, and romance to name a few things, oh you must get this genre bender in your hands asap because its the cream of the crop of books!! This books, the plot, and the characters gets all the flowers!!

Was this review helpful?

I cannot express how deeply obsessed I was with this book. Read it in two sittings without trying. It was truly spectacular. Riveting. The writing was accessible and didnโ€™t make the reader feel stupid for not catching something. Also not in my general wheelhouse, but have heavily recommended this book since receiving the arc. Have not heard back from one person saying they didnโ€™t also love it. An absolute hit. Would make an amazing miniseries.

Was this review helpful?

Wow this was a crazy ride and just found out this will be adapted by Netflix with Millie Bobby Brown. Nora (and her many identities) has lived a hard life because her mother raised her like her...to be a con artist. This is a very fast read because you are dying to know what will happen. On top of being a great story thereโ€™s great representation in the book: bisexual main character and endometriosis.

Was this review helpful?

I was firstly intrigued by the premise and the short dialogues made it an easy and fast-paced read, however the execution didn't work for me. I found the narrative quite disjointed and got lost along the way.

This is a unique novel that many readers will enjoy and even though it wasn't for me, I am still very excited to watch the TV adaptation. In addition, I appreciate the bisexual rep.

Was this review helpful?

So yeah I know, I am totally late to this party. May I introduce you Nora, or is her name Ashley or Haley. Like the mother so the daughter โ€“ Nora's Mum is a con artist. She trained her all her tricks. She wants to leave her past behind. With her ex-boyfriend and her love Iris she got into a bank robbery. But are the robbers clever enough to beat Nora. Of course not. Nora knows a lot from her mother, so she knows how to play with the gangster. This is a deep story, and you immediately feel connected to Nora. The story is also like a rush, you know that feeling, when you start a book and it's so good that you canโ€™t do something else till the last page. There was a lot of pain in these pages. So many characters has to deal with their trauma. They have to deal with love. I love the writing style of Tess Sharpe. Her characters arenโ€™t weak. Sounds weird, but this book felt so real. Its like you are in the middle of the action. You are in the story. You are next to our characters. I canโ€™t wait to see this in a film adaption with Millie Bobby Brown. So and now can we please talk about this representation. Menstruation was here a topic. Iris has endometriosis, we have a bisexual main character who is also an abuse survivor. This story has everything we need in books. Suspense, Deep relationships, a good pacing, strong characters. Damn please more of books like this.

Was this review helpful?

I just found out this is going to be a Netflix adaption! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ This should be good! โฃ
โฃ
Wow this book was crazy such a whirlwind!!โฃ
I canโ€™t even imagine the life Nora has led. No girl should have to suffer what she went through. But what I love about Nora is sheโ€™s a fighter she doesnโ€™t give up even through all the crap dumped on her. โฃ
โฃ
Nora (a girl with many different names) has grown up being a con-girl. Through no fault of her own, her mom brought her up that way. But because of this I wouldnโ€™t want to mess with Nora either. I also felt this deep sympathy for what she had went through. Sheโ€™s a very complex character.โฃ
Nora, Wes (Noraโ€™s Ex Boyfriend) and Iris (Noraโ€™s current Girlfriend) (all friends) get caught up in the middle of a bank heist.โฃ
Things are not exactly going the way the bank robbers want and they have nothing to lose, so that makes them dangerous. So Nora being Nora starts to use her unique skills to think of ways to get them all out and alive. โฃ
Youโ€™ll have to read it yourself to see who or if any of them actually make it!โฃ
โฃ
๐‚๐ก๐š๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ:โฃ
I loved Nora, Wes and Iris. Each of them had their own stories and unique characteristics, they each brought a lot to the story. Of course you canโ€™t help but be fascinated by Nora the MC and also very saddened by some of the things sheโ€™s had to survive. โฃ
I especially loved Noraโ€™s much older sister, Lee a side character that was brave and devoted to Nora and also a bit scary in her own right. โฃ
Nora and Leeโ€™s Mom..I canโ€™t even go there. Letโ€™s just say she is a piece of shit. A waste of space. โฃ
โฃ
๐’๐ญ๐จ๐ซ๐ฒ:โฃ
The plot was interesting. You got to learn bits and pieces of Noraโ€™s past โ€œlivesโ€ and all the different girls she was intertwined with the current story of the bank robbery and her current life. โฃ
I liked how at the beginning of each chapter, starting with chapter 8, there is a list of what Nora is working with to try and finagle her way out of their mess. Ex. 1 lighter, no plan..later on 1 lighter, 3 bottles of vodka, 1 pair of scissors, no plan. โฃ
You get the idea.โฃ
The story was fast paced. The dialogue between the characters is quick witted and done well.โฃ
I like how Tess wove dark aspects with humor to find a perfect balance. And how Noraโ€™s therapy and Iris having endometriosis is brought up. Certain conditions are not always mentioned so outright in YA. Kudos Tess for calling attention to some serious matters. โฃ
โฃ
The reason that I deducted a star is because of how the story ended. It was kind of abrupt. This girl needs more info! But otherwise this was a really interesting story with lots of different components, one of them being about a kick ass girl who claws her way to survival. โฃ
Tess Sharpe is now on my radar as an author to read so I recommend you all give her a try! โฃ
โฃ
๐“๐ก๐š๐ง๐ค ๐˜๐จ๐ฎ ๐ญ๐จ ๐๐ž๐ง๐ ๐ฎ๐ข๐ง ๐“๐ž๐ž๐ง ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐ž๐€๐‘๐‚ ๐ข๐ง ๐ž๐ฑ๐œ๐ก๐š๐ง๐ ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐ก๐จ๐ง๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฏ๐ข๐ž๐ฐ.

Was this review helpful?