Cover Image: The Girls I've Been

The Girls I've Been

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Member Reviews

Wow. What a beautiful concept for a book: young girl who is trying to overcome a past of being forced into cons by her mother. Nora was dynamic, endearing, and heartbreaking. You consistently found yourself rooting for her, no matter how far-fetched the odds. Her best friends, Iris and Wes, were also well-developed. It in no way felt like a typecast of three best friends and none of their flaws felt forced. It created a balance that is needed due to the chaos of the plot.

I felt the way that this book weaved all of the pieces of Nora’s life together was beautiful. You were able to walk through her life without feeling confused because you’re always thinking about the missing piece just as it seems to appear.

And while I do understand why this plot line was needed in order to showcase Nora’s background, sometimes I found myself going “Is it really going THERE now!?” However, no matter what, I always found myself wrapped back in by how genuine the characters were.

Highly recommended: NetGalley early release review.
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The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe is a classic thriller set up – bank heist gone awry. 

In a YA twist, it is the teen heroine trapped in the bank that has all the skills to get the thief (and ultimately, her friends and the other hostages) to safety. Why she has the smarts, and how she uses them is the story the unspools as she sweet talks, connives, and muscles her way through this very satisfying story.
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This was a really compelling book, but it is way more serious and trauma-filled than the rather cutesy book blurb would lead you to believe. The "Three Problems" listed in the copy pale in comparison to all the lives that Nora has lead. The bank-robbers aren't some slapstick joke from a comedy movie, and Nora knows their types all too well because of the abusers she's encountered in her life. And Nora's not alone in her long history of physical and emotional scars, the main characters all have their own tough histories. It's a compelling read and I can see the potential for a second book, which I would pick up because I really liked these characters, but there is so many different kinds of abuse in this book that it's really the laidback jacket copy that leaves me annoyed.
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Great thriller. I've loved falling for Sharpe's voice and writing style all over again and i love how incisive and precise and gut-wrenching it all felt. Her characters were raw and the plot was captivating thanks to the 24hrs timeline and the numerous flashbacks that allowed us a better understanding of Nora.
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This is a quick, fast paced, unputdownable read! I really enjoyed how this book was was split into telling what was currently going on - the bank robbery - and  learning about Nora's past that created who she is today. It was very interesting to learn about all the girls she has been, the lessons and tricks she has learned, and the relationships she built over the years. There were plenty of twists and turns along the way. I really didn't want it to end! Thank you to NetGalley and PENGUIN GROUP Penguin Young Readers Group for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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