Cover Image: The Girl Who Wasn't

The Girl Who Wasn't

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Member Reviews

I had the hardest time getting through this book, and I think it was because it just didn't really stand out to me compared to similar books of this genre.
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I love a good coming of age story but for some reason, I just didn’t connect with this one. It was well written and I won’t completely write off the author, but it wasn’t my favorite.
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I found this to be an enjoyable read, keeping me on my toes throughout.  The storyline was written well and flowed seamlessly. I look forward to reading more by this author!
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I didn’t care for the first book by this author, so I skimmed this one and I find I’m not going to like this one either. Unfortunately it’s definitely a it’s me not you situation with these books.
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This book just wasn’t it for me and in all honesty I don’t actually think it was the book. I just think it’s how I feel towards it I can’t seem to get into it at all. I tend to love your perspective books they are some of the most fun books because you get to get inside the minds of both the characters so they are fun but for some reason I just could not bring myself to finish reading this book.
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Really enjoyed this one 
A touching coming-of-age story about how far we’re willing to go to find a lasting friendship.⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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The ending was a bit underwhelming, but overall I did enjoy this book! It was greatly carried by the characterisations of Jeannette and Jack, who had a great bond so enjoyable to read about. It’s a wonderful coming of age story but not something you need to rush to read haha.
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Jeanette and Jack are the stars of this book, where the two come together in a seemingly unlikely friendship. With all the drama of school, getting older and the difficult home lives of the the pair, this book was an emotional roller coaster.

Although this is the second book in the Arnhurst series, I only found out about this after reading so I would say it could probably be read as a stand alone. That being said I would consider reading The Boy Who Lived in the Ceiling and would recommend this second book too.

I love a novel where relationships are built up, and have depth and layers to them and this is another book that does that for me. I also appreciated the sense of discovery us readers can get from the characters as there is definitely exploration of the individuals as people when it comes down to their identities, personalities and lives. Some of the topics covered however and how they were handled were part of the reason I could not quite give this book four stars despite enjoying reading it.

*POTENTIAL SPOILERS - No characters named*

The topics of abuse, especially nearer the end were a bit difficult to read and can be triggering for some people. I would have liked to have seen more serious consequences for one of the characters which is one of the few reasons I could not give this book 4 stars. Some reviews suggest the catfishing element of the plot is problematic and whilst I agree with this to some extent and do not agree with catfishing, the consequences were definitely felt and made clear by Cara. Therefore, I think the topic was handled appropriately and made for an interesting but also heartwrenching plot line.
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The Girl Who Wasn't takes a look at two broken families, and how these two people find comfort in each other. Jeanette's mother never leaves her house (she's agoraphobic) and is a hoarder. Jack's mom beats his dad. These two hide their true feeling and personalities to try to be more "normal" kn school. Jeanette being part of the music freaks and Jack working his way into the popular crowd becuase of football, that his mom makes him play.

The characters are engaging, real people. They were all lovable, but they also had their faults, making them seem like real people as opposed to just characters. I felt the most connected to Violet, even though she is a side character. There is a book built around Violet by the same author that I know want to read!

I rate this book as 3.5 🌟! I read almost the whole book in one day. Since I had to squeeze in time to finish it, the ending felt a little flat. I may have felt differently if I had had time 

I'd like to say a huge thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

#reading2021 #fallreading2021 #booklover #booksofinstagram #netgalley
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I received an ARC from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I whizzed through this very quickly. The writing was good and I was intrigued to see how the catfishing would be resolved. I don’t know why but the ending left me feeling underwhelmed.

The book obviously takes place in the UK and had to check whether the author was English as there are some american versions scattered throughout. In one of the early chapters, a bag of crisps is called a bag of chips. I think there were a couple more but that’s the one I remember standing out. It just felt a bit jolting.

Overall, a good book but I wouldn’t rush to tell people that they HAVE to read it.
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Growing up is hard. Something I truly adore about young adult fiction is that so much of it doesn't shy away from the harsh realities of being young and struggling to gather control over your life when that's a nearly impossible feat.

THE GIRL WHO WASN'T is no different. Jeanette and Jack are struggling with very real, very challenging lives both at school and at home, and it's been fascinating to watch them learn to lean on each other in order to survive even if they didn't always go about it in the best ways.

I find myself wishing the story hadn't ended, though it wrapped up perfectly and concluded in a way I didn't realize I was hoping it would: With everyone doing OK, and a much more realistic "happily ever after" than many stories about love and friendship.

Highly recommend if you want a little heartbreak and plenty of hope.
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I received this book from Netgalley for an honest review. 
Okay it’s rare I don’t finish a book but… it wasn’t working out for me. 
The story is told in dual perspective, 1. A girl who struggles at home with her mum, who loves music and is in the school band. 2. A boy who does football because his parents want him too but he likes music…

Very High School musical vibes but in a British school… well that’s what it tells you but it definitely doesn’t feel like it. It seems really inconsistent between whether the school is set in England or the USA, with so many typical USA style things like football scholarships, yard sales, band… it honestly did not feel like sixth from/college in England. It wasn’t realistic and it didn’t work in the way it does in Netflix’s Sex Education.

It does tackle some hard topics, as i didn’t finish this I don’t know how well they were managed in the rest of the book. Also catfishing? 

The book had so much telling and not enough showing, what could have been a really good way to talk about mental health turned into a very long and unclear story that unfortunately it no longer worked for me. 

I’m not one for bad reviews, or giving up on a book. But this one wasn’t for me.
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This book was good. I had a few issues as I got bored in some spots and there was the obvious issue of some slightly cringy and out of place dialogue but over all it's a good book would recommend!
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I could have liked this book if it wasn't for one major thing- the catfishing plotline. Maybe it was obvious going into this, that that was a major element but if it was I completely missed it. The justifications for it were weak, and I hate it in all circumstances but particularly in this novel and it was all solved way too neatly. There are also several other elements of this novel I take issue with and was uncomfortable with. 

However saying that the main points of strife in this novel, both of the MC's mothers were handled with grace and care and done very well. It was just the actions (or nonactions) of the MC's particularly Jeannette that I take issue with. 

This book is told in dual perspectives (Jeanette and Jacks) and for the most part, handles transitioning between the two very well. Jeanette's best friend Violet and her boyfriend are wonderful characters and I did wish that we saw more of them as they're about the only truly stable characters in this thing. 

Overall, this book had potential but I didn't feel like it followed through. 

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.
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3.5*
Thanks to Netgalley for an e-arc of this book!

This was one emotional rollercoaster. Jack and Jeanette were so real and emotional, it was hard not to feel for them based on their home lives. I liked this book for sure. It felt like classic YA contemporary and I always love those feel good stories. I wish Jeanette would have been herself the whole time. I also wish her independence would have kicked in earlier. I loved the found family tropes here and I think the characters really came full circle by the end of the book. It was cute, but also heavy at times in regard to both Jack and Jeanette's mothers. I'm glad I got to read this book, I always love discovering new books and authors and this was a great one to read on my commute to school!
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The Girl Who Wasn't by Cara Thurlbourn is the second book in the Arnhurst series. It focuses on Jeanette, Violet's friend who was introduced in The Boy Who Lived in the Ceiling. Jeanette is having a rough time, she is the target of all bullies at school, and at home, she has to help her mother who has anxiety issues. That is until one day, she meets Jack on the bus headed to school... How far is she willing to go to find a lasting friendship?
I really liked this book, it is very enjoyable and entertaining. I liked how the characters were constructed and I appreciated that Violet and Freddie from the first book reappeared in this one. 
I would recommend you this book of you liked The Boy Who Lived in the Ceiling, and if you like YA and coming-of-age stories.
I’d like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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3.5 / 5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley and Wise Wolf Books for an advance reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book is a fun coming-of-age story, that doesn't quite end the way you think, but is still fun and interesting all the same. The main premise of the story is an unpopular girl, Jeanette, tries to get to know a popular boy, Jack, by pretending to be someone else. What follows is a touching story of how far one would be willing to go to find a real connection.

Somethings that stood out to me:
>>> Maybe it's because I'm getting older and it was a long time ago, but I loved all the high-school and teenage drama.
>>> Catfishing aside, I liked the notion that the image we present to others versus who we want to be are often two different characters. And that sometimes we need to find people who help us reconcile both those identities to find (and accept) the true person underneath.
>>> I liked the reflection of coming to grips with emotionally charged situations, carrying the heavy burdens of anxiety or peer pressure, and how that realness and authenticity “lightens the burden” and makes us feel seen and heard.
>>> The relationship dynamic between Jeanette, her mother, and her sister really got to me. The situation, the emotion, the struggle, ALL of it -- something about the way the author described this made it feel so real to me. And, even as heartbreaking as it was, it really felt like the icing to the story to me -- it was definitely my favorite aspect to the story.

There were some plot points I wish were fleshed out further with a few more chapters, it seems like there's still a lot more story here that we can get into. The book is labelled as the second in a series. I'm definitely going to add the first book (The Boy Who Lived in the Ceiling) to my tbr, and hope that there will be a third installment on the horizon.

Bottom line: I would recommend, with some caution for trigger warnings (anxiety disorder, mental health issues, domestic violence, anger issues)

#TheGirlWhoWasnt #NetGalley

This review will be shared on IG @reads.with.joy and on my blog readswithjoy.wordpress.com/
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What a sweet and touching read!

After LOVING the first book (The boy who lived in the ceiling) I was so excited to read this.

The girl who wasn't, focuses on the life of Jeanette (Violet's friend from book 1) and the relationship with her mother and then a new friend, Jack.
Just like the first book, this story is an insight into the struggles that some people faced behind the closed doors of 'home.'  After the separation from her father, Jeanette's mother has crumbled into depression and become a compulsive hoarder.
Meanwhile, Jack's mother is aggressive and occasionally violent to his father.
It also touches on the dangers of social media, peer pressure and bullying over peoples appearance.

As the story progresses, both characters learn to stand up for themselves despite surround pressures and eventually find the courage to be their true selves.

There's a little twist in the love story at the end, but don't worry, it's still a happy ending!

Overall, a great YA read, 3.5 stars.

Thank you to #netgalley for the copy. 
This review will be shared on IG @ByElleJayce
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My rating ~ 4.5.

I really enjoyed this coming-of-age story and felt it was a true representation of teenage life especially with social media becoming such an integral part of our daily routine.
The story follows the lives of Jack & Jeanette, their chance meeting, and the subsequent chain of events that unfold.

The author touches on some very complex and challenging subjects and although these issues aren’t the main focus, they are the catalyst to what drives the main characters.

I couldn’t help but compare Jeanette & Jack to Andi & Blaine from the 80’s movie, Pretty in Pink, but with modern-day technology and, of course, social media. 
Rich vs Poor. Popular vs “Weird”. Rejection/Acceptance. 

Catfishing is prevalent in society & where some use it to be cruel or to scam others, most are just trying to fit in and be seen, like Jeanette.
Modern-day pressures to look & act a certain way put unrealistic standards on us all, but especially teens who are so scared to be the real them they hide behind images of "perfection"
This is reflected beautifully in both Jack & Jeanette and their daily lives. 

One of the things I enjoyed most was the 'confusion' aspect. It reflects real life. On the surface, we want to present as having everything together and figured out, but underneath, our legs are flapping about trying to keep our heads about water. Jeanette's (and at times, Jack's) inner monologue shows the struggles they have with family, friends, sexuality, and just wanting to be "normal". I can personally relate to this now and when I was younger. 

The only reason I give this 4.5 is that I felt the ending was a little abrupt. I don't have any lingering questions, I guess I just wanted a little more. 

Thank you so much to NetGalley for giving me an ARC ebook in return for an honest review.

My review will also appear on my bookstagram account @piggindani_reads
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This review contains spoilers.

I did not realize it was part of a series when I requested an ARC of The Girl Who Wasn't. It was fine to read as a standalone though. I have mixed feelings about this book. The writing was good quality but the pacing was off and there was room for more character development. The first half felt slow, it picked up in the second half and then the ending felt very rushed. 

Spoiler: Jeannette's feelings about Jack and Suzanne were not examined AT ALL and it's not clear how everyone just resolved their feelings.
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