Cover Image: The Quarry Girls

The Quarry Girls

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Member Reviews

This book was a bit of a miss for me. It had good suspense, but it was a bit predictable and the ending kind of fell flat. There was a lot going on and trying to figure out what was related to the disappearances and what wasn't was interesting. When the owner of the cooper bracelet was revealed, I did have a big "I knew it!" moment, but towards the end I feel like it just kind of fell apart.
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I love Jess Lourey and her books. My all time favorite is Bloodline but this did not disappoint me. It’s not as much of a thriller as some of the others, but it certainly has a creepy vibe. 

I also loved that it was se in the seventies. So much nostalgia. The writing is atmospheric and for me it was a read I couldn’t put down.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest opinion. 4⭐️
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The first few paragraphs of the prologue hooked me – succinct, brilliant use of language that set the scene and tone for the rest of this tale which was inspired by a true story.   
It’s 1977 and a young girl has disappeared in a small town in Minnesota. Heather’s exuberant friend Maureen then also goes missing. All this while Heather is having to deal with her unstable mother, who once nearly killed her, and protect her younger sister. She doesn’t know who she can trust apart from her friends, Brenda and Claude. Even the sheriff and the priest seem to be involved. And then Heather’s best friend, Brenda, also goes missing…
This is a brutal coming of age story. It’s about power and patriarchy, abuse, corruption, vulnerability and helplessness. About strong men and defenseless girls, and about authorities hiding ugly truths. But it’s also about grit and determination. And strong women who simply won’t kowtow. 
I loved the bizarre underground tunnels connecting so many of the houses in Pantown, a metaphor for the unseen, sordid goings-on that lay buried deep under a veneer of respectability.
3.5 stars, rounded up to 4.
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Unfortunately this book wasn’t for me. 
A lot of trigger warnings.

When I read the synopsis of the book, I thought it would give me 70s summer vibes, slow-burn mystery, which it didn’t deliver for me. Actually, it is written very in media res, no time and space for reflection, just action … and writing style is quite juvenile, yet the descriptions very adult…
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I loved everything about this book. It has everything I look for in a story. Jess Lourey just moved onto my list of must read authors.
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I struggled to remain interested in this book. To me, seemed pretty easy to figure out who was involved from the beginning. Even had suspicions about the owner of the bracelet before it was revealed way later. Definitely disappointed and wanted to like this book after reading the other reviews.
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4.5+ stars

The Quarry Girls by Jess Lourey is a dark, atmospheric thriller set in small-town Minnesota, circa 1977.
Told from the first person POV of Heather, it is the story of three close friends—Heather, Maureen and Brenda—in their mid-teens, who pal around in St. Cloud, Minnesota.  Then Beth, and then Maureen, disappear, Heather fears for them and also her 12 year-old sister, Junie.  She seeks to figure out what happened to her missing friends, and subsequently experiences lies and betrayals from the adults in her life whom she trusts.
The narrative is compelling and captures the ugly underbelly of life in a claustrophobic small town.  The author really nails the locale, with details I recall from my growing up years in the same time period in adjacent Wisconsin.
Because of the age of the main characters, this chiller felt a bit YA, but the action was definitely darkly adult.  While I guessed the perpetrator of the crimes early on, there were plenty of surprises, and the final third of the book used short staccato chapters to ramp up the dramatic tension in the race to save the girls.
I recommend this book to readers looking for a very well-written psychological thriller with excellent character development and plotting.

Thank you to Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for the ARC.  This is my honest review.
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This book is everything I expect from Jess Lourey!  A brilliantly twisty ploy, believable characters and expert crafting make this one hard to put down. Highly recommended! I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to the next in the series. I received a complimentary copy of this book and chose to write a voluntary, unbiased review.
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Creepy it draws you in quickly. 1977 in Saint Cloud. The girls live in Pantown where the basements are all connected with underground tunnels. Two of them see something terrible when they open an unfamiliar door. Alternating between Heather and her bandmates story is that of Beth, kidnapped and living through a female's worse nightmare. Meanwhile above ground life continues as if bad things weren't happening.
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Based on the 4-5 star reviews, I was looking forward to reading The Quarry Girls. But, i must say that I did not end up enjoying it as much as I thought I would.  I honestly believe this book, other than the violence, should be labeled as YA. I felt like I was reading a YA novel constantly, a genre I stay away from. I did like the era, the 70's. in which the story took place. I also felt that there was too much going on and too many people to keep track of. I did, however, enjoy Lourey's writing style. This was a miss for me, unfortunately. 3 stars.
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Synopsis: Based on true Minnesota crimes, this book introduces us to Heather and Brenda, who stumble across something they shouldn't have. Then, their friend goes missing - the second girl to do so in their small town. Is this all connected to what they saw that night? What secrets are hidden under the surface of their small town?

Review: I enjoyed this book. I thought the underlying story, and lessons, where really interesting and kept my attention from the beginning. I finished this book in one day. My only complaint about this book is that it was fairly easy to figure out the "who done it?" part of the book. With that said, there was one twist that I did not see coming and my jaw dropped. Overall, will I read it again? Probably not. Would I recommend it to my friends? Sure. Is it a must-read in my opinion? No.
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"...but it does not matter because they do terrible things in packs, boys-who-are-men", things they'd never have the hate to do alone." 

Some real good writing here, in #thequarrygirls - a treatise on fathers and daughters, mothers and daughters, girlfriends and "boyfriends" and small-town nastiness. Depressing as heck, I was still compelled to keep reading to confirm my worst fears of what happened to Heather and her friends. The history of Pantown is fascinating, esp. the tunnels, and Lourey does a great job of showing us Heather's maturation from innocent to jaded. Not sure I got the "whys" but maybe that's the whole point - there is no good explanation for why people do the awful things they do.  

P.S. Thanks to #netgalley for the ARC.
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3.5 the last few chapters propelled me to the finish and were pretty good, but the beginning I had trouble getting into. I think that's because generally I don't really care about or care for the 70s I don't know why I've just never really connected with books in that setting. However I did really like that this book had so much to say about growing up a girl especially in those decades where there were even less protections. Some of the opening lines were just stunning and still true today even in our more awoken era.
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The Quarry Girls is a slow burn, that is also a bit disturbing about a small Minnesota town back in the late 70s. It's one of those close knit communities, where you think you can trust your neighbors but of course we learn you CANNOT! I thought the underground tunnels beneath the city was kind of creepy…like is that actually a thing? I kinda saw the plot twists coming, but my biggest takeaway is the fact that you have to trust your gut despite if the adults or trusted people in your life won't listen or believe you. 

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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This was a quickly moving story of  coming of age, of teenage friends who are not always as they appear and of evil among those you trust. 
I think one of the clear messages in this story is that teenagers aren't very bright.  Wanting to be seen, known, and loved can blind someone to those who are truly the enemy.  

Lots of twists in this story and wow, quite the ending.  I enjoyed it.
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The Quarry Girls is a dark and creepy read inspired by true events in Minnesota in 1977. Heather and Brenda have a secret; they witnessed something horrible in the dark that they will never be able to forget. Together- they vow to never tell a soul, but then their friend disappears and authorities are reluctant to investigate. 

This one had a super interesting setting- an entire neighborhood built over a series of tunnels that are linked through each house’s basement. The  kids play and explore the tunnels like that’s not super strange! And then they mention that these basement doors all have a universal key that unlocks them all and I’m like- NO WAY MAN.

My biggest problem with this book? The main character makes horrible decisions left and right. If this was a horror movie, she’d be the one walking into the dark after everyone died without a weapon. Girls are disappearing and she’s just wondering around alone like no big deal— and the adults don’t seem to see any problem with that! 

All in all, this one felt very young adult and depressing. Too many horrible people and plot holes… not enough mystery. Three stars! 

Thank you to @netgally and Thomas & Mercer for an ARC of The Quarry Girls in return for my honest review!
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Heather is a girl growing up in Pantown, a small town in Minnesota, where everyone knows everyone. At least that’s what they all think. When girls start disappearing and then showing up dead, Heather questioned everything and everyone she knows. Turns out even those she trusted the most have secrets. 

I wanted to love this book. I enjoy a book about secrets, betrayal and murder and this has all those things. For some reason it just came up short for me. I just am somewhere in the middle about how I feel about it.
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Thank you Netgalley, Thomas & Mercer and Jess Lourey for the ARC of this book.

What can I say.... this book was just devastating, suspenseful, uncomfortable and twisty.

It was so well written and Jess has written the characters so well you feel you know them and share their heart break.

I absolutely couldn't stop reading this book and I binged it in one day. Highly recommend this one and I will be thinking about it for many days after.
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There is so much to love about this story. I especially love the main character, Heather, who hasn't matured as fast as her best friends, Brenda and Maureen. Although they are the same age, Heather seems younger than her peers who are into makeup and chasing boys. This alone makes the story all that much creepier.

Dark tunnels under the town that connect the houses. Missing teens. Liars. Creeps. Secrets. What more can a reader ask for? Twists and turns, and not just in those spooky tunnels. This is one book I read from cover to cover.
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Thank you to the author, Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley, for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I've read one of the author’s previous novels before this one, and have to say: She is a master at creating a  creepy, disturbing atmosphere. This story is set in small-town USA in the recent past (1970s), and apparently based on a true story (both are hallmarks of her work). Secrets and lies dominate the narrative, and the reader is led step by step from childhood innocence into the depths of darkness. The author never uses explicit or graphic language, but as the child from whose POV the story is told puzzles through what she has seen and not understood, your grownup mind completes the picture. The whole thing is very well-written, although it does become obvious early on who is involved.
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