Cover Image: The Quarry Girls

The Quarry Girls

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Member Reviews

Heather lives in a small town with a series of underground tunnels connecting the houses. One day, while exploring the tunnels with friends, she stumbles upon an unlocked door and sees something she shouldn't. Shortly after, one of her friends goes missing...and then another. While Heather tries to figure out who is kidnapping the teens in town, she starts to wonder who she can really trust.

I liked this book a lot and read through it in one sitting. I thought the pacing was good, though the storytelling seemed more young adult to me. There were some secrets I figured out pretty early in, but there were still a couple things I did not see coming. I also liked Heather's character and how realistic all of her realizations were. I also thought Claude was a good character, and maybe the only decent guy in the whole town.

Thank you netgalley for an arc of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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The Quarry girls is based on true events/serial killers in Minnesota during the late 1970's. Teenage girls kept disappearing in Minnesota in the summer of 1977 but the police were hesitant to fully investigate the crimes. Heather is determined to find her missing friends but learns uncomfortable truths about her life and those around her.

The girls were all young but forced to act like adults and I cared for them and rooted for them. I did enjoy the small town vibes and I was floored yet again with Jess Lourey's excellent writing and amazing storytelling.

This book kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Although there were moments that were disturbing and creepy the culprits were revealed pretty early on and that did affect my rating. Overall an entertaining story with a satisfying conclusion.

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I must admit, based on the title, I assumed that this was a book about women coming into their own while working in a quarry.

It’s definitely not. It’s a coming of age thriller, which I didn’t even know was a thing before reading this book.

Heather is a teen in a close knit community, but lately she’s been feeling like an outside amongst her friends, who have had way more experience with boys. One night Heather stumbles on her friend doing something really confusing with a group of men. Then her friend disappears…
Who can Heather trust with the secret of what she saw?
I read this book in one evening. Definitely snap it up!

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If you are a newbie to thrillers or just enjoy a fast paced criminal minds ish story, this is for you.

This story is set in small town Minnesota with a group of high school girls. These girls have a band, perform at the county fair, they spend time outside, running around town and swimming in quarries. If you grew up in the midwest a lot of this will seem familiar.

In this town, Heather’s two best friends go missing and wind up dead. Something is clearly going on, but can you figure out what or who is going these things to this small town?

I picked up on it very early which is why this was such a low rating for me. The clues were obvious is you pay attention.

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At times, creepy and disturbing and almost always entertaining, this book knows how to grab the reader and not let go. When we think we can take a breath, we discover it’s tight grip on us once more.

Thank you for this opportunity!

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You can give this one a try if you like to read coming of age books with mystery element and eerie atmosphere.

The plot is actually good and a bit predictable, it's not a mystery thriller I was expecting it to be but I was still able to enjoy it.

It took me a while to warm up to Heather's character but near the end I came to admire her, the way she brave herself to speak the truth so everyone get the justice they deserved.

While this one can be consider as a YA book with the MC only around 16/17 years old, the topics in this book can get very dark like the child abuse happening to these teenage girls, the injustice and abuse of power.
While it's not explicitly told but you can imagine what happen in some events.

Not only those, the creepy atmosphere can also be felt every time the characters venture out to the underground tunnels that connects all the houses in that whole town.

There are a couple things I didn't really enjoy, the pacing was too slow and the changes of one POV to another in the same chapter was too sudden- it pulled me out of the story sometimes.

Overall, this is a good story with some great messages. The ending also got wrapped up nicely however, I wish the book also has more suspense considering this was a mystery thriller.

⚠️ TW: child abuse

Actual rating: 3.5⭐

I received an advanced review copy for free from Netgalley, the author and publisher. I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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I love the way Jess Lourey writes about secrets and mystery. I also love that true events have inspired some of her works, including this one. It adds an extra layer of creepy to the story. Her writing is excellent and this book included was so hard to put down until the story was done. Heather and her friend Brenda see a flash of something they shouldn’t but they swear to keep it secret. But when their other best friend disappears, the second girl in a week, they decide they have to share. Heather is determined to find out what happened to her friend even thought he powerful men of her hometown seem content to pretend nothing serious is wrong. This is a story about secrets, family, growing up, and the misuse of power. It’s a great creepy story that I highly recommend.

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Jess Lourey writes just absolute gut punches of books, and The Quarry Girls hits HARD. Lourey captures the hot, sticky feeling of summer, of the loose supervision of kids and the tightly held secrets of this 1977 Minnesota set story fantastically. This book is horrifying and upsetting, while being well-written and realistic.

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This is my first book by Jess Lourey and now I can’t wait to pick up their other books! The Quarry Girls is haunting, with a dark atmosphere Where’s girls are disappearing, dark tunnels, and late night parties I couldn’t put it down. The hopeless feel and just blunt honesty of a young girl as her world is turned upside down, just hits you in all the feels. The small community that knows everything about everyone or seemingly so. You think you have ideas of what’s happening in this town but you really don’t! the whole feel of this book just gives you that feeling of dread and worry and I love it!

4.5 stars

Thank you to Thomas & Mercer and Netgalley for my review copy.

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Thank you to Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for this ARC. I’ve had my eye on a few of Lourey’s books for some time, so I was very excited when I got this. While ultimately this didn’t fully work for me, I definitely will be checking out some of her other books because I liked the concept of this one so much.

My favorite part about this book is the author’s note at the beginning. I know that sounds weird, but Lourey lays out exactly why she wrote this book and I found it fascinating. It ties true crime elements into a fictional work in a way that made me invested in the story from the first page.

I also really liked how unflinching this novel was. Realistic horror/thriller books always mess me up the most because, well, they could happen, and Lourey did not shy away from showing the darkest parts of our society. Even though I found the overall mystery a bit predictable, I liked how it was laid out and the creepy atmosphere that permeated the book.

My main issue was that, while it is not marketed as a YA book, it reads like one. All of the characters are young and, instead of it just having a youthful tone through the dialogue, it bled into the general writing as well. I think it’s very hard to write an adult novel from a teen’s perspective and Lourey didn’t quite nail it. But, as I said above, the plot of this is quite good, and definitely makes me intrigued to read other books by her!

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The Quarry Girls by Jess Lourey

First of all, thank you to @netgalley and @amazonpublishing for my #gifted e-book!

I was really excited to read my first Jess Lourey, so thank you to @maddies.reads for hosting a buddy read this month!

Overall, I thought this was an engrossing, quick thriller read. Once I started, I was hooked and was able to finish it in 1 day. However, there were some pretty big plot holes or things that didn’t fully make sense. I also wasn’t a fan of the two different huge plot lines—I thought they’d intersect at the end, but they didn’t? Which was interesting.

BUT I think this was a good Fall read, and I’m excited to read all of Jess Lourey’s other books!

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I have read a previous book by this author and loved it, so it was no surprise that I loved this one too. It definitely didn’t hurt that she threw in a local band that I have loved for years. Living in the Midwest it is unusual for a book to have places that you know well, so I really enjoyed that.

I love that Jess Lourey bases her books on actual events that happened in Minnesota and this was no exception. This book takes place in the 1970s in a small suburb where girls are going missing, but while trying to figure out what is going on with them, a whole other dark underbelly of the town is revealed.

Jess Lourey is definitely an autobuy author for me. I can’t wait to read what she comes out with next.

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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This supposed story of young girls disappearing in small town Minnesota took a solidly weird turn into the realm of corruption and cancerous secrets. The result of this is a feeling of uncertainty as the book goes off into unexpected territory. To add to the off kilter feeling, the main character, Heather, is 15 years old but in many ways feels both younger and older. At times that made it difficult to connect to her and the story. However, overall the plot was both frightening and engrossing. After finishing, I couldn't resist going down the internet rabbit hole and was both fascinated by the tunnels beneath the town as well as dismayed by the killings of two sisters that formed the original idea for the story. From this basis is woven a much deeper darker story. This was a horrifying thriller.

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The atmosphere that the author created for this book was beautiful. I could literally picture some of the creepy tunnels in my mind. This was well written, but wasn’t my favorite. It dragged on a bit more than I would have liked.

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I really enjoyed this. Maybe because I was growing up in the Midwest in the late ‘70’s. I could almost feel a lot of the atmospheric descriptions. I have read some of the reviews, calling the book creepy. And yes. The late 1970’s were creepy. Everything was dark. Parents let their kids get into things. Things that are illegal today were normal back then. It was difficult. Yet Jess Lourey does it perfectly! Great coming of age/mystery.

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WARNING: Guess what?! It's unpopular opinion time again!!

There was just something about the blurb of The Quarry Girls that made me want to know more. It might have had to do with the 1970s Minnesota setting, it might have had to do with the mention of a county fair or the missing girls... But the fact is that I was intrigued straight away. Sadly, this ended up being yet another unpopular opinion experience for me instead; it almost seems like I'm cursed this month. While I still love the premise, there were multiple elements that didn't work for me and as a consequence I ended up struggling considerably with this story. I'll try to explain briefly below why.

Like I said before, I still very much like the premise of this story as well as its 1970s setting. The Minnesota town, the tunnels, the county fair, the quarry and the fact that everyone knows each other; all elements that enhanced the story for me. I do have to say that the fact that the story was set in 1970s was repeated a bit too often and as a result it came over as less natural and like it was forced on you instead. I actually had issues with the writing style in general: there was just something about the tone and way this story was written that really irked me. I know this is a personal reaction, but it made it a lot harder to keep reading for me. The pace itself was very slow as well, up until the point I really struggled to keep turning those pages.

I also struggled considerably with the main characters. They were both implausible and unlikeable, and there were too many cliches involved. I was especially annoyed by Heather, whose actions are beyond stupid and she basically does whatever horror/thriller movies show you NOT to do when there is danger. This gets really frustrating, and even more so after she starts realizing just how serious the situation is. I also wasn't a fan of how the story jumped between POVs within the same chapter and without warning... It only messed up the pace even further. And I was quite surprised by how young they all sounded, and The Quarry Girls felt more YA than adult fiction to me (especially since the most of the main characters are minors in the first place).

This story also wasn't exactly what I expected it would be, and for me not in a good way. There was too much focus on grooming and abuse, and the constant repetition of how men treat women badly got old very fast. The story keeps piling up evidence that basically every man in town is a bad egg and that they are all out there to get girls and women. Especially in the last part things got way over the top, and to make things worse many of those examples of 'bad men' are only mentioned and then basically brushed under the carpet without developing it properly or handing over a satisfying ending. Plot holes and unsolved angles are never a good thing for me, and while the missing person case was solved, it was too easy to guess who was behind it all.

In short, unfortunately I definitely didn't have a great time reading The Quarry Girls. There are so many glowing reviews, and it made me wonder if I was reading the same book... I even stopped reading to check the reviews to see if I was the only one feeling this way. I guess it shows some books just aren't for everyone... I'm in the minority when it comes to this title though, so don't give up on my account if you think The Quarry Girls could be for you.

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The Quarry Girls, will break the internet, mark my words....

Jess Lourey is a force to be reckoned with. After reading both Bloodline and Unspeakable Things, I knew that I had found an auto-buy author. The writing cascades across the pages and makes it nearly impossible to take a break and put the book down. The amount of knowledge and research that goes into each one of Lourey's books shows. The way that Lourey makes these characters come to life with the multi-dimensional layers is something to admire.

The Quarry Girls, is a book that will be discussed and talked about long after readers have concluded.

What I found even scarier than the book itself was that it was based on true events that transpired in Minnesota in 1977.

Girls are going missing and it seems as though no one is doing much to find out where they are going. The police have taken a back seat all the while the numbers of missing girls are going up. When Heather decides enough is enough after one of her friends disappears, she sets out on a path that just might put her own life in jeopardy.....

After concluding the Quarry Girls, I could not help myself but to become a self proclaimed detective and research every last tid bit about the missing girls from Minnesota. I am a true crime junkie and absolutely lose myself in stories like this. I would love nothing more than to watch this book play out on the big screen.

The Quarry Girls easily became one of my favorite books of this year.

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I loved the writing of this book. So will be picking up more from this author. The story itself just wasn't for me. I don't think I love two different timelines. Its really hard to keep track of no matter how well its done.

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I haven’t had a lot of reading time lately, between fall chores, work, and just life in general, but quality has been making up for quantity.

I devoured The Quarry Girls. Not only was Jess Lourey kind enough to send me an early copy, along with some amazing 1970s swag — I’m currently wearing the mood ring), but, thanks to my partners at @brilliancepublishing I was able to access an early audio copy. The audio version is so perfectly narrated by Jess Nahikian, like listening to a cautionary tale around a late-night campfire.

Whatever way you can get your hands on a copy, it’s a must read/must listen with a startling twist. Also, if you haven’t read a Jess Lourey novel, I would recommend starting with this one, adding all the rest to your cart, and canceling your plans. Of course, for this one, you’ll have to wait until November 1.

Thanks for the opportunity to review!
Link to 10/25/2022 Instagram post:

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As always thank you to @jesslourey for your amazing, gifted copy and goodies. If you don’t know-Jess gives quite possibly THE BEST promo boxes around. They are always so perfect and the fit the story to a T.

Figuring out the twist on this one hurt you guys. I knew it was coming but-geez. We have innocence lost and the naivety ripped from these girls, and it is gut wrenching. The characters are really fleshed out and you get such a strong feeling for their voices. Jess knows how to write a teenage female so well. It reminded me of my own youth at times. (Obviously not all the death/crime but you get it)

I also love the throwback vibes that Jess always includes in her stories. This one takes place in the late 70’s and the music talked about in the book alone was my freaking jam. She manages to bring a bit of history, mystery and suspense to her stories while getting your heart wrapped up in her characters.

All I can say is, if you have read this author before you are in for more of the same perfection. I enjoyed it as much as all her others!

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