Cover Image: Where Sleeping Girls Lie

Where Sleeping Girls Lie

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Member Reviews

Thank you NetGalley and Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group for providing an advanced digital copy in exchange for my honest review.


I have anticipated this book since reading Ace of Spades. When Àbíké-Íyímídé promoted her sophomore novel as the point of view of the Unfriendly Black Hotties of “Mean Girls” I was hooked. She further described her second book as a cross between “Mean Girls” and “Blood & Water” (and now I plan to binge watch “Blood & Water”!).

The Summary-

This YA contemporary mystery (I’d even say it’s also a bit of a horror novel depending on how you look at it) is just what we need. Told in third person from Sade Hussein’s perspective, we follow Sade on her journey of new-found freedom: Alfred Noble Academy boarding school. This is her chance to change her life, she’s been home-schooled all her life and has been craving to get out from under her father’s control. Now, as an orphan, she’s able to pursue her goal, except death and mystery seem to follow our main character. On her first day at school, she learns of a trio of popular girls who are deemed the “Unholy Trinity” (what an intriguing moniker!), and befriends two students - one being her roommate, Elizabeth. Not 24 hours has passed and there’s already trouble, Elizabeth is missing! Sade can’t be sure, but she has an inkling it has something to do with the texts Elizabeth was receiving the day before. Who can Sade trust? And with her history of sleep walking, can she even trust herself?

The Writing-

This whole book is *chef’s kiss* wonderful; Àbíké-Íyímídé is really good at story telling! There are a few subplots, and normally that would worry me, but she does a fantastic job of bringing them together in the end in a medium-fast pace.

I appreciate the way Àbíké-Íyímídé is able to express personalities/qualities of her characters through their actions and thoughts, rather than outright stating them. She also create this atmosphere where you just know there are deeper secrets brewing and everyone becomes a suspect for a second. Let’s take a moment here to acknowledge one of my favorite of many references in this book: Paramore’s Riot era - reading that line took me back to middle school.


The Characters-

There are many characters in this novel, but don’t let that deter you. They each have such distinct personalities, you’d have to intentionally try to confuse them. I found the primary characters to be realistic and three dimensional; whereas the secondary characters were more two dimensional - with reason.


I found Sade to be one of the more complex characters I’ve read. On the one hand, she grew up in such a controlling environment, you’d think it’d have affected her sense of self. And in some ways, this expectation manifests itself in how she approaches some of her social interactions. But on the other hand, I don’t think I’ve read a teen who is so self assured in the most subtle ways - ex: she talks about how women and girls are not supposed to know they’re beautiful, but she knows that she is. She doesn’t think this in a self-obsessed way, she’s stating a fact she knows to be true, because let me tell you, almost everyone seems to be drawn to this new girl. She also stands on her principles and knows how to go about getting information. In short, she knows herself. We quickly realize that Sade is a very lonely character who has internalized all her past hurt and trauma - to the point that she takes comfort in her frequent nightmares.

The Verdict-

I absolutely recommend this book - I already told my sister about it. All I’ll say is if you like a boarding school mystery, found families, and feminine rage, this is your book.


Trigger Warnings: sexual assault, negative family dynamics, gaslighting, self-exit, trauma, mental health.

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This was a slow-paced, dark academia thriller that I really enjoyed! Parts of the book dragged a little, but it ended up being worth it in the end. 4.25/5⭐.

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I admit that this is my first Àbíké-Íyímídé title, and after reading it, I'm not thrilled or excited about the story's outcome. I was at 70% of WSGL when I felt the strong urge to DNF. The pacing of the story is entirely too slow. Though the author delivered on the case of the missing girl, reading the entirety came off as a new girl trying to fit in a new atmosphere.

Alas, I did finish the book, and there was a point to it all. But for my thoughts on that, you have to read the full review over on my blog, lol.

2.5 stars

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Thank you to the publisher, the author and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

I loved this book! From page 1, I was hooked. I loved the Mean Girls and Heathers vibes mixed with the dark academia/cult-y vibes. It was a lot of fun. Plus I loved all of the diversity the author put into these characters.

The subject matter could be difficult for some people who make sure to check your trigger and content warnings!

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Where Sleeping Girls Lie is a dark academia mystery. Sade is an orphan starting at boarding school and she’s dealing with her own traumatic past. On the first night, her roommate is missing and Sade becomes enmeshed with the dark secrets of the elite boarding school. This was a long book, at the beginning it was quick moving and then it lulled middle but then the last part of book picked up. The build up was worth the wait, the secrets, the twists and the retribution was beautifully done. The development in the middle was central to the plot. You emphasize with the characters and the injustices done to them. And you hope for justice at the end.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC.

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I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This book kept me on my toes the entire time. I loved Ace of Spades and was very exciting to hear that a new book was being released by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé. This book did not disappoint. The book is told non-linearly, which very much matches the confusion the main character is experiencing throughout the trials of the book. The serious nature of the crimes being committed by characters in the book were handled sensitively and deftly. It never felt excessive or sensational. This book had raw, intense feelings that hit hard. The topics discussed are challenging, but real. Real people face sexual assault every day and the book was compassionate while also inspiring to stand up against the complacency. This book was an experience unlike Ace of Spades, but also just as fascinating and thrilling.

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Thank you Coloredpages, NetGalley, and Fierce Reads for my #gifted copy.

Where Sleeping Girls Lie is a contemporary mystery that keeps you hanging in suspense. Sade (SHAH-DAY) is the new kid on the block, and she’s harboring secrets while uncovering the secret of her new roommate's disappearance.
 
Sade plans to uncover the secrets of her new school as she finds out what happened to her new roommate Elizabeth. This book is a long journey to find out what’s happening; honestly, it was way too long for this reader, but I will say the message behind the book is good. It just could’ve been done with fewer pages, in my opinion.
 
It presents an opportunity to explore just how sinister private institutions can be, what they do to protect wrongdoers, and how careless they are when it comes to protecting young women.
 
I’d recommend this one if you loved the author's previous work (Ace of Spades), like long suspenseful stories and multi-layered stories.

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Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of Sleeping Girls Lie to review!
4.5 stars
I thought this was a really high quality book with a really captivating story. I really loved all the characters even though some of them were flawed and multi-faceted at times. I really liked how from the start (before anything serious had happened) the school and Sade's pov already has this very weird vibe to it. Like saying that ketchup has the "appearance of congealed blood" and other small things like that. I thought this was done really well and I liked how it kind of puts you on edge before anything even happens. The trio of popular girls adopting Sade into their lunch group just had wayyy to many similarities to Mean Girls. After we were able to properly get to know April. Persephone, and Juliette I feel like I was able to distinguish their dynamic from Mean Girls but the trio's adoption of Sade into their group still made me think of Lindsay Lohan in that pink polo shirt because the dynamic was exactly the same. I feel like this book took a little while to get going but once it did I could not put it down. I feel like the period of time after Elizabeth goes missing and everyone at school kind of forgets about her and before all the stuff with Jude goes down we kind of lost the plot a little bit. But once Sade got invited to the Hawking party it was all action from there to the end. It made me so infuriated how it was basically impossible for any of the victims to get justice or closure in this story. I understand that that's kind of a point made in the story since a lot of rape cases never get justice but I hated it nonetheless. I also so badly wish that Elizabeth had told Sade that she knew Jam because I thought that would be a really cute connection that the two girls had together but I also can understand why she didn't. I also thought the parallel between Baz's Jam crackers and Jam the person was very sneaky and well done. I also thought the point made in the end about Francis and how he's obviously messed up but he wasn't one of the Fishermen was also interested. Overall, I thought this was a great story with a lot of twists and turns I couldn't predict and I would definitely read more from this author in the future.

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When I heard that the author of Ace of Spades was writing another book, I didn’t think twice about anything. I just added it to my TBR lol And of course I was right to do so. Now don’t get me wrong, this book did teach me that I don’t actually like slow burns of any kind, but it taught me some other things too…… Like the fact that Àbíké-Íyímídé can write one hell of a mystery!

Ok so I know this is a me thing, but I felt like this took entirely too long to set up. This audio is 17 hours! And I was lucky that I was listening to the audio because I might have gotten annoyed and put it aside for a while. But I was able to speed it up a little and that helped me along. I know it’s a me thing since I’m not a lover of slow burns, so take what I say with a grain of salt lol And it IS a gorgeously written book, so it was entertaining, I don’t want to take anything away from that. I just wanted a thriller from start to finish. (Which Idk why because Ace of Spades was the same way lol)

Now if you stick to this book until the end, you will know that the beginning may be a bit slow, but the middle and the ending had twists and turns I never saw coming. And I mean that in the sense of, I sat up straight and said, “WHAT?!” This book took a lot of different turns that I was not expecting, and that’s saying something because I can usually always pick the person. But this scenario didn’t even cross my mind. It was a welcome twist after that slow burn. BUT again, like with the previous book I reviewed, I thought the way it was told was annoying. I’d much rather read a book where I’m given all the information and then when I guess it was still wrong. But with these recents books, my guess was wrong, but the information was doled out in such a way to keep you in the dark the whole time.

The romance was cute and I actually felt that it was more prevalent in this one. I know its a thriller so it shouldn’t really matter, but when it’s 2sLGBTQ+ rep, I’ll take what I can get. One of my pet peeves is when a book is touted to have some type of rep and it’s a miniscule part in the story. (There was another story that I read earlier this year where I was annoyed by this same thing lol) So I was happy that this one showed them flirting and they were actually having fun together. We don’t really see them in a real relationship, except for a small part, but in my mind that gave them a whole happy ending lol

This book wasn’t what I was expecting, but that was what kept me intrigued lol I had to find out what was happening to them and why she had to do this things. And why other people had to do these things. It definitely is a book that will keep you on your toes. And please, for the love of all that’s holy, STAY OUTTA THE GROUP CHAT!

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2.5 stars rounded up

This is a tough one to rate. I almost DNFed it around 60%. It started off interesting enough but the middle part seemed to drag on forever. I read other reviews that said it picked up at the end, so I stuck with it and I’m glad I finished it. I really enjoyed the last third of the book. I just think it could have been about 100 pages shorter.

I loved the characters and the setting of the book. Make sure to check trigger warnings!

Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

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This was one of my most anticipated books after loving Ace of Spades but it took me awhile to finish it. The pacing is VERY slow, and downright glacial for the first half of the book. It also felt too long and could easily have been edited back at least 100 pages without sacrificing the plot. Even just eliminating the excess of day to day minutiae would have helped to streamline it significantly.

I enjoyed the dark academia setting, the heavier topics and the emotional impact the story had on me, I just wish it had been edited back to better hold my interest. It took me over a month to finish this after setting it aside several times. I had a few things I didn’t love about the ending but I appreciated that I didn’t predict the outcome.

I think if you enjoy a very character driven slow burn mystery you will like this a bit more than I did. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the DRC.

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I think it is important to start this review by saying that unlike Ace of Spades, this book is more of a slow-burn mystery. So if you go into it expecting a fast-paced thriller, this book is not going to fit that need.

With that out of the way, I want to say that I truly enjoyed this book. This book kept me guessing up until the very end, and I had no idea what was going to happen next most of the time (which is exactly what I want in my mystery books). I was suspicious of everyone at least once too. I'm still not fully convinced on a couple (I jest.).

I do think that the book would not have suffered from a bit of editing down. There was a lot going on, so the length made sense in some ways, but overall it could have been shorter. I would have also loved a bit more exploration into the side characters. They were wonderful, and I always want more of side characters.

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- Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé comes into her full dark academia powers with WHERE SLEEPING GIRLS LIE. If you liked ACE OF SPADES, this book gives you all of that, doubled, with even more explorations of power and status layered in.
- I loved how the doubt and suspicion built in this story - pretty sure I suspected everyone at one point or another.
- I do think it could have been shorter. There was so much going on that I see why it was as long as it was, but personally I almost always want a faster pace.

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CONTENT WARNING: sexual assault, rape, suicide, suicidal ideation, grief, death of family members (including parents), murder, alcohol use, emotional abuse, anxiety, misogyny, rape culture, mention of drug use and drugging, trauma

I was so intrigued by this premise. It seemed to have all the elements that I love in a story—dark academia, a missing roommate, secrets galore, and a girl trying to solve a mystery while acclimating to boarding school after being homeschooled her whole life. So I went into this read with high hopes and really looking forward to it.

I got pulled into the story pretty quickly. The pace is moderately fast at the start of the story, when we get introduced to the major players in the story and the setting. We don’t really get to see a lot of background on any of the characters, aside from Sade, and even the info that we know about her is limited. It’s revealed slowly over the course of the story, but what is obvious is that Sade is struggling with some mental health issues, as well as crushed under the weight of grief and guilt. There are several scenes in the book where Sade has symptoms of anxiety, and flashbacks to her trauma, although there are some pretty severe symptoms in the beginning of the book that just pretty much disappear from the middle of the story.

While Sade’s character was the closest to being fully fleshed out, even she felt like a puzzle that was still missing a few pieces. I found it easy to like her, although I did want to get to know more about her. The side characters are even less fleshed out, only providing one or two main aspects of their personality in lieu of examining who they really are, what else there is to know about them, and what happened in their life to make them who they became in that moment.

There was definitely a pacing issue in the story, and I think part of that was related to the length of the book. This one ended at 416 pages, and it easily could have been 100 pages shorter. While the beginning of the story was moderately faster-paced, it slowed down quite a bit for the middle portion of the story, leading to a rushed ending. The author wrapped everything up rather abruptly at the very end of the book.

Despite all these issues, I actually didn’t really mind the slow-burn mystery where everyone had secrets to hide and plenty of red herrings made it difficult to identify who the villain really was. I tried to guess who was behind everything, but was surprised at how everything played out in the end. Things got a bit over the top, but that didn’t bother me too much either.

What really got me was the way a sapphic romance was shoehorned into the story at 94% without it feeling believable in any way. For starters, it really didn’t have any major effect on the plot aside from it making it easy to wrap everything up neatly and quickly with a minimum of fuss. Second of all is the fact that of the two people, the attraction was really only believable on one side. For Sade, she spent the entire book thinking about a gazillion things, but not one of them was the female character that we are supposed to believe that she’s been wanting to make a move on for weeks? I find it difficult to buy into the fact that she is romantically interested in a girl that she’s been so focused on having as a friend for the entirety of the book. And on top of that, the writing felt incredibly cliched in some places. I caught myself rolling my eyes when I came across sentences like this:

“Sade was tired of goodbyes, but it seemed they had yet to grow tired of her.”

Overall, this could have been a four star read for me, but it wound up being a meh book. I would have loved for it to have more character development and a bit of tightening up of the plot, because that could have elevated this from an average book that doesn’t really stand out to a knockout. I appreciated that it addressed some really important issues that young adults do face, including grief, anxiety, trauma, and rape culture, especially in settings where it isn’t always addressed, such as in a school setting. Ultimately, it was one of those middle-of-the-road books that I’ll probably not think about again after the end of this month.

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Timely and, once the ball gets rolling, very engaging. This is an excellently written YA that will feel relevant to teens and adults alike.

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it's haunting, it's disturbing, it's harrowing, but it's also sweet and filled with love

thanks to Macmillian/Feiwel and Friends for an ARC in exchange for my honest review!

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A dark academia and Mean Girls vibes? Say less.
I had a flashback to Cruel Intentions — aka rich kids doing bad things and expecting to get away with it.

I’ll start by saying this is definitely more mystery than thriller, so know going in that the pacing can be a bit slower.
Sade hasn’t had an easy life and less than 24 hours at her new boarding school her roommate goes missing. She wants to find out what happened and discovers layer and after layer of secrets.
We get a diverse cast of characters at Alfred Nobel Academy- rich girls and boys from all over, uptight teachers, absent parents, and a guinea pig. I thought the boarding school setting was creepy in the best way and made for a great back drop for all the secrets its inhabitants are hiding

I recommend if you like
•Mean Girls - but make it murder
•Elite boarding school setting
•Diverse cast solving crime
•Morse code
•Sapphic tension
•A guinea pig named muffin

Thank you to Macmillian Children’s and Turn The Page Tours for my early copy. All thoughts are my own.

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Where Sleeping Girls Lie is a fantastic young adult thriller!
Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé weaves a fabulous story about Sade, her new boarding school, and her missing roommate. Every time I thought I knew where the story would take me, there was another subtle twist or turn that kept me turning the pages. A really fabulous read!

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Though a slow moving plot, this was so good just because of the characters, and the over all ending.

I kept thinking this school will have some dark but magical (read Fantasy element) to it. But no. It was just a contemporary mystery, And when I say just, I don't mean it in a bad way. This book delivered on very hard topics with loveable and some very despicable characters.

No, I had no idea what the plot will turn out to be, or the secret. Or that ending. But I was here for all the twists, and all the banter and amateur sleuthing around beautiful campus. It made me want to be part of that group of friends, or being part of that school (till it didn't).

The author delivered once again, and I'm glad I had an early chance to read this. It will definitely be recommended by me.

TW: Suicide, sexual assault, rape (not on paper), physical assault, death of a parent, drug and alcohol use. Not a comprehensive list, but biggest one's I could think of.

Thank you to the publisher for my review copy.

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I loved Ace of Spades and was so excited for this book - twisty and suspenseful boarding school story? I’m sold. I did enjoy a lot about this: the actual storyline, trying to figure out what was happening at the same time as Sade, the representation and thought, the setting. But the book is too slow and then wraps up too quickly. I don’t want to spoil anything so my review will be somewhat short. But, this book sheds like on the negative experiences of young girls at boarding school, and honestly in life. The plot is there and it’s enjoyable (albeit hard to read), it just takes too long to get to what is going on. And then the end was wrapped up like a bow - and I wanted more consequences (even if that isn’t realistic).

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