The Hiding Girl

Emily Calby Book 1

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Pub Date Jun 15 2020 | Archive Date Oct 31 2020

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Twelve-year-old Emily Calby was a good girl from a religious family in rural Georgia. She loved softball, her little sister and looking up words to get her allowance. Then two men came and murdered her family. Somehow Emily escaped. Only the killers know she survived.

On the run in a fugue, she makes an unlikely ally in a ruthless former gang member who takes her in. Overwhelmed by guilt, she persuades him to train her to kill before setting out alone on a terrifying search for justice. Nothing will stop her—not cops or creeps, not even her own splintering mind. Through it all, Emily fights to hold onto hope and the girl she once knew, kept buried deep inside.

A testament to the boundless limits of love, sacrifice and the will to survive, The Hiding Girl is the first book in the Emily Calby Series

Twelve-year-old Emily Calby was a good girl from a religious family in rural Georgia. She loved softball, her little sister and looking up words to get her allowance. Then two men came and murdered...

Advance Praise

“Dark and gritty . . . an exceptional, heart-pounding story full of raw emotion, deep-seated fear, and an undercurrent of hope and innocence. Deeply atmospheric . . . without peer in contemporary mysteries/thrillers. … Watching the characters evolve (and devolve, in some cases) was absolutely amazing. Subtle nuances were plentiful and guided the reader into horrified admiration and a desire to protect them all." — Publishers Weekly Booklife Prize Seminfinalist

"In Emily, Author Dorian Box has created a rarity—a teenage protagonist that is at once sympathetic, vulnerable and largely fearless. … This sharp characterization within a fast-paced work of suspense makes The Hiding Girl one of the year’s most exciting series openers." — (named a 2020 Best Thriller of the Year)

“The story that author Dorian Box has created for Emily Calby is nothing short of thrilling, but it’s The Hiding Girl’s masterful interplay of character, setting, and theme, along with its fast-pace and high emotional stakes that make it a real page-turner.” — IndieReader (starred review and "IR Seal of Approval")

“[A] unique mix of hope, shattered innocence, pain, fear, and vulnerability … a great, suspenseful read.” — Reader’s Favorite Book Award in Suspense Fiction

“Author Dorian Box keeps his audience on the edges of their seats with the gripping first installment in his new Emily Calby Series.” —

“Dark and gritty . . . an exceptional, heart-pounding story full of raw emotion, deep-seated fear, and an undercurrent of hope and innocence. Deeply atmospheric . . . without peer in contemporary...

Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9781734639902
PRICE $12.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 52 members

Featured Reviews

Want something different, thrilling, exciting and all around entertaining? Then pick up "The Hiding Girl". Little Emily had a really bad month and is now on the run. During her adventures she runs into Lucas, just the right, wrong person she needs to find to help her avenge her family. Lucas and his girlfriend Kiona help and train Emily, now Alice, the best they can and 3 short weeks after finding them she is on the run again. Next stop, Louisiana. Buckle up, it is about to get exciting. Dorian Box keeps you turning the page and cheering for little, young Emily Calby, and Lucas too.

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I read this book as an ARC and I am so grateful that I was given this opportunity. Thank you @herabooks

I read this book quickly as it was so intense and I just loved Emily’s character. I couldn’t put it down.

At 12 years old, Emily finds her world completely torn apart. Two men have murdered her sister and mother. Emily is able to escape but is forced to survive in a world she has no idea how to live in. She enlists an ex-gang member to help her and together, with the help of Lucas’ girlfriend, Emily builds up her endurance. Together they embark on a journey that neither one was expecting to go on. Unfortunately, things do not go as planned and Emily is once again put in dangerous situations that test her character and her morals.

Emily is such a vivid character. She is determined to not only survive but to become stronger. As a strong female character, I admired Emily’s ability to challenge herself when faced with adversity as well as her ability to remain calm and deal with the situations she was put into. I imagine that she will be a force to recon with when she grows up.

Some of the content of this book is less than desirable, but what can you expect from a story about a 12 year old girl trying to survive on the streets. Emily, at twelve, is exposed to things and situations that should break her spirit, but they don’t, she keeps going and that is admirable.

I would expect that anyone who enjoys an intense story with interesting characters will enjoy this read.

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'The Hiding Girl' by Dorian Box drew me in immediately. 12 year old Emily Calby's life changes in the blink of an eye. She finds herself on the run, scared, constantly looking over her shoulder and trying to block out everything that just happened to her and her family.

She goes from a well behaved, obedient child to a thief, a liar and a kid who can clearly fend for herself in extreme circumstances, but make no mistake. She is no dummy. Emily meets a man named Lucas in Memphis, who couldn't be more different from her. She is Southern, white, and religious. He is black, former gang member and from the inner city. However, what brings them together is their loss and their need for justice. Lucas teaches her self defense and his girlfriend, Kiona, gets her in shape. The profound relationship between Lucas and Emily grows throughout the book. It was definitely my favorite part.

The character development was really strong. The twists and turns were enough to keep me guessing and engrossed. It was an intense read. I felt like I was in Emily's head sometimes and I appreciated her strong female character.

This book publishes on June 15, 2020. I can't wait to read Book 2!

Trigger Warnings - Rape (nothing explicit, but mentioned), death, cutting, PTSD with dissociative symptoms

Thank you to NetGalley and Friction Press for the eGalley copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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At first I was definitely apprehensive about likelihood of that fast of a friendship between a "skinny white girl" on the run and a black guy from a rough neighborhood but, as the story progressed, it made sense. They were each what the other needed at the time. I think that this was a phenomenally written first book of a very promising series. I felt like I was in the story, crazy voices in my head, heartbroken over the death of a close person. Dorian Box did an amazing job creating a headstrong, fearless, amazingly young heroine that we got to watch grow and change through the story. I really wished she had gotten to keep that backpack in the end though, as it seemed unnecessary. Couldn't the run have just taken the cash or something? I admit I did become about as emotionally attached to that thing as Emily, so it was sad to lose that in the end.

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This is a fantastic story, well written and with a great pace, but the best are the characters. The main character is a smart and tough young girl, and we follow her journey that's like no other. Excellent book, and I'll be waiting for the next one.

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This is a fantastic book that completely demolished my expectations. Twelve-year-old Emily Calby is on the run after surviving a horrifying attack in her home that left her mother and younger sister dead. She befriends a former gang-member, Lucas, and begins training to exact revenge on her assailants. This novel is fast-paced and action-packed but it has a profound human element that sets it apart from other novels in its genre. I loved Emily’s voice and resilience as she became stronger, dealt with trauma, and contemplated what to do next. Her friendship with Lucas is what truly made the novel for me; they make an unlikely but fabulous team and I laughed out loud many times as they jostled with one another. My only critique is that some aspects of the plot were somewhat unrealistic. There is also quite a bit of graphic violence. Still, I look forward to reading the next book in the series!

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I just don’t know where to start! This book was all sorts of amazing! It was also stunning, captivating, heartbreaking but also heartwarming. In many places it was sombre, a little dark but the characters were so alive, believable with heart and warmth, humor and love. Emily, at the age of 12, suffered a huge and overwhelming tragedy. She witnessd the murder of her mother and sister her father had died a while before all this happened. Emily was lucky to escape, but with the thought of vengeance in her heart. With her escape the real story begins. Although I read the summary, I did not think I would enjoy this book so much. I loved every character. This book is certainly on my ‘best ever books’ list. I cannot wait for the next books in the series.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Dark and gritty, the kind of novel you will read in one sitting!

Emily Calby is your stereotypical twelve-year-old. A good girl from Georgia with a loving, religious family. One day two men show up to their door and kill everyone… except for Emily. On the run, she meets Lucas, a former gang member who will take her under his wing.

Will Emily survive?

If you liked films such as Nikita and Leon The Professional, then you will enjoy The Hiding Girl. The story is told from the point of view of a 12-year-old girl but make no mistake, she is strong, brave and resilient, and won’t hesitate to defend herself is she needs to.

The Hiding Girl contains dark themes which may be upsetting to some; however, they were dealt with in a way that made sense and helped understand the background of the story.

The story was full of action, and I read it in one sitting as it was difficult to put down. This is the first book in a series; however, the ending is satisfying and gives closure -I can’t wait to read Emily Calby #2 now!

Disclosure: I would like to thank Dorian Box / Fiction Press for an advanced copy of The Hiding Girl (Emily Calby #1) by Dorian Box. This is my honest review.

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“ The Hiding Girl” is easily one of the best books I have read this year and what a relief after so many mediocre stories.
Emily Calby lives in a small home in rural Georgia with her Mom and younger sister after the death of her father.
One of the things her father had always told her was to watch out for them so when two strangers show up as they are returning from errands, she is leery and distrustful of their story. As it turns out, she was right, the two men tape and murder both her lither and sister and Emily barely escapes. While trying to hide from everyone who may be looking for her she meets a ex- gang member named Lucas who traffics in selling new drivers license and IDs. Lucas who was expecting a military vet who was kissing an eye was not happy to see the “ skinny white girl” standing at his door but her obvious plight tugs at his heartstrings and he agrees to not only make her the ID but offers to let her stay for the evening. Emily’s determination and “ pit-bull” personality reminds him of a little sister he lost to violence and he offers to train her with the help of his girlfriend Kiona who is not happy with the arrangement.
The story of how these three grow into an unconventional family and Emily’s struggles with her memories and what is the line between justice and vengeance as well as can you be a good person if you do bad things?
The book touches on self mutilation, DID, violence, abuse and refers to racial issues. Be forewarned there may be triggers for some readers.
I finished this in one day and can not wait for the second book. I would enjoy knowing more about Kiona in future books( maybe it will be part of the story Lucas was writing).
There is a guide at the end with questions for book club

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This was one of the most amazing books I’ve read in a long time and when I finished it, I closed my eyes and hoped for some type of sequel. To not have “The Hiding Girl “ in my world would’ve been devastating. Everything about this book from beginning to end was addictive. I love the writing style that really mimics the way a 12-year-old would think and speak, but it’s not a childish book. I really love the characters, especially Lucas and Kiona.

This book would be a fantastic movie or limited series. I NEED to see the training montage set to badass rap music.

I can’t imagine going through a tragedy like Emily went through, then trekking around the country all alone on a fury-fueled mission. What a storyline!

While there are some plot holes, weak plot devices, and an untimely use of the title phrase (forty percent in is way too late use the “hiding girl” trope), the characters and the story outweigh any negatives. This book was phenomenal.

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This was a great book with a lot of action from page one. Twelve year old Emily is the victim of a vicious home invasion where her mother and sister are killed and she manages to escape. Emily is SMART beyond her years. Almost a little too smart to believe, but it certainly keeps the story interesting! Emily goes from well-behaved child to lying thief toll survive. She manages to get around by herself mostly by lying to people to get stuff while she is hiding from the FBI who knows she is alive and want to protect her. She goes to get a fake id from an ex-gang dude in Memphis, and amazingly he feels sorry for her and takes her in. He (Lucas) is a great guy actually and his little sister was killed by gang members, so he feels the need to take care of Emily. He starts physically training her to take care of herself and she learns quickly. This book is full of twists and turns and it moves quickly! It held my interest and I could not put it down. Emily is a great lead character--funny, honest, real and just trying to survive on her own at the age of 12! looking forward to the next book in the series!

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