Book Review: The Girl in the Wall

The Girl in the Wall
The Girl in the Wall
By: Daphne Benedis-Grab
Published by: Merit Press
Release date: December 18, 2012
Genre: YA suspense/thriller
256 pages
Source: Kindly provided by publisher

Yep, that's right- this book earned 5 birdies. And here's why. I've been in a bit of a reading slump. I have two books that I'd been waiting for for a while sitting here, started, but not holding my attention. I have a stack of books that I know will be wonderful once I can focus on them, but I've had trouble doing just that. Until I picked this book up Sunday, determined to read it for this review today.

Once I got started, I spent hours telling myself, "Just one more chapter." I chewed through page after page of this thriller, unable to slow down, let alone stop reading. I was entranced.

Others will pick this up and wonder why I'm talking it up so much. At first glance, there doesn't seem to be anything exceptional about the book; it's from a largely unknown author, from a largely unknown pub house, with a cover image that does the job, but isn't really remarkable. The craftsmanship of the plot, however, is so finely-tuned, it's pretty difficult to find a spot where the pacing is anything less than pristine. The suspense builds steadily and without pause, while the author builds in just enough back-story to explain character relationships without getting in the way of the action.

Another element I enjoy: this is a perfectly wrapped-up stand-alone, without a love triangle. I love my series books, but it was refreshing to finish this one in a single afternoon and know that I've read the whole story; I don't have to wait months and months for the next installment. There were elements of innocent romance sprinkled throughout, but I wasn't asked to sympathize with a heroine who had to choose between two boys. Thank you, dear author.

Readers should be forewarned that there is some graphic violence in this book; characters get shot and die, and some of the description is unpleasant for the squeamish. Otherwise, the book is quite clean of elements that some consider inappropriate for young readers. I'd especially recommend for the reluctant reader, since the action is so engaging.

If you're at all inclined to take a chance on a book that may not have been on your to-read list, something just for fun, try this one. I dare ya. 

Summary from Goodreads:

Ariel's birthday weekend looks to be the event of the season, with a private concert by rock star Hudson Winters on the grounds of her family's east coast estate, and all of Ariel's elite prep school friends in attendance. The only person who's dreading the party is Sera, Ariel's former best friend, whose father is forcing her to go. Sera has been the school pariah since she betrayed Ariel, and she now avoids Ariel and their former friends. Thrown together, Ariel and Sera can agree on one thing: this could be one very long night.

They have no idea just how right they are.

Only moments after the concert begins and the lights go down, thugs open fire on parents and schoolmates alike, in a plot against Ariel's father that quickly spins out of control. As the entire party is taken hostage, the girls are forced apart. Ariel escapes into the hidden tunnels in the family mansion, where she and Sera played as children. Only Sera, who forges an unlikely alliance with Hudson Winters, knows where her friend could be. As the industrial terrorist plot unravels and the death toll climbs, Ariel and Sera must recall the sisterhood that once sustained them as they try to save themselves and each other on the longest night of their lives.


  1. I'm glad this book got you out of your reading slump, Paula! I'm intrigued by the suspense since I haven't come across many YA suspense novels. I also crave standalones sometimes. As you said as well, I love series, but sometimes it's nice to settle down with a standalone. Great review! :)

  2. Well, I didn't expect five birds for this book but it seems like it is worth it. I love the build up of suspense and thrillers and this one might just be my type of books.
    GREAT review, Paula
    Your reader,


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