The Girls Next Door by Mel Sherratt

This book had a really interesting premise and I couldn’t wait to read it. This is the first book I have read from Mel Sherratt and so I didn’t know what to expect. What I got was something I love; community. Community with its ups and downs but at its essence humans working together, supporting each other and featuring in each other’s lives. This is something I love to see, and so the community in this book was fantastic. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, it was realistic and realistically represented the socio-economics of every day lives.

There were a lot of perspectives in this book and that just built this village and community in my head. I could picture all the streets, characters and scenery. I especially loved Eden; she was a brilliant character, vivid and passionate – she just jumped off the page. This book differs from most crime books that I’ve read lately because this author adds a human side to her antagonists that I haven’t really seen before. She deftly creates a sinister situation, but when it is resolved, you empathize with all of the sides.

A lot of themes were tackled in this book. At times it felt like it was multiple stories woven together into one narrative. Which is what a village/town is like, everyone has things to deal with and sometimes these overlap. It was really well written; I have to say. It has a heart-stopping kidnap and some terrified kids, but it also addressed issues of gangs, teenage crime, single parents and much more. I really really enjoyed this book and the way that it portrays an entire community so effectively.

The only reason that I didn’t give this book 5 stars was just because I felt there were too many points of view for me, I find it hard at the beginning of books to keep up, once I get into it is fine but at the beginning I like to have one character for a while just ease myself in. But again that is just me. This is a really good book with vivid characters that will draw you in from the start. I’m really looking forward to reading more books about Eden.

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