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What: Sad Girls by Lang Leav

Who: Andrews McMeel Publishing

When: May 30th 2017

How: A copy of this novel was provided by Hardie Grant Publishing for review.

“Your first love isn’t the first person you give your heart to—it’s the first one who breaks it.”

Sad Girls is the much anticipated debut novel from international best-selling author Lang Leav. A beautifully written and emotionally charged coming of age story, where young love, dark secrets, and tragedy collide.

School is almost out for Audrey, but the panic attacks are just beginning. Because Audrey told a lie and now her classmate, Ana, is dead. Just as her world begins to spin out of control, Audrey meets the enigmatic Rad—the boy who could turn it all around. But will their ill-timed romance drive her closer to the edge?

I’m going to break this review down into thoughts because I had quite a lot of them when reading Sad Girls, and they were varied. So, here they are:

1) I wish I hadn’t been spoiled for the ending.

Sadly, before I started reading Sad Girls I was spoiled for the ending. I feel like this did a disservice to the book because I knew a very important aspect of the ending the entire way through. I believe the ending would have packed quite the punch if I hadn’t known it all along. So it’s hard to comment on how I really feel about what happened at the end of Sad Girls because it didn’t hold the same kind of emphasis as it would have had I not been spoiled.

2) It was all tell and no show.

This is the truth. Personally, I don’t even really like the whole “show don’t tell” writing advice but in this case I think it applies. It was all “I did this then I did that and we went over there and did that”. The descriptions and emotions were all missing from what was happening.

3) And yet somehow it was addictive.

Even though I was thinking ‘this is just an A to B to C kind of story’ I couldn’t turn away. There was something about the kind of storytelling used in Sad Girls that drew me in somehow. Although I will say that every time I picked it up there was a small period of acclimation where I had to get used to the telling before I was fully immersed in it again.

4) Audrey is one lucky girl.

Audrey did not have to work for anything she received in this novel. The following examples aren’t really spoilers because they don’t have anything to do with plot but if you don’t want to know the details of her career skip to #5.

Example One: fresh out of high school (and I mean on the day of graduation) one of Audrey’s classmates passes on his internship at his aunt’s world famous and award winning magazine to Audrey.

Example Two: after working there for a few months Audrey is promoted to Junior Journalist.

Example Three: after a few more months Audrey is promoted to Senior Journalist. Please let me note she doesn’t have a journalism degree and this is all in a matter of months not years.

Example Four: Audrey’s friend from example one is an intern at the Most Famous and Prestigious Agency and just emails her out of the blue asking to represent her and her collection of short stories.

I couldn’t handle this aspect because it all felt so unrealistic. There were other things that just seemed to land in Audrey’s lap (like not one but two times she was house sitting and thus didn’t pay for rent) and every time it happened I was just narrowing my eyes at the page because they were all going on about how amazing and nice she was and yet I didn’t actually see her do anything nice for anyone but herself.

And not only did these magical things happen to Audrey but they happened to Rad, as well. In under a year he was a published novelist and had won some prestigious award. Under. A. Year. But moving on…

5) There were a lot of time jumps.

And most of them seemed like a device to show how much time had passed since Rad and Audrey were friends or together or whatever, but then because they were skipped over in a line or two there wasn’t much page time when they weren’t in touch.

6) Overall, I guess I wasn’t the biggest fan.

I mean, the fact that it drew me in was a plus because when a book can’t do that then it’s not worth my time. I really do think that my thoughts might have been different if I hadn’t been spoiled because then the ending could have held a lot of weight, and sometimes the ending of a book is what makes a book. All in all, I think Sad Girls appeals to a particular reader and I’m just not sure I’m one of them.

© 2017, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

trigger warnings: suicide, rumour of incest, use of ableist language, romantic cheating, emotional abuse (possessiveness), anxiety, panic attacks, manslaughter, body mutilation, death via car accdident, reference to attempted suicide (graphic), and use of racist language (the word g*psy) in this novel

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Posted on: July 21, 2017 • By: Chiara

14 Responses to Six Thoughts on Sad Girls by Lang Leav

  1. Egahddd…I do not like when everything is given to characters. When they seem like just their story is happening TO them, and not they are happening to the story? It feels apathetic somehow. And dull! It’s more interesting when people have to work/strive for their goals because that’s what most of us have to do anyway.?

    And I haaate having endings spoiled so I feel the pain there.?

    • Chiara says:

      Yeah, it felt like that exactly! The MC didn’t have to do anything for these things in her life to happen perfectly and it just left a bitter taste in my mouth.

      IT HURTS. But at least it was a spoiler for a mediocre book, haha.

  2. CW says:

    Thanks for this review, Chiara. <3
    I've read Leav's two poetry books, Love and Misadventures and Lullabies, and wasn't a big fan of them. I was thinking of giving her books another go – but maybe I won't now. Perhaps I'll give it a miss and settle on the fact that her poetry and I don't mesh well. :')

    • Chiara says:

      No problem <3

      I haven't read any of her poetry but I have a copy of Lullabies! I am not sure if I'll end up being a fan if it resembles this book in any way, haha.

  3. OH MY GOD THE ENDING MADE ME SO ANGRY. How did she forgive him after that???? I definitely know what you mean with the telling, not showing. It felt…so detached. And the characters got everything handed to them on a silver platter. If only I could find a cushy house-sitting job haha.

    • Chiara says:

      The ending was ridiculous. Actually, a lot of this book was ridiculous? Like, everything just happened so perfectly I was just like: who has a life like this? I certainly can’t think of anyone who has had it so easy…

  4. Kayla says:

    WOW if only I’d known to jumpstart my career by just sitting around and waiting for people to hand over things to me! Maybe I should do that with my writing too! That’s so frustrating because I know so many people who struggle/are unemployed for a while before they find what they’ve been looking for and it happens so often in YA that people just ask characters if they want these dream jobs!

  5. I’m pretty sure I’m the one who spoiled this for you? Lol sorry. You already know my thoughts on this novel woops.

    Yeah I couldn’t believe Audrey had everything handed to her like that, either. If only I were as lucky.

  6. I am honestly so suspicious of all the hype that surrounds this book. I like her poetry, but only in the same sort of way that I like sweets: delicious, but not all that good for you. She definitely has a way with words, but I read snippets of this book, her first novel, and I’m just not sure if all the praise I have seen for this one really lives up. I want to try this at the library but so far it isn’t available ANYWHERE. :S Thanks for your honesty, for now I’ll steer clear until I can somehow get my hands on a copy for free…

    • Chiara says:

      I haven’t actually read any of Leav’s poetry, and I am wondering if I will feel the same way about it as I did about this book. Ultimately disappointing and not really to my taste. I’m quite interested to try it out and I do actually have a collection of her poetry that I bought YEARS ago. I hope that if you did find a copy that you liked this one a bit more than I did, Cass!

  7. I… really, really am not a fan of Leav’s work (her poems or books or really anything she writes); I find them slightly vapid and over-romanticised and too-good-to-be-true. I think this book is a pretty good example of that, and I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it either. Hopefully your next read is a bit more realistic (and not actually spoiled in advance, haha)! <3

    • Chiara says:

      This is the first of Leav’s work that I have read and experienced. I have a collection of her poetry but I am wondering if I will end up liking it! This book was certainly not for in many ways, which is a shame. Who wants to read books they don’t really like? Thank you, lovely <3

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