The Girl Before by JP Delaney (Book Review #148)

I rate this book 2 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 11/01/18

My 4th book this year)

Jane has just dealt with something traumatic in her life and needs to find a new home for a fresh start. She needs to move on from the event and to stop being afraid.

She finds a wonderful minimalist place that is surprisingly within her budget however there is a catch. This beautiful home comes with many extensive rules that are to be taken seriously, such as no ornaments, no colour, no personal touches, no pets, no clutter, must be kept in pristine condition at all times… The house is built in with amazingly “futuristic” ideas including the ultimate security measures with the house identifying the occupier before admitting entry, intelligent “memory” for details such as desired water temperatures, lighting based on mood adjustments…

The mastermind behind this wonderful yet strange concept of a house finds a way into Jane’s life, just like he, Edward, found a way into the previous tenants’ life, Emma. There has also been tragic stories behind the building itself. So much darkness emanating from such a pure and serene living accommodation.

The similarities between Emma and Jane begin to show, life gets more confusing, gradually more creepy, suspicious information is gathered by the girls. Is Edward as crazy as his concepts and ideas or can there really be so many coincidences in life?


The idea behind this story could have been amazing. I wanted much more depth to the house itself, much more detail as to what the house has to offer in order to demand so much from it’s tenants.

So many points of the book felt wrong. It was extremely difficult to tell Emma and Jane apart without referring to the beginning of each chapter. There were too many similarities and too many scenarios where both women made the same choices leading to the same situations.

In this case, less is more. The author tried way too hard to twist and twist again the plot. It didn’t work for me. The characters didn’t come to life. We were told how we were supposed to feel and react to each new piece of information in the story.

I can’t imagine how or why anyone would want to live with so many unreasonable rules in their “home” whether that be for a new beginning or not.

This book could have been mind blowing. Apologies to the author but I felt much disappointment as nothing felt remotely realistic to the real world.

Written by Ling Lee (11/01/18).

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