Of course, this book is Girlhood, the latest book written by YA extraordinaire Cat Clarke - you may have seen it on a lot of blogger's insta feeds in the last couple of weeks because everyone is loving it! I can't believe I hadn't read any Cat Clarke before this point but now I will definitely be buying lots of Cat's books for the summer holidays.
I was sent a copy of Girlhood by Nina Douglas in exchange for an honest review :)
Girlhood follows Harper, in her last year at Duncraggan Academy, a boarding school with its fair share of mysteries, secrets, and friendships for life. Harper has pulled through the greatest tragedy anyone can go through and has started life afresh at remote Duncraggan. She has a close group of friends and Harper has started to feel like life is getting back on track. That is until the new girl turns up, and strange occurrences leads Harper to wonder who exactly is Kirsty? And why does she remind Harper of parts of her life she has tried so hard to forget?
Intrigued? Check out the blurb here...
Real, compulsive and intense: Cat Clarke is the queen of emotional suspense. For fans of Paula Hawkins, Gillian Flynn, Megan Abbott and Jandy Nelson.
Harper has tried to forget the past and fit in at expensive boarding school Duncraggan Academy. Her new group of friends are tight; the kind of girls who Harper knows have her back. But Harper can't escape the guilt of her twin sister's Jenna's death, and her own part in it - and she knows no one else will ever really understand.
But new girl Kirsty seems to get Harper in ways she never expected. She has lost a sister too. Harper finally feels secure. She finally feels...loved. As if she can grow beyond the person she was when Jenna died.
Then Kirsty's behaviour becomes more erratic. Why is her life a perfect mirror of Harper's? And why is she so obsessed with Harper's lost sister? Soon, Harper's closeness with Kirsty begins to threaten her other relationships, and her own sense of identity.
How can Harper get back to the person she wants to be, and to the girls who mean the most to her?
A darkly compulsive story about love, death, and growing up under the shadow of grief.
I LOVED THIS BOOK! Growing up I loved the Mallory Towers books by Enid Blyton, and I have always been fascinated with the idea of boarding school. I don't think I'd survive five minutes in one, but a girl can dream, right?!
It was such a great setting for a book about female friendships, as it made all the drama feel that much more intense. I loved the characters in this book, and the way they were all so different and interacted so differently with each other. I particularly loved Rowan - she was such a wonderfully well-rounded character, and wasn't afraid to let people know who she was and what she stood for. All in all, this was a gloriously diverse book - so different to the group of straight, white, middle-class girls you find in a Mallory Towers or St Claire's book.
Girlhood was also brilliantly paced and it was definitely a page-turner for me. I couldn't stop reading. There was the constant sense of uneasiness from the moment Kirsty appeared on the scene, and the tension remained throughout. I thought Kirsty was such a great character who had so many different layers of complexity. Clarke doesn't spoon feed the reader all the answers; I felt like I was part of the group of the girls, trying to work through the problems and questions that were thrown up.
The writing was fresh and direct and wonderfully lucid. It was such a great book to read during revision because the writing makes the book easy to read, but the writing also keeps you in it's iron grip until the very last page.
Overall I would encourage all of you to pick up this book! It is a wonderful YA treat about female friendships, set in a setting so interesting and mysterious you will want to experience it for yourself!
Buy Girlhood here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Girlhood-Cat-Clarke/dp/1784292737/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1494345171&sr=8-1&keywords=girlhood+cat+clarke
Check out Cat Clarke here: http://www.catclarke.com
Until next time :)