(I received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)
Intensely gripping thriller/mystery with tension for days! I was intrigued by the title but went into it a bit skeptical. I’ve found it difficult to connect with thrillers lately because the characters are often very unsympathetic but Orchid Girls has a great cast of characters who pull you in, pull at your heart and won’t let go. I felt like the story itself wasn’t especially shocking, like many mysteries you may work out the details ahead of time but the storytelling and pacing kept me on my seat aching to know the truth and equally worried about how things could resolve. I cannot recommend this highly enough, it’s a great read and i am actually eager to reread it.
Additional notes after reviewing on Goodreads: I think that this has to be my favorite book I’ve read this year. I’ve tried several of the popular thrillers with female leads but I have been incredibly disappointed by the difficult to identify with narrators. I’m thinking of Gillian Flynn’s books as well as Girl on the Train. I like that they’re bringing difficult women to the forefront as protagonists, antagonists and everything in between but as a reader I still want to fall in love with the difficult characters. In the Orchid Girls I felt that Molly, Grace and Charlotte had distinct voices that you could identify with even if you didn’t always like or love them. The story uses each girl’s voice in a narrative as well as passive, second hand perspective and the effect really hooked me because although all three are untrustworthy to an extent there’s that honesty you only get when someone is talking to themselves as you do when you write in a journal. Each voice has an authenticity in that each character is trying to convince themselves of their own righteousness and for me that created the necessary warmth and life that I found missing in Gillian Flynn’s books as well as Girl on the Train (I started these books but never got far due to just not being able to connect to the story).