Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for giving me a chance to read and review an advanced reader’s copy of The Girlfriend.
I have seen The Girlfriend on a few websites over the past few months and when Kensington Books decided to re-release the title, I didn’t hesitate and requested the book. I must say that Michelle Frances wrote a really interesting story.
Laura has it all: a thriving career, a long marriage to a rich husband, and a 23-year-old son, Daniel, who’s soon becoming a doctor. When Daniel meets young, smart and beautiful Cherry, she finally got what she always wanted: a priviledged life, just like Laura’s. But Cherry doesn’t only want a life like Laura’s, she wants her life and she does everything in her power to get it. Then tragedy strikes, a lie is told and nothing is as it used to be.
Michelle Frances’ debut novel was definitely interesting. The story was less about a great plot twist and playing with readers’ minds, but more about manipulating and intrigueing against other people. Since Frances used a third person narrator, the reader experienced the story through Laura’s, Cherry’s and sometimes even Daniel’s POV. Because of that, the reader always knew who manipulated who, who told whom a lie and who fell for both the manipulation and the lies. It was an interesting concept because you always asked yourself why a certain character didn’t notice the manipulation because it was that obvious – at least to the reader. 😉
Although the book seems to be about Laura, Cherry and Daniel, The Girlfriend was mainly about the two women. Daniel was just an innocent bystander in the feud between his mother and his new girlfriend – he was the pawn in their game. I felt sorry for him most of the time.
It’s safe to say that I didn’t like Laura nor Cherry. Laura was a lying, obsessive and controlling woman, especially towards her son Daniel. As a mother it’s great to have a good relationship with your son but the relationship Laura had toward Daniel was way too close. In the course of the story it is revealed why she is the way she is, but it is still an odd behavior to witness from the outside.
I immediately felt a dislike toward Cherry. There was something off about her from the very beginning. With every chapter, Cherry got more conniving, manipulating and jealous.
My dislike toward the women changed over the course of the story. There were a few situations in which I couldn’t stand Laura and felt sorry for Cherry. In other situations I couldn’t stand Cherry and felt sorry for Laura. It was a constant back and forth and I sometimes couldnt keep up myself. It’s safe to say that they both have their positive traits, but unfortunately their bad ones mostly predominated.
Although I really liked the idea of the whole story, there was something missing for me to make it a really great thriller. However, I think the book would make a great movie. Who knows, maybe Hollywood will take notice of this story soon. I could see Mila Kunis playing Cherry and Cate Blanchett playing Laura.
Be sure to pre-order The Girlfriend with the links below. It will re-release on January 30th!