Review: The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

cover for the roanoke girls by amy engel
© Broadway Books, 2017.
This review contains spoilers.


Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.

After her mother’s suicide, fifteen year-old Lane Roanoke came to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, on their vast estate in rural Kansas. Lane knew little of her mother’s mysterious family, but she quickly embraced life as one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But when she discovered the dark truth at the heart of the family, she ran fast and far away.

Eleven years later, Lane is adrift in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls to tell her Allegra has gone missing. Did she run too? Or something worse? Unable to resist his pleas, Lane returns to help search, and to ease her guilt at having left Allegra behind. Her homecoming may mean a second chance with the boyfriend whose heart she broke that long ago summer. But it also means facing the devastating secret that made her flee, one she may not be strong enough to run from again.

As it weaves between Lane’s first Roanoke summer and her return, The Roanoke Girls shocks and tantalizes, twisting its way through revelation after mesmerizing revelation, exploring the secrets families keep and the fierce and terrible love that both binds them together and rips them apart.

Via Goodreads


Wow, this review has taken longer than I expected to get around to – mostly because of my hospital stay and subsequent recovery from acute pancreatitis. Needless to say, but I’m mostly back to normal and I hope to be resuming my reviews more regularly. Also, this will be my final review for Blogging for Books, as the site will be closing down next month. Now, onto the important stuff!

Will someone please tell me what the fuck I read? I know, that’s kinda vulgar for my reviews, but this book is beyond fucked. The only thing original about The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel is its plot, which boldly goes where no book I’ve ever read has gone before.

The Roanoke Girls lacks original characters, which is the first of my many complaints regarding this book. Everyone is beautiful and perfect, and the one person that isn’t is described as a meth-head (which I find to be an insult to the average Janes and Joes out there). There’s not a single character, aside from the aforementioned meth-head, that isn’t a Mary Sue appearance wise. And the main character? There’s not a single thing likable about her. She’s a bitch to everyone around her, and yet somehow she still has guys fawning all over her. This is not realistic, folks.

Plot? Do you really want to get me started on that? First, let’s take a moment to discuss the fact that this book hops all over the place. One moment it is present, the next it is past, and after that, it’s some random character of little importance – just so we can learn how they died and why. Because, y’know, there’s something wrong with the fact they are all sleeping with their grandfather/brother/father/uncle/etc. Yes, I just gave a major spoiler away, but hey! I warned y’all. The only thing about this book that isn’t overly done is the fact that its main subject is INCEST. Yates Roanoke  has a thing for every single woman in his family. And somehow, for some god awful reason, all these girls (save one) think it is absolutely okay/are heartbroken when things don’t quite work out.

Furthermore, all that jumping around? It’s done intentionally to drive the story forward because a straightforward account is sooo extremely drab and boring in this book that it has to jump. It has to give cliffhangers of some sort, and then make you wait another chapter or two, because otherwise it would simply drag on.

I would not recommend The Roanoke Girls to anyone. I did receive a review copy of this book free of charge and this has been my unbiased opinion. Thanks to Blogging for Books for the novel.

Rating: 💀

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