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The Shining Girls - book review

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes | Book Review

by Regan

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I was so excited to read the book. The premise was right up my alley: a time traveling serial killer was a brilliant idea for a novel. Being a huge fan of both thrillers and time travel books like The Time Traveler’s Wife and 11/22/63 I wanted to devour this book. I wanted to love this book. But sadly, the story fell a bit flat for me. It had some high points and overall I liked it well enough, I just didn’t love it. It didn’t leave me feeling as though I’d wasted my time but it isn’t a book that I will go out and recommend to all of my friends. 

First let me start with the high points. Harper Curtis is our time traveling serial killer. He can time travel through his rundown looking House just by opening his front door to another time.

He will visit his prospective victim during her childhood and then visit her again as an adult to do the deed. Each time he leaves a token stolen from one victim on another victim’s body which tips people off that this is a serial killer. Since he is traveling through time they aren’t able to figure out who their killer is until the victim that got away was able to connect the dots to find out who and what happened to her and all of the others. 

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

BUT the book never tells you how the House is able to transport Harper through time. The book also states that he chooses his victims, who he calls The Shining Girls, because “they shine” but the book never says what this means exactly. Does anyone else see this shining or is it just something that the mind of a time traveling madman can see?

Another thing that left me wondering was that there is also a random dead body in the House that is never really explained. I guess it kind of is in the end but there is no real point to this man so that also left me a bit confused. 

All in all, it’s an okay book but it isn’t nearly as great as the description makes it sound. It just seemed a little unfinished to me, especially since I had such high hopes. Maybe too high? 

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