Summary (from the publisher):
Simmering in Patagonian myth, The Tenth Girl is a gothic psychological thriller with a haunting twist.
At the very southern tip of South America looms an isolated finishing school. Legend has it that the land will curse those who settle there. But for Mavi—a bold Buenos Aires native fleeing the military regime that took her mother—it offers an escape to a new life as a young teacher to Argentina’s elite girls.
Mavi tries to embrace the strangeness of the imposing house—despite warnings not to roam at night, threats from an enigmatic young man, and rumors of mysterious Others. But one of Mavi’s ten students is missing, and when students and teachers alike begin to behave as if possessed, the forces haunting this unholy cliff will no longer be ignored.
One of these spirits holds a secret that could unravel Mavi’s existence. In order to survive she must solve a cosmic mystery—and then fight for her life.
My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Sara Faring’s The Tenth Girl is definitely not the type of YA novel I usually pick up. I usually stray away from books with supernatural elements, but the hype for this gothic thriller set in 1970s South America had me hooked. After escaping from Buenos Aires, school teacher Mavi arrives at an isolated finishing school, where the teachers and students increasingly start to show signs that they are possessed. As Mavi learns about “the Others” that inhabit the school, she learns that one particular spirit, Angel, may have information more than she bargained for.
I’m really glad I stepped out of my comfort zone to read The Tenth Girl. It was definitely creepy, but I was really invested in its mystery. Mavi and the book’s second perspective, Angel, try to discover the mystery and secrets within the Vaccaro School. I was hooked from the get-go and right after finishing it, I wanted to shove this book in all of my bookish friends’ hands so we could discuss its entirety!
One of the reasons why The Tenth Girl has received so much hype is its haunting plot twist that most readers won’t see coming. The twist makes The Tenth Girl the type of book readers are either going to love or hate. I’m usually someone who hates it when someone mentions that a book has a twist because I’ll know to watch put. However, even with all the hints and Easter eggs in The Tenth Girl, it is so unpredictable! Looking back, I did find myself questioning some of the smallest details, but I would have never guessed the ending.
Yet, I’m still on the fence about how I enjoyed the twist. Without being too spoilery, on the one hand, I really enjoyed the gothic horror setting! I rarely read books in this genre, but I found myself really enjoying Sara Faring’s writing style and world-building. Sara Faring’s writing was a little heavier than what I am used to, finding myself not being able to blow through the pages and having to pay attention to each sentence, but it allows readers to better understand the characters and their motivations while also setting the eerie setting. That being said, the twist bends the genre a bit. While I love how I wasn’t able to correctly guess what happened, I’m not sure the book’s ending fits the story and genre well. I’m also someone who loves to have all the answers at the end of a story (sorry, imagination) and I still I had so many questions at the end.
Overall, I highly recommend picking up The Tenth Girl, especially if you are looking for a gothic horror story for the upcoming spooky season or if the hype even has you the tiniest bit intrigued.
The Tenth Girl comes out September 24, 2019.
This review is based on an advance reader’s edition. By no means did receding this book affect my thoughts or opinions.
Is The Tenth Girl on your TBR? Do you enjoy books with plot twists? What books do you recommend for the Halloween season? Share in the comments!