Title: The Quarry Girls
Author: Jess Lourey
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: November 1st 2022
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Finished reading: October 25th 2022
Pages: 335

“The law might not recognize it, but fifteen’s a girl and sixteen a woman, and you get no map from one land to the next.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***


WARNING: Guess what?! It’s unpopular opinion time again!!

There was just something about the blurb of The Quarry Girls that made me want to know more. It might have had to do with the 1970s Minnesota setting, it might have had to do with the mention of a county fair or the missing girls… But the fact is that I was intrigued straight away. Sadly, this ended up being yet another unpopular opinion experience for me instead; it almost seems like I’m cursed this month. While I still love the premise, there were multiple elements that didn’t work for me and as a consequence I ended up struggling considerably with this story. I’ll try to explain briefly below why.

Like I said before, I still very much like the premise of this story as well as its 1970s setting. The Minnesota town, the tunnels, the county fair, the quarry and the fact that everyone knows each other; all elements that enhanced the story for me. I do have to say that the fact that the story was set in 1970s was repeated a bit too often and as a result it came over as less natural and like it was forced on you instead. I actually had issues with the writing style in general: there was just something about the tone and way this story was written that really irked me. I know this is a personal reaction, but it made it a lot harder to keep reading for me. The pace itself was very slow as well, up until the point I really struggled to keep turning those pages.

I also struggled considerably with the main characters. They were both implausible and unlikeable, and there were too many cliches involved. I was especially annoyed by Heather, whose actions are beyond stupid and she basically does whatever horror/thriller movies show you NOT to do when there is danger. This gets really frustrating, and even more so after she starts realizing just how serious the situation is. I also wasn’t a fan of how the story jumped between POVs within the same chapter and without warning… It only messed up the pace even further. And I was quite surprised by how young they all sounded, and The Quarry Girls felt more YA than adult fiction to me (especially since the most of the main characters are minors in the first place).

This story also wasn’t exactly what I expected it would be, and for me not in a good way. There was too much focus on grooming and abuse, and the constant repetition of how men treat women badly got old very fast. The story keeps piling up evidence that basically every man in town is a bad egg and that they are all out there to get girls and women. Especially in the last part things got way over the top, and to make things worse many of those examples of ‘bad men’ are only mentioned and then basically brushed under the carpet without developing it properly or handing over a satisfying ending. Plot holes and unsolved angles are never a good thing for me, and while the missing person case was solved, it was too easy to guess who was behind it all.

In short, unfortunately I definitely didn’t have a great time reading The Quarry Girls. There are so many glowing reviews, and it made me wonder if I was reading the same book… I even stopped reading to check the reviews to see if I was the only one feeling this way. I guess it shows some books just aren’t for everyone… I’m in the minority when it comes to this title though, so don’t give up on my account if you think The Quarry Girls could be for you.

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