Book Review: The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes


Hi Everyone,

I have seen this book hanging around book shops and supermarkets for months now and for a long time I have wished to give it a try. My concern was that it was YA. I have no problem with adults reading YA books – I just don’t like YA fiction I find it patronizing and very difficult to read. It just does no interest me.

This book is definitely not for children there are a number of violent and sexual references in what is described as an urban fantasy.

Here is the Goodreads Description:


The future is not as loud as war, but it is relentless. It has a terrible fury all its own.”

Harper Curtis is a killer who stepped out of the past. Kirby Mazrachi is the girl who was never meant to have a future.

Kirby is the last shining girl, one of the bright young women, burning with potential, whose lives Harper is destined to snuff out after he stumbles on a House in Depression-era Chicago that opens on to other times.

At the urging of the House, Harper inserts himself into the lives of the shining girls, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. He’s the ultimate hunter, vanishing into another time after each murder, untraceable-until one of his victims survives.

Kirby is determined to bring her attacker to justice and is certain he is a serial killer after speaking to a number of victims and their families she starts to realise that she might be right.

This book was really good I don’t normally go for fantasy style novels but this was done is such a discreet manager that it didn’t confuse or get out of hand. The killings were also sympathetic to the times and I got the feeling that this book was incredibly well researched. The book is written in not too dissimilar a manner to Gillian Flynn books and so it mainly reads like a crime thriller.

There were a few issues I would have liked addressing though throughout the book, such as why is it this house it happens in? Why was Harper chosen? How does Kirby’s mum get out of prostitution?

I really felt that some of the questions needed to be answered. If you like crime and tragedy though, this is the book for you.

Formats: I bought on the Kindle but this is also available on a number of other formats including paper.

Approx Pages: 375

Goodreads Rating: 3.49 (I gave it a 4)

Have you read any of Lauren Beukes’ books if so what did you think?


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