When I saw that Lang Leav was releasing her very first novel called Sad Girls, I was the most excited bean. I’ve adored her writing from her poetry books and so I was curious to see how I would like her debut novel – as a vivid reader of many YA books.
This is my review on it and again I will put a disclaimer right here and tell you that if you wish to stay un-spoilered so you can read it yourself and phrase your own opinion, you better not read this post. Please be aware that this is my opinion and you are free to leave your own down in the comments.
Audrey’s got a secret and the guilt is eating her alive, knowing that a lie she told ended in Ana’s death. She doesn’t think the secret will come back to bite her which it doesn’t but it ruins many lives associated and still she seems to be completely fine with herself, apart from the occasional panic attacks.
At Ana’s funeral, Audrey meets Ana’s boyfriend Rad and the two leave the funeral to go somewhere else and talk. She can’t help but feel attracted to him and her thoughts remain with him for a long time, even though she has her own boyfriend whom she’s known since forever. The two eventually stop talking because of the circumstances but end up running into each other years down the line when Audrey accepts the offer to interview a new successful author, who turns out to be Rad.
What I liked
The book gripped me from the very start and made it an exciting read that I quickly finished.
I liked Lang’s style of writing, as expected, and perspective. I liked the imagery. Lang’s writing phrased some beautiful quotes once again that I had to point out in the book itself.
Now, anxiety is conveyed rather effectively in the description, which I appreciate. I appreciated how panic attacks were described and I think it’s great for people who have only heard of it and never really knew what it was to understand.
I loved the romance. I loved Lucy and Freddy and I loved how Audrey and Rad felt for each other. I loved that the complexity of love and conflicts with oneself are portrayed, showing that just because something has the potential to work out, it doesn’t have to work out, and sometimes the most beautiful things just can’t happen. And that is life.
What I didn’t like
As it is heavy on the dialogue, it is light on everything else, making the characters a bit shallow and never really deeply carved, in my opinion. It is more telling, than showing. And I thought that was a pity. Because of that, I thought the characters were rather one-dimensional I didn’t feel like any character showed any development in the book.
I think the plot was lacking, mostly because I was expecting to find out what Audrey’s real motive was to spread such a lie. Now I’ve spread stupid lies before, but no matter how stupid I was, I always had some kind of motive, even if the motive was rather dumb. You just don’t go and spread such a huge lie without thinking anything about it. I just kept asking why but I never got a satisfying answer. To me, the “I don’t know why I did it but I would take it back” just wasn’t enough.
When reading books, I get really into it when I can kind of relate to the character or feel things for the character. I don’t have to agree with her, but I like to sympathize so I can really grasp a character but that wasn’t the case with Audrey at all. I didn’t feel bad for her. I mean, I just kept thinking, who lies about that? I don’t care how old or reckless or ignorant you are. But maybe this was intentional.
Also, I found myself dragging the read because I was bored throughout the whole part where Audrey went to find herself. It just didn’t feel necessary to be added into the plot. Even when reading about it, I expected it to do something about her growth but instead, she only got into another relationship, that I once again couldn’t get into.
… I would recommend this to people who enjoy films that are for entertainment. It’s not “beautiful and lyrical throughout” even though it was written by a poet. Not saying that it has to be if a poet writes a novel, but it’s something many people would probably expect.
I would not recommend it, however, to anyone who doesn’t normally read YA. I felt like the book was begging to be made into a movie as it read more like a movie script opposed to a good Young Adult book.
I hope I didn’t come across too snappy or snarky, I just can’t help but point out things that irk me because I just expected much more from the book as a fan of Lang Leav’s. I still am a fan. But it doesn’t mean I’ll have to like all of her works. Other than that I am looking forward to read more from her because I do like her style of writing.
What are your thoughts on it?