Review of Bad Girl Gone by Temple Mathews

  • Title: Bad Girl Gone
  • Author: Temple Mathews
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
  • Publication Date: August 8, 2017
  • Pages: 256
  • Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance

Goodreads Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Echo Stone awakens in a cold sweat in a dark room, having no idea where she is or how she got there. But she soon finds out she s in Middle House, an orphanage filled with mysteriously troubled kids.

There s just one problem: she s not an orphan. Her parents are very much alive.

She explains this to everyone, but no one will listen. After befriending a sympathetic (and handsome) boy, Echo is able to escape Middle House and rush home, only to discover it sealed off by crime scene tape and covered in the evidence of a terrible and violent crime. As Echo grapples with this world-shattering information, she spots her parents driving by and rushes to flag them down. Standing in the middle of the street, waving her arms to get their attention, her parent’s car drives right through her.

She was right. Her parents are alive but she s not.

She s a ghost, just like all the other denizens of Middle House. Desperate to somehow get her life back and reconnect with her still-alive boyfriend, Echo embarks on a quest to solve her own murder. As the list of suspects grows, the quest evolves into a journey of self-discovery in which she learns she wasn’t quite the girl she thought she was. In a twist of fate, she s presented with one last chance to reclaim her life and must make a decision which will either haunt her or bless her forever.

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ARC of Bad Girl Gone provided through NetGalley for an Honest Review.

Now I am going to hang my head in shame. To be completely honest, I wasn’t looking forward to reading this book. I thought it looked interesting but wasn’t optimistic about it. So I put off reading it for a while, then finally decided to “get it out of the way”. BIG MISTAKE! This book was so much better than I could have hoped for, and I have no problem admitting that I was being a fool.

The main character, Echo, was interesting. When she wakes up in Middle House she remembers her life but it becomes glaringly obvious that while alive she saw herself in a completely different light. First off she panics and throws tantrums which I don’t mind as much as I usually would because, hello, she doesn’t know where she is and the kids there aren’t exactly taking it easy on her. So I excuse her prissy attitude for the first part of the book.

Once she finds out what happened to her and the others at Middle House I feel like she had a true break through personality wise. I guess finding out your dead is one way to make you cut the crap and grow up. As she investigates her death she has several more eye openers about who she was when she was alive that helped a lot with her personal growth. Honestly, I like dead Echo, but I don’t think I would have liked a live Echo.

The rest of the residents of Middle House really made this book something special for me. They each had their own personalities and I loved hearing their murder stories, as tragic as they were. I felt like each kid was a part of this finely oiled machine that worked together to investigate, haunt, and resolve each other’s deaths.

The only issue I have is that the connection between Echo and Cole felt an awful lot like insta-love. Which never, ever sits well or feels organic. But it wasn’t all that unsettling to the point where it ruined the story for me.

I’m not normally a fan of mystery but this book was really enjoyable. Having mystery, with ghosts, with kids, with a little love oddly worked for me. It’s a combination that I don’t think can be pulled off often, but this time it did. I would definitely recommend  Bad Girl Gone, and would also like to advise those that read it to keep an open mind.



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