A slick, twisty YA page-turner about the daughter of a con artist who is taken hostage in a bank heist.
Nora O’Malley’s been a lot of girls. As the daughter of a con-artist who targets criminal men, she grew up as her mother’s protégé. But when mom fell for the mark instead of conning him, Nora pulled the ultimate con: escape.
For five years Nora’s been playing at normal. But she needs to dust off the skills she ditched because she has three problems:
#1: Her ex walked in on her with her girlfriend. Even though they’re all friends, Wes didn’t know about her and Iris.
#2: The morning after Wes finds them kissing, they all have to meet to deposit the fundraiser money they raised at the bank. It’s a nightmare that goes from awkward to deadly, because:
#3: Right after they enter bank, two guys start robbing it.
The bank robbers may be trouble, but Nora’s something else entirely. They have no idea who they’re really holding hostage…
Title: The Girls I’ve Been
Author: Tess Sharpe
Publication Date: January 26, 2021
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller, LGBTQ+
This book was not quite what I expected it to be, but I still enjoyed it. It was thrilling, heart-breaking, and humorous!
First, I love the way the book was set up. It showed current events, past events, and police transcripts. At the beginning of each current event chapter, it told how long they had been held captive, what tools they had at their aid, and what their working plan was. I loved seeing these features of the book. They added some humor and helped me keep track of how things were going. The past events spilled our main character, Nora’s, secrets. It told of the cons she was forced to run with her mom and her part in them. They were insightful and often heart-breaking. But necessary for the book, nevertheless. And the police transcripts helped give an insight into what was happening currently outside of the bank. Those were also insightful and a little humorous at times.
Second, I want to talk about our main character. We learn so much about Nora throughout the entire book through these ‘past event’ chapters. We also get to see some of her humor, love, and intelligence in the chapters that are taking place at the current time. Nora is such an interesting character because she went through so much and has seen/done more than any person should have to. The depth of Nora’s strength and resilience is incredible. I didn’t truly appreciate her character until towards the end of the book after I had learned most of her secrets.
Due to Nora’s tough past, this book covers some heavy topics. Emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, cheating, lying, murder, etc. These are just a few things that this book mentions in some way or another. I think the author did a great job of balancing these dark and heavy parts of this book with the humous and thrilling bits. I was left with a sense of hope at the end which was nice considering everything that was mentioned throughout the book.
Overall, I enjoyed getting to know Nora (along with Iris and Wes), learning about her difficult life, and seeing how much strength one person can have to make it through anything.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.