Review: The Girl in the Wall by Daphne Benedis-Grab

Summary/Cover Image from Author's Website:
Ariel’s birthday weekend looks to be the event of the season, with a private concert by rock star Hudson Winters on the grounds of her family’s east coast estate, and all of Ariel’s elite prep school friends in attendance. The only person who’s dreading the party is Sera, Ariel’s former best friend, whose father is forcing her to go. Sera has been the school pariah since she betrayed Ariel, and she now avoids Ariel and their former friends. Thrown together, Ariel and Sera can agree on one thing: this could be one very long night.

They have no idea just how right they are.

Only moments after the concert begins and the lights go down, thugs open fire on parents and schoolmates alike, in a plot against Ariel’s father that quickly spins out of control. As the entire party is taken hostage, the girls are forced apart. Ariel escapes into the hidden tunnels in the family mansion, where she and Sera played as children. Only Sera, who forges an unlikely alliance with Hudson Winters, knows where her friend could be. As the industrial terrorist plot unravels and the death toll climbs, Ariel and Sera must recall the sisterhood that once sustained them as they try to save themselves and each other on the longest night of their lives.

Ever since I stumbled upon this book last month on Amazon, I've been dying to read it. It sounded amazing. I mean, a hostage situation, a girl stuck in an array of tunnels, and a potentially hot musician? What's not to love about that? Plus I've been meaning to read more YA thrillers. Thankfully, The Girl in the Wall turned out to be everything I had hoped it would, and much, much more! It was compelling and twisty. It had me forever on the edge of my seat. It even had me stay up to one a.m. just so I could finish it.

The Girl in the Wall is told through the altering POVs of Sera and Ariel, former best friends and currently mortal enemies. Going into this one, I had no idea it was going to feature perspectives from both, and while initially I was a little wary about it, it ended up working quite well. For one, it allowed me to fully get to know both Ariel and Sera as well as to see just how fragile both were after their friendship blew up nine months ago. Secondly, it added a huge layer of suspense. It was always thrilling when Sera knew something had happened to Abby and vice versa but I couldn't see exactly that was until I was back in the other's POV. The characters, individually, were ones I rooted for and really liked. At first, I thought Sera was a little whinny, but I ended up really liking her more and more as the novel continued. She developed into an incredibly strong girl and really managed to save the day by the end. I also enjoyed seeing her interactions with Hunter. It added some lightness to the book. Ariel, on the other hand, was someone I thought was stuck up, the stereotypical YA rich girl, but by the end, she came a long way as well. She showed that she was strong as well. Truthfully, I found it admirable just how strong she seemed, because I knew that if I was in her situation, I certainly wouldn't be half as tough as she was.

The plot in this was kick arse! From the start we are thrown into a twisty and brutal mystery. Every twist and turn managed to surprise me, and constantly left questions swirling around in my head. Such as who was behind it exactly to what were they after and so on. Daphne really managed to just grab me with this plot and not let me go until the very end, and I feel many other readers will feel the same. Best of all, I loved the level of emotion she was able to pull out of the characters and bring to life. I could feel the fear and pain and distraught Sera and Ariel and their classmates felt throughout, and that added another great layer of depth to the book.

Lastly, as I've basically said before, Daphne's writing was great! She did such an awesome job of crafting this. Every scene managed to surprise and scare me, and better yet, I felt that there were no tiresome or boring parts. Instead, it was quite the opposite. The ending, especially, just killed me. It even managed to have me tear up a bit.

In all, The Girl in the Wall is a book I HIGHLY suggest you pick up this year! It's compelling and mysterious. It will have you wondering how this something like this could possibly occur. Best of all, it will introduce you a great new author as well as talented new imprint: Merit Press.

Grade: A+

The Girl in the Wall (Amazon, BN, Goodreads) is now out!

Source: Publicist


  1. Wow, this sounds fantastic! I really enjoyed Daphne's debut novel and had no idea she had another book out. I will definitely need to get my hands on a copy! Great review, Lauren! :)

    1. Thanks, Kelsey! I read her debut book back when it was first released too (I remember getting an ARC from HarperCollin's old FirstReads or something program) and really loved it. Anyhow, hope you enjoy this one too! :)

  2. This sounds SO good! I never read books like this... which means I definitely need to give it a shot.

    1. Trust me, it's AWESOME! You have to give it a try.

  3. Have you read her debut? It's AMAZING. I think you'll like it too; it's completely different from this book though. Anyway, I really enjoyed this too and hope that she doesn't take too long between books. Love her writing! Great review!

    1. Yes, I have, and I remember really liking it even though it's been a while. Actually, I didn't even make the connection between this and that one until after I read it but it made me happy to see she was writing again. :)

  4. I had a lot of fun with this book as well-love the YA thriller and hope to read more in the genre soon!


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