Book Review – The Girls Are Never Gone

Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. If you’re a regular visitor to these shores, you might have seen an earlier post about this book where I shared my interview with authour Sarah Glenn Marsh, which you can read here.

Since then, I’ve read the book, which I devoured in twenty four hours, and I can’t wait to tell you what I thought of it, because this book was not only a brilliant read, but has taken a special place in my heart as it has a main character with a chronic illness.

Dare Chase doesn’t believe in ghosts.

Privately, she’s a supernatural skeptic. But publicly, she’s keeping her doubts to herself—because she’s the voice of Attachments, her brand-new paranormal investigation podcast, and she needs her ghost-loving listeners to tune in.

That’s what brings her to Arrington Estate. Thirty years ago, teenager Atheleen Bell drowned in Arrington’s lake, and legend says her spirit haunts the estate. Dare’s more interested in the suspicious circumstances surrounding her death—circumstances that she believes point to a living culprit, not the supernatural. Still, she’s vowed to keep an open mind as she investigates, even if she’s pretty sure what she’ll find.

But Arrington is full of surprises. Good ones like Quinn, the cute daughter of the house’s new owner. And baffling ones like the threatening messages left scrawled in paint on Quinn’s walls, the ghastly face that appears behind Dare’s own in the mirror, and the unnatural current that nearly drowns their friend Holly in the lake. As Dare is drawn deeper into the mysteries of Arrington, she’ll have to rethink the boundaries of what is possible. Because if something is lurking in the lake…it might not be willing to let her go.

It’s a spooky set up right from the start, with the promise of a ghost hunter heading to an estate that one of her listeners has drawn her attention to. And as soon as Dare learns about the story of Atheleen Bell, she can’t wait to search for answers. Until she arrives, and the answers start searching for her. Sceptical until she absolutely has no choice not to be, Dare, along with Quinn and Holly, the other two teenage girls working on the house, finds herself caught up in something much bigger than any of them could have predicted.

I loved this book for multiple reasons. It was scary enough to keep me up at night and give me nightmares, which is brilliant: what else is the point in reading a scary story?! Long after I read the last page, I couldn’t stop thinking about what I’ve read, and trying to process it all in my own way.

Like Dare, I’m a sceptic, yet at the same time, I want to know what comes next, after death. And again, similar to Dare, having a diagnosis of an endocrine health condition that could kill me if mismanaged has led me more and more down the path of curioiusity, and, yes, at times, desperation: needing almost to know there is some life waiting for me after death where I’m not dependant on medication forever. The fact we had this much in common gave me the ability to really relate to her, and I found it easy to slip into her mindset, especially when she is really trying to convince herself that she is imagining ghost-like happenings.

Not only does this go onto my list of favourite YA horror novels, but it’s a brilliant example of how we can have a main character with a chronic health condition. We don’t just have to be religated to side or token characters, and Dare’s health is woven in to being a key component of the story without overruling the thrilling novel. An absolutely brilliant read.

Many thanks to Sarah for her time with the interview last time, which was organised via TBR and Beyond Tours, and to NetGalley for my early access to this book. Be sure to swing back around for more book reviews and all things bookish daily.


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