Title: The Girls Are All So Nice Here
Author: Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Publication Date: 1st April 2021
Nice girls can do bad things…
When Ambrosia first arrives at prestigious college Wesleyan, she’s desperate to fit in. But Amb struggles to navigate the rules of this strange, elite world, filled with privileged ‘nice’ young women – until she meets the charismatic but troubled Sully, with whom she forms an obsessive friendship.
Intoxicated by Sully’s charm and determined to impress her, Amb finds herself drawn deep into her new best friend’s dangerous manipulations. But if she wants to play Sully at her own game, Amb has no idea just how devastating the consequences will be…
Toxic friendships fascinate me so I was really excited to read The Girls Are All So Nice Here and it completely lived up to my high expectations. The story follows Ambrosia, nicknamed ‘Amb’, as she starts at the prestigious Wesleyan University with a determination to fit into the elite and privileged world of the girls there. She becomes obsessed with the magnetic and dangerously manipulative Sully, and the two form a dark and destructive friendship which has far reaching devastating consequences.
I found The Girls Are All So Nice Here totally engrossing, it is such an addictive read. I was gripped by the nastiness and cruelty that seemed to be second nature to some of these girls and I was fascinated by the fact that, for Amb at least, there seemed to be a genuine confusion at the concept of someone being kind without an agenda or ulterior motive. Amb is not a particularly likeable character. In some respects I understood her deep-seated insecurities and how they moulded her into the person she becomes at Wesleyan, however the further she descended into her manipulations in her sinister efforts to impress Sully, the less that cut it as an excuse for her actions. The Girls Are All So Nice Here is a compelling look at the darker side of the relationships between women and also at the power of words. The things people say, or write to each other can be just as deadly and influential as physical action and the repercussions for other people can be horrifying.
This book really got under my skin, I found it incredible tense at times and loved the dual narrative following Amb in the present as she is pulled back to Wesleyan for a ten year reunion and in the past as she falls deep into an obsessive friendship with Sully and follows her darker instincts for destroying Flora, her college roommate who appears to Amb to have a rose-tinted life. I also think the ending is particularly effective. Without giving anything away, I felt like it was quite a brutal, yet brave way to end the story and I loved it. Highly Recommend!
I kindly received an e-arc of the book via Netgalley. My review is entirely my own honest opinion.