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**2014 YALSA Quick Pick**
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 ...
**2014 YALSA Quick Pick**
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.
"Two high school seniors re-evaluate their failed friendship under dangerous circumstances. Benedis-Grab alternates between the two girls' perspectives; nearly every chapter ends with a cliffhanger, keeping tension high. The action and high stakes should keep readers engaged." —Publishers Weekly
"Told in alternating voices ... this compelling narrative includes a touch of romance. Readers will find this mystery satisfying." - School Library Journal
"Quickly paced and without a dull moment, Benedis-Grab manages to write a disturbing, yet entertaining, novel that will entrance future readers. Budding young romance adds an extra touch to the already thriving story line, and the will to survive makes this an inspiring read. I recommend The Girl in the Wall to readers addicted to fast-paced storytelling and action. Benedis-Grab's novel is a must-read." —Blogcritics.org
"In so many books, when the author tries to tell the story in alternating voices it can quickly become confusing. In The Girl in the Wall it works. Each girl has her own voice and you can easily distinguish them both. Once I started, I could hardly put them down. Daphne Benedis-Grab is definitely an author on my to-watch list." —Mel's Reading Blog
"Four stars! The Girl in the Wall was everything I hoped it would be and it sounds like Merit Press has a hit on their hands! You're definitely going to want to check out this action-packed thriller this Christmas." —Panda Reads blog
"This contemporary YA novel packs a punch. Using alternating perspectives - one of my favorite devices! - Benedis-Grab weaves a compelling, scary tale of one fateful night in the lives of two former best friends. Also, it's gratifying to see teenage girl characters kicking butt while also patching up their friendship." —Persephone Magazine
"I felt that this novel was compelling, with an interesting plot and characters I wanted to learn more about. Why are Ariel and Sera so estranged? Who is behind the hostage situation? Who will live, and who will die? I really enjoyed the story and will be on the lookout for more from Daphne Benedis-Grab and Merit Press!" —Christi, the Teen Librarian blog
"Daphne Benedis-Grab's debut YA novel is filled with suspense, danger, and murder as the clock ticks through a deadly night. From the very first chapter, I was hooked, and the story got more intense every page! It's an absolutely thrilling ride, and I look forward to Ms. Benedis-Grab's next foray into young adult literature!" —Jack and Jill Magazine
"This book gripped me from the beginning and I finished it in a day. The action was intense but well-paced, the characters were realistic and meaningful, the consequences were honest. If you're looking for a different YA book, try this one." —Book Sojourner
"The book: woah. It was a fast-paced emotional rollercoaster that really kept me guessing. The characters were seriously awesome. Packed with turns and tear-at-your-heart moments. I had high expectations since it's been on my wishlist for a time, and I was not disappointed." - Nightly Reading
Posted February 12, 2013
Yep, that's right- this book earned 5 birdies. And here's why. I've been in a bit of a reading slump. I have two books that I'd been waiting for for a while sitting here, started, but not holding my attention. I have a stack of books that I know will be wonderful once I can focus on them, but I've had trouble doing just that. Until I picked this book up Sunday, determined to read it for this review today.
Once I got started, I spent hours telling myself, "Just one more chapter." I chewed through page after page of this thriller, unable to slow down, let alone stop reading. I was entranced.
Others will pick this up and wonder why I'm talking it up so much. At first glance, there doesn't seem to be anything exceptional about the book; it's from a largely unknown author, from a largely unknown pub house, with a cover image that does the job, but isn't really remarkable. The craftsmanship of the plot, however, is so finely-tuned, it's pretty difficult to find a spot where the pacing is anything less than pristine. The suspense builds steadily and without pause, while the author builds in just enough back-story to explain character relationships without getting in the way of the action.
Another element I enjoy: this is a perfectly wrapped-up stand-alone, without a love triangle. I love my series books, but it was refreshing to finish this one in a single afternoon and know that I've read the whole story; I don't have to wait months and months for the next installment. There were elements of innocent romance sprinkled throughout, but I wasn't asked to sympathize with a heroine who had to choose between two boys. Thank you, dear author.
Readers should be forewarned that there is some graphic violence in this book; characters get shot and die, and some of the description is unpleasant for the squeamish. Otherwise, the book is quite clean of elements that some consider inappropriate for young readers. I'd especially recommend for the reluctant reader, since the action is so engaging.
If you're at all inclined to take a chance on a book that may not have been on your to-read list, something just for fun, try this one. I dare ya.
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Posted June 6, 2014
This book shocks you at every corner and is an amazing twist of many different categories of books. I would highly recommend it to everyone. This book is fu of suspense and has you excited to see what the next page holds. AMAZING!!!
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Posted December 18, 2012
Sera made a difficult choice to save a life by telling the truth. Now she’s paying for it day after day after day. Her peers at school are treating her like “pariah of the year.” Now her family is insisting she attend the birthday party of her ex-friend, Ariel. It’s all very uncomfortable until rock star Hudson Winters (real name Hunter Winters) begins to croon a song Sera loves. The mesmerizing effect of his singing is cut short by the burst of gunfire and then the hell begins!
Two people are died and a group of killers is holding the rest of the party attendees temporarily until they realize the person they really wanted to kill, Ariel, is missing. So begins an awful night of threats, murders, fire, and more while Ariel is hidden in the walls of her home. It’s a place where Sera and she hung out and played when they were much younger. But now Sera has to make a choice to betray Ariel again or prove her loyalty. The cost of either is huge!
As the night progresses, the remaining youths know there will be no help until well into the next day. They, therefore, begin to plan on how to attack the killers and at the same time gradually discover who is behind this insane, cold-blooded attack and why. It’s NOT a pretty picture, no matter how one sees the choices and possible outcomes.
During this night Sera discovers that Hudson (Hunter) is a regular guy with his own sad story. It’s his strength and ideas that help Sera tolerate the intense pressure and plan for a different alternative to the end they all expect. At the same time, Ariel has the time while in hiding to think about who are her true friends and make a decision that might just save her own life.
The Girl in the Wall punches the reader with its very real brutality and poignancy. The author knows well how to increase the tension but also make it something compassionate and moving, not just another made for TV drama. Superbly done, Daphne Benedis-Grab! YA readers will love this novel, for sure!
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Posted July 12, 2014
I wasn't real sure I would like this book, but the reviews sold me on at least trying it out, plus it was free. I gave it a 5 star because the reviews were dead on fantastic. I look forward to reading more from this Author. You will not be disappointsc in trying this book out.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 27, 2014
Got this as a free book on my nook and it was definitely the deal of the month! Thrilling page turner that I could not put down! You will not be dissapointed. It was kind of like the new TV series, Crisis, where they kidnap rich kids. Very riviting and real to life. Made me feel like I was there. Easy to relate too since situations such as this are popping up in the news all the time now. Sad but true. If you like thrillers you won't be dissapointed in this one!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 27, 2014
I enjoyed this book. It held my attention much more than I anticipated. The characters were interesting to read about. Their actions were logical and moved the story along. I think most people would find this to be an entertaining novel.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 16, 2014
Good, but disbelievable at some points. For example the issue with unlocking the phone. I thought phones had a emergancy bypass thing so people could use them to call 911, so you wouldnt need a password to use it. Other things like the 'security' with machine guns were a bit hard to buy. Who in the right mind would believe that a security team carries machine guns? Areils father should definitly have been suspicous. And the fact that a week later theyre all in school acting like nothing happened. Yeah, they were held hostage, had to fight back by killing people, almost died and saw their friends die, but no biggie theyre back in school with no serious phycological problems. Again, im not buyin it. Also twords the end of the book, it mentions Franz being insane, when just before he had been fine and driving a car around trying to run over agents. A little explanation on what happened there would have been nice. I also thought the focus of the book was off. It should have been more about plotting to fight back against the agents and icluded more of the actual battle and the aftermath instead of focusing on how a friendship was restored. Those things just seemed a little more major to me than repairing friendships. I am describing all the flaws in this book though, so dont let this review turn you from reading it. It was entertaining and not a bad read in the long run.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 13, 2014
Posted June 4, 2014
The Girl In The Wall By Benedis Grab was an excellent full of action, regret, and childhood memories. It's a page turner that will have you sitting at the edge of your seat wanting more! Here's my favorite line
"Two more people are lying on the floor, both at odd angles. Each has blood running from a head wound, so fast and thick it's like a faucet turned on."
See my recommendations for books that are as spine-chilling as this one!
Posted January 19, 2013
The Girl in the Wall by Daphne Benedis-Grab is a heart pounding thriller that will leave you breathless. It's about two ex-friends who are trapped together in a house taken over by terrorists, during one of the girl's birthday party. They must depend on their knowledge of the house and each other to get themselves out alive.
I really enjoyed reading from the dual points of view of both Ariel and Sera. They both had enough personality that I was able to easily switch between chapters without forgetting who was where and doing what. Ariel had a mean girl vibe to her but with everything else going on this was a bit of comedic relief in the middle of a stressful situation.
Switching POV's every chapter leaves you in horrible suspense, but then you get to the end of the next chapter and want to scream, "No! Don't switch!" It was definitely an intense and gripping read that I'm sure fans of thrillers will love!
I really enjoyed The Girl in the Wall and highly recommend it to others. If you're in the mood for a suspenseful, yet cute, thrill ride than look no further. The Girl in the Wall definitely delivers.
Posted January 10, 2013
Daphne Benedis-Grab really knows how to deliver a good dramatic plot full of nail-biting moments! The Girl in the Wall is told in alternating point-of-views between the main characters, Sera and Ariel. The story is fast paced, suspenseful and shocking!
It starts with Sera, who has been disowned by her best friend, Ariel, and everyone at school because she actually did something right. Even though Sera knew what the consequences were going to be, she knew that she couldn't ignore the warning signs anymore and had to do what she did. It's been really hard not having any friends for the last couple of months. But in her heart, she knows that if she had to do it all over again, she would. And that my friends, makes Sera a very strong and courageous character, a true friend.
Ariel was Sera's best friend since they were in grade school. Their families have known each other Not being a part of Sera's life has been difficult, but she knows how stubborn and spiteful Ariel can be, and wonders if Ariel will ever forgive her. Especially since Sera's father is forcing her to go to Ariel's 17th birthday party - the party of the year - hoping that Sera and Ariel will be able to mend their friendship.
So when Ariel's party starts off with a huge bang during Hunter's performance (literally) and the entire senior class is taken hostage and Ariel goes missing - Sera knows where Ariel is. Will Sera and Ariel be able to put their differences aside and trust each other to save everyone in time???
This book was the ultimate page-turner! The writing and plot are really good - I could picture the scenes in my mind perfectly. I would highly recommend it just for that. But, that's all it had. The characters and their chemistry felt flat to me. They weren't engaging enough. Their emotions did not reach me. They seemed mechanical most of the time. Maybe it was the situation that they were in - Sera couldn't exactly have a break down in front of the gunmen who would then find out how much Sera knew Ariel, Ariel's family and the house. And Ariel, who is in hiding, didn't exactly have time nor the place to dwell on her feelings to the situation. But the brief moments that they were allowed to show how they were truly feeling really lacked something. Also, the relationship between Ariel and Hunter didn't click for me. To me, he was just a guy that was there, who helped and that was it. Could have been any other guy. Not a memorable supportive character - and those are usually the characters that I look for and tend to fall in love with. And then the other supportive character that I did like, was around enough... and the ending, well, it hurt me. I would have liked to have had more of a bittersweet ending...
Also, what Sera did to Ariel - through a teens eyes, I can understand the hurt and betrayal that Ariel must have felt. And she had every right to be angry. But to take it to the max and turn the entire school against Sera just seemed wrong, and unrealistic to me. There has to be at least one or two people who would have understood and sympathized with Sera, right?!
And the violence - I understand that this was a hostage situation and that things happen. But for me, personally, there was just too much of it. The methods that were used were just so cold-hearted... I just don't know. As a mom, I just wasn't comfortable with it.
Overall, if you're looking for a suspenseful quick read, this is definitely one for you to jump on.
But I will say this again, I truly believe that this is a book for a more mature teens and up.
Posted December 23, 2012
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One of the dreaded tropes of young adult fiction is femjep, female in jeopardy. This goes way back, to the days of “The Perils of Pauline” nearly a hundred years ago and earlier. At times, it seems as though many writers of young adult fiction can’t come up with a story without it, and that has led to a craving for those tales that feature girls with a brain, girls that can actually take care of themselves most of the time. It’s an even greater pleasure when an author is able to craft a story around a girl of, shall we say, substance, involved in a situation of jeopardy.
Ms. Benedis-Grab has accomplished this in spades with The Girl in the Wall and there are, in fact, two very capable girls, Sera and Ariel. The author makes good use of the hostage aspect and watching the girls cope with such deadly circumstances is knuckle-whitening. I literally raced from one chapter to the next and thoroughly enjoyed myself along the way. Some of Ariel’s behavior raised my eyebrows and Sera is faced with an impossible choice but I really liked both of these teens and found them highly interesting.The action is intense and frightening and I loved getting to know both Sera and Ariel.
This is a pair of girls I’d like to have by my side in a dark alley.
Posted December 18, 2012
I couldn't put this book down! Stayed up late to finish it. It has everything and it doesn't shy away from making the stakes really high. That's what I liked most about it. It's not like that typical dreary girl novel where two girls have a fight and/or popularity contest, then they realize that they are really friends underneath it all, kiss and make up, story over. Instead these characters are more complex and the ending is not what you would expect and it's not only about them. There is class struggle, good and evil, greed and generosity, loads of suspense and all that good stuff. Read it!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 11, 2012
I was first drawn to The Girl In The Wall because the book sounded like a great, action-paced story that would keep me on my toes. I really like the cover of the book, with the girl peeking out, it actually goes very well with what the book was about. Sometimes book covers have nothing to do with the actual story!
The Girl In The Wall starts off right from the beginning of a party at Sera’s ex-best friend’s house, where the whole story takes place. I really liked the fact that the reader is thrown in to the middle of their story. While we are given an explanation as to what had happened between Sera (the main character) and her best-friend in the past, the author doesn’t dwell on it and moves right on to what is currently happening. It kept me interested and I was glad that I wasn’t subjected to pages of backstory and was given just enough information to understand what was happening.
One of the things that I loved about this book was that the main two characters, Sera and Ariel, change as they learn more about themselves and face the challenges ahead of them. In order for them to make the necessary decisions to stay alive during the horrible ordeal that they went through, they definitely had to change. At the beginning of the book, Sera was shy and unsure of herself after having been a target to her classmates. She learns to be more assertive and grows more confident as she makes some life-saving choices that save not only her life, but the lives of just about everyone else. Ariel struggled in a different way. She was blaming Sera for the wrong things and she struggled to live with the things that had occurred to her in the past. Ariel becomes kinder and learns that she had been angry at all the wrong people. I loved that they both experienced such great changes.
I wasn’t sure how important Sera’s love interest, Hudson Winters, would be to the story and whether their love would contribute anything at all. While their feelings for each other didn’t seem very important, Hudson Winters became an instrumental part of the story. Another important character was Nico, an employee in Ariel’s household. I especially liked him because his love for Ariel inspired him to begin their plans of escape.
Just as I expected from the beginning, The Girl In The Wall kept me very entertained. There weren’t many negatives for me. I do wish that there were more details given throughout the book. A few things just seemed a little too convenient and they weren’t explained well enough for me to understand how they happened. Another thing was that the ending was wrapped up too quickly and it definitely could have been stretched out a bit more. After finishing the book I realized that I was still unsure of who was the main character. I had assumed when I read the synopsis that it would be Sera, but “the girl in the wall” was Ariel. I’m guessing that they are both the main characters, as the book had alternating chapters with each of the girls’ points of view. Overall, not that bad. I think if some of these problem areas had been fixed it would have been an amazing book.