Advance Review: The Wrong Girl by C.J. Archer

The Wrong GirlThe Wrong Girl by C.J. Archer
(Advance copy courtesy of C.J. Archer via NetGalley)
Read: May 24 – May 25, 2013
Release Date: June 1, 2013
Price: 3.99 USD

Goodreads Book Blurb: It’s customary for Gothic romance novels to include a mysterious girl locked in the attic. Hannah Smith just wishes she wasn’t that girl. As a narcoleptic and the companion to an earl’s daughter with a strange affliction of her own, Hannah knows she’s lucky to have a roof over her head and food in her belly when so many orphans starve on the streets. Yet freedom is something Hannah longs for. She did not, however, want her freedom to arrive in the form of kidnapping.

Taken by handsome Jack Langley to a place known as Freak House, she finds herself under the same roof as a mad scientist, his niece, a mute servant and Jack, a fire starter with a mysterious past. They assure Hannah she is not a prisoner and that they want to help her. The problem is, they think she’s the earl’s daughter. What will they do when they discover they took the wrong girl?

My Opinion: Going in to reading The Wrong Girl I had no real expectations. It caught my eye on the NetGalley catalog because I love me some Gothic mystery with a touch of paranormal. In that sense, I wasn’t disappointed.

However, at a mere 139 pages long, I did find The Wrong Girl to be a little disappointing overall. The action moved at a good pace, and I remained engaged with the story and the characters. But at the end, there just weren’t enough pages to answer all the questions that were raised throughout the course of the book. I recognize it is only the first book in a series, and I hope the questions are answered at a later time, but I wasn’t instilled with any sense of urgency by the end that the questions I wanted answered were of high priority.

I was impressed with the fact that Archer did her research with the time period, and there weren’t any discrepancies, barring a few involving propriety. I noticed that dialogue and behavior bordered on irreverent for the times without crossing over into simply being wrong. I also really appreciated that with so few pages, Archer didn’t devote any words to the trite young adult romance that seems to take precedence in literature these days.

I found Hannah repeated herself a lot, as the book is written from her perspective. She meditated on being the wrong girl for a good chunk of time, and later on other things. I wish those words had gone elsewhere. Overall, though, I didn’t find Hannah’s mind a hard place to be. She is a likeable character.

Bottom Line: I found this to be an enjoyable read, though I wish it was at least double the length. There are a lot of dodgy self-published works out there, but this is the first I have read that gives me hope for the market as a whole.


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