THE SHINING GIRLS by Lauren Beukes , was part of my December TBR and I read it after two book that I deeply loved: Burial Rites and The Gracekeeper. So when the time of The Shing Girls comes, I had a really positive attitude towards it as my previews choices were enjoyable readings and I expected this to be the same. Unfortunately, it was not.
This is an unconventional thriller . Harper Curtis is a tramp in the '20 that by chance found a possessed House that allowed him to time travel. But HarperCurtisisalsoa violent man, cruel and sadistic. Driven by the House's will ( for a not well clear reason) he became a serial killer who start hunting young women, strong, independentandfull oftalent, who are "shining" like stars in his head. Harper chases them through the ages, he found them when only little girls and go back to kill them in a perverse and gruesome way, when they became young women at the peakof their brightness. He is vicious, psychotic and depraved. He is the perfect killer that can't be stop. When in 1992 Kirby Mazrachi is found severely injured in the woods after a man had attacked her, but still alive, Harper perfect plane chance. " The girl who should have died hunting a killer that shouldn't exist".
THE SHINING GIRLS is a mash-up of many different genres: crime, thriller, paranormal, horror and romance and while I like the writing, I felt that this book wasn't really stand out in any of the genres just mentioned. After a hundred pages I was really disappointed.
- First problem, TIME. I'm not really sure why time travel was used in this book. Each chapter told about a different character (the shining girls, Harper, Kirby) and of course, is set in different times. This was a problem for me because I had struggled to keep track of where I was in the storyline and I had to check at least twice the date every single time to sort it out. Also the possesed House was a big question mark in my head. Was that necessary? I am still not sure it was. As I said, a mash-up of diffent genres not too well developed.
- Second problem : Harper. Why is Harper killing them? Why are they shining? I still have to figured it out if there is a real reason or if is just all in his mind but still, the presence of this House make me not so sure of it. His psicology as a serial killer is not investigated . Like other things in this book, there is a big lack of explanaitions. I get bored to read Harper's chapters, they were all the same and nothing interesting was told of him, not the reason he kills the girls nor his past. So try to imagine how hard it was for me to go through them.
- Third problem : Kirby . As much as I enjoyed Kirby at a personal level, her sharp mind and her fearless decision to hunt the man who nearly kill her was intriguing , I feel frustrated all the time because she is so still in this story while she should be the heroin. She is investigating, yes, but except frombrowsing all police files she is doing nothing to get the story a little bit of twist.Only at the end we will se some kind of real emotion from her.
And I am sorry to say that there is also some romance. My heart sank evry time I found romance in a book where is not needed. I just want to close the book and stop reading. My grocery list, by the way, is more emotional that this love story . But this is my personal taste. So do not take it in to account.
In conclusion, this book was a lot of things but none of them developed very well. That's a shame because the plot wasn't bad, the writing either. I liked the idea of unavoidability for the girls destiny, but that is all. It took me two weeks to finish THE SHINING GIRLS and I really had to push myself to go through it.