All Girls by Emily Layden #bookreview #YA #Mystery

Title: All Girls

Author: Emily Layden

Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press

Publication Date: February 16, 2021

Page Count:  301

My rating: 2 stars

About the book:

A keenly perceptive coming of age novel for fans of Sally Rooney, Curtis Sittenfeld, and J. Courtney Sullivan, All Girls follows nine young women as they navigate their ambitions and fears at a prestigious New England prep school, all pitched against the backdrop of a scandal the administration wants silenced.

But as the months unfold, and the school’s efforts to control the ensuing crisis fall short, these extraordinary girls are forced to discover their voices, and their power.

A tender and unflinching portrait of modern adolescence told through the shifting perspectives of an unforgettable cast of female students, Emily Layden’s All Girls explores what it means to grow up in a place that promises you the world––when the world still isn’t yours for the taking.

You grow to love a place… and then you grow up.

All Girls by Emily Layden is a debut young adult mystery read. This one of course stood out to me yet again being set in a boarding school which usually for me becomes a great setting for a creepy mystery or thriller. 

The book opens up following Lauren Triplett who is set to be a new freshman as she makes the journey on the way to the new school. As she approaches the school grounds however she begins to see signs posted along the way pointing to a rapist being somehow involved at the school.

The opening chapter to this one did pull me in and make me ready to get to a juicy story but it seemed as soon as I switched to chapter two it lost all the sparkle. You see this debut makes what I feel is a mistake in stretching too thin switching the point of view each chapter between way too many characters for this reader at least to take all in and care about.

Now, I did end up trudging my way through this book hoping for things to begin to gel together and reengage me in the story. This never did happen though as besides the too many points of view the mystery seemed to be really, really buried and instead the book felt as if it was a collection of short stories instead of one full mystery. There are those that did love this one but unfortunately I’m not among them.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Find this book online: 

Goodreads  /   Amazon **

About the author:

Emily Layden is a graduate of Stanford University. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Marie Claire, The Billfold, and Runner’s World. ALL GIRLS is her first novel.

Find her at or on Instagram @emilylayden.

**This is an Amazon affiliate link which will allow me as an associate to earn a small commision on any purchase made through the link of the products I share and that commission in no way changes the pricing of any items for the buyer.

6 Comments on “All Girls by Emily Layden #bookreview #YA #Mystery

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