“All Girls” by Emily Layden

All Girls

Genre:/Literary Fiction/Women’s Fiction
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Pub. Date: Feb. 16, 2021


This novel is marketed for fans, which I am, of Curtis Sittenfeld’s, “Prep.” That novel is set in an American boarding school, “a hotbed of privilege, ambition, and neurosis, every bit as snobbish and competitive as anything dreamed up on this side of the Atlantic”. … Google Books.  That pretty much sums up “All Girls” but, add in a sexual assault of a former student by a male teacher that took place twenty years ago.  The girl is now a woman, who wants revenge on the school for kicking her out and covering up the teacher’s crime. The girls in the present, attempt to figure out who the teacher was so the story morphs into a mystery. The reader will follow nine students, which would have been okay if the author had spent time on their character development.  However, this is not the case. Each character comes and goes so quickly that there is no time to be acquainted with them. It is easy to get lost on who is who. This is a shame because the novel has much potential. Layden does such a good job of capturing boarding school female teenage angst. With a good editor, “All Girls” would then read more like “Prep.”

I received this Advance Review Copy (ARC) novel from the publisher at no cost in exchange for an honest review.

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