Books Thriller

The Girl Who Wasn’t There by Penny Joelson

Kaili
The Girl who wasn't there

Book: The Girl Who Wasn’t There

Author: Penny Joelson

Published: November 3, 2020

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Genre: YA Thriller

Pages: 304

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About The Girl who Wasn’t There

The Girl Who Wasn’t There is a young adult thriller novel by Penny Joelson. This book follows Kasia while she’s stuck at home. She’s stuck at home because she has chronic fatigue. This causes her to be stuck at home for days at a time because she gets tired easily. So she has to watch the world go by through her bedroom window. When she notices something suspicious happening across the street she calls the police. When they get there everything is pretty much thrown under the rug and Kasia is made out to look like she was seeing things. But was she really seeing things? Or are her neighbors across the street keeping a huge secret?

The Girl Who Wasn't There
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Rating: 3 out of 5.

What I thought about The Girl who Wasn’t There

The Girl Who Wasn’t There follows a girl named Kasia who has chronic fatigue. The doctors say she could possibly get better but there’s a chance she probably won’t. I actually like the fact that this book includes chronic fatigue in this story since it’s really not included in a lot. This is the type of disability that really needs to be included in a lot more books because I don’t think there are many people who are aware of it. I know there are a ton of people who would think that someone is using this as an excuse to get out of doing things. Considering this is an actual condition I would love more people to actually be aware of it.

The Characters

Kasia is the main character of The Girl Who Wasn’t There. She has chronic fatigue and isn’t really able to get out much. This results in her having to look outside her window to keep somewhat occupied. One day when she’s longing to be outside she sees someone being kidnapped and immediately calls the police. When the police don’t believe her she has to start working to build her stamina to prove them wrong about what happened. I actually really like Penny and it’s kind of awesome to read a book with a character that has a disability. It seems like a lot of authors avoid this kind of thing. When they do think to actually include these sort of things it’s usually disabilities that are more widely known.

I am by no means saying that more well-known disabilities shouldn’t be represented. Just because they are being represented more doesn’t mean people actually know about them or actually understand them. I just wish disabilities/sicknesses like this would be represented more since a lot of people don’t think it’s real. I’m sure there are a lot of people who think that others with chronic fatigue are just lazy and aren’t trying.

The fact that Kasia has family and friends who believe her and support her makes all of the characters so much better. I can see family and friends going either way when it comes to chronic fatigue. I’m sure there are some who don’t believe in it and I’m sure there are others who are more supportive.

The Plot

The plot of The Girl Who Wasn’t There is what I didn’t really like about this story. I went into the story thinking that it was going to be a thriller/mystery. Turns out that the book mainly focuses on Kasia’s sickness. It’s okay to have a book that mainly focuses on a character going through a hard time with sickness but that’s not what I expected when going into the book. It’s understandable that there needs to be some sort of side plot within the story in order to make it flow well. There still isn’t really a lot of action to counteract her having to build herself up.

I was kind of expecting more to happen with what was going on with her neighbors. I was hoping that she would see more things going on over there. Why exactly is the main focus on her sickness? She ends up making a friend that moves in next door to her and I can honestly see them coming up with some sort of plan to try and save the girl. Or maybe they should have come up with something just to prove that she is there.

The only other thing that kind of bothers me with this book is that it takes place over in the United Kingdom but I can’t remember exactly where. I’m guessing the lingo that the author uses was translated for American readers, but I wish they wouldn’t have changed the emergency contact for the area. 911 is an American emergency contact and I wish they would have left the emergency contact to what’s relevant over there. Maybe I’m the only one who feels this way though.

How do you guys feel about books that don’t really focus on what you thought it was going to focus on?
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