Sometimes the experiences you have had in life make details in books hard to believe. Such was the case for me in reading She Was The Quiet One by Michele Campbell. This book is about twin sisters Rose and Bel who after the death of their mother gets sent to a boarding school by their grandmother. The sisters are very different, one loves to follow the rules and the other doesn’t. They look different, act differently and view school differently. These differences mean the girls are often fighting and out to get one another, using other people at the school to help them. The novel opens with a murder and then flashes back between different characters and police interviews until you find out who was murdered and by whom.
I attended a boarding school when I was in high school. It was a school for the arts so most of the kids wanted to be there. So maybe that was part of the difference in my experience and the experience of the characters in this book. But I think the thing I had the biggest trouble with in this book was believing how easy it was for the kids to leave their dorms and the freedom they seemed to have in going all over the place. Because boarding schools are filled with underage kids and the school is responsible for those underage schools they make it much harder to break rules then this school seemed to. I didn’t find the ease of breaking rules to be very believeable.
I also didn’t like a single character. Not that I have to like characters to enjoy reading about them. But every single character in this book was so incredible selfish and had such low self esteem that after awhile it got pretty old and it seemed like I was just reading different variations of the same character.
Reading gives me an opportunity to look into lives that are different than my own. The Odell School and being surrounded by such confused and selfish people is not a life I would want to have. I also like books where character raise above the challenges they face and grow and become better. I didn’t get that from this book either.
This book just wasn’t for me but if you did not attend a boarding school as a teenager and like very dysfunctional people then try this novel out.
My copy of She Was The Quiet One was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!