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3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  581 ratings  ·  108 reviews
From the author of the bestselling Girls in Trucks, a sad, wry testament to the beauty and recklessness of youth

The city of Grifonia, Italy, is swarming with secrets—thousands of years of dark, murderous secrets.
Taz, a British student who has just arrived for her year abroad, thinks that she will spend her time in Italy sipping wine and taking in the rolling Umbrian hills
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published June 17th 2014 by Sarah Crichton Books
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Abroad is, kind of, the Amanda Knox story - but from the perspective of the victim (Meredith Kercher, known here as Taz). If you've paid even passing attention to the news over the past few years, you likely know the story - two girls come to a small Italian city on an academic exchange and end up as roommates. They become friends, do some minor experimenting with sex and drugs, form relationships with friends and lovers - and then Taz is found murdered in her room by Claire and Colin (the Amand ...more
Claire McNeill
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 12, 2014 Brittany rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those who followed the Amanda Knox case
How I Came To Read This Book: I got a free copy from the publisher.

The Plot: This book is essentially a fictional re-imagining of the Amanda Knox story; told from the perspective of Meredith Kercher, the victim in that unfortunate crime. The story imagines ‘Tabitha’ as a bit of a quiet outsider, who is whisked away by a classmate from her home University and swept up into a group of mysterious, wealthy, beautiful girls that coin themselves the B4 once Tabitha joins. As Tabitha learns more of the
I received by copy of Abroad through the Goodreads First Read program.

An absolutely phenominal book, Abroad had my head spinning for all that I did not see coming, despite the "writing on the wall". For much of the book I felt like Tabitha must have, seduced by the extravagance, the parties, the culture, the people, too innocent to put it all together.

Leaving her small Irish town, Tabitha Deacon sets out for a year abroad to study at a university in Grifonia, Italy. Determined to make the most o
Katherine Vetrano
This has been my favorite read this summer. Thrilling without taking itself too seriously, with time dedicated to female friendships and the whirlwind that is college life, this was impossible to put down. I found myself staying up late (which I rarely can do due to my Morning Person Problem) to see what happened next.
Sep 18, 2014 Sera rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Sera by: Book Page Magazine
I really enjoyed this book on audio, even though the reader struggled at times with the multiple accents that she needed to pull off the read. The American one was terrible, unless that's how people outside of the US view that that is the way in which Americans speak and act. Who knows? There is also quite a bit of heavy foreshadowing that seemed to be overdone and unnecessary.

In spite of these flaws, I thought that this was a great book. Crouch did an excellent job of developing her characters,
Darkly mesmerizing, seductive, and based on the Amanda Knox case, Abroad is a trifecta of eerie perfection.

Gone to Italy to spend a semester studying language, Tabitha "Taz" finds the friends she thinks she has always wanted. Popular, poised, and moneyed, the group of three take Taz into their fold, using her as their interpreter and using her, one suspects, for something more, something unclear at first to our naive narrator. Despite her new friends, their endless parties, the whirlwind of exp
For Taz (Tabitha), a college student from Ireland, her year abroad in Italy starts innocently enough. As part of the Enteria program she'd chosen Grifonia for her year of foreign study. Her Italian is passable - not great, but enough to get by - and the city seemed a bit of a better choice than either Rome or Florence. Safer. Unfortunately for Taz her time in Grifonia will end in tragedy as her year abroad evolves into something quite different from the learning adventure she'd expected.

I'm fin
Abroad Thank you to Knopf Canada/Random House Canada for providing me with an advanced reader’s copy of this book to review.

I will say with rather fair certainty this book will end up being one of the most – if not THE MOST – memorable books of this whole year. I didn’t know what to expect from it exactly, not even after reading the summary and already being extremely curios about what’s inside. I was even scared of being disappointed. That, gladly, didn’t happen; it was much the opposite.

Reads like a high school girl's prose. Why was this published?!
I really liked this book. It's been a while since I've read something where I wasn't particularly fond of any of the characters yet compelled by their stories, and this one fits the bill. More complete review to come.

Full review:

As someone who went a long stretch with reading primarily young adult novels, it's surprising how many parallels there are between young adult books and adults books, the major difference being the tone. I mention this because, in so many ways, Taz, the main character in
Tegan Mae
Review also published at The Founding Fields!

Abroad by Katie Crouch instantly intrigued me. The premise of this novel is similar to that of the real life murder mystery involving Amanda Knox, accused of killing her roommate while studying abroad in Italy. In this novel the story is not told from the murderer’s perspective, but the victim’s. Abroad takes place in Grifonia, Italy; a city known as the party town for the students studying at the college. Grifonia is a true Italian city, with brick
I picked up the book because the storyline appealed to me: a young woman decides to spend a year to study abroad. That’s a great opportunity for character development. Moreover, our protagonist, 21-year-old Tabitha Deacon called Taz, chooses to go to Umbria, Italy. And what’s not to love about Italy!?

The opening page revealed another twist: the book is narrated in the first person by Taz and it seems like she will die in this story and tells it as a flashback describing how her death came to pa
WOW! A lot of drinking and smoking going on here! Not until the last few pages does the story finally move forward and then its not by much because if you paid attention you know the narrator and how this ends. So other than a fast paced read not much going on here. The characters are OK although how they spend their time is quite repetitive and dreadful; they are young so if you go with the flow, its predicitable.
Lovely Bones meets modern media-- an attempt to fictionalize and thus explain the life and murder of Meredith Kercher and Amanda Knox's involvement. Does a good job mirroring how Kercher became a victim but not the why. But maybe the why is unknowable and inconceivable.
Robert Jones
Great novels don't draw attention to the artifice of character, setting and plot. Instead, they just are. This seamless quality is how we can fall down the rabbit hole, giving up our identity to inhabit another. The success of the storytelling in Katie Crouch's latest is even more impressive given it is built off of incendiary and dynamic current events.
Maybe 3.5 stars.

Creepy gothic novel mixed with Mean Girls. This book takes the reader into a dark world (wanton alcohol and drug abuse, recreational sex with boys & girls, vulnerable study-abroad girls actively seeking dangerous situations) but is face paced, so the reader doesn’t stay anywhere long. Also, thankfully nothing is graphically described or glamorized. It all creates an effectively creepy environment in the gothic sense.

I don’t normally like to read about this type of environment
Kati Heng
How many favors has Katie Crouch done me already? First, and not vapidly – I support all girls named “Katie” and not Kate or Katherine in the lit world, because I hear you girl, I will not change my name to sound more sophisticated. Katies are sophisticated as hell. So first, thanks for that, girl. But more importantly: Crouch has given us the murder mystery of the summer in Abroad.

Is it a mystery, though? You know who’s going to die the whole time, at least once Tabitha, or Taz, starts insertin
Alisha Marie
Going into Abroad, I knew that it was sort of a take on the whole Amanda Knox thing. And that is a case that makes my hackles rise because a.) I don't think we'll ever truly know what happened and b.) because it seems like the world is more focused on the alleged perpetrators than on the actual victim, Meredith Kercher. She's the one who people should focus on. She's the one who lost her life. It just seems as though people have forgotten that. Due to my feelings on the case, I had assumed that ...more
Ray Palen
When something is compared to Donna Tartt's "Secret History" --- my interest is piqued. That was one of the greatest novels of the past century and comparison to it is high praise indeed.

Katie Crouch's "Abroad" is no "Secret History" --- but it's a pretty darn good read on its' own merit. A small town in Italy called Grionia is home to a little known University most famous for the international group of students (predominantly female) that flock there for a year or more. Some come to get away, s
April Kane
I received a free ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Young, naïve Irish college senior Tabitha “Taz” Deacon spends a semester abroad in Grifonia, Italy. There she becomes part of a glamorous, “mean girl” clique led by her Irish schoolmate, Jenny Cole. Finally, she feels accepted into the popular group although really to them she is just being as used as the group’s translator.

Known as the “B4” the group goes to all the best parties and gets into all the best clubs. Unlike th
This is a first reads review.
I have to admit that I am fascinated by the Amanda Knox trial and thus when I read all of the reviews that likened it to the case, I was quite excited. At first, the writing intrigued me, and I felt that the author was doing a good job at building character and establishing tension. Then I came to the introduction of Jenny on page 14 and it is completely lifted from The Great Gatsby. This introduction to her is: "when Jennifer Cole spoke to you, it was an occasion.
Yolanda Casica
I received my copy of this book for free through a Goodreads giveaway. My review is completely honest and even though I did not like this book, I hope I am not unkind in how I describe that dislike.

This story follows a young university student as she lives abroad in Italy. She gets in with the wrong type of people and her life changes horribly. This story is based off of a true story, however the characters are completely the author's imaginings.

I didn't have a problem with the plot or the writ
Eileen Granfors
Katie Crouch reinvents the Amanda Knox case in her novel, ABROAD. I may have liked the book better if I had not known of that connection. Crouch's approach, using the murder victim as the narrator, takes the reader into dark places with an impending sense of doom.

In Crouch's version of events, Amanda becomes Claire. Claire, the American, is sex-obsessed. She is beautiful. She is portrayed as a free spirit in search of love. She lacks confidence.

The murdered girl, Meredith Kercher, becomes Taz. S
Keri Young-jolly
I received this book from a Goodread First Reads Giveaway.

I really enjoyed this book. It tells the story of Taz, who is an Irish girl who studies abroad in Italy. The story is similar to the Amanda Knox story, only it is told from the perspective of the girl who was murdered. The reader gets to hear about the victim's experiences before her death and the circumstances leading up to it. also thought it was clever how the author included a one page summary of other young women who died in Italy t
This is absolutely awful. It is a amalgamation of The Secret History (which was pretty damn good) and Gone Girl (just as wretched a book as this piece) and added nothing of it's own. Doesn't anyone else see the parallels here? I can read just about anything, or so I thought until I had to read this for a book group. I did not finish it-I had something better to read, so this book got tossed. Why didn't I like it? The main character mostly spends her time feeling sorry for herself/suspicious of h ...more
My boyfriend actually picked this book up for me thinking I would enjoy it since I studied abroad (not in Italy where the book is set, but in Australia.) I really wanted to enjoy the book, but I couldn't get into it. Loosely based on the Amanda Knox story, I kept waiting for something to happen, but the entire book was a lot of build up and nothing all too exciting that actually drew me in, even at the end when the moment we're all waiting for actually takes place. It actually read more like a d ...more
Bonnie Brody
Abroad, by Katie Crouch, takes its theme from the Amanda Knox murder in Italy. The novel is narrated by the victim, who the reader knows will die. The character who substitutes for Amanda Knox in this book is Claire, an American student from Montana who has traveled to the Italian town of Grifonia for a year abroad. The victim's name is Taz and she narrates this story. She is from a small town in Ireland, has been studying at a university in Nottingham, England and is on an Enteria scholarship i ...more
How someone could render the story of Amanda Knox and Meredith Kercher so uninteresting is really a feat. Ugh. My least favorite kind of contemporary novel, like the author stole ingredients from ten novels more original than this one, shook them up with a bizarre true crime story, and this was the result, a waste. Disappointing but can't understand why I stuck with it to the end. No, it didn't get any better.
Kathryn Ma
A gripping novel that succeeds on many levels: psychological thriller, coming of age, historical inquiry, and a modern riff on the time-honored theme of American innocents abroad. There is a surface story, and something much darker and deeper, illuminated by moments of simply beautiful writing.
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Book Keeping: Katie Crouch - Ask the Author! 1 7 Jun 25, 2014 12:39PM  
Book Keeping: Abroad by Katie Crouch 1 3 Jun 25, 2014 12:28PM  
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I write every single day, first by hand and and then typing on my battered Mac. I've been writing all my life, though I didn't really get going on books until I was 29. I had to get fired from a few jobs first.

I received my MFA from Columbia University, and have won fellowships to the MacDowell Colony and the Sewanee Writers Conference. My three year old also recently awarded me the Macaroni Priz
More about Katie Crouch...
Girls in Trucks Men and Dogs The Magnolia League (Magnolia League, #1) The White Glove War (Magnolia League, #2) AIDS Anthology of Writings

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