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The Row

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  487 ratings  ·  140 reviews
A death sentence. A family torn apart. One girl’s hunt for the truth.

Seventeen-year-old Riley Beckett is no stranger to prison. Her father is a convicted serial killer on death row who has always maintained that he was falsely accused. Riley has never missed a single visit with her father. She wholeheartedly believes that he is innocent.

Then, a month before the execution
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 11th 2016 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  487 ratings  ·  140 reviews

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Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-releases
4.5 stars

***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

The Row by J.R. Johansson
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Publication Date: October 11, 2016
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

A death sentence. A family torn apart. One girl’s hunt for the truth.

Seventeen-year-old Riley Beckett is no stranger to prison. Her father is a convicted serial killer on death row who has always maintained that he was falsely accused. Riley has never missed a single vi
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Having a father on death row has never been easy for Riley. Just six when her father was convicted of murdering three women, she's spent her life moving from place to place-- never too far from the prison, but hopefully far enough that no one will figure out who she is. But they always do. Neighbors leave threatening notes, kids at school make fun of her, and her mother has been let go of more jobs than she can remember. The one thing Riley has clung to, her life raft through the choppy waters o ...more
Jen Ryland
Oct 11, 2016 marked it as to-read
Shelves: arcs
Before I stared reading YA, I read a lot of thrillers, mysteries and true crime. While The Row sounded right up my alley, I ended up having mixed feelings about it. That's possibly because I've read so many adult Silence of the Lambs kinds of books, in which an FBI agent/police officer/psychologist sets out to delve into the mind of a serial killer. I feel like these adult-oriented books offer more psychological complexity than this book did.

The main character in The Row is Riley, a girl whose
Colleen Houck
This book is unlike anything I've read before. The heroine is the daughter of a man on death row and it was interesting to explore what happens to the family left behind when the father is imprisoned. The love interest was dreamy and pretty much perfect. It leaves your heart racing to the end. If you like thrillers this is a great pick.
Sep 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: stand-alone
Check out my review here:

Pffff, J.R. Johansson does it again! Possibly my favourite book by her that she has published so far. <3 I absolutely loved and adored this book. What I loved:

Characters: We have got an amazing main character who I just want to hug, a really cute and sweet boy with an even more adorable brother. Riley's thoughts and feelings all make so much sense and I loved how it is not just about saving her father but also about who she is as
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing

*This review also appeared here on A Leisure Moment*

**I received an eARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**

“Like Mama always says: if you make yourself priceless, people can’t throw you away.”

The Row
was beyond spectacular. I mean, by the synopsis, I knew it had to be good, but I didn’t expect it to be that good. It had mystery and intrigue, love and loss, and it combined all those elements to make for a whirlwind thriller that kept me on my toes.

Riley Beckett had a s

4 “Daddy is a serial killer” Stars

ARC via NetGalley

Thank you, Macmillan.

The Row has one of those big premises that just catches your attention, you know? It certainly caught mine.

I’m a huge “Dexter” fan (Dex, I love you. Deb, I love you. Season 1 to 4, I love you), so when I hear a book/movie/TV show is about a “serial killer” in any way, I’m instantly like “where? When can I get my hands on it?” Which is completely weird. I’m well aware.

So, of course I was interested in reading about the daugh
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
OMG!!! This is a fantastic book! The plot of the story, the characters.... holy crap you will never regret grabbing a copy of this book! The reality feel of this story is amazing! Add this to your to be read list and get it when it's released!
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

Riley Beckett has just four weeks to prove her father isn't a serial killer. After twelve years on death row he's exhausted his appeals and the execution date has been set. With the help of Jordan, a guy she meets at the mall with whom she has a deeper connection than she realizes, she'll do whatever it takes to prove her father's innocence.

THE ROW kept me guessing almost until the end. I was almost certain I knew the identity of the killer from the beginning but I was wrong. Unlike othe
A Leisure Moment


The Row was beyond spectacular. I mean, by the synopsis, I knew it had to be good, but I didn’t expect it to be that good. It had mystery and intrigue, love and loss, and it combined all those elements to make for a whirlwind thriller that kept me on my toes.

Read the rest of the review for this phenomenal book!

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Jul 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, 2016
I received this book via NetGalley to give an honest review.

Not only did the cover pull me into wanting to read this book but the blurb as well. A teen who has a father in prison more over on death row what can this book be about. Is he guilty or is he innocence? How will Riley's life change if he dies? So many questions I had and they were answered. Riley has had a hard life ever since her father went away and was sentenced to death row for the murders of three people. She doesn't get close to
Lisa Mandina
Oct 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to YA Bound Book Tours and Netgalley for letting me read an e-galley of this book. I have been a huge fan of this author since I first read Insomnia. I have yet to be disappointed by any of her books, and this one totally held up that trend. I don't read a lot of this kind of contemporary YA, but it was such a good read.

I really liked the characters. Like Riley, I was intent on having to know just whether her father was really guilty or not. With all the reality tv lately about other mur
May 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was exactly what I was looking for! I read a lot of young adult literature and I have never read anything like The Row before. A novel about brutal murders and a father sentenced to death has the potential to be dark and too intense for young readers--that was not the case in The Row. J.R. Johansson found the perfect balance of intensity, character-driven plot, and suspects. This book is intense, but not scary; this book has threads of romance, but the romance does not over power the b ...more
Brenda (Entre letras y páginas)
* I've won this through NetGalley. *

I had marked this book as to-read on March 6th, 2015, so you can very well imagine how excited I was when I was told I had won the opportunity to review it.

This is the story of Riley Beckett, a 17-year-old girl from Texas who has had his father in prison for 12 years due to some murders he's accused of having committed ("violent beatings followed by strangulations."). She decides to do some research to find out the truth about what happened:
"If he's innocen
Nov 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Who suffers in the aftermath of a horrible crime? The victims? The victims' families? The man who may have been wrongly charged and imprisioned? The perpetrator's family? The Row gives an inside look at the cost of defending your family, even when the world says they are unworthy, when the world judges you along with the guilty.

Riley's father is on death row for a series of murders he says he didn't commit. Riley has never doubted his innocence. To her, he is her father. The smart and kind man w
Kathy Martin
Aug 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Riley Beckett has lived a lonely life since her father was convicted of being a serial killer. People have tarred her with the same brush and she faces harassment at home and at school. Her only constant is the visits she makes to her father on death row. But now the final appeal has been disallowed and an execution date has been set.

Riley is determined to prove that her father is innocent of the murders of the three women he was convicted for. She meets a new friend when she decides to travel t
The Row by J.R. Johansson was a tremendous read! The book, designed for teens and YA, was full of twists and turns. I felt it was suspenseful and kept me on my toes wanting to know what happens next!

Riley Beckett has been visiting her father in prison for 17 years. He is on death row and the time is quickly coming to an end. Riley is feeling desperate about his upcoming execution, and about what really happened. The fact that her dad has been found guilty of being a serial killer, the man who w
Mandy Peterson
Sep 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
What would you do if you could prove your father's innocence while he sits on Death Row? Seventeen-year-old Riley is on a personal mission to find out whether or not her father really killed three women. Although he has maintained his innocence, he also once confessed to Riley that he did it. The only way out of the confusion is to launch her own investigation into the matter. The mystery portion in this book is worthy of a read all by itself, and I found myself chasing red herring after red her ...more
Jessica *The Lovely Books*
Sep 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm at a true loss for words. What a heartbreaking book!
FreYal Omar
Nov 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was beyond words can explain. This book is one of those stories that you never forget. That each word gets embedded into your brain and not even can surgery remove it. I fell in love with all the characters just as i do in all the other books i read by Jen. I'm so lucky I got this one signed by her and I got the chance to read it!

A few of my favorite quotes:
"Letting this man, who has been there for me through everything, have access to the air he can no longer breath."

"His eyes land
When Riley was six years old, her father was arrested for murdering three women and sentenced to death. Eleven years later, he's exhausted his appeals, and the execution date is just a few weeks off. He's maintained his innocence throughout, and Riley believes him--until he tells her, attempting to help her let go, that he's guilty. Somewhere along the way, her beloved father has lied to her, and Riley is left sorting through family skeletons to confirm her father's innocence--or guilt.

Lots of
Aug 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was blown away with how well this book held my attention. The back and forth of the emotional roller coaster the story takes you on is paced excellently. There are some parts of the romance that hit hiccups for me because they read kind of cheesy to me. All in all I would recommend this book to others to read especially if you're in a reading slump like I was until I picked up this book. I'm almost left feeling like I want to know what happens next in Rileys' life. Also, I should mention I won ...more
Oct 29, 2019 rated it liked it
A solid 3 stars. No more, no less. I was pretty confused and lost throughout most of the book...
Before you read this review or if you're planning to read the book, here's some context:
The main character, Riley, the daughter of a serial killer (though that's questionable), has watched her dad been on Death Row for years. After her dad confessing to her about his murder spree so Riley could 'get over his death', he almost instantly takes it back and the entire story just becomes a he said/she said
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I liked the realness and complicated feelings expressed in the book without getting bogged down in those same feelings. It expressed the horror of the crime without too much description. Great MS read. Even the relationship was heartfelt, not too much but not obviously G rated either. Author masterfully keeps a book that could easily be a HS rated book accessible to a younger audience without compromising the mature topic! 💜💜💜💜💜
Lamia Hourani
Sep 27, 2018 rated it did not like it
I just don't understand why I keep reading books that are so bad in every way.
What did i even read??
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Full disclosure: I received a free ARC of this book directly from the author herself at a convention back in March. She did not ask me to write a review; I decided to do that on my own because The Row is ah-MAZ-ing.

For almost twelve years, Riley Beckett has been in and out of courtrooms and prison visitation rooms, watching as her father is condemned on every side for three brutal murders he has always sworn he didn't commit. Riley, her mother, their lawyer Mr. Masters, and his assistant Stacia
zoë ❅ (fallxnrobin)
Am I okay?? Of course I am. What a silly question to ask. I'm always okay. It's just a twig in my eye. A really persistent twig that keeps coming back.

This book is, in a few adjectives: fantastic, heart-gripping, heart-racing, heARTBREAKING, amazing in every way possible ((I'm probably exaggerating at that last one but give me a break, I'VE FOUND MY FIRST FIVE STAR READ OF THE YEAR. Granted I've only read like 30+ books so far this year but this is BIG for me.)).

5 stars bc it deserves it

Don't ju
Gianetta  Major
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Review of The Row
Should the death penalty be used? The Row by J.R. Johansson is the story of 16year old Riley Beckett who’s father is on death row for convicted murder of 3 young women. After found guilty at a trial, he confesses to her and then takes it back that he did commit the crime he is being prosecuted for. When another murder takes place, the police think it is related to the women's murder he is released and sent home, but then takes Riley's mother and tries to murder her, when Rile
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J.R. JOHANSSON is the author of the Night Walkers Series (INSOMNIA, PARANOIA and MANIA) as well as standalone novels, CUT ME FREE and THE ROW. Her books have been published in over a dozen languages and more than twenty countries worldwide. She has a B.S. degree in public relations and a background in marketing. She credits her abnormal psychology minor with inspiring many of her characters. She l ...more

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