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The Girl Before

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3.69  ·  Rating details ·  88,171 ratings  ·  8,505 reviews
In the tradition of The Girl on the Train, The Silent Wife, and Gone Girl comes an enthralling psychological thriller that spins one woman's seemingly good fortune and another woman's mysterious fate through a kaleidoscope of duplicity, death, and deception.

Soon to be a major motion picture directed by Ron Howard.


Please make a list of every possession you consider essentia
...more
Hardcover, 341 pages
Published January 24th 2017 by Ballantine Books
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Samantha The "girl" in this title has a double meaning though, which you learn at the end. I don't think it's as "denigrating" to women as one might think.…moreThe "girl" in this title has a double meaning though, which you learn at the end. I don't think it's as "denigrating" to women as one might think. There's a twist.(less)
Franny This is really just a formulaic screen-grab: thin story, unpleasant/one dimensional characters, sex, violence, and a modern-day vibe. A certain…moreThis is really just a formulaic screen-grab: thin story, unpleasant/one dimensional characters, sex, violence, and a modern-day vibe. A certain segment of the population will no doubt find it "fabulous" - for all the wrong reasons. (less)

Community Reviews

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3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  88,171 ratings  ·  8,505 reviews


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Emily May
Jan 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
"Yes, daddy. Yes."

No. Please no.

I feel like somebody noted the success of books like Gone Girl and the success of Fifty Shades of Grey and thought: wouldn't it be great if we had a book that combined the two? No, actually. No, it wouldn't.

The Girl Before failed on so many levels, and I say that as a reluctant fan of these "domestic thrillers". I've enjoyed everything from The Girl on the Train to last year's ridiculous but fast-paced Behind Closed Doors. I expected I'd like this one too, but
...more
Melissa
I’m tossing this one on the heaping pile of books that led me to believe they were worthy of comparisons to Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train, but left me disappointed instead. Is this madness ever going to end? Why can’t a book be left to stand on it’s own merits? I guess it’s my fault for giving in and picking up yet another ‘Girl’ book. Have no fear though, once again, I’ve landed in the minority, as the reviews I’ve seen have been overwhelming positive and apparently it’s being made into a ...more
Deanna
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

4.5 Stars!!

The Girl Before is a psychological thriller that is getting a lot of attention. The movie rights have even been sold to Universal with Ron Howard to direct. I didn't know any of that when I first read the description for the book. I just thought it sounded like an entertaining read.

"Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life."

One Folgate Street in London, is a high-tech minimalist
...more
Paromjit
Nov 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
1 Folgate Street is no ordinary house, it is cutting edge and won the Stirling Prize. It is an example of extreme minimalism and incorporates the latest home technology. It was originally designed by the techno-architect Edward Monkton as his family home but his wife and son died there which means its now available for others to live. Only there is the slight problem of over 200 conditions that have to be adhered to by whoever lives there. And they have to be interviewed and approved by Monkton ...more
Chelsea Humphrey
Feb 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: from-publisher
3.5 stars

Really fast paced and captured my attention from beginning to end, but it tried a little hard to be too many different things. I kept getting whiplash over all the "But this! And this! Now this! Jk this! Look at me; I'm being shocking and twisty!" Unfortunately, this took away from what could have been a 5 star read for me. Still enjoyable and would still recommend to the right reader. Full review to come.
Kaceey
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: overdrive
3.5
The perfect home to lease. Custom-designed and built by a world renowned architect. Every modern amenity one could possibly dream up… some even beyond your imagination! What’s not to like?
Just one small hitch. You must agree to the terms set forth by the architect. Rules covering seemingly everything from A – Z, regarding what may be brought into the apartment. Not the least of which includes no pets or even children.

Emma is looking for a safe haven. Her last flat was broken into and ransacke
...more
Evgnossia O'Hara
Dec 22, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery, thrillers
Review was originally published on Through the Chapters|Blog

This book was on my TBR for almost a year. I expected it to be a very good psychological thriller since it was compared to the “Gone Girl” one of the most mind-blowing books I have ever read. Unfortunately, I wasn’t only disappointed. I was frustrated, and let me explain why.

This story follows two women Emma and Jane, who wanted to escape the tragic events of their past, in order to begin a new life in a new apartment. The narration rot
...more
Meredith
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
I am in the minority with my feelings about The Girl Before--this book has received excellent reviews, but it just didn’t work for me.

The premise is intriguing: What if you had the opportunity to live in the perfect house designed by a famous architect for a low price? The only catch is that the house will record data, and track your every move. Also, the lease will have over 200 clauses, including such things as not leaving anything on the floor and no books allowed! There will be the occasion
...more
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Would you move into a house that has pages and pages of rules? Where the questions ask you things that you couldn't live without? Questions about everything person? Also, you can't have kids/pets/make a mess?
 photo tumblr_nszwq9l1aQ1sfysqqo1_500_zpsu0p8gag6.gif

Don't be so sure, because those rents are expensive. This house, however has the latest and greatest gadgets going for it. Like lights that automatically adjust to you, the water temps remember those perfect settings, and lots of little stuff like an app for your phone that controls the hou
...more
Melisa
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, thriller, arc
Update: I just read that Ron Howard is going to direct the movie adaptation of this book. I can't wait!

Wow! Book slump averted! A thriller has not made me this excited since Megan Miranda's All the Missing Girls.

The story is told in alternating chapters between Emma, the girl before, and Jane, the current tenant of a very unique flat. While both women are searching for a living situation within their budgets in expensive London, their brokers both mention a possible solution. One Folgate Street
...more
Maureen
Jan 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
*3.5 STARS*.

One Folgate Street is a state of the art award winning property. The rent is pretty reasonable too, but it's tenants must be prepared to give up all their possessions - no books, throws, cushions, photos, no personal effects, nothing except the bare minimum of clothes. Then there are the other rules - hundreds of them, seemingly waiting to trip you up, catch you unawares. There are also regular questions to answer, very personal and intrusive questions. The fact is, whoever becomes
...more
j e w e l s [Books Bejeweled]
3 stars

For a book that is centered on a minimalist approach to life in a spare, modern home--this story is a bit messy! Oh, the irony. Marie Kondo, where are you? Clean up on aisle 5!!

I was immediately sucked in to the plot. Most readers will identify with the depressing search for an affordable place to live that is also stylish and meets all of our must-haves. It doesn’t exist.

What if you find out that there is a gorgeous modern home available for very little moolah? It has everything. State
...more
Norma * Traveling Sister
If I am rating this solely on my review rating system this book gets no more than 2 stars from me.  It was just okay and for the most part it wasn’t an enjoyable read for me.  I listened to the audio version of this book and what I did really like though was the narrators as it was performed very well by Emilia Fox, Finty Williams, and Lisa Aagaard Knudsen.

While the premise of THE GIRL BEFORE by J.P. DELANEY did sound quite intriguing to me and there was definitely something about this book that
...more
Linda
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of The Girl Before through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Ballantine Books and to J.P. Delaney for the opportunity.

To control or to be controlled?......now that is the question.

The Girl Before has more wicked cogs in the wheel than a jacked-up Monster truck in high gear. And that wheel keeps turning and turning throughout the entire story. Some days that wheel grinds in the down and dirty. Some days it revs up speed and gains relentless traction.

Emma Matthews live
...more
Moonlight Reader
Jan 27, 2017 rated it did not like it
Overhyped and underwhelmed.

Honestly, I should've known better. I mean, first of all, it had the word "Girl" in the title, which was a clue that it would be bandwaggoning the tail end of a trend. And then, once I finished reading it, I found Emily May's review that made the connection between this book and Fifty Shades of Grey.

Here is a list of all of the things I hated about this book:

1. Edward. His character was completely unconvincing. I haven't read FSoG and I have no plans to do so. However,
...more
Lola
Jan 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This book is very manipulative and, clearly, deceptive.

If that bothers you – and if you generally dislike far-fetched cases – I suggest you read something less convoluted.

By ‘‘manipulative,’’ I mean you’re more than pushed into liking specific characters and disliking others. So you do that. But despite having your thoughts about characters shaped by the author, you’re still manipulated some more as the story progresses.

I don’t exactly like when that happens. I prefer to be exposed to all face
...more
April
Oct 06, 2017 rated it liked it
"You can make your surroundings as polished and empty as you like. But it doesn't really matter if you're still messed up inside."

3.5 // Though it did have it's twists and turns it wasn't as good as Gone Girl or Girl on the Train to me.
*TANYA*
Feb 14, 2017 rated it liked it
2.5 stars. What a let down this book was and its being made into a movie!?! I don't get it. The most intriguing part of this book was the creepy "techy" house!!!
Laura
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
A unique house with a particular landlord, they say. A restrictive covenant, but affordable. A lot of rules, a harrowing application process. Only if you think it is worth it.

One Folgate Street. It was built by a techno-minimalist architect named Edward Monkford. There is an intense 200-question application, a face-to-face interview with the ones Edward personally approves, and even then..they rarely get the lease. And if you do, you have to live by strict rules and adapt to this minimalist life
...more
Julie
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney is a 2017 Ballantine publication.

I’m just loving these imaginative psychological thrillers coming out recently!!

While this appears to be a debut novel, this author apparently has some experience with crime writing, having written this book under a pseudonym. I wish I knew who the ‘crime writer’ is- but I suppose that’s a mystery for another day.

In the meantime, I hear this book might be the basis for a movie, and Ron Howard would be the director! So, if that isn
...more
Linda
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the format of the storyline--short paragraphs--alternating between "then" and "now"/"Emma" and "Jane." It was a clever way to keep the reader focused. I thought the plot was very creative and, of course, the ending was a total surprise. Also, after being officially named a "Cover Girl," how about that beautifully intriguing cover? That, alone, makes you want to buy it.

This book is going to make a fabulous movie. While reading it, I kept visualizing the sleek, totally automated house an
...more
Dannii Elle
Second Reading
This is my first time reading the entire book, as I had only previously read a sampler. The sampler measured in as 17% of the total book, which is quite lengthy portion and definitely had my intrigue piqued.

There are so many physiological thrillers available today that sell themselves as in the style of Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins. Very few actually come close to living up to the powerhouses in this genre. This book, however, deserves to sit beside them.

This dark and brooding
...more
Gary
Dec 17, 2016 rated it liked it
The Girl Before is a psychological thriller from JP Delaney, a pseudonym for a writer who has previously written bestselling fiction under other names. A film version is being brought to the screen by Academy Award–winning director Ron Howard and I am sure this will prove to be one of the hits of 2017.
The story focuses on the property 1 Folgate Street,this is no ordinary house, it is state of the art and won the Stirling Prize. It has the latest home technology and was designed by architect Edwa
...more
Stacey
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I went into this book with a very open mind. It didn't gel with a lot of people and I respect that!

This book is as much about a house from its history to its construction to the contract to live in it as it is about the characters. In alternating viewpoints from Emma(then) and Jane(now) it's an unraveling of what mysteries and secrets this house holds. It was a suspenseful read with the loose ends tied up in the end. But as long as the house stands, this will be a never ending story.
Raeleen Lemay
SUCH A STRANGE BOOK. I read the first 20% of the book in like half an hour and found it super addicting and intriguing, and then suddenly it took such a weird turn and it totally lost me. It was still a super quick read, but I'm just mad it didn't turn out to be an amazing book, because the premise was so intriguing. My main problems ended up being with the writing, and the way the author tried to pack as many twists as possible that it just seemed way too orchestrated. Also, the book is told th ...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

Look at here it’s another addition to the category of . . . . .



And when Ron Howard buys the rights to your novel before it even gets published you don’t even have to pussyfoot around. This one gets compared in the blurb to both Gone Girl and The Girl On The Train. (Two stories which have absolutely nothing in common, but who gives a shit right? Those name drops sell themselves!)

Per usual when it comes to these “if you loved __________
...more
Tan Markovic
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Review can be found at: https://booknerdtan.wordpress.com/201...

This book had me hooked from the very first page and I found it near enough impossible to put down. Definitely one of those books that will keep you up all night. I have been meaning to read this book ever since it was released and I really am regretting letting it take me so long!
The plot was like nothing I have read before. If anyone knows of any similar plot lines in other books please let me know because I am ready to read more
...more
Mandy
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was an entertaining, compulsive read, and I loved it. I read it as quickly as I could because I had to know what was going to happen.
This book follows two women, Jane, in the present, and Emma, in the past. There are alternating chapters, so their stories move along together. They each rent a house, One Folgate Street, in London.
Jane becomes almost obsessed with finding out what happened to Emma, when she lived at the address, and Emma herself is telling her story. Both women are recovering
...more
Jennifer
3.5 stars
The setting in The Girl Before may be questionable and wholeheartedly ridiculous, but it created a very interesting backdrop to an equally interesting relationship dynamic between the female lead: Jane and her OCD/controlling landlord, along with the mystery of what happened to the girl before: Emma. Both of these women share alternating POV's which allows the reader some insight into the characters and various other elements within the story. The Girl Before has mixed reviews and I can
...more
Beth
1.5 stars

"Every woman adores a fascist…"
- Sylvia Plath

Sorry for the incredibly predictable quote at the top there, guys, but I thought you needed a warning: that above quote is basically the entire principle of the novel. The Gone Girl comp is painful for me. That book is my favourite of 2013, and one of my favourite books of all time; I was incredibly excited about this book, not because of that comp, but because of the interesting & exciting premise. Unfortunately, the result is more like
...more
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J. P. Delaney is the pseudonym of a writer who has previously published best-selling fiction under another name.

“One of the strange things about grief is the way it ambushes you when you least expect it.” 27 likes
“Never apologise for someone you love, he says quietly. It makes you look like a prick.” 10 likes
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