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The Girl Before

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  12,313 Ratings  ·  2,239 Reviews
Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.

The request seems odd, even intrusive—and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.

Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural mas
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 24th 2017 by Ballantine Books
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Leslie Part of the standard denigration of women, IMO. Ironically, I've heard that the author of the book that later was published as The Girl with the…morePart of the standard denigration of women, IMO. Ironically, I've heard that the author of the book that later was published as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo insisted that the book be titled (as it was in Swedish) Men Who Hate Women. Unfortunately, he had passed away by the time the English rights were sold. It seems as if those books, again ironically, were the real start of the trend. There was an interesting discussion on the subject on one of the threads on The Girl on the Train. Someone said that they thought it fit in the context of that particular book because, despite being about 30, the main character was very emotionally immature. My response was that that interpretation would be fine if it happened in isolation, but as it is, it seems like they just do it as part of the trend. To be fair, I don't know that authors always have a lot of say in the title, in which case the fault would be that of publishers.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Emily May
Jan 20, 2017 Emily May 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
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
Feb 21, 2017 Deanna rated it it was amazing
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

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 house with s
Nov 14, 2016 Paromjit 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
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
Chelsea Humphrey
Feb 01, 2017 Chelsea Humphrey 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.
Jan 09, 2017 Meredith 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
Linda O'Donnell
Dec 11, 2016 Linda O'Donnell 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? 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
Oct 16, 2016 Melisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers, netgalley
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
Lola  Reviewer
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
Jan 09, 2017 Laura 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
Jan 22, 2017 Maureen 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
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
Feb 25, 2017 Linda 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
Feb 14, 2017 Tanya 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!!!
Oct 28, 2016 Julie 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
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

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 __________
Sep 23, 2016 Christy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: women
Ron Howard already has his hands on this book; so my advice to you: hurry up and pre-order this one so you can have it read before it's out in theaters!

If you want to find out who The Girl Before is you'll have to get on this fast ride and endure some whiplashing turns...I'll bet it won't be who you think it is, though you meet her early on, and overlook her in a way... I thought I knew within the first few chapters, but I was wrong--and I'm not telling, sorry.

One Folgate Street seems to be the
Dec 17, 2016 Gary 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
Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.

I really enjoyed this page turner of a novel. I went into the book without a lot of expectations. I decided to read this book based on the summary which sounded like it had the making of a good thriller. It turns out that I was hooked by the story almost immediately and found myself doing that thing where I promise that I will read just one more chapter and before I knew it, I had read half the book.

This books tells two stories from two diff
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
Jan 02, 2017 Liz rated it liked it

n interesting premise. A minimalist flat is available to rent but with hundreds of conditions and covenants. Not something I could ever do, by the way. I love my possessions, especially my books. And no pets? Never. But anyway….

The story is told in alternating chapters between past and present. Both women who chose the house have suffered loss or harm - a break-in while she was home by one and the loss of an unborn child by the other. So, they have their reasons for choosing something so differe
Raeleen Lemay
Feb 06, 2017 Raeleen Lemay rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
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
Abby (Crime by the Book)
Nov 02, 2016 Abby (Crime by the Book) rated it it was amazing
Why must good things end?!?! Just finished THE GIRL BEFORE (literally just finished it) and I am SO sad that it's over, and also still completely spellbound by this sharp and sinister story. This book was utterly fantastic. Cunning, engaging, razor-sharp, breathlessly addictive - I could go on and on. Add this book to your 2017 reading list immediately!!! Now I must go process the amazingness of that whole read...
Dec 16, 2016 Rebbie rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
Here's what's up: there's a peculiar house for rent that was built by a man who...well, let's just say that he's got serious problems. Perhaps he needs a fancy stay at a "resort" with soft walls because he's Looney tunes, orrrr maybe he just needs a stiff drink and a good psychiatrist.

Either way, he's on the short list of possible suspects when one of the tenants dies in the house that's creepy enough to make you consider staying at the Bates Motel instead.

Cue the scary piano/violin combo.


* Publication day today Jan 24th 2017*

Thanks to Penguin Random House Canada for an ARC of this novel.

A novel that gained the eyes of editors around the world at the Frankfurt Book Fair and a bidding war started based on 53 pages.

A soon to be made movie by Ron Howard.

The story of a house and the women who lived in it. The past Emma and the present Jane. The narrative splitting between both characters; in many cases the story repeats itself and you see it from two different point of views.

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
Moonlight Reader
Jan 27, 2017 Moonlight Reader 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,
I received a copy of this book from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Girl Before started out great. It's an addicting psychological thriller about two unrelated women who both, at different times, agree to move into an experimental house designed by minimalist architect Edward Monkford. The house comes with a long set of rules: no clutter, no children, no pets. Nothing but the absolutely essential. Chapters alternate between their perspectives following two different timelines; we
Jan 09, 2017 Jan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, suspense
This was an odd one for me, as I can't say that I enthusiastically loved it, but it certainly got under my skin and is one I don't think I will soon forget. This just might be part of the reason a movie is being made out of it, which I can't wait to see how things play out on screen.

This story centers around a high tech, minimalist house created by renowned architect Edward Monkford. After his wife and child died there in a tragic accident, (or was it?) Edward decides to rent the home, but only
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J. P. Delaney is the pseudonym of a writer who has previously published best-selling fiction under another name.

More about J.P. Delaney...

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“One of the strange things about grief is the way it ambushes you when you least expect it.” 6 likes
Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.

I take a deep breath and pick up my pen.”
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