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Secrets of Southern Girls

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3.19  ·  Rating Details ·  21 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
In this powerful, affecting debut, a young woman uncovers devastating secrets about the friend she thinks she killed

Ten years ago, Julie Portland accidentally killed her best friend, Reba. What's worse is she got away with it. Consumed by guilt, she left the small town of Lawrence Mill, Mississippi, and swore nothing would ever drag her back. Now, raising her daughter and
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Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: June 1st 2017 by Sourcebooks Landmark
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  • Secrets of Southern Girls by Haley Harrigan
    Secrets of Southern Girls
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    Release date: Jun 06, 2017
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    In this powerful, affecting debut, a young woman uncovers deva
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    Giveaway dates: Jan 06 - Mar 30, 2017

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    Community Reviews

    (showing 1-52)
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    Rebbie
    Jan 18, 2017 Rebbie rated it it was ok
    Shelves: 2017
    The only reason I finished this is because netgalley sent it to me. If not for that, I would have given up well before the halfway mark.

    Don't get me wrong, the author is a good writer. In fact, some of the wording is quite beautiful, and she should be proud of that because it's not easy to do.

    But, and this is a big but, there are serious issues with the dialogue and the diary entries that were supposed to be written from the pov of a teenager. Also, the naivete of one of the characters in regard
    ...more
    Sharon May
    Dec 18, 2016 Sharon May rated it really liked it
    Thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and author for the opportunity to read and review this book!

    I enjoyed this story of Jules and Reba - two best friends from childhood in Mississippi, although from different circumstances. Julie's parents were killed in an accident in NYC when she was 5 and she was sent to live with an aunt she had never met. However, Reba lived next door and they became fast friends. Jules was portrayed as the "wild child" while Reba was the quiet, pure one. But our perceptions
    ...more
    Bonnye Reed
    Dec 15, 2016 Bonnye Reed is currently reading it
    Netgalley
    pub date Jun 1 2017
    Sourcebooks Landmark
    Michelle Lynn
    Dec 02, 2016 Michelle Lynn rated it liked it
    Note: I received an advance copy of this book from Netgalley.

    I wanted this book to be better, because the premise was very intriguing. Overall, the book was a solid "good" but I do have a few notes.

    First and foremost, this is a beautifully written book. I have to give Haley Harrigan praise for her use of descriptive language and just how palpably I could sense the feeling of a contemporary-but-still-kinda-behind South.

    However, despite being beautifully written, the dialogue was bad. I mean, e
    ...more
    Heidi
    Jan 10, 2017 Heidi rated it it was ok
    Secrets of Southern Girls tells the story of a friendship between two teenage girls, Reba and Jules, who are growing up in the small mill town of Lawrence, Mississippi. Jules sees her friend as pure and innocent, oblivious to the secrets Reba is keeping from her. Secrets, which would surely destroy their friendship. But secrets have a way of revealing themselves in little innocent remarks, chance encounters, routines broken. Soon Reba’s worlds collide, ending in terrible tragedy – an event that ...more
    Tara Sheehan
    Jan 17, 2017 Tara Sheehan rated it liked it
    I was intrigued by the premise so I went in with high hopes. Harrigan overall seems to have a great talent at writing through vivid descriptions that really make you feel like you are there. The downside though is in her dialogue writing. She would be well deserved in having people act out her dialogue as though they’re in a play so she can hear how disparate and stilted it often sounds then rewrite once she can get it to sound like people are having a true conversation. As it stands now, if no ...more
    E. M.
    Dec 20, 2016 E. M. rated it liked it
    Shelves: read-2016, ebooks
    From small southern town Lawrence Hill, Mississippi, Julie Portland has moved to New York city to pursue her lifelong dream of being an actress. However, dark secrets of her past have followed her, wiggling themselves into Julie's new life. Ten years might have passed since the tragic event that's casting shadows in every corner of Julie's mind, overpowering and shattering her. Forced to face the past she's been running for, Julie goes back to Lawrence Hill, a place where she swore she'd never s ...more
    Thebooktrail
    Jan 15, 2017 Thebooktrail rated it liked it


    Secrets of Southern Girls is both a coming-of-age story and a mystery of who did really kill a girl all those years ago. The interaction of people in that community, a small mill town in the deep south was nicely done. The small town politics, mentality, culture, ways of the world was a nice immersion into this part of the world and helped to show how the characters had grown up and experienced certain things in life.

    I did struggle a bit with the many diary entries - the diary seemed to have bee
    ...more
    Carrie Frank
    Jan 01, 2017 Carrie Frank rated it really liked it
    The book is well written and a definite page turner. The plot is well developed however; the ending is disappointing but speaks to the character development throughout the novel. The themes play well throughout the book however there are some side plots that don't need to be included such as the interracial rape accusation at the beginning of the story and the prologue trying to bring light to Julie's character flaws.

    I received an advanced copy of the book from NetGalley and would definitely re
    ...more
    Patricia Romero
    Dec 29, 2016 Patricia Romero rated it liked it
    Julie Portland has never really gotten over the death of her best friend, Reba, whose death is shrouded in secrecy.

    Julie is living in Manhattan now with her daughter and trying hard to make a life for herself, but there is always the shadow of Reba and her death and how Julie feels such guilt, thinking it was her fault that Reba died.

    When Reba's old boyfriend tracks Julie down to ask her to return to Mississippi with him to find out what really happened and to find a mysterious diary that Reba
    ...more
    CL
    Dec 27, 2016 CL rated it really liked it
    Julie Portland has a secret from her past that has shaped her adult life. Now it has caught up with her and she knows it is time to face that past. Her secret has colored her adult relationships and she is afraid it will cause her to make bad decisions as a mother. August was part of the past she ran to New York to escape and he has found her and convinced her to return to Lawrence Mill, a place she thought she would never see again. Once they arrive back in Lawrence Mill it's as if the past ten ...more
    Maureen
    Jan 16, 2017 Maureen rated it it was ok
    I wanted to like this novel, but it really seemed to drag. There was a great deal of repetition. The character Jules was not likable throughout the novel. Reba was not entirely fleshed out until the last few chapters. We don't know much about Evan, Julie's ex-husband, but I surely felt sorry for him. I can't understand why Toby was portrayed as mean, when he obviously had a kind heart. And finally August. I wish his character had been better developed. In all, I thought this would be more gothic ...more
    Angie
    Jan 20, 2017 Angie rated it did not like it
    Shelves: read-2017
    I received an ARC copy from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
    I wanted to like this book, but the story line dragged, due to the fact that there was a good amount of retelling of the same plot line.
    The characters were hard to connect with and not very like-able. I think part of that struggle for me, was due to the dialogue, and the way the conversations were written.



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