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The Prized Girl

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  1,880 ratings  ·  403 reviews
From debut author Amy K. Green comes a devastating tale of psychological suspense: a teen pageant queen is found murdered in a small New England town, and her sister’s search for answers unearths more than she bargained for.

Days after a young teenager named Jenny is found murdered, her small town grieves the loss alongside her picture-perfect parents. At first glance, Jenn
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published January 14th 2020 by Dutton Books
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Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,880 ratings  ·  403 reviews

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Chelsea Humphrey
This was a cleverly crafted novel, but one that I found myself having trouble connecting with the characters throughout. It could be that they felt too cookie cutter in dialogue and action, or it could be the fact that I felt I've already read a story similar to this one many times before. I do think readers who are looking to branch into the mystery/thriller genre may find this title more enjoyable than I did, and highly encourage those folks to check this one out for themselves.

*Many thanks to
Apr 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
A teenage pageant queen is found murdered in her small New England town. She comes from the picture-perfect family who gets together for Sunday dinners and are upstanding members of the community. When she if found dead, the main suspect is a man who has been coming to all her pageants, her "biggest" fan if you will. Most believe he could be the killer. Most, but not her older sarcastic, heavy drinking sister who has past issues of her own. She believes the main suspect is innocent and has her o ...more
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, arc-physical
A tense twisted dark thriller. Amy K. Green’s debut was clever and addictive. Sisters, a murder, a small town, a pageant queen, teenage drama, a sick stalker, Bad behavior, dark secrets, missed opportunities, lost memories, obsession, coverups, lies. The story bounces back-and-forth between the perspectives of sisters Virginia and Jenny. We learn about the events leading up to the murder through the eyes of 14-year-old Jenny. We learn about the aftermath of the murder through the actions of olde ...more
4 stars for this twisty tale of murder, secrets and family

I’m so glad I made time for this book - what a perfect escape read!⁣

14 year old pageant queen, Jenny, is found murdered in the woods and at first glance it appears to be the work of an obsessed pedophile but not all is what is seems in Jenny’s picture perfect life. ⁣

Jenny’s sister, Virginia, thinks they’ve arrested the wrong man and she is determined to find the truth. With the help of the lead Detective on the case she digs into
Folks, I read a lot of psychological thrillers, so when a good book follows a similar narrative that I'm already used to reading, it usually doesn't pan out well. The Prized Girl is written so perfectly, and the author obviously is very talented in storytelling. Let me just get that out in the open, because I really did enjoy the story overall. We have two point-of-views (Virginia's was my favorite) and they eventually uncover the mystery as we teeter between the two.

My main concern was tha
Jan 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: physical-arcs

The first month of the year and I’m already struggling with thrillers AGAIN. Sigh. I had high hopes for this one, the premise and structure sounded interesting enough and I’m always excited about a debut. Unfortunately for me this one just didn’t work at all, maybe I’ve just read too many similar books, but in the end, this was just a mess for me.

I’m just going to highlight what was problematic for me quickly because I think for the right reader this may work great, that reader just wasn’t
Louise Wilson
Mar 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Virginia and Jenny are sisters. There is a thirteen year age gap between them and they don't seem to have anything in common. Then Jenny is raped and murdered when she is fourteen. Virginia attempts to find out what had happened to Jenny. The police have got a suspect, but Virginia isn't quite so sure that they have the right man. She quickly learns how troubled Jenny was and that she harboured a lot of secrets.

The story is told through multiple points of view. The family is dysfunctional and th
Mandy White (mandylovestoread)
I feel so let down by this book 😢 I had high hopes and they were dashed.

To start with I was really enjoying it. But really that ending was awful. And is it just me but Jenny was 13 years old! 13! I had a hard time believing that a 13 year old girl would do many of the things that Jenny did.

Not for me I am afraid
Told from two distinct points of view, The Prized Girl is a slow burning mystery revolving around a murdered former beauty queen, Jenny, and her older sister’s quest for finding the truth. When Jenny is murdered, the police quickly arrest a developmentally challenged man who was obsessed with Jenny. Virginia, the sister, thinks there is more to the murder and begins seeking answers. The story is told in such a way that Jenny is reliving the events leading up to her death while Virginia is dealin ...more
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc
2.5 stars.

Thirteen-year-old Jenny is a former beauty pageant queen found murdered in her small New England town.  The press is eager to report the details on the rape and murder of a beautiful girl who appeared to be living a picture perfect life.  The police are confident they have solved the case before it even begins, focusing completely on an intellectually disabled man known to attend all of Jenny's pageants.

Jenny's older sister Virginia isn't so certain the police have it right and decide
Katie (never.ending.reading.list)
The Prized Girl is a murder mystery/thriller centered around the murder of a young, beautiful, former pageant star - Jenny. The story is told back in time through her perspective and in the current day through Jenny’s somewhat estranged older sister, Virginia, who is trying to solve the case.

As the story unfolds, it’s clear that Jenny wasn’t as innocent as the media paints her to be and Virginia seems to have a sordid past of her own.

The different perspectives unwind beautifully and this stor
Sarah Swann
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really loved this. This was dark, twisty and took some routes I wasn’t expecting. I had to knock off a star because of how it ended, I really didn’t like how it all played out. I understand why it did, but I wanted something different. It really did surprise me and I didn’t want to put it down.
Song/s the book brought to mind: All About You by Birdy

The Prized Girl by Amy K. Green is a stunning debut novel, and it left me wishing this author had more books out!

Besides the mystery of the murder, this book is FULL of heavy hitting subjects and I thought it was quite dark. There is so much trauma and heartbreak and at times it was hard to read, but it was so good. I couldn't stop turning pages and I basically read it in two sittings. At times my pulse was pounding, and I loved the amount o
Louise Wilson
Mar 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Virginia and Jenny are sisters. There is a thirteen year age gap between them and they have nothing in common. Then Jenny is raped and murdered when she is fourteen. Virginia attempts to find out what had happened to Jenny. The police have a suspect but Virginia isn't quite so sure that they have the right man. She quickly learns how troubled Jenny was and that she harboured a lot of secrets.

The story is told from multiple points of view. The family is dysfunctional and they all seem to be hidi
Wendy Walker
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this one! I did not figure out the ending, it moved fast and was written in a way that made me pay close attention. The perfect combo for a thriller! Here is what I "officially" said about it!

Gripping prose, complex characters and dark family secrets propel this story about a murdered teen pageant queen to a perfectly unexpected finale. A stunning debut!
Nov 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An impressive debut novel – a good solid mystery thriller. Who killed Jenny the former teenage pageant queen? Through dual story lines we learn of Jenny’s life leading up to her murder and in present day, we hear Virginia’s story. Virginia is Jenny’s troubled half-sister who is detached from the family, attending the funeral barely noticed, and then takes an interest in learning the truth about the murder after the police appear to be rushing to judgment on their main suspect. The story held my ...more
Jillian Doherty
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fast paced and absorbing suspense!

I loved the consistent back-and-forth of sister perspective storytelling, and how their time-lines built to an unexpected, and well thought out climax.

I couldn't have imagined thinking as Jenny did, when I was in eighth grade, but child pageants and a modern world can be a daunting reality indeed.

This unassuming and poignant thriller has immense potential to take readers by storm!

Galley borrowed from the publisher.
Apr 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Prized Girl doesn't have any NEW ideas, but it also doesn't "borrow" in ways that make it feel unoriginal. Every plot twist and character development and OH SHIT moment felt insanely satisfying and left me wanting more (that's what she said). I loved this book.

From the beginning I felt the same way about Virginia as I did Libby Day in Dark Places. I was confused about her because it was obvious her upbringing had a huge dark cloud over it. She was intelligent, isolated, heartbroken, and comp
Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)

This book started off very strong, I was 50% into it before I even looked at the percentage. I liked the way things were set up, we are introduced to Virginia in the present and then we flash back to Jenny, Virginia's murdered stepsister's point of view. Although I thought that Virginia and Jenny were decently fleshed out characters, their father and Jenny's mother seemed like total caricatures and I never understood their motivations or their actions at all.
I eventually came to understand why
Nov 15, 2019 rated it liked it
The Prized Girl
Amy K. Green
Thank you Netgalley for a copy of this ARC ebook.
This story is told in a back and forth story line between Virginia now; and Jenny before her untimely demise.
Jenny was a beautiful 14 year old girl. Her mother started her in beauty pageants at a young age and she was always top of the pack. Through her pageant career she came across Benjy, whom I believe was a bit touched. He was her biggest fan, until one day she gave him a note saying she was done with the pa
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I would like to thank Edelweiss and the publisher for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review. As soon as I read the premise of this book I wanted to read it, it reminded me a little of Jon Benet and the whole pageant scene with the small town feel thrown in. The story is told from Jenny, the pageant teen who dies perspective, and her older sister, Virginia, who is trying to find out who killed her. The stories weave and intertwine seamlessly making for one interesting story.
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed the back and forth narrative between the two sisters in this book. You're able to get to know and connect to each character.
This book definitely had enough to keep you intrigued and guessing along the way. It had me hooked from the very beginning.
I felt a lot of emotion with this one and am looking forward to reading Amy Green's future books.
Liz Barnsley
Dec 14, 2019 rated it liked it
The Prized Girl is a tense tale of small town murder, it was a huge page turner to be sure but if I'm honest it didn't quite do it for me.

On the plus side the writing was excellent, the story fairly rocked along and there were emotional thought provoking layers to it that were compelling. A young girl, a pageant queen, killed before her life really began, a sister who was absent, parents who were hiding secrets, this was a truly twisted tale.

My problem was I didn't really engage with the charact
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ok, I'm just going to say it...I hate pageants. Long before the unfortunate JonBenet Ramsey murder happened back in 1996, I hated pageants. It is so not my thing. That being said, I was still thoroughly invested in watching all the news about the murder and watch all the documentaries out of pure fascination. To this day, my opinion is that it was the parent of one of JonBenet's rival pageant contestants who got sick of her getting all the glory. Moving on...
"The Prized Girl" was utterly captiv
Reads a Latte Thrillers
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's hard to believe The Prized Girl is a debut novel. As a devoted thriller reader, I'm wondering where has Amy K. Green has been all my life (you are amazing), and, what other captivating stories does she have up her sleeve? Whatever it is, I definitely want to read more from this author. This story is all consuming. At first it feels like simple teenage angst with a dose of sibling rivalry rolled into a domestic family drama. It turns out, things are much more deep, complicated, dark, and twi ...more
Laura • lauralovestoread
I was looking for a twisty dark thriller, and got just what I was looking for in The Prized Girl!

I loved Amy K Green’s debut, and felt like both timelines for each sister were equally intriguing. The story alternates through older sister Virginia’s current perspective, and bounces back to younger sister and beauty queen Jenny, before she was brutally murdered.

So many dark secrets, and twists. I think I guessed 10 different ways this story would play out, which was one of my favorite parts of the
Michael David
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An unputdownable, uncomfortable novel about the rape and murder of a 13-year old beauty pageant queen. I read the review in PEOPLE WEEKLY, who stated it was darkly funny, and was incredibly intrigued that anyone would say that about this topic. They're right, thanks to the character of half-sister Virginia and her own issues, but this a dark mystery with a dark ending. Kids/teens should not be put on pedestals.

Great debut by the author.
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
When you are the outcast of the family and your sister, that was everyone's favorite, turns up dead, it shouldn't be that hard. Except she was still your sister and you want answers. You won't get the answers until the the very end of this non-stop ride that keeps you guessing at every turn. Fans of Gillian Flynn can pick this up while waiting on her next book. ...more
Maureen DeLuca
Jun 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 I did enjoy this book very much - going back and forth with the 2 main characters. Fast paced and kept my interest for most of the book. I did feel that the book was about 100 pages too long and at the end... well, it ALMOST fell flat for me. Sort of disappointed. So why the 4 stars? Well, I've been on a terrible run of books lately, so having picked up a book that I liked I added another 1/2 star ...more
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Prized Girl by Amy K Green is a marvellous contemporary psychological murder suspense that had my heart racing.
The action has two distinct time periods – before and after the murder – from the point of view of the victim and her sister. The elder sister tries to piece together the truth but sometimes the truth is buried by so many lies. Some amateur sleuthing enables the reader to join the clues together – I failed, again, to predict the outcome!
There are the difficult themes of preying on t
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Madison County NC...: What happened to Jenny? 1 4 Feb 28, 2020 05:59AM  

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I'm a Boston and LA based author and my debut suspense thriller The Prized Girl is available for pre-order now (Dutton, 1/14/2020).

I also work as a Production Accountant, most recently on the 2019 film Little Women. Working in accounting on movies is a little like cleaning the costumes at Disney World; it's not glamorous, but you get access to more behind the scenes details than you'd ever want.


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