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3.37  ·  Rating details ·  1,082 Ratings  ·  164 Reviews
From the author of the bestselling Girls in Trucks, a sad, wry testament to the beauty and recklessness of youth

The city of Grifonia, Italy, is swarming with secrets—thousands of years of dark, murderous secrets.
     Taz, a British student who has just arrived for her year abroad, thinks that she will spend her time in Italy sipping wine and taking in the rolling Umbrian h
Hardcover, 287 pages
Published June 17th 2014 by Sarah Crichton Books
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May 26, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014, own
Abroad is, kind of, the Amanda Knox story - but from the perspective of the victim (Meredith Kercher, known here as Taz). If you've paid even passing attention to the news over the past few years, you likely know the story - two girls come to a small Italian city on an academic exchange and end up as roommates. They become friends, do some minor experimenting with sex and drugs, form relationships with friends and lovers - and then Taz is found murdered in her room by Claire and Colin (the Amand ...more
Claire McNeill
rated it did not like it
Feb 26, 2014
Dec 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
You know, the weird thing about this book is that all the characters were awful - I didn't like a single one of them, including Taz - and yet I was completely enthralled by the story! I just HAD to find out what happened!!! Mind you, I didn't realize until the end that this book was based on a true story, so I don't know how that affects my rating. Maybe I would have felt differently if I knew anything about the true crime version, but whatever - I personally thought it was an absorbing read!

Jun 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Those who followed the Amanda Knox case
How I Came To Read This Book: I got a free copy from the publisher.

The Plot: This book is essentially a fictional re-imagining of the Amanda Knox story; told from the perspective of Meredith Kercher, the victim in that unfortunate crime. The story imagines ‘Tabitha’ as a bit of a quiet outsider, who is whisked away by a classmate from her home University and swept up into a group of mysterious, wealthy, beautiful girls that coin themselves the B4 once Tabitha joins. As Tabitha learns more of the
Jun 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Abroad Thank you to Knopf Canada/Random House Canada for providing me with an advanced reader’s copy of this book to review.
I will say with rather fair certainty this book will end up being one of the most – if not THE MOST – memorable books of this whole year. I didn’t know what to expect from it exactly, not even after reading the summary and already being extremely curios about what’s inside. I was even scared of being disappointed. That, gladly, didn’t happen; it was much the opposite.
Dec 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
The narrator of Abroad is based, rather loosely, on the brief experiences of UK exchange student Meredith Kercher in Italy leading up to her murder. There is an Amanda Knox character (Claire), a Raffaele character (Colin, although he's British in this story), and (view spoiler)

I'd say that if you are reading this book bas
Jul 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. It's been a while since I've read something where I wasn't particularly fond of any of the characters yet compelled by their stories, and this one fits the bill. More complete review to come.

Full review:

As someone who went a long stretch with reading primarily young adult novels, it's surprising how many parallels there are between young adult books and adults books, the major difference being the tone. I mention this because, in so many ways, Taz, the main character in
Jul 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I received by copy of Abroad through the Goodreads First Read program.

An absolutely phenominal book, Abroad had my head spinning for all that I did not see coming, despite the "writing on the wall". For much of the book I felt like Tabitha must have, seduced by the extravagance, the parties, the culture, the people, too innocent to put it all together.

Leaving her small Irish town, Tabitha Deacon sets out for a year abroad to study at a university in Grifonia, Italy. Determined to make the most o
Katherine Vetrano
Jul 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This has been my favorite read this summer. Thrilling without taking itself too seriously, with time dedicated to female friendships and the whirlwind that is college life, this was impossible to put down. I found myself staying up late (which I rarely can do due to my Morning Person Problem) to see what happened next.
Apr 23, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Reads like a high school girl's prose. Why was this published?!
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
A little creepy, but completely engrossing.

I am unbalanced -- but I am not made with snow.
I am mad the way young girls are mad,
With an offering, an offering. . .

- Anne Sexton

"The Etruscans... a savage people... life cheap and extinguishable... yet unheard-of-sophistication... mysterious, complete disappearance... an aqueduct we could use even today..."

Iphigenia. Stabbed as a sacrifice to Artemis.
Agamemnon killed a deer in Artemis' sacred forest, so she stole his wind when he sailed to Troy. A p
Tegan (The Rowdy Librarian)
Review also published at The Founding Fields!

Abroad by Katie Crouch instantly intrigued me. The premise of this novel is similar to that of the real life murder mystery involving Amanda Knox, accused of killing her roommate while studying abroad in Italy. In this novel the story is not told from the murderer’s perspective, but the victim’s. Abroad takes place in Grifonia, Italy; a city known as the party town for the students studying at the college. Grifonia is a true Italian city, with brick
Aug 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
For Taz (Tabitha), a college student from Ireland, her year abroad in Italy starts innocently enough. As part of the Enteria program she'd chosen Grifonia for her year of foreign study. Her Italian is passable - not great, but enough to get by - and the city seemed a bit of a better choice than either Rome or Florence. Safer. Unfortunately for Taz her time in Grifonia will end in tragedy as her year abroad evolves into something quite different from the learning adventure she'd expected.

I'm fin
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Darkly mesmerizing, seductive, and based on the Amanda Knox case, Abroad is a trifecta of eerie perfection.

Gone to Italy to spend a semester studying language, Tabitha "Taz" finds the friends she thinks she has always wanted. Popular, poised, and moneyed, the group of three take Taz into their fold, using her as their interpreter and using her, one suspects, for something more, something unclear at first to our naive narrator. Despite her new friends, their endless parties, the whirlwind of exp
Sep 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Sera by: Book Page Magazine
I really enjoyed this book on audio, even though the reader struggled at times with the multiple accents that she needed to pull off the read. The American one was terrible, unless that's how people outside of the US view that that is the way in which Americans speak and act. Who knows? There is also quite a bit of heavy foreshadowing that seemed to be overdone and unnecessary.

In spite of these flaws, I thought that this was a great book. Crouch did an excellent job of developing her characters,
Mar 22, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up the book because the storyline appealed to me: a young woman decides to spend a year to study abroad. That’s a great opportunity for character development. Moreover, our protagonist, 21-year-old Tabitha Deacon called Taz, chooses to go to Umbria, Italy. And what’s not to love about Italy!?

The opening page revealed another twist: the book is narrated in the first person by Taz and it seems like she will die in this story and tells it as a flashback describing how her death came to pa
Joan Gelfand
Aug 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Full disclosure - Katie Crouch was in my writing workshop with Tom Parker several years back - she was one of the best writers in the class. This is the first book I've read, but I'll go back now and read "Girls in Trucks."

This book dangerously borders on chick lit for twenty somethings but to her credit, Crouch adds gravitas by adding the theme of mercy killings. No more said - no spoilers - but the historical addition added an important and very literary sub plot.

Her characters are for the mo
Jan 07, 2015 rated it liked it
WOW! A lot of drinking and smoking going on here! Not until the last few pages does the story finally move forward and then its not by much because if you paid attention you know the narrator and how this ends. So other than a fast paced read not much going on here. The characters are OK although how they spend their time is quite repetitive and dreadful; they are young so if you go with the flow, its predicitable.
Jun 21, 2014 rated it did not like it
How someone could render the story of Amanda Knox and Meredith Kercher so uninteresting is really a feat. Ugh. My least favorite kind of contemporary novel, like the author stole ingredients from ten novels more original than this one, shook them up with a bizarre true crime story, and this was the result, a waste. Disappointing but can't understand why I stuck with it to the end. No, it didn't get any better.
Robert Jones
Jul 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great novels don't draw attention to the artifice of character, setting and plot. Instead, they just are. This seamless quality is how we can fall down the rabbit hole, giving up our identity to inhabit another. The success of the storytelling in Katie Crouch's latest is even more impressive given it is built off of incendiary and dynamic current events.
Sep 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
Lovely Bones meets modern media-- an attempt to fictionalize and thus explain the life and murder of Meredith Kercher and Amanda Knox's involvement. Does a good job mirroring how Kercher became a victim but not the why. But maybe the why is unknowable and inconceivable.
Kathryn Ma
Jun 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A gripping novel that succeeds on many levels: psychological thriller, coming of age, historical inquiry, and a modern riff on the time-honored theme of American innocents abroad. There is a surface story, and something much darker and deeper, illuminated by moments of simply beautiful writing.
Andrea L
Jul 01, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I truly enjoyed this book. I loved the characters and the plot, as well as the twist at the end. The foreshadowing throughout the book was so well done that it kept me wanting to turn the pages and not stop. I'm very sad this book is over. If you want a taste of Italy, history, and mystery, pick this book up.... you won't regret it.
Elle Marr
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this. The story itself was emotionally difficult to follow, knowing the real-world story from which it was inspired - but the writing! (O the writing!) The world-building alone was enough to suck me in, and the complex, unique characters leapt off the pages. A good read.
Oct 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was a real page-turner. Loosely based on the Amanda Knox murder case in Italy, it's everything you want in a good thriller. The story is fast-paced , not necessarily very easily predictable , and well written .The various characters were annoying, funny, sweet, naive, selfish, etc. In this book, the murder victim is the one telling the story in both a sad and funny manner.The author also mixed in a little historical fiction. I look forward to checking out other books by this author.
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
Hated all the girls in the story so absolutely didn't care what happened to any of them
Angie Fehl
Apr 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Tabitha, aka "Taz" Deacon is a 21 year old Irish-Israel forensics student who comes to Grifonia, Italy through a study abroad program. She unexpectedly meets up with an old classmate, Jenny, from back home who seems to have worked herself into all the most influential social circles in Grifonia. Jenny invites Taz into her inner circle, which includes two other girls -- Anna and Luka -- the four of them collectively going by the name The Brit Four, or B4 for short. Taz, the only one of the bunch ...more
Kati Heng
Nov 06, 2014 rated it liked it
How many favors has Katie Crouch done me already? First, and not vapidly – I support all girls named “Katie” and not Kate or Katherine in the lit world, because I hear you girl, I will not change my name to sound more sophisticated. Katies are sophisticated as hell. So first, thanks for that, girl. But more importantly: Crouch has given us the murder mystery of the summer in Abroad.

Is it a mystery, though? You know who’s going to die the whole time, at least once Tabitha, or Taz, starts insertin
Feb 26, 2017 marked it as attempted  ·  review of another edition
May 2015
The second of two novels I’ve come across based on the Meredith Kercher/Amanda Knox case. The first was Cartwheel by Jennifer duBois (told with a focus on the 'Knox’ character, while this one is told from the POV of the 'Kercher’ character), which I read last year and loved. This unfortunately failed to have the same effect. When you already know the basic story, the characters need to be really engaging (like they were in Cartwheel) to sustain interest, but here I found them flat. The
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Book Keeping: Katie Crouch - Ask the Author! 1 8 Jun 25, 2014 12:39PM  
Book Keeping: Abroad by Katie Crouch 1 3 Jun 25, 2014 12:28PM  
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I write every single day, first by hand and and then typing on my battered Mac. I've been writing all my life, though I didn't really get going on books until I was 29. I had to get fired from a few jobs first.

I received my MFA from Columbia University, and have won fellowships to the MacDowell Colony and the Sewanee Writers Conference. My three year old also recently awarded me the Macaroni Priz
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“We were all alive, and we loved and hated and lived brilliant, messy existences. The air is thick with our wanting.” 1 likes
“I suppose there's a time in life when a garden of roses and lavender fails to blind a girl to the true shabbiness of a place. I myself had not reached that moment of clarity.” 0 likes
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