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The Girl Who Wasn't There

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3.63  ·  Rating details ·  684 ratings  ·  146 reviews
I know what I saw.

Nothing ever happens on Kasia's street. And Kasia would know. Her illness keeps her home for days at a time, with little to do but watch the world from her bedroom window. So when she witnesses what looks like a kidnapping, she's not sure she can believe her own eyes...

So she sets out to find the only other witness. The girl in the window across the stree
...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published November 3rd 2020 by Sourcebooks Fire (first published 2018)
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Average rating 3.63  · 
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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin


Today I looked out of the window—even though I know that I should—not and I was shocked. I saw the ghost of myself—looking back at me. A girl in the window opposite. She peered out, just as I did, her shadowy shape a mirror-image of mine, though her hair was light, her face pale. Is she a ghost, just as I am? Is this whole street maybe full of ghosts like me, and we know nothing of each other’s plight, or why we can neither live nor our souls rest in peace?




This was a nice little mystery wrap
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Éimhear (A Little Haze)
This is very much on the junior end of the YA scale both story and plot-wise; plus the main character, Kasia, is only 14. But it packs an emotional punch because Kasia has a chronic illness and I therefore recommend it to all age groups. She suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome or M.E. and this book is brilliant for its informative representation of a young teenager with a chronic illness.

As someone who developed a longterm chronic illness as a young teenager myself this book truly struck
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myo (myonna reads)
Sep 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller-mystery
i feel like this was really good for a ya thriller but i got bored a lot and wasn’t enough thriller parts throughout the story, i also guessed the plot twist within the first few chapters which made the ending a bit of the bummer for me. i think if you’re in high school though you’d really enjoy it but if you read a lot of thrillers it’s just really predictable.
Alice (Married To Books)
After reading the author's other book I Have No Secrets earlier this year, Girl In The Window caught my eye immediately on NetGalley. After one of my local libraries ordered a copy, I was first in line to borrow it! The main character is fourteen year old Kasia, a Polish girl living in the UK and was a student in secondary school. Sadly, a severe case of tonsillitis changes everything for her and her family. Now living with CFS and ME, Kasia struggles to go outside for long periods of time and s ...more
ʚϊɞ Shelley's ʚϊɞ Book Nook
This is the first Penny Joelson book I have read and I have to say I'm sorry that I have to give this book the dreaded "it was okay" 2.5 stars. It was a quick read, at less than 200 hundred pages, and only took me a few hours....but I really couldn't get into the book, usually when there are short chapters I dive right in and am totally captivated but it wasn't the case here. In my humble opinion it is a very sluggish read, with very little substance. I really didn't care about any of the charac ...more
Booktastically Amazing
For full review*ahem*rant, please visit link in bio! I would absolutely adore to know whether I'm the only one who thought of this book this way.

Okay, hear me out. I normally don't give low ratings and it PAINS me to have to do such a thing but man, this book got on my nerves! The writing was decent, the characters were (quoting a Goodreads person) dull, but the plot? The plot was the worst thing of all. The moment I read the first page I was like, crraaaaaapppp, this is going to be GOOD. But it
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Heather Howarth
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book - I am the parent of a child with a long term chronic condition and so could sympathise with Kasia’s struggle with ME. This leaves her with plenty of opportunity to see what goes on in her neighbourhood. It draws her into meeting and supporting her elderly next door neighbour and to questioning what is going on in the house opposite. She demonstrates that you can have a positive impact whatever your situation.

Kasha seemed very real to me - a typical teenager in so man
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Sarah
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved the diverse cast of characters and the awareness this book will raise about ME. Couldn't put it down until I knew what had happened. ...more
Ghostly  Writer
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-reads
This was actually such an interesting novel! I don't usually read mystery books, so this was a change for me. I couldn't stop reading.. I wanted to know the ending! ...more
Chelsea | thrillerbookbabe
Thank you so much to Penny Joelson and Sourcebooks Fire for this ARC. The cover drew me in right away and I loved the way the book sounded. It seemed like a creepy and mysterious thriller but it didn’t end up being that way at all. This book seemed like it was actually written by a young adult itself, instead of just being the YA genre.

Thoughts: I got halfway done with this book but couldn’t finish. Nothing much happened and it definitely wasn’t a thriller. The story was about Kasia, a girl who
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Out of the Bex
Aug 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Penny Joelson won hearts with her debut novel "I Have No Secrets," which wonderfully articulated the perspective of a young girl with cerebral palsy in the midst of a page-turning mystery. She returns in "The Girl Who Wasn't There" with her now signature style. In it, we observe the journey of a young girl named Kasia who witnesses a possible crime while living with ME.

Joelson's work serves to familiarize the average reader with some of the mental and physical difficulties of those persons livin
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Miesha (BookedAnBusy)
The first few pages jumped right into a kidnapping. I liked that this book didn’t waste any time getting into the action.

The way this story was written made me feel like I was confined with Kasia. I had so many questions that I couldn’t wait to get answers to. Was Kasia really sick, was there really someone watching her from across the street? I felt like the neighbors were hiding something, and I wanted to know what it was.

This book was a quick and easy read. It had short and quick chapters t
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Chloe
Jan 17, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021
If you're looking for a gripping and twisty YA thriller, you won't really get that with this. Yes, it's a fast read, and the thriller aspects are incredibly dark for this being a younger age YA book, more for people 13+ than 16+ in terms of the writing style I'd say. But what surprised me was what I really got from this book - a very well depicted contemporary about a girl living with ME / CFS, a chronic illness, written by an author who also suffers from it. If you're looking for a good depicti ...more
Mary
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Klou
This book gets a 4.5 stars from me!! I really enjoyed it!!

As a teenager that suffers with the same illness as the MC, Kasia, this is a book where I could relate to the character's thoughts and feelings a lot. There have been many occasions where I've seen the question 'what book(s) can you relate to?' And it's honestly one I've never been able to answer. I've never understood it, never felt that connection when reading a book. Well, not until this book! I can honestly say that I could relate
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Jennifer
Dec 03, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
GamerGirlSpy101
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2019
This book was absolutely amazing. It helped me understand more about ME, and how hard it is for people to live with. Thank you for writing this book. This has giving me more inspiration to watch the film unrest.
Mahalakshmi
This is what a good piece of fiction does to me : bringing a happy vibe to my life!!!
The story of a 14 year old girl, the way she turns the life of people around her despite she being miserable is just filling the reader with hope on a different level . Throughly enjoyed reading this!!!
Laura
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a remarkable book by an accomplished story-teller, populated by a diverse and engaging cast of secondary characters, and weaving multiple plotlines together to create something truly riveting. It’s rare to read a book that so skilfully articulates the reality of chronic illness, whilst losing nothing from the pace of the narrative.

Sophie Walker
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lily
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great story, raising awareness of how hard life can be when you have ME and live a mostly housebound (often bedbound) life and also how quiet streets can hold the darkest of secrets, but also the best of friends, The Girl in the Window has so much packed into it for just one short book. Although I found it didn't have as big an impact on me as I Have No Secrets did, I found it a really interesting and well written story of living with ME.

What I really loved about this book was how kind and ca
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Sally
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, romance, activism, survival
Penny Joelson has written an exceptionally clever thriller/mystery here. With our lead character being a girl who is housebound with serious health problems, Kasia herself feels that there is little she can do but look out of her bedroom window - ad some days not even that! He Chronic Fatigue Syndrome limits her so considerably and appears to be an "invisible" disability to many, with people thinking that she's lazy, it's all in her head.

When she spots a woman being bundled into a car, seemingly
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Abigail Foley
Dec 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve had this book on my shelf for nearly two years. Yesterday, I felt it was calling at me to read it, so I picked it up! I read #GirlInTheWindow by @pennyjoelson in two hours. I had absolutely no idea that the illness (see back) the main character Kasia was suffering with was my own illness, M.E. I have NEVER seen representation of this illness in a book, it feels surreal! I could absolutely completely relate to Kasia, her pain, her exhaustion. Penny, thank you!!! The story of the ‘Girl In The ...more
Lucie
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful. This book is so beautifully truthful about life with a chronic illness. I recommend this to anyone who has/is caring for/knows somebody with CFS.The character development, also, is wonderful. The most truthful Y/A book I’ve read a long time!
Joelie
Mar 17, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Karen Barber
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Thank you NetGalley and publishers for letting me read this early.
Like Joelsen’s ‘I Have No Secrets’ our main character is not someone who is able to fully participate in life. In this instance, our main character has ME and is, for the most part, confined to her bedroom. She watches people from her window and is determined to get well enough to go back to school but this seems a long way off when we see her at the start of the book.
One day she sees a young girl dragged into a car. She calls th
...more
Jen Ryland
This is a YA Rear Window, which I was very excited about!

Kasia, whose family left Poland for a new life in the UK, has been confined to her house due to ME/CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) which she developed after a case of tonsillitis. One day, she's looking out her window and sees what she thinks is a kidnapping outside one of her neighbors' houses. Then, inside that house, she sees a girl around her age who seems to be a prisoner.

Kasia was an interesting character who had to battle her own ill
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Erelah
Jan 10, 2021 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alexa
Jan 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was a quick read that took me 24 hours. I can’t really tell if it’s a YA novel or a thriller type novel. It’s fair to say that it’s probably a little bit of both. The chapters are short, and told from one perspective. It is a simple plot without too many twists and turns but still very enjoyable.

Kasia has a medical condition that keeps her homebound. It appears that there is somebody in the window across the street, but it’s so fleeting she can’t tell if it really happened or not. Being ho
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Emma
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Joelson's thrillers. I actually preferred this to I Have No Secrets - I think that's because there were 2 messages in the book (can't repeat without spoilers) and also the lead character Kasia was really engaging and the whole world around her was built so genuinely. I think this may have been because the protagonist's story was based on Joelson's own life, so it really could be written with such confidence and clarity.
If I had one small criticism it was that after the revelation near the
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