Julie 's Reviews > The Broken Girls

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James
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The Broken Girls by Simone St. James is a 2018 Berkley publication.

Now THIS is my kind of book!!


Set in Vermont, alternating between 1950 and 2014, this well rounded thriller, centers around a girl’s only school named Idlewood Hall. During the fifties, this school was where troubled girls were sent, and where a group of girls forge an unlikely and formidable friendship which would cause a rippling effect for decades to come.

Over the years, the abandoned school was nothing more than an eyesore, protecting its memories and ghosts from the outside world, its most recent claim to fame being the general location of where Fiona Sheridan’s sister was found dead over twenty years ago.

Now, in present day, 2014, someone has taken an interest in Idlewood, determined to restore the old boarding house, which only intensifies Fiona’s obsession over her sister’s death. She convinces her boss to allow her to do a story about the school's restoration for the magazine she works for. While she barely manages to conceal her ulterior motives, the restoration efforts inadvertently led to a shocking discovery, and sends her down a rabbit hole, as she searches, not only for peace of mind concerning her sister’s death, but for the answers to a decades old mystery.

This gloomy, atmospheric thriller enveloped me in its Gothic fog, keeping me utterly riveted and on the edge of my seat from the beginning to end.

The creepy aura surrounding Fiona’s investigation into her sister’s death is nail biting suspense at its finest. This is a crime drama, thriller, and chiller all rolled into one. While the haunting of Idlewood adds a deliciously spooky element to the story, what is truly haunting is the heavy toll that losing a daughter and sister had on Fiona and her family, as well as the ever present feeling of impending doom.

But, the mystery of the disappearance of one of Idlewood’s boarders during the fifties was a story that goes beyond the ghostly rumors. It is poignantly sad and infuriating tale, that slowly morphs into an inspirational and touching story of friendship and long overdue closure.

I have always been a sucker for a good ghost story, mainly because contrary to the creepy, spooky, chilling aspects of hauntings, more often than not, ghosts are quite often helpful, or asking for help from the living, to give them long sought after peace, which is a not at all frightening when you look at it from that angle. This story is no exception, but I have to tell you, this ghost story packs a powerful punch and is incredibly edgy!!

But, mostly, this story is about solving all the mysteries surrounding two very different types of crimes, with two entirely separate circumstances. The author manages to connect the past to the present fluidly, despite the stark differences in themes and urgency. While the location and Idlewood provide a physical link, it is really the power of familial love and the enduring bonds of friendship, with a little help from beyond, that brings everyone and everything together in the end.

This story is evenly paced, giving the well timed twists a great deal of power. It is very well written, and embodies everything I love about a good thriller. Overall, this was an immensely satisfying read.

Pulling out all the stars for this one! 5 stars!!
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Reading Progress

October 31, 2017 – Shelved
October 31, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
November 13, 2017 – Started Reading
November 13, 2017 – Shelved as: berkley
November 13, 2017 – Shelved as: e-book
November 13, 2017 – Shelved as: gothic
November 13, 2017 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
November 13, 2017 – Shelved as: netgalley
March 18, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018
March 18, 2018 – Shelved as: thrillers
March 18, 2018 – Shelved as: supernatural
March 18, 2018 – Shelved as: suspense
March 18, 2018 – Shelved as: mystery-shelf
March 18, 2018 – Shelved as: ghost-stories
March 19, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 97 (97 new)


Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews Fantastic review Julie!! I had a feeling you would enjoy this one as much as I did. 😊


message 2: by KAS (new)

KAS Awesome review, Julie :) Loved “THIS” is your kind of book!


message 3: by Elyse (new) - added it

Elyse  Walters Terrific!!


message 4: by Kim (new) - added it

Kim Dyer Great review Julie!! I really need to get to this one.


message 5: by C. (new)

C. This sounds like a more accurate grade, for the enjoyment I will have, when the darned physical copies are affordable! Way to appreciate the rare adult spirit gothics, Julie! :)


Deanna Fantastic review, Julie!!


Julie Lindsay wrote: "Fantastic review Julie!! I had a feeling you would enjoy this one as much as I did. 😊"

Thank you, Lindsay!! Oh, yes, this one was right up my alley! Loved it!


Julie Deanna wrote: "Fantastic review, Julie!!"

Thank you, Deanna!! 😊


Julie Kim wrote: "Great review Julie!! I really need to get to this one."

Thank you, Kim! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! 😊


Julie Elyse wrote: "Terrific!!"

Thank you, Elyse!! 💕


Julie KAS wrote: "Awesome review, Julie :) Loved “THIS” is your kind of book!"

Thank you, KAS!! I was in a little mini slump, but this book saved the day! 😊


message 12: by Luvtoread (new) - added it

Luvtoread Terrific review Julie!! Sounds very good!!


Julie C. wrote: "This sounds like a more accurate grade, for the enjoyment I will have, when the darned physical copies are affordable! Way to appreciate the rare adult spirit gothics, Julie! :)"

I can't wait to hear your thoughts on this one!! I hope you can find an affordable copy soon. 😊


Julie Luvtoread wrote: "Terrific review Julie!! Sounds very good!!"

Thank you, Luvtoread!! It is!! 😊


Jaclyn Great review, Julie! I loved this one as well. I was hesitant because I've loved St. James' previous ghost stories and this was so different. But, St. James knows how to create suspense!


message 16: by Carol (new) - added it

Carol Enticing Review Julie! Must read! Added! Thanks!


message 17: by Antoinette (new) - added it

Antoinette Glad you loved it!! Awesome review


message 18: by Lori (new)

Lori Yeah! Julie! Great review!


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Such a great book and review, Julie!


Tammy Yes, Julie! Yes!


Diana | Book of Secrets I loved it too!!


Julie Jaclyn wrote: "Great review, Julie! I loved this one as well. I was hesitant because I've loved St. James' previous ghost stories and this was so different. But, St. James knows how to create suspense!"

Thank you, Jaclyn! This was my first book by S. St. James, but it won't be my last! I'm looking up her previous releases at we speak!! 😊


Julie Book of Secrets ☘ wrote: "I loved it too!!"

YAY! This book was SO good! 😊


Julie Tammy wrote: "Yes, Julie! Yes!"

Thanks, Tammy! I'm glad you enjoyed it, as well! 😊


Julie Marialyce wrote: "Such a great book and review, Julie!"

Thank you, Marialyce!! I'm so happy my GR friends wrote such glowing reviews for this one! I couldn't pass it up!


Julie Lori wrote: "Yeah! Julie! Great review!"

Thank you, Lori!! 😊


Julie Antoinette wrote: "Glad you loved it!! Awesome review"

Thank you, Antoinette!! 😊


Julie Carol wrote: "Enticing Review Julie! Must read! Added! Thanks!"

Thank you, Carol!! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!! 😊


message 29: by RedemptionDenied (new)

RedemptionDenied Excellent review, Julie!


message 30: by Paula (new)

Paula Terrific review, Julie!


Meredith ( on Semi-Hiatus until February) Yay! Glad you loved this too, Julie! Fabulous review!


Tracey Great review! Glad you enjoyed!


message 33: by Candi (new) - added it

Candi Super good review, Julie!! On my list :)


Julie RedemptionDenied wrote: "Excellent review, Julie!"

Thank you, RD!!


Julie Tracey wrote: "Great review! Glad you enjoyed!"

Thank you, Tracey!! 😊


Julie Candi wrote: "Super good review, Julie!! On my list :)"

Thank you, Candi! I can't wait to hear your thoughts! 😊


Julie Meredith wrote: "Yay! Glad you loved this too, Julie! Fabulous review!"

Thank you, Meredith!! 😊


Julie Paula wrote: "Terrific review, Julie!"

Thank you, Paula!! 😊


Mary Beth Fantastic review, Julie! This one was one of my favorites for this year. Glad you loved it also. 💞


Sarah Joint Awesome review, Julie! Loved reading this one.


Kaceey Fantastic review Julie! Glad you enjoyed this one too!


Julie Mary wrote: "Fantastic review, Julie! This one was one of my favorites for this year. Glad you loved it also. 💞"

Thank you, Mary!! This one will certainly make it onto my 2018 favorites list! 😊


Julie Sarah wrote: "Awesome review, Julie! Loved reading this one."

Thank you, Sarah!! 😊


Julie Kaceey wrote: "Fantastic review Julie! Glad you enjoyed this one too!"

Thank you, Kaceey!! 😊


message 45: by Jaline (new) - added it

Jaline Fabulous review, Julie - loved seeing all those stars! :)


Michelle Love your review! :) Glad to see you enjoyed this as much as I did!


message 47: by Tina (new)

Tina Such a fab review Julie! It’s one I’d eventually like to read too. Good to know you enjoyed so much!


Julie Jaline wrote: "Fabulous review, Julie - loved seeing all those stars! :)"

Thank you, Jaline!! It was worth every single star added, and then some!!


Julie Tina wrote: "Such a fab review Julie! It’s one I’d eventually like to read too. Good to know you enjoyed so much!"

Thank you very much, Tina!! I hope you can find time for this one someday. Enjoy!


Julie Michelle wrote: "Love your review! :) Glad to see you enjoyed this as much as I did!"

Thank you, Michelle!! 😊


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