Categories: YA Thriller, F/F
I received advance copies via Edelweiss and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
In Throwaway Girls, Caroline’s best friend has gone missing. The day she disappeared, Caroline was supposed to meet her, and the guilt is suffocating. As she tries to get over a painful breakup and the loss of the one person who made life worth living, Caroline now must find her best friend – she knows the police isn’t looking in the right places, and as they try to frame a teacher, Caroline knows he’s not guilty. It’s someone else – someone who’s been taking girls no one cares to look for.
The beginning of this book gave me angsty, noir vibes that I was not quite sure about – a seventeen-year-old behaving like a typical forty-year-old noir main character with a tragic background felt really indulgent and overdone. Caroline was drinking, vaping, getting tattooed, skipping classes, plus she found a dead body a few years before but her parents never knew about it, despite her calling the police and father having been somewhere around when it happened. However, once you get to know how she got that way, I felt like her behavior was more understandable. It did not 100% convince me, though, and still think this books requires a little suspending of disbelief.
Once you get past that, this is a solid thriller, a story about anger, privilege, survival, secrets and trauma. Caroline must hide who she truly is so her parents won’t send her to conversion therapy again, where she was tortured. Her best friend Madison was hiding things and now she’s missing, and several missing girls dismissed by the police as “probably ran away with a boyfriend” could be the key to finding her. In the meantime the police is trying to frame a teacher as a pedophile instead of catching Madison’s kidnapper and possible murderer. There’s a lot going on and I didn’t trust any of the characters (including the teacher, who was shady despite Caroline vehemently believing his innocence).
I gave this four stars because it kept me turning pages and it does not flinch away from the ugly results of trauma. As a debut, it’s a pretty good one!