Monday, September 13, 2021

My Sweet Girl by Amanda Jayatissa

First Line: There's a special place in hell for incompetent customer service agents, and it's right between monsters who stick their bare feet up on airplane seats and mansplainers.
Paloma should have known better than to sublet her apartment. If only she hadn't needed the money! Now her roommate has discovered her deepest, darkest secret and is demanding cash for his silence. Paloma thought she'd never have to think of those years in a Sri Lankan orphanage again. Now she's thirty, cut off from her parents' funds, and at the mercy of a blackmailer.
When she can't come up with the money, Paloma has no alternative but to stand up to her roommate, but when she goes back to the apartment, she finds him facedown in a pool of blood at the kitchen table. In shock, she runs from the apartment, but by the time the police arrive, there is no body... no sign that her roommate ever existed. Paloma is convinced that this is all tied into what she had to do to escape Sri Lanka all those years ago, but did those secrets die with her roommate, or is she in even more danger?
There should be a bright future ahead of author Amanda Jayatissa, and I'm basing my opinion simply on how her mind worked as she constructed the plot for My Sweet Girl. There are enough twists and turns to satisfy any reader who loves surprises-- or who loves to attempt to figure them out ahead of time. The book does fall victim to a couple of things that did lessen my enjoyment, however.
At 384 pages, the book has "too much middle," as a fellow mystery lover calls it. If the story had been tightened up, the second thing would not have annoyed me nearly as much. What is the second thing? Paloma, the main character herself. Through the first third of the book, I felt bad for Paloma. Her voice is filled with judgment, with profanity, with anger, with fear, with guilt. The judgmental attitude I could overlook to a great extent as well as the profanity. Besides, the way Paloma tells her story really made me want to know what made her so fearful, so angry, so guilty. But these strong emotions went on and on and on. If the book had had more editing to tighten everything up, I would not have had time to either deduce the main plot twist or to become increasingly annoyed with Paloma. But it didn't, and I did.
Yes, I did have some problems with My Sweet Girl, but there's a lot to like about this story that shows us the lengths to which people will go when they are absolutely desperate. On the strength of her plot and Paloma's voice, I'll be keeping an eye peeled for Jayatissa's next book. 

My Sweet Girl by Amanda Jayatissa
eISBN: 9780593335109
Berkley © 2021
eBook, 384 pages
Standalone Thriller
Rating: C+
Source: Net Galley


  1. Oh, gosh. I have this book on library reserve.
    I saw the writer at the PP and she is interesting.
    Too bad about the lack of editing of the middle.. I don't like that. I edit and proofread and when I see these problems, I cringe.
    I'll try it out and see what it's like.

    1. Your mileage may certainly vary. :-)

    2. Some things were said at PP which kind of muffled my enthusiasm.

      I'm still in Montana in the winter. Yes, I like the book as much as you do. I couldn't wait to finish what I was doing to get back to the family. So poignant.

    3. I'm glad you're enjoying it so much.

  2. Having been to Sri Lanka, I'm curious about this book for the setting/back story alone. I'm glad to know that it's worth a try.

    1. There's really not all that much concerning Sri Lanka in it, Kate. Well... there is, but there isn't, if that makes any sense at all.

    2. I think I know what you mean - thanks for tempering my expectations!

  3. I was just looking at this one yesterday and thought it sounded thanks. I love the phrase "too much middle." Even too much of a good thing can be bad...but too much middle is always a bad thing. Especially with an already-annoying main character on hand.


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