The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

I’ve officially blown past my goal of reading 12 books in 2013. I knew it was likely I’d read more than one book a month, but thought I’d make my goal attainable nevertheless (as I never want reading to become a chore; I love it). As of now, I’ve completed 16 books in 2013…and am quickly approaching the conclusion of #17 this week. Now, I realize that for many other reading enthusiasts out there, this number doesn’t seem all that large. However, up until two or so years ago I wasn’t reading on a regular basis anymore. This change has been a great one. I think my problem had been that I wasn’t on the look out for new and exciting books; I wasn’t keeping my eyes and ears open for new releases, and I felt stuck in a rut. Now, thanks to sites like Goodreads and a little more investigation on my end of things, I’ve compiled a “to-read” list that is quite expansive. I am so excited to log on to my library website and request copies of new books. Nerd alert, I know…

The Shining Girls

Anyway, speaking of being aware of new releases, my most recent read is one! The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes was published on June 4th of this year, so it has only been around for a few months. The quirky description of the book caught my attention right away. The Shining Girls is a serial killer tale with a twist: the killer, Harper Curtis, time travels. His victims hail from completely different times. Each of his victims are known as “Shining Girls” – they produce a magnetic pull that Harper can’t ignore, and he feels compelled to kill them to put out their “shine.” Harper remains untraceable…until one of his would-be victims, Kirby, survives. Kirby is determined to bring her killer to justice, and begins searching for the truth…

Is the time travel explained? Not really…you just have to accept that the house Harper discovers happens to be a time portal and run with it from there. The book is written through many different perspectives: the beginning of each chapter identifies who is relaying the experience…as well as which year in time they happen to be in. Each chapter jumps back and forth; one chapter you’ll be in 1930, the next will be 1992. Admittedly, the first few chapters had me a little confused, but once I got further into the story it all made sense. Although you are jumping back and forth through time, the story is told in a linear fashion. You find yourself rooting for each and every Shining Girl, even though you know they will be meeting their demise by the incredibly twisted antagonist.

Did I enjoy this book? Absolutely. The mystery, the thrill, it was all there for me. Does it top my favorite book of 2013 so far? Nope. But The Shining Girls was still a great read in my opinion, and I’m glad I got my hands on it while it is still fresh in the world of books…if you enjoy mystery and suspense books you might want to get yourself a copy to read as well!

What books have you read lately?

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