Review: The Girl in the Well is Me – Karen Rivers

Posted 24 October, 2016 by Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews in Reviews / 19 Comments

*I received a free copy of The Girl in the Well is Me from Alqonquin Young Readers via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *

Review: The Girl in the Well is Me – Karen RiversThe Girl in the Well is Me by Karen Rivers
Published by Alqonquin Young Readers on 15 March 2016
Genres: Children's Lit, Contemporary
Pages: 224
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Reading Challenges: 2016 New Release Challenge
One StarOne StarHalf a Star

Longing to be one of the popular girls in her new town, Kammie Summers has fallen into a well during a (fake) initiation into their club. Now Kammie’s trapped in the dark, counting the hours, waiting to be rescued. (The Girls have gone for help, haven’t they?)

As hours pass, Kammie’s real-life predicament mixes with memories of the best and worst moments of her life so far, including the awful reasons her family moved to this new town in the first place. And as she begins to feel hungry and thirsty and light-headed, Kammie starts to imagine she has company, including a French-speaking coyote and goats that just might be zombies.

Karen Rivers has created a unique narrator with an authentic, sympathetic, sharp, funny voice who will have readers laughing and crying and laugh-crying over the course of physically and emotionally suspenseful, utterly believable events.

Contemporary - (un)Conventional Bookviews

The Girl in the Well is Me is very creepy in an abstract kind of way, and even more so in a completely tangible way!

Review - (un)Conventional Bookviews

The Girl in the Well Is Me is one of the strangest little stories I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Introspective, cut-off, separate, just like Kammie felt when she wasn’t in the well. Why, then, do I only give 2.5 start to The Girl in the Well Is Me, you ask? Well, it was very slow paced, and 85% of the ‘action’ happened while Kammie was stuck down in the well, musing about her life, mean girls, and choices. And while those are important musings, she could have very well thought about these things somewhere else. And I don’t think the mean girls suffered the consequences of their actions. At all! And it seems to me that one of the important themes in this story is exactly that – our actions have consequences, when we do something wrong, there are consequences – sometimes not only for ourselves but for other people as well.

The Girl in the Well Is Me was very well written, which made it so the slow pace didn’t make me want to stop reading. However, I found Kammie to be very, very mature for an 11-year-old girl. Even if she had been through some hard times because of her father’s actions, and that he was now in prison, I found her to be very adult. Both in her musings, and the way she narrated her past, as well as what her father had done that made everything in their family change.

Even if The Girl in the Well Is Me was slow paced, it was a quick read, if that makes any sense at all, and the first person narration worked well, even if I found Kammie’s voice to be ‘older’ than her 11 years.

Fave Quotes - (un)Conventional Bookviews

I used to love to take baths with a million bubbles, so many that they were like a blanket that I could hide under. My favorite bubbles smelled like chewing gum and had a pink girl on the bottle. She had boobs the size of watermelons and her face was permanently frozen in a half-creepy smile, but the bubbles smelled like happiness and birthday parties and dancing and vanilla cake and everything good.

Metaphors and similes make my head hurt, picking apart those sentences in Language Arts, making all those words fall away from their sentences and separating them into gerunds and modifiers and whatever’s. It’s like sentence massacres, those poor words bleeding sadly all over the page. I don’t know why school has to take everything good and turn it boring and painful and bad. 

Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews
Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

About Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

Lexxie is an English as foreign language teacher and has a Master’s degree in English Language and Literature. She’s an avid reader, blogger, compulsive one-clicker and a genre omnivore. Ever since she learnt how to read she has been seen with a book or two in her hands everywhere she goes.

19 responses to “Review: The Girl in the Well is Me – Karen Rivers

  1. Yeah a slow pace can totally ruin a book for me too.. That sucks though because this sounds like it had a lot of potential.
    Sorry it was disappointing, Lexxie. :/

  2. There are exceptions but one pet peeve in books of mine is when a kid sounds to mature in a book. There have been a lot of books where I’ve thought, wow this kid doesn’t sound at all like her or his age. And I also really dislike a slow pace, the way it can make a book drag… Too bad you didn’t totally like this one but great review!

    • Yeah, I agree Stephanie. If the kids sound too mature, it takes me completely out of the story, and it makes me wonder why they are so young in the book… would it not have been better to have them be a couple of years older? Now, I know some people are more mature than others, but Kammie sounded like a mature 14-year old at times…

  3. RO

    YIKES! Even though I loved Mean Girls the movie, I don’t think I’d want to meet any in real life (lol), and the thought of being actually stuck in a damp dark well would intensify that feeling. I think I agree that her thoughts could have been told from a Jacuzzi, or even a small room with no television. (lol) Lately, with so much going on, it’s really hard to keep my interest if it takes a long time to get into the main story line. Great review.

    • Those scary mean girls that sometimes show up in books and movies (and, I’m sure, in real life, too!) aren’t ones I would like to meet, that’s for sure. Poor Kammie in the well. I guess she could have fallen into the well and stayed there for a little bit, but we’re talking about at least a whole afternoon and evening, here… and it was hot, too.

  4. Hmm, interesting, Lexxie. It seems like maybe this would have been better served as a book written for YA – perhaps making Kammie older? I was going to say maybe it should have been longer as well but 224 pages is plenty of length to get something accomplished before 84%. Well, I’m glad you don’t feel it was a total waste of your time. Thoughtful review, wifey!
    Happy holiday week!! *BIG HUGS* <3

    • I don’t rally know, Brandee. Kammie a little older would have made more sense to me, but then, I guess some other aspects of the story might have had to be changed, too. And 224 pages is definitely enough to really get to the meat of the story before 84% of it is done.
      Miss you, dahling! {{{BIG HUGS}}} <3

  5. This seems like a well written novel and like it has everything it needs, but that it’s just too slow paced and the action happens too late. We have too much of the character’s thoughts and musings taking over the novel… so I think this is going to be one I have to skip over as it is not for me >.> Great review nonetheless!

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