The Shining Girls – Lauren Beukes


The Shining Girls is a psychological thriller about a man named Harper, who found mysterious House, that made possible for him to travel in time. With this ability, Harper found in every decade at least one girl, who was talented or intelligent and appeared to him to be Shining. A perfect murder.. After he killed her, he took some object from the dead shining girl and gave it to the next victim. One „shining“ girl Kirby survived his attack and decided to track him down through the history.

This very original concept was very promising and despite everything negative I have to say about this book, I enjoyed reading it and I would recommend it to others.

We are reading a story, that goes from one decade to the other, forward and backwards, and we are getting to know perspective of Harper, Kirby and several other characters.

I’m gonna start with things I liked about The Shining Girls. (SPOILER ALLERT)

– The concept of time travelling and murdering not-so-random girls across the century. Harper had strong headaches that got better after he murdered one of the girls, as if the House gave him no choice, but to commit this crime. Despite that, the reader felt no sympathy over this villain and he wasn’t portayed to be a victim of any sort.

– Diversity of victims. We had black woman from 20s, trans girl from 40s (who was respectfully considered a women throughout the entire story and her personality was not based around her sexual identity, so s.o. to the author), lesbian from 50s, we had stories of illegal teen abortions, drugs, poverty. Unfortunately, all of those girls died in brutal way so it was a good diversity, but sad representation.

– Murders of these women were so brutal and done with no real consequences, that it made me feel scared about my own safety for several hours after finishing the book. Which is great because thrillers are supposed to make you feel scared.

Now for the things I disliked about this book.

– That stupid romance between main characters. I don’t care. Take your business somewhere else with maybe less age gaps. One of the main characters spent half of the book being horny for 22 years old student , so no thank you.

– The fact that the main characters never figured anything out. The villain literally had to come and let them know he exists in order to give them some clue.

– I really didn’t feel any connection to main characters, Kirby felt too immature and Dan had way too flat personality. (Also he was a bit creepy when it came to his feelings for Kirby)

But I must say it was entertaining and it made me think about time travel and its consequences, when it comes to the committing crimes without being caught, so it’s 3/5 for me.



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Natalia 22 Slovak. Read about my passion for fashion, travel and personal experiences.

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