Book review: Moth Girls by Anne Cassidy

Tuesday, March 8, 2016 Permalink

I don’t read many young adult (YA) novels but it’s kinda interesting that both I’ve read in the past month have centred around friendships. I’m not sure if I’ve been drawn to that topic (leading me to request them) or whether it’s a common theme in the YA genre.

Interestingly, this book – like Beautiful Broken Things – discusses the challenges of a three-way friendship.

Book review: Moth Girls by Anne CassidyMoth Girls
by Anne Cassidy
Published by Hot Key Books
on January 7th 2016
Source: Allen & Unwin
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Young Adult
ISBN: 9781471405112
Pages: 304

They called them the Moth Girls because they were attracted to the house. They were drawn to it. Or at least that is what is written in the newspapers that Mandy reads on the anniversary of when her two best friends went missing.

Five years have passed since Petra and Tina were determined to explore the dilapidated house on Princess Street. But what started off as a dare ended with the two girls vanishing.

As Mandy's memories of the disappearance of her two friends are ignited once again, disturbing details will resurface in her mind.

Mandy’s never forgotten the two friends who disappeared five years earlier. In fact, she’s carried around some guilt… they were brave enough to venture into the old house, and she left them there. On top of that, she took her time in telling authorities where they’d last been seen.

Because their bodies have never turned up family and friends still hold some hope the girls are alive and there are supposed sightings every so often to fan these wistful flames.

And now, five years later ‘the house’ is being torn down and Mandy’s grappling with memories and unanswered questions.

She hadn’t known Petra and Tina long when they disappeared but they were old friends and she knows Petra saw her as the interloper. And now at 17yrs of age, Mandy’s still struggling with friendships.

The strength of this book by Cassidy is that she keeps us guessing for some time. The story is told from several viewpoints and in several timeframes – primarily though via Mandy (now) and Petra (then). Petra has a challenging home life and readers are forced to ponder the role that might play in their disappearance.

This was an easy read though I did find the writing and language a bit awkward in places. I haven’t read a lot of YA fiction so wondered if simple sentence structures are more typical of the genre? I’m not sure if this improved through the novel or I got used to it, because I did stop noticing after a while.

The book was a bit repetitive in sections as well – particularly in reference to Mandy’s feelings about Tommy and Jon… which were clarified on a number of occasions.

However… some of the concepts explored in the novel (around family violence) and Petra’s relationship with her father’s girlfriend offered something a bit different and made this a worthwhile read.

Moth Girls by Anne Cassidy is released in Australia in early March via Allen & Unwin.

I received a copy of this book for review purposes. 

  • Karen Blue
    March 14, 2016

    The premise sounded so good on this book. Sorry to hear it was repetitive. That kinda sucks.

    • Debbish
      March 15, 2016

      Yes, the second time we were told someone likes her but she liked someone else, I thought… ‘Yes, we’ve been told that’. But then it happened again. Having said that – I’m the sort of person who repeats myself (in blog posts and the like) so perhaps I notice my own bad habits (projecting or something!).

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