Author: Erin Saldin
Find it here: Amazon, Goodreads
Erin Saldin's The Girls of No Return is a lacerating young adult debut about girls, knives, and redemption. The Alice Marshall School, set within a glorious 2-million acre wilderness area, is a place where teenage girls are sent to escape their histories and themselves. Lida Wallace has tried to negate herself in every way possible. At Alice Marshall, she meets Elsa Boone, Jules, and Gia Longchamps, whose glamour entrances the entire camp. As the girls prepare for a wilderness trek, Lida is both thrilled and terrified to be chosen as Gia's friend. Everyone has their secrets – the “Things” they try to protect; and when those come out, the knives do as well.
It’s been almost a month since I’ve read this book and I still don’t know how I feel about it. I guess it just threw me completely off guard and not in a good way. When I first saw the cover and the title, I thought that the book would be a little bit scary. I was actually hoping that it would be. Here is what I thought it would be about in one sentence: A bunch of girls who are at a camp or boarding school, row off together but something so terrible happens that only one of them returns. That was not what The Girls of No Return was about.
I crack open the book, so excited to get started on this super crazy, creepy mystery, that I could hardly contain my excitement when the book starts off with these really cryptic journal entries about something that happened that the main character can’t talk about. My excitement continues until about half way through the book when I realize that my assumptions are probably wrong. As it turns out, it’s about a girl who is sent to an all girl boarding school in the middle of nowhere because she’s rebellious.
Lida is a pretty cool character who really discovers who she is and what she’s good at while she attends the Alice Marshall School. I felt so bad for her after another girl cut off her hair while she slept during her first night there. Which made me think there was going to be some kind of mean-girl action going on which would have been awesome, by the way.
As far as the story goes, I really liked it. I’m always up for a good boarding school book and even though it was an all girls’ school, it still kept me interested. It was paced really well and I didn’t find myself getting bored. The ending was crazy and I definitely didn’t expect it. I give the Girls of No Return 3 hearts because the back and forth flash back action was done really well.