Those Girls by Chevy Stevens
ISBN: 9781250034588 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781250034595 (ebook)
ASIN: B00R1AWE1A (Kindle edition)
Publication date: July 7, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Chevy Stevens is back with her most powerful, emotional thriller yet — a story of survival…and revenge.
Life has never been easy for the three Campbell sisters. Jess, Courtney, and Dani live on a remote ranch in Western Canada where they work hard and try to stay out of the way of their father’s fists. One night, a fight gets out of hand and the sisters are forced to go on the run, only to get caught in an even worse nightmare when their truck breaks down in a small town. Events spiral out of control and a chance encounter with the wrong people leaves them in a horrific and desperate situation. They are left with no choice but to change their names and create new lives.
Eighteen years later, they are still trying to forget what happened that summer when one of the sisters goes missing and they are pulled back into their past.
This time there’s nowhere left to run.
As much of a thriller as it is a deep exploration of the bonds among sisters, Those Girls is an unforgettable portrait of desperation, loyalty, and evil.
Jess, Courtney, and Dani Campbell now that life is hard. They’ve suffered the loss of their mother, the loss of their home, and the constant abuse at the hands of their alcoholic father. After living in foster care for a few months after their mother died, the girls vow to do whatever is necessary to ensure they never have to return to foster care. Their father often leaves them alone for weeks at a time with little money for food and other necessities. All three girls work hard on the ranch to help offset their rent. Life gets much harder for the girls when they run away from their abusive home and find themselves in an even more abusive environment. Fortunately, they are able to escape and begin their lives over in Vancouver with new identities. Those Girls asks just how far are you willing to go to protect your family?
Those Girls starts off in 1997 with Jess, Courtney, and Dani struggling to survive. They steal food when necessary and often steal other incidentals to get by. Jess is the youngest and the most studious. Dani is the oldest and strives to provide for her sisters and keep them in check at all times. Courtney is the middle sister and the wild child. Courtney knows she’s attractive and uses her physical beauty to get boys and men. It is this behavior that causes their father to go off and attempt to kill Courtney. After doing everything possible to get their father to stop, the unthinkable happens and the girls run away in a dilapidated truck heading to Vancouver. They don’t have enough money for gas or food and steal what they can on their road trip. When their truck breaks down, they accept an offer to work on a local ranch to get money for repairs. What followed is the worst thing imaginable — abduction and repeated rapes at the hands of two evil and sadistic young men. After five days of rapes and brutality the girls escape and a local pub owner provides them with bus fare and the name of someone that can help them in Vancouver. It is in Vancouver that they became Jaimie, Crystal, and Dallas. And a few months after they arrive they learn that Jaimie is pregnant.
Fast forward to the summer of 2015 and we meet Skylar, Jaimie’s teenage daughter. After several incidents involving Crystal, Skylar learns the truth about her birth father and how she was conceived. It is apparent to all that Crystal has become unstable and after an intervention, Crystal takes off. Skylar lies to her mother and takes off after Crystal. Skylar thinks that her aunt has returned to Cash Creek to possibly confront her abductors and rapists. While Skylar investigates her aunt’s disappearance, she unknowingly places herself in serious danger as she thinks about confronting her birth father and meets her half-brother and half-sister. The more Skylar learns the more dangerous the situation becomes until she is abducted at the hands of her birth father’s brother.
I began reading Those Girls at approximately 6 PM on a Thursday evening and didn’t put it down until I had finished it at approximately 11 PM that same evening. Okay, I took a dinner break and then cleaned the kitchen up after eating, but that was the only downtime other than preparing a couple of cups of tea. I found Those Girls to be a fast-paced and engrossing read. Yes, it was difficult to read about the abuse and rapes suffered by Jess, Courtney, and Dani, but Ms. Stevens presented these incidents without hype or sensationalization. There is tragedy after tragedy in the lives of Jess, Courtney, Dani and even Skylar, but there are also periods of hope. The bad guys are not just bad but truly despicable human beings and downright evil. Does good prevail over evil? You’ll have to read the book to find out for yourself. Those Girls covers a lot of topics: child abuse, alcoholism, sexual promiscuity, abduction, rape, teenage pregnancy, drug abuse, teen runaways, etc. It is easy to think that Those Girls is going to be a dark, depressing, and twisted read, but it isn’t. Those Girls is just as much about survival, hope, and family as it is about anything. Just in case you couldn’t tell, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I found the characters to be well developed and the action to be very realistic. If you enjoy reading thrillers that encompass much more than just the dark and twisted then you’ll definitely want to add Those Girls to your TBR list.
Read an excerpt from Those Girls here.
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