The Girl She Was Before

By: Jess Kitching

“You can’t outrun the past.”

This was a nother 4 star debut novel for me! The ONLY reason I didn’t give it 5 stars is becuase I did not like the ending. Not to say that there was anything wrong with it exactly, but I just wished it went a different way.

Nat was bullied badly when she was in high school. After high school, she moved away, but eventually came back to Coral Bay. When she came back, she was a completely different person. Now popular, she is a social media influencer and painter. Nat married one of the high school jocks that was part of the popular crowd. She also forgave and became friends with most of the girls that once bullied her, except Chrissy.

Then two of her best friends are in a car crash, one dies and one has severe brain damage. Chrissy returns to town and more bad things keep happening. Nat belives that Chrissy is out to destroy her life, and she is the reason that her best friend is dead. Nat spirals and will stop at nothing to believe Chrissy is responsible for the whole mess. Is Chrissy responsible for Nat’s best friend’s death? What is going on in Coral Bay?

This book was the true definition of a page turner for me. I could not believe what was happening with the characters. Told in the present and the past, you learn just how bad these popular girls bullied people. Jess’ style of writing has a way of putting you in the scene with the girls getting bullied, and in the scenes where Nat is spiraling out of control. You can feel what the character is feeling.

The book was fast paced and kept you second guessing what was going on and what was going to happen next. Without giving away the ending, I just wish it ended differently. That is all I will say so that this doesn’t contain any spoilers.

Additionally, this book really shows you the effects of bullying, what it’s like to be bullied, and how the bullies preceive what they are doing. I think this is an imporant lesson.