This review contains quotes from the novel.
*Special thanks to Harper Teen for allowing us to read Gillian French’s Grit.
At the center of Gillian French‘s debut novel, Grit, lies a girl who is left to confront her dark truths.
Darcy Prentiss is enjoying as much as she can during a summer in Maine. During the day, she is raking berries with her sister and cousin. At night though she is drinking and swimming with the boys. But she is considered the town slut because of her extracurricular activities. It doesn’t help that she is spending so much time drinking with the boys in a two-piece swimsuit either. But she would rather have a good time than a boring night doing something else.
Darcy has a lot of rumors circulating about her. Whether they are connected to her relationships with boys, or how late she stays out at night, or about the countless lies she’s told. But Darcy has secrets deep down that no one would ever believe, and some of the hidden details concern her cousin, Nell, and also the fight she had with her missing ex-best friend, Rhiannon. Darcy knows something about the disappearance, but will not tell the authorities or her parents because the secrets she hides could ruin everything for her. Darcy struggles with this throughout the book because she knows something that could help the police find her friend, but she would rather keep what she knows as a secret. And that’s why she goes out so much with the boys and drinks so much because she wants to forget everything that has happened.
“We may not have been friends anymore, but Rhiannon was my age, sixteen last summer, and one way or another, she never came home again.”
-excerpt from Gillian French’s Grit
After all of this went down, she is nominated for Bay Festival Princess by someone who is wanting revenge on her. The revenge has something to do with her knowledge of the disappearance of Rhiannon. Rhiannon knew a lot of details about Darcy’s cousin Nell, and Darcy didn’t appreciate that. Also, Darcy was with Rhiannon the night she went missing, so Darcy is stuck right in the middle of this investigation. Now someone knows of her involvement.
French’s debut was nothing I could expect. It was mysterious, dark and raw. Darcy was a character I could get behind because I know what it’s like to have rumors said about you. But Darcy was a strong protagonist that knew the truth about herself. She also had a lot going on but was able to deal with it throughout the novel. Also, the ending is completely satisfying. It was everything I wanted from this novel. I recommend this to anyone who loves a thriller young adult novel. Or anyone who just wants to read a mystery that will keep you up late into the night until you finish it completely.