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The Girl in the Walls – A.J. Gnuse – ARC – #GirlintheWalls #NetGalley

Trigger Warning for parental death, violence.

Blurb:
She doesn’t exist. She can’t exist.

‘A uniquely gothic tale about grief, belonging and hiding in plain sight’ Jess Kidd, author of Things in Jars

’Those who live in the walls must adjust, must twist themselves around in their home,
stretching themselves until they’re as thin as air. Not everyone can do what they can.
But soon enough, they can’t help themselves. Signs of their presence remain in a house.
Eventually, every hidden thing is found.’

Elise knows every inch of the house. She knows which boards will creak. She knows where the gaps are in the walls. She knows which parts can take her in, hide her away. It’s home, after all. The home her parents made for her. And home is where you stay, no matter what.

Eddie calls the same house his home. Eddie is almost a teenager now. He must no longer believe in the girl he sometimes sees from the corner of his eye. He needs her to disappear. But when his older brother senses her, too, they are faced with a question: how do they get rid of someone they aren’t sure even exists?

And, if they cast her out, what other threats might they invite in?

My Thoughts:
This book follows Elise, the girl in the walls, as she comes to terms with hiding and avoiding the family who currently lives in her family home.

This house Elise knows like the back of her hand, she knows which floorboards creek, she knows how to get from one room to another using just the spaces between the walls.

Eddie is a teenager now and can’t believe in ghosts, but he knows that there is something or someone there living in the house apart from his brother, Marshall, and their parents, Laura and Nick. He can’t tell anyone because they won’t believe him and they will call him a child.

This book is heartbreaking and beautiful. Gnuse had me biting my nails with tension and I was scared and nervous for Elise.

Marshall one day comes to sit with Eddie and asks him if he has noticed anything strange going on like food going missing and objects being moved around, Eddie confirms that he has noticed things, but when Marshall invites a stranger into their house to have a look around, everything starts falling apart.

This strange man hammers through walls and messes up their whole house and there is nothing Marshall and Eddie can do to stop him. Elise meanwhile, in the walls is trying to avoid this man who wants to catch her.

I loved the character growth in Marshall I feel that he actually started to become an adult, while he still makes childish decisions you can see his process and realize that he’s not quite the adult he thinks he is.

Elise’s growth is beautiful, I really felt for her throughout the book, and there were so many times that I wanted to scoop her up and take care of her.

There were a few times towards the end of the book that I thought would be good endings but the actual ending was very good!

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