Review: ‘My Sweet Girl’ Amanda Jayatissa

Ever since she was adopted from an orphanage in Sri Lanka, Paloma has led a privileged Californian life: the best schools, a generous allowance and parents so perfect that Paloma fears she’ll never live up to them.

Now at thirty, Paloma has managed to disappoint her parents so thoroughly that their relationship will never recover. Unemployed and friendless, the only person still talking to her is Arun – the Indian man subletting her spare room. That is until Arun discovers Paloma’s darkest secret, one that could jeopardize her fragile place in this country, and the next day is found face down in a pool of blood.

On finding Arun’s body Paloma flees her apartment. But by the time the police arrive, there’s no body to be found or signs of struggle – and no evidence that Arun ever even existed in the first place.

The police may be quick to dismiss everything, but Paloma knows what she saw. Is this tangled up in her childhood in Sri Lanka and the desperate actions she took to leave so many years ago? And did Paloma’s secret die with Arun or is she now in greater danger than ever before?

I bought My Sweet Girl after seeing it on another book blogger’s TBR list. I’m not much of a thriller reader, but the blurb hooked me and reeled me in, compelling me to buy it. I was desperate to know what dark secret Paloma’s roommate had uncovered and who had left him lying face down in a pool of blood…and why.

Like I said, I’m not much of a thriller reader, but despite this, I still have a list of criteria that a thriller has to meet before I dub it ‘good’. Admittedly, the list is short, but it’s a list nonetheless. Did My Sweet Girl meet the criteria? Let’s find out.

  • The book has to keep me guessing right up until the very end ✔
  • I have to audibly say “Oh shit” when I reach the plot twist ✔
  • The inevitable twist has to make sense…I have to be able to look back through the book and realise that there are clues hinting at the twist littered throughout it ✔

I guessed one of the many twists in My Sweet Girl around halfway through the book, but I can’t say how I figured it out without giving away said twist. I will say this, though – it was very subtle and had nothing to do with anything that was explicitly said, more with how it was said. I don’t like authors spoon feeding me when it comes to thrillers. I like to be given clues, so, like the pieces of a puzzle, I can fit them together and try to figure out what’s happening for myself. Again, like a puzzle, I don’t always put the clues together properly, but that’s part of the fun. I love spending a couple of days reading a thriller and, when I’m not reading it, hypothesizing what the big twist is going to be. Amanda Jayatissa gave me the opportunity to do this and I’m very much looking forward to reading her future work. My Sweet Girl is one hell of a debut and I really can’t recommend it enough to thriller fans.

Have you read My Sweet Girl? Let me know in the comments.

Want to read My Sweet Girl? Head on over to Bookshop and Amazon to order your copy, or buy it through your local bookstore.

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