Book Review: Moth Girls by Anne Cassidy

This one was a library borrow. 🙂

moths girls

About the Author (official bio):

Anne Cassidy was born in London in 1952. She was an awkward teenager who spent the Swinging Sixties stuck in a convent school trying, dismally, to learn Latin. She was always falling in love and having her heart broken. She worked in a bank for five years until she finally grew up. She then went to college before becoming a teacher for many years. In 2000 Anne became a full-time writer, specialising in crime stories and thrillers for teenagers. In 2004 LOOKING FOR JJ was published to great acclaim, going on to be shortlisted for the 2004 Whitbread Prize and the 2005 Carnegie Medal. Follow Anne at or on Twitter: @annecassidy6

About The Book:

Moth Girls focuses on Mandy as she lives with the guilt of what she didn’t reveal when her two friends, Tina and Petra, went missing five years ago. But were they really her friends? As she begins to recall more of the events that lead up to their disappearance, we are shown a girl who was very much a third wheel, desperately trying to squeeze her way into a close friendship between two girls.

Gradually, Mandy pieces together what really happened on that fateful night; the night Tina dared them to visit the mysterious house that drew her to it like a moth to a flame. And when she does, the truth and her part in what happened are not what she expected.

What I liked:

I liked the plot and the twist, and thought the relationship between the three 12-year-old girls was very well rendered and believable (although they did seem to belong more to my teen years than now; their lifestyle and dialogue felt quite dated). Petra and Zofia are sympathetic and well-drawn characters whom we begin to care about – more so, perhaps, than we care about Mandy. The build-up of tension is very good too as we go back and forth between now and the past, and there’s satisfaction in feeling that for some characters, at least, there is closure and a happier, if not happy, ending.

I also liked the realism of the underlying theme – that we are more often hurt, emotionally and physically, by those closest to us; those that we should be able to trust.

What I wasn’t so keen on:

The language was a little simplistic for a YA novel – it felt aimed at tweens or young teens rather than a young adult audience. Mandy seemed inconsistent as a main character and the book has a feeling of inconsistency too, sometimes swinging away from the thriller plot for an unnecessarily long time and becoming more a ‘coming of age of a troubled teenager’ book. Mandy’s is he/isn’t he boyfriend could be removed from the book without any real harm.

Would I read another?

If the blurb drew me in, then yes, I’d probably read another Anne Cassidy. As it happens, I’m quite intrigued by her Murder Notebooks novels:

The Murder Notebooks are a series of books about two teenagers, Rose Smith and Joshua Johnson. For three years they lived together as a family with Rose’s mother and Joshua’s father. One night their parents go out for a meal and never return. Rose and Joshua, 12 and 14 at the time are shocked and traumatised by this. Rose is sent to live with her grandmother in London and Joshua is sent to Newcastle to live with his uncle.The books follow their attempts to find out what really happened to their parents and the meaning of two notebooks, written in code…

Intriguing, eh? These may make it onto my TBR pile at some point.

Go on, comment! You know you want to... :)

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