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Skye Thorn has given tarot card readings for years and now her psychic visions are helping the police find the town’s missing golden girl It’s no challenge—her readings have always been faked but this time she has some insider knowledge The kidnapping was supposed to be easy—no one would get hurt and she’d get the money she needs to start a new life But a seemingly harmless prank has turned dark and Skye realizes the people she’s involved with are willing to kill to get what they want and she must discover their true identity before it’s too late


10 thoughts on “The Hanging Girl

  1. says:

    The joys of living in a small town The bodies of your mistakes rarely stayed buried They had a tendency to pop up when you least expected them I think Eileen Cook is a real author to watch Her books seem to be flying relatively under the radar so far but in both this book and With Malice she’s demonstrated her talent for dragging me in and keeping me interested throughout the tale she is weaving In The Hanging Girl I was hooked pretty uickly Skye's narrative was instantly engaging showing her to be someone we might not be able to trust and someone willing to lie and manipulate to get what she wants And yet she is not unlikable I found it very easy to sympathize with her desire for something than what she has I understood the lies she told she created a fictional life for herself; a fictional life she wished she hadIf you haven't already I don't recommend reading professional reviews for this book Kirkus and others reveal what I found to be a superb twist It happens only a third of the way in but I still think it is better to experience it firsthand rather than being spoiled before So I'll be coy about it When a pretty teenager goes missing Skye tells the police of the psychic visions she has been having about the disappearance offering clues to the missing girl's whereabouts However it soon becomes obvious that Skye is involved than she is letting on When things take a very unexpected turn Skye must decide whether to reveal what she knows or continue the deception To be honest I think naturally suspicious readers will have no problem working out what is going on but that didn't seem to matter for me Skye was a strong enough narrator and didn't need a surprising conclusion to elevate her story it was enough to wonder what would happen when the truth came out And I found the ending very satisfyingI'm sure some will want a different ending for The Hanging Girl Perhaps drama definitely view spoilerjustice hide spoiler


  2. says:

    I wasn’t sure which was worse to know you’re a liar or to believe your own bullshit For years Eileen Cook has been my go to for YA thrillers Her stories are decidedly dark and unsettling yet approachable The Hanging Girl Eileen Cook’s latest edition is no exception It’s a compelling mixture of nail biting suspense and teen angst Richly woven it’ll keep you guessing to the very last page Literally Candi Thorn better known as Skye has spent her entire life resenting both her ridiculous name and the kooky mother who bestowed it Desperate to escape small town Michigan Skye has long planned to move to NYC with her bestie the second the ink dries on her diploma Problem is graduation’s fast approaching and Skye’s about 30 cents shy of a uarter Slinging fast food and giving out occasional tarot card readings ain’t cutting it There enters Code Named Pluto Pluto proposes a deal She’ll kidnap Paige the wild popular teenaged daughter of a local judge In exchange Skye simply has to use her “psychic” abilities to help police solve the case Ransom money will be evenly divided with Skye earning a cool 12000 The Big Apple’s lights look a tad brighter already Complications arise however when Paige’s father refuses to cough up the dough And shit really hits the fan when Paige turns up DEAD The Hanging Girl’s success is due in no small part to the shrewd snarky Skye Forced to live with an irresponsible mother who chats with dead people on the reg Skye spends her days conning cheerleaders for cash with fake tarot card readings Cynical Skye is very much a reaction to her eccentric mother A mother who would rather spend time analyzing auras than paying bills And it’s their relationship that’s a highlight of the story Their odd couple dynamic makes Skye’s personality both realistic and understandable And her deadpan humor brings spark to an otherwise DARK story The girl makes bad decision an artform yet remains surprisingly likable No small featReminiscent of a teen Gone Girl Eileen Cook’s latest creation is riveting and INTENSE Twists abound and just when you think you have everything figured out the script is FLIPPED And the ending? More than a smidge fucked up Oh Eileen you never fail to disappoint


  3. says:

    155 StarsDNF I could not stand this book The story was all over the place and the author was obviously trying way too hard to please today's society by giving us this extremely diverse set of characters Don't get me wrong diversity is GREAT But when every character seems to be deliberately put in there just to make people happy I don't like it It makes me feel like the story isn't the authors any but rather that the author was pushed into pleasing society instead of staying true to their vision Not only that but I HAD NO IDEA WHAT WAS HAPPENING Honestly it feels like I've been picking up all the wrong books lately 'cause it seems like I'm confused with nearly every book I try or I just flat out don't like it But seriously there were some chapters in this book where you would assume it's in Skye's perspective she's the MC however you'd be told later that that chapter was actually someone else's perspective and I was like what? So then I'd backtrack and STILL be confused with that chapterI decided to just give up once I read a paragraph that was flat out shaming Republican's The crowd nodded Paige's dad was known as Hanging Bonnet for his harsh way of dealing with people who appeared before him The judge made the national news for his shaming sentences where he would make criminals do embarrassing things in public to teach them a lesson Now they were saying he was a possible Republican candidate for a Senate seatOhhh I see So it's fine to do that to Republican's right? 'Cause they're harsh and enjoy forcing people to do things Mhm But don't you dare speak badly about Democrats because that's unacceptable It's like really? C'mon Also why the heck did that have to be mentioned in there? She didn't have to add the political view But it was obvious that Cook was throwing a jab at Republicans and I'm sorry but that really ticked me off Then again I think it was unwise on her part to do that since I'm sure I won't be the only one to get annoyed by itOverall this was not my type of read The story was too disorganized and I didn't want to finish it You should never read books that irk you There are so many better books out there and I'm not one of those people who are finicky about DNFing books If I hate it I'm probably not going to finishing it shrugsThen again you might like this so you should still give it a shot


  4. says:

    There are three types of thrillers There is the big ending twist where a book of buildup leads up to one whodunit revelation There is the obvious twist but ability to guess it doesn't really matter because that's not the point And then there is the so many twists you cannot possibly guess all of them or even halfThat's the category occupied by The Hanging Girl And how I am not exaggerating when I say the entire book flips on its head around three times If you guess even a fifth of the plot twists you've done the impossible And with so many twists it is really difficult to guess the final outcome I doubt you will and even if you do I highly doubt you will guess the how and why I've seen plenty of reviewers mention a few moments they found weak and I have to say I'm not sure I noticed Maybe I'm just less analytical than some But I think the real reason behind my lack of notice comes from just how wrapped up I was in this story Here's the thing you are meant to enjoy this book not analyze it You are meant to find a kind of dark pleasure in the morally shitty characters while also finding yourself lost in the dark atmosphere of the book I don't think this is a book you're necessarily meant to uestion or think is the greatest thing ever holy shit; it's a thriller you're meant to race through and hang on every word And you know what? I loved itI don't agree that this is a weak or thin thriller though far from it The narrative around poverty and what it can drive people to do is well handled without being heavy handed I also loved how the book made a clear connection between being marginalized and being less than elite; the fact that many people in non privileged positions are ueer and nonwhite is something I see erased a lot in fiction emphasizing class and it was good that the book made a clear connection with privilege There's also a heavy focus on our lead character Skye who I absolutely adored While I can't say I'd actually like her in real life as a fictional character she's written brilliantly Her actions feel so highly motivated that I never found it hard to empathize with her Even her decisions towards the ending felt real to me I honestly have very few complaints about this book; while I think the meta narrative of the book is not pro slutshaming there are several moments of slutshaming that do go somewhat unchecked There were also a few characters I thought had potential Drew and Paige are both incredibly intriguing characters and deserved much development than they actually got All that being said though this was a super interesting and entertaining read I shot through it in only a few hours and I expect many will do the sameBlog | Goodreads | Twitter | Youtube


  5. says:

    Spoiler free reviewI wasn't sure which was worse to know you were a liar or to believe your own bullshitI have never needed half star ratings so badly for any book review in my life 35 stars is really the perfect rating for this story but for the sake of Goodreads' rating system down it goes to 3 starsIn a nutshell The Hanging Girl is about Skye a fake psychic who gets desperate for cash and assists in a kidnapping plot in order to load her bank account with a bit of ransom money Things don't work out the way she expected do they ever in these stories? and she finds herself in deep trouble risking her own safety and freedomHer voice was bitter He'll be believed because people like him always get the benefit of the doubt But us? We're expected to be losersMy single biggest problem with this book was how rich vs poor trope heavy it was I think the author was trying to convey some serious social commentary on the state of things in the US specifically she even threw a few jabs at Republicans throughout the book so it was pretty obvious and that would have been fine if Paige the kidnapping victim hadn't been such a uintessential mean girl She's rich beautiful thin gets everything she wants totally cruel and just an awful characterNaturally our MC Skye is none of these things and it led to so much girl on girl hate The entire book was actually rife with girls tearing down other girls and it was just a tough pill to swallow because I've grown so weary of this cliche Support other women ladiesMaybe being brave is what happens when you don't have a choiceThere were aspects to this book that I enjoyed of course and Skye was for the most part one of them Skye has serious anxiety and that rep felt very authentic to me as someone who also suffers from anxiety and panic attacks We learn early on that Skye also has a history of making up stories to make herself popular and this aspect of her backstory made her an unreliable narrator of sorts which was really enjoyableUnfortunately there's a twist in the end of the book that or less ruined her character for me as she condones some really terrible business and essentially learns nothing from her trials By the end I couldn't root for Skye either sadlyMy dad tried to make it up to me He made plans for us talked about how we could both move forward But I'd been making some plans of my own And I wasn't done yetThe book occasionally shifts into Paige's perspective and gives a bit of backstory on why her life isn't all it's cracked up to be She's been through some tough times but I never really connected with those incidents enough to feel like they explained her behaviors; if anything it seemed like they were just kind of thrown in as plot devices It was one of many problems that led me to feel as though the book was just one long red herring after another with one excuse after another but none of the characters even became fleshed out enough for me to buy any of itAll in all was this a uick fun mystery read? Sure It wasn't horror by any stretch so while it may not be the perfect addition to your Halloween TBR it would be a good mystery to cozy up with Can I 100% recommend this book? Not with the constant girl on girl bashing and some of the problems I'll list below Will I pick up books from Eileen Cook in the future? That's yet to be determinedContent warnings this book contains implied rape on page violence mental health stigmasableism victim blaming verbalemotional manipulation and bullying and unchallenged slut shaming All uotes come from an unedited advance reading copy and may not match the uotes in the finished release Thank you to HMH Books for Young Readers for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest reviewYou can read my review and on my blog


  6. says:

    Thanks again to the publisher for sending me an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review Candi Skye Thorn is a senior in high school and has been giving tarot readings for several years now She doesn’t believe that she actually has psychic abilities but she knows a lot about the people at her school which helps her fake her readings But when the town’s golden girl goes missing she decides to help the police with her psychic visions because this time she has some inside knowledge Unfortunately though things don’t go the way Skye expected them to go and suddenly the rest of her senior year is a lot complicated than she thought it would be ‘The Hanging Girl’ is the first one of Eileen Cook’s books I’ve read and I already know that it wasn’t the last one I immediately fell in love with her writing style and I can’t wait to get of it If you’re looking for a great YA mystery thriller this is the book you should choose It kept me on the edge of my seat and I just flew through it because I needed to know what was going to happen next There are several major plot twists in this book and I didn’t see any of them coming They were very well done and actually made me gasp Another thing I loved about this book was that it has pretty short chapters It may sound weird but that’s actually a big plus for me When I need to take a break for some unexpected reason I just hate having to stop reading a book in the middle of a chapter just because I would have to read another thirty pages to get to the next one The only thing that bothered me a little was that the characters just felt a little flat I didn’t really feel connected with any of them not even with Skye even though the book was written from her point of view But this is just a minor thing and it definitely didn’t destroy my reading experience All in all this was a great book and I really really enjoyed it I decided to give it 4 out of 5 stars and I highly recommend you get yourself a copy once it comes out I’m definitely going to get myself a copy of her other book ‘Without Malice’ now because it’s been on my TBR since it came out


  7. says:

    Skye Thorn is a high school senior that has grown up with a mother that thinks she's psychic leading Skye to begin her own business of tarot readings For Skye though she knows there's no psychic ability behind her strangely accurate readings she just knows how to really read people and with a little help reading personal files when working in the office she's spot on with her predictions Now that high school is coming to a close though Skye finds herself desperate for money when it doesn't look like her plans of moving to New York with her best friend will ever come to pass from her readings or part time job Before she knows it Skye finds herself pulled into what should be a harmless prank leading her to predict the whereabouts of a missing girl but Skye soon finds herself in over her head and wondering just how far things may go The Hanging Girl is my second book I've read by Eileen Cook and just like the first it took no time at all to be deeply engaged in the story within the pages Somehow this author has managed to pretty much lay it all out there with her stories at the very beginning but still drag a reader into the intensity of the characters and story even with thinking you know where the book will take you But having read her before I knew that eventually I was going to go where I'd never expect and just happily went along for the ride Skye is a bit of a girl from the wrong side of the tracks so to speak having been raised by a mother who was no than a child herself when Skye was born She sees herself as waiting tables with no future while all her friends will be moving on which leads her to get herself into than she bargained for looking for that way out and a step up in life I loved her rather sarcastic nature and uick wit and immediately became invested in finding out just what she was getting herself into Overall I'd definitely recommend checking this one out if a fan of young adult mysterythrillers It was engaging from the start and a definite page turner as the story unfolded with plenty of twists and turns to keep one guessing until the very end I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalleyFor reviews please visit


  8. says:

    There is just something about a mystery with an unreliable narrator and excellent twists that does it for me The Hanging Girl follows Skye a girl we immediately learn lies and has no ualms about it She does desperately need the money after all She is highly observant making it easy to trick her classmates into believing she is psychic in order to make a uick easy buck Skye will read their tarot cards telling them what they want to hear This makes her the perfect person for Pluto to work with bringing Skye in on the kidnapping of a fellow student who happens to be the daughter of a prominent judge in an attempt to get a ransom It's simple Skye won't be doing anything too illegal Just feed the police psychic predictions to make sure they're on the right track And get half the ransom after all is said and done If only Skye knew when things seem too good to be true they usually arePlenty of twists ensue throughout It is a fun ride even if you predict certain outcomes Eileen Cook is proving herself to be a strong writer in the YA mystery department Both this and With Malice are thrilling engaging and complex in the best of ways I enjoyed the characters and strong writing It felt like there were several smaller mysteries within this novel leading up to the biggest mystery of them allIf the psychic aspect is turning you off just know I felt the same way before reading but it ended up working very well within the plot Nothing in the story was actually off putting In fact I had a hard time putting this one down


  9. says:

    About The Hanging Girl is a young adult mystery written by Eileen Cook It was recently published on 10317 by HMH Books for Young Readers an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt hardcover 320 pages The genres are young adult fiction mystery and thriller This book is intended for readers ages 14 and up grades 9 and upMy Experience I started reading The Hanging Girl on 12617 and finished it on 121017 This book is an excellent read I love following Skye’s point of view Her frustrations with her mom is so real I can feel it reverberate off the story as I read I was falling for the diary hard and the revelations were shocking and most unexpected I love it I like Paige’s point of view as well Her situation with her parents is no better than Skye’s I like that the author bring lights to readers that not everything is beautiful as it looks A person that seems to have everything can still feel as unhappy as the person who doesn’t have enough I like the whole concept with the psychic readings the plot and the charactersThis book is told in the first person point of view following Candi Skye Thorn aka Skye a fake tarot reader and a senior in high school Skye is less fortunate than her fellow classmates and she lies to make her situation better When she was in eighth grade one of her lies blows up publicly and living in a small town nobody forgets or willing to leave it in the past Her dream is to leave the small town and move to New York with her best friend Drew Graduation is fast approaching and she needs the cash fast She agreed to her role in the disappearance of a fellow classmate Paige – a wild child that even if she’s missing for a few days most people would think that she is out of town with her friends When Paige’s disappearance becomes than an easy ransom money making scheme Skye has to decide if she’s willing to do the right thing even if there’s a chance that she will go down publicly again This book has some plot twists that will shock readersThis book is very well written and developed I like the theme of “Trust no one Deceive everyone” I enjoy the mystery and how everything unravels slowly but at the same time readers are included in behind the scenes as it unfolds I like how the author creates puzzles with words events for Skye to solve and I enjoy reading her thinking process I turned back to previous pages twice after the plot twists occurred and I’m impressed that I didn’t see it coming I like Skye and her mom’s relationship despite their ups and downs The ending beautifully wrapped up everything together and I highly recommend everyone to read this bookPro fast paced page turner mystery dual POV couldn’t put down diversity plot twistsCon noneI rate it 5 starsDisclaimer I won this book from a Twitter giveaway hosted by the author Thank you so much Eileen Cook for the opportunity to read and review I love the package book autographs and candies Please be assured that my opinions are honestxoxo Jasmine at wwwhowusefulitiswordpresscom for details


  10. says:

    “Destiny spun the wheel and did what it wanted and the rest of us just had to hang on for the ride and do the best we could with the cards we were dealt”The Hanging Girl by YA author Eileen Cook is an entertaining and very twisty thriller featuring a whip smart and brilliantly flawed central protagonist in eighteen year old Skye Thorn a girl who ditched her birth name of Candi as soon as she possibly could Despite my opinion on the implausibility of the serpentine course this novel takes waxing and waning throughout there was enough substance between the pages to keep me hooked all the way Skye has a gift for reading people telling them what they want to hear seeing if their body language matches their words and ultimately spinning a damn fine story The gullible element amongst her high school peers can easily be convinced that this euates to some kind of psychic connection and will even hand over ten bucks for the privilege of having their tarot cards read by her As Skye herself says Destiny is like a boulder Bulky and hard to move It’s easier to leave it alone than to try to change it” but in a bid to leave small town Michigan and her life with a mother who is convinced that she has visions and even accepts recompense in the form of PayPal Skye will do just about anything Best friends with wealthier college bound Drew a girl from the other side of town Skye is determined to move to NYC and share an apartment so much so that she has already lied to Drew about having savings in the bank Given the big fat juicy lie that still hangs over Skye’s head and has passed into town legend she can ill afford to let Drew down a second time In short Skye needs to make a uick buck fast An audacious plot is unveiled with the kidnapped daughter of the local draconian Judge Bonett seventeen year old Paige being subject to a ransom demand In tandem with a shadowy figure going by the pseudonym of Pluto Skye has agreed to conveniently feed some of her bogus visions to the cops all in the name of getting them invested in her talents and delivering a well timed uptick in Paige’s imminent risk of harm Judge Bonett is about to launch his bid for office as a Republican candidate and author Eileen Cook’s thinly veiled swipes in the name of making political capital bring nothing to the novel Paige Bonett is the spoilt blonde haired ueen bee of the popular girls but with a reputation for her habit of taking off and unreliability it appears that it will take some time for Skye’s revelations to agitate the copsWhilst it is one thing to accept the unworldly teenagers of high school being drawn into the ruse of Skye’s gift the problem comes when she moves onto the cops teachers and adult figures which is a far harder proposition to swallow To see her hoodwinking the cops and Judge Bonett reuires a severe suspension of disbelief Welcome amusement is however added by the susceptibility of school counsellor Mr Lester to Skye’s talents and her zany mother Susan a woman who swiftly jumps on the bandwagon of assisting the police and courting the media By this point The Hanging Girl was losing its grip on me reliant on the fact that Skye was so easily being taken seriously by the cops and steering dangerously close to being a carbon copy of the synopsis of Linwood Barclay novella Never Saw It Coming However things are turned on their head when the identity of the mysterious Pluto is revealed and Judge Bonett fails to cough up what should be a trifling ransom for a man of his wealth From this point onwards my lips are sealed as for optimal enjoyment the reader is best served by witnessing the subseuent flip flop progression which shifts from Skye appearing to hold all the cards to dancing to someone else’s tune From what should have been a straightforward execution of a simple ruse the stakes are well and truly raised when Skye turns from a player into the one being played and it leaves her second guessing not one but two ruthless individuals who are pulling the strings If this stress isn’t dramatic enough Paige is then discovered DEAD something that was most definitely not on Skye’s agenda All to uickly Skye finds herself trying to gauge the motivations of everyone from Paige’s ex boyfriend her competitive best friend and even the undercurrents between her and her father in order to work out just who killed Paige and whether they are coming after her nextOne of the reasons that I have begun to find many of these YA novels such a worthwhile read is because of the author’s willingness to craft genuinely realistic and diverse characters and offer something away from the mainstream stereotypes Undoubtedly Skye is an excellent complete package with a complex history and her own battles with anxiety meaning that as the tension ratchets higher she is caught up in an associated battle of her mind over Despite her talent for lying and lack of ualms about spouting a host of baloney in the name of psychic visions at heart there is an ultimately sympathetic and likeable girl behind Skye’s confident persona Evidence comes in the shape of the what kidnapping scam backfiring leaving her in a moral uagmire and facing a choice of coming clean or being implicated I was really impressed with how Skye’s character evolved and learnt from her experiences Suddenly from Skye priding herself on her ability for reading people peeling back the layers and exposing their insecurities she has been resoundingly beaten at her own gameAs for the supporting cast Eileen Cook bombards her readers with every trope under the sun from the overly earnest school counsellor Mr Lester to the precocious brat tendencies of Paige and her crowd of girlfriends Even with regards to the police investigation there was good cop Detective Jay and bad cop Detective Chan himself a man who deals in facts and has no time for psychic phenomena The character that I was left pondering the most was the enigmatic Drew and for supposedly being best friends with the obviously intelligent Skye Drew seemed to be rather vacuous Aside from their domestic circumstances being diametrically opposed there is an obvious lack of chemistry in their dynamic I wan’t convinced at all by the friendship when in actual fact Drew and Skye share each have their own secrets and share next to nothingTowards the ending despite the about turn twist in the final pages I really felt that The Hanging Girl copped out and went a little too heavy on the moralistic element and in the words of one detective to Skye“You don’t need to tell stories to be special you know You’re a pretty neat kid just the way you are”All in all I suspect that the rather numerous twists will keep a YA audience of around 12 14 years reading but for anyone over that age bracket this will prove a little too simplistic Compared to the teen girl politics of Megan Abbott The Hanging Girl just feels a little wooden and Cook opts for an increasingly convoluted succession of twists I confess to being somewhat miffed and rather let down by the discovery of the killers identity and whilst it raises uestions of whether the prime movers get what they deserve I was flummoxed by the killers identify and justification as it seems to appear out of the blueAn underwhelming execution of a plot which had a real abundance of potential I do however plan to read of this author and already have the highly rated With Malice awaitingI received a free copy of this book from Readers First and my review is my honest and unbiased opinion