Book Review: The Girl in the Wall by Daphne Benedis-Grab

Ariel's birthday weekend looks to be the event of the season, with a private concert by rock star Hudson Winters on the grounds of her family's east coast estate, and all of Ariel's elite prep school friends in attendance. The only person who's dreading the party is Sera, Ariel's former best friend, whose father is forcing her to go. Sera has been the school pariah since she betrayed Ariel, and she now avoids Ariel and their former friends. Thrown together, Ariel and Sera can agree on one thing: this could be one very long night.

They have no idea just how right they are.

Only moments after the concert begins and the lights go down, thugs open fire on parents and schoolmates alike, in a plot against Ariel's father that quickly spins out of control. As the entire party is taken hostage, the girls are forced apart. Ariel escapes into the hidden tunnels in the family mansion, where she and Sera played as children. Only Sera, who forges an unlikely alliance with Hudson Winters, knows where her friend could be. As the industrial terrorist plot unravels and the death toll climbs, Ariel and Sera must recall the sisterhood that once sustained them as they try to save themselves and each other on the longest night of their lives.

Release Date: December 18, 2012
Age Group: YA
Source: Review copy from publisher

I don't think I've ever enjoyed a YA thriller as much as I enjoyed The Girl in the Wall.  What an intense read!  I sped through this book in one sitting, staying up really late to finishi it, because I just could not put it down.  I kept telling myself, "just one more chapter," only to realize that there was no way I could sleep until I knew what happened with the characters I grew to really care about.
Ariel and Sera were once best-friends, but are now estranged.  Sera goes to Ariel's birthday party, with serious misgivings about how she'll be treated there.  Little does she know what she's really walking into.  I felt so badly for both girls, given that they were both very hurt by the events of the past, and enjoyed the way Benedis-Grab resolved the conflict between them as the book progressed. 

I was not expecting The Girl in the Wall to have any kind of a love story, but to my delight, there was a sweet romance that blossomed between two of the characters.  It was nicely done and did not detract from the thrilling plot, instead it just added some emotional lightness to the story.  

I was so surprised by the ending to The Girl in the Wall.  I could not believe the way things ended!  I really, really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to an older YA audience, due to the violence.  I will definitely be reading more from Daphne Benedis-Grab!

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