THE GIRL IN THE WELL IS ME by Karen Rivers
Release Date: March 15th, 2016
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Format: Ebook ARC from NetGalley
The Girl in the Well is Me is one of those books that has you laughing and crying at the same time. I absolutely adored Karen Rivers’ unique and funny voice, and her ability to really bring you in to Kammie’s head even as she loses coherency.
Kammie is smart and funny, if a bit naïve about certain things. It seems at first that she is just an average girl subjected to bullying while trying to fit in at her new school. But as the novel goes on it’s revealed that Kammie is anything but average; and discovering (as she suffers in a claustrophobic abandoned well) her troubled past is half the fun.
I really enjoy Kammie’s character because she seems like the type of character that’s usually on the other side of the coin. Wealthy, smart, good at ice skating and horseback riding—she is the kind of girl that might be the antagonist of the story, not usually the on you root for. And in a lot of ways, I did dislike her–but her self-realization that she was not the best person is part of why I like her. She starts to realize that personal identity is not linked to personal wealth, and that she can be who she wants to be without being a wealthy, popular girl.
While the voice of this novel is definitely where it shines most, I’m also really fond of the overall structure of how the story is told. Kammie spends most of the book inside a well. The action comes from the things she hallucinates, her interactions with the people outside of the well, and the slow revelations of her past. Despite the main character’s relative immobility, this book is still a page-turner. I found myself desperate to learn more about Kammie and her past life, but also anxious for her to escape her current predicament. Rivers is good at creating atmosphere and really making me feel claustrophobic right alongside Kammie. The unique voice and premise of this novel make it a winner for me.