Review: The Girl Who Survived by Lisa Jackson


Print Length: 452 pages
Publisher:  Kenginston Publishing (June 28, 2022)

From All her life, she’s been the girl who survived. Orphaned at age seven after a horrific killing spree at her family’s Oregon cabin, Kara McIntyre is still searching for some kind of normal. But now, twenty years later, the past has come thundering back. Her brother, Jonas, who was convicted of the murders has unexpectedly been released from prison. The press is in a frenzy again. And suddenly, Kara is receiving cryptic messages from her big sister, Marlie—who hasn’t been seen or heard from since that deadly Christmas Eve when she hid little Kara in a closet with a haunting, life-saving command: Don’t make a sound.

As people close to her start to die horrible deaths, Kara, who is slowly and surely unraveling, believes she is the killer’s ultimate target.

Kara survived once. But will she survive again? How many times can she be the girl who survived?


My Rating: 2 stars out of 5
The best part of this entire book was probably the opening chapters. It was perfectly done with just the right amount of suspense, horror, and the fear of a child (our main character is seven when these events take place). And then it jumps to the present day, where our MC is now a twenty-seven-year-old adult, and everything just falls apart. 

To begin with, this story is told from multiple points of view, which I would usually enjoy, except this one not only has too many characters telling their side of things, but also in entirely way too much detail. I don't need pages and pages of details about every little thing they see, hear, or sense. Perhaps I'm in the minority here, but when I read something, I like to let my imagination fill in some of the blanks. I feel that this not only makes the story feel more immersive as a reader, but it adds to the suspense. When everything is "told" to the reader, we lose a lot of that suspense. 

I also felt as though the ending lacked the "shock" value that the author was going for. It was hard for me at that point to connect to the murder having spent so little time with them. I barely remembered who they were and the "truth" of the night was just, in my opinion, completely unbelievable. 

Finally, It is my very sincere hope that this book has undergone another round of heavy editing between the advanced copy that I read, and the final product. Because while this one had the potential to be something amazing - it failed on every level, and some of that had to do with the rampant spelling errors (and overuse of an exclamation point). Another issue I had with this one is all of the times when the same character performed the same actions on the very next page. One example of this that immediately springs to mind is when our detectives are interviewing a potential suspect, on one page it says, "the woman cop opened her phone, made a call and turned away". Then two pages later it says, "the detectives shared a look and the woman turned away, pulled a cell phone from the pocket of her jacket, punched in a number, and turned away".  To me, it was very off-putting that it seemed like the author either forgot (or didn't care) that they had already provided this information. 

Now, with any novel I review, just because it didn't work for me doesn't mean it won't work for someone else. If after reading my review, you still think this would be a novel you would enjoy, please give it a shot and decide for yourself.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.
                                            The Girl Who Survived is available on

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