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Where Sleeping Girls Lie - Review

I received a digital/physical copy from Turn the Page Book Tour via Feiwel & Friends & an audio copy from Macmillian Audio. All reviews are my own.

I feel like it is sacrilegious to admit that this is the first Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé title that I've read. So many people praised her debut, Ace of Spades, and I have yet to open the book. I figured I could redeem myself by checking out her highly anticipated sophomore novel, Where Seeping Girls Lie, a mystery/thriller based on the sudden disappearance of a student in a swanky boarding school. After reading, I'm not thrilled or excited about the story's outcome.

"It’s like I keep stumbling into a dark room, searching for the switch to make things bright again. To make me remember. But the switch isn’t there. Was it there before?
Sade Hussein is starting her third year of high school, this time at the prestigious Alfred Nobel Academy boarding school. After being home-schooled all her life and feeling like a magnet for misfortune, she’s not sure what will happen. What she doesn’t expect though is for her roommate Elizabeth to disappear after Sade’s first night. Or for people to think she had something to do with it.
With rumors swirling around her, Sade catches the attention of the most popular girls in school – collectively known as the ‘Unholy Trinity’ – and they bring her into their fold. Between learning more about them - especially Persephone, who Sade finds herself drawn to - playing catch-up in class, and trying to figure out what happened to Elizabeth, Sade has a lot on her plate. It doesn’t help that she’s already dealing with grief from the many tragedies in her family.
And then a student is found dead.
The more Sade investigates, the more she realizes there’s more to Alfred Nobel Academy and its students than she realized. Secrets lurk around every corner and beneath every surface…secrets that rival even her own."

Audiobooks have been my jam lately, so it's no surprise that I took this story on with an auditory experience, with Natalie Simpson delivering almost 17 hours of BBC America.


I was at 70% of WSGL when I felt the strong urge to DNF. The pacing of the story is entirely too slow. And from reading some of the reviews, I'm not the only one who felt this way. For the book to be surrounded by a mystery/thriller air, I felt neither aura penetrate my soul. The premise of this book boasts a missing girl and a new student making it her duty to figure out what happened and why. However, the story doesn't really surround itself with finding the girl. Instead, I got a narrative about a new student trying to fit into the rich boarding school life, with the essence of a behind-the-scenes mystery.

I finished the book, but it didn't satisfy me with the overall experience. The slow burn was on the level of watching molasses drip. The reveals explained a lot of the plot holes Àbíké-Íyímídé created, but it felt too put together? Too convenient? Some of it unnecessary? I don't know. I'm still trying to figure out my feelings about that, and whenever I finish ciphering through those verbs, I'll come back and update this review.


Overall, I rated this book 2.5-stars. If I could take back some of the reading time, I definitely would have abandoned the book for something else on my ever-growing TBR. It just didn't do it for me. If you like the TV shows Mean Girls and Blood & Water, with the pacing of The Changing Man and I Feed Her to the Beast and the Beast is Me, then Where Sleeping Girls Lie is the book for you.  

Where Sleeping Girls Lie is available now

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