Not Like Other Girls

Not Like Other Girls
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Release Date
April 30, 2024
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A girl risks everything to find her former best friend in this powerful debut mystery about trauma, girlhood, and what we deserve.

When Jo-Lynn Kirby's former best friend—pretty, nice Maddie Price—comes to her claiming to be in trouble, Jo assumes it's some kind of joke. After all, Jo has been an outcast ever since her nude photos were leaked—and since everyone decided she deserved it. There’s no way Maddie would actually come to her for help.

But then Maddie is gone.

Everyone is quick to write off Maddie as a runaway, but Jo can’t shake the feeling there's more to the story. To find out the truth, Jo needs to get back in with the people who left her behind—and the only way back in is through Hudson Harper-Moore. An old fling of Jo’s with his own reasons for wanting to find Maddie, Hudson hatches a fake dating scheme to get Jo back into their clique. But being back on the inside means Jo must confront everything she’d rather forget: the boys who betrayed her, the whispers that she had it coming, and the secrets that tore her and Maddie apart. As Jo digs deeper into Maddie’s disappearance, she’s left to wonder who she’s really searching for: Maddie, or the girl she used to be.

Not Like Other Girls is a stunning debut that takes a hard look at how we treat young women and their trauma, through the lens of a missing girl and a girl trying to find herself again.

Editor review

1 review
Mystery, Romance + Snark
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NOT LIKE OTHER GIRLS by Meredith Adamo finds Jo-Lynn Kirby first reeling from her ex-best friend’s existence, literally right across the street, and then, her surprising disappearance. Even though Maddie and Jo-Lynn had grown to dislike one another, Jo-Lynn can’t deny her concern over Maddie’s vanishing, and when Hudson, Jo-Lynn’s attractive classmate, expresses his own suspicions, the two team up to find answers. What they don’t realize is their search for truth will force them to reexamine the past, including their own history, and finally, they may have an opportunity to reclaim it.

This novel is nearly perfect. The genre-blending is so unexpected and welcomed. I could’ve never imagined how mixing fake dating into a mystery with heavy trauma would work, but it does! Adamo blends the thrilling, comedic, and devastating elements together in a way that strikes such a refreshing tone. Leading the lighter side of the story is a swoony romance and a whippersnapper of a voice. Right from the first page, I got the sense that I was in for massive sass and snark, and I was not disappointed!

On the other side, the core of the novel is so heartbreaking, as it explores the depths of what many teenagers are facing. Adamo handles these topics with masterful skill and does so in a way that will provide people the tools they need to talk about these issues, as well as recognize them. I love how nuanced all the situations are, and how for most of the “villains” in the story, aside from Nick, there’s, at least, a level of understanding, making everything messy and complex, just like real life.

I truly could not put this book down. The pacing, world-building, and character development are top-notch. Adamo couldn’t have had a stronger debut novel. I highly recommend NOT LIKE OTHER GIRLS to anyone who wants to be swept up in a story. Side effects of reading this book: you may opt into finding out what happens next over sleep. Consider yourself warned!
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