Hello, fellow audiobook fans. Today, I’d like to share my thoughts about The Wrong Girl by C. J. Archer. The first book in her historical fantasy trilogy, The 1st Freak House.
What’s The Wrong Girl about?
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Title: The Wrong Girl by C. J. Archer
Series: The 1st Freak House
Published by Tantor Audio on 28th March 2017
Genres: Young Adult (YA), Historical, Fantasy, Fiction, Romance, Paranormal
Narrator: Lucy Rayner
Length: 8 hours 52 minutes
No. of Pages: 218
It's customary for Gothic romance novels to include a mysterious girl locked in the attic. Hannah Smith just wishes she wasn't that girl. As a narcoleptic and the companion to an earl's daughter with a strange affliction of her own, Hannah knows she's lucky to have a roof over her head and food in her belly when so many orphans starve on the streets. Yet freedom is something Hannah longs for. She did not, however, want her freedom to arrive in the form of kidnapping.
Taken by handsome Jack Langley to a place known as Freak House, she finds herself under the same roof as a mad scientist, his niece, a mute servant and Jack, a fire starter with a mysterious past. They assure Hannah she is not a prisoner and that they want to help her. The problem is, they think she's the earl's daughter. What will they do when they discover they took the wrong girl?
©2013 C. J. Archer (P)2017 Tantor
Review Format: Audiobook, eBook
Purchase Links: Books2Read - Universal eBook Link ¦ Audible* ¦ Book Depository*
Listened to: 30th March – 9th April 2021
What did I think?
A Good Historical Story With A Paranormal Twist.
I don’t usually choose historical genres or those aimed at a young adult (YA) audience – The Wrong Girl is both. However, I’ve read and really enjoyed Archer’s The Last Necromancer that was also set in Victorian England. I went into this audiobook with an open mind. The Wrong Girl is good but didn’t live up to all my expectations.
Lucy Rayner is a new-to-me narrator.
I liked the pace at which she read the story. Lucy also created a number of distinctive voices for the characters that were appropriate for their station in life. However, my issues with her performance include the rhythm she employed throughout and a couple of the voices she chose. I’m not sure how to explain why I found the cadence and rhythm so tricky but I struggled to hear everything clearly. Having to rewind often because something was read too quietly or jumping at suddenly loud words. I found Lucy’s performance was a distraction.
Our protagonist, Hannah Smith, is a product of her time as are all the characters in this book.
Women cannot be academics or achieve status. The head of the household is Lord and Master and what he says goes. My modern sensibilities always struggle with the restrictions, prejudices and social injustices of times past. (We have enough inequality in our modern world for my spirit to contend with). However, Hannah does have many of the traits I look for. She’s resilient and certainly has plenty of gumption. So much was “kept secret for your own safety” and “you don’t need to know that” it got me as frustrated as she was.
The plot wasn’t as exciting or gritty as I was hoping either.
I found myself easily distracted or falling asleep while listening. The Wrong Girl is the first book in a trilogy. Some questions were answered but many more are left to be resolved later. I will get around to listening to the next two books, however, I’m happy to leave it for the time being.
Keep reading to find out more about C. J. Archer.
And because this is a review for an audiobook, here’s Lucy’s bio too.
Thank you for taking the time to read my review for The Wrong Girl. Have you read (or listened to) this one or any of C. J. Archer’s books? Drop me a comment below so that we can talk books! 😉
Although this one didn’t blow my socks off, C. J. Archer has written other books that I’ve loved. She’s on my Amazing Authors list. Before you go, check out who’s on my list with her. Is YOUR favourite author on my list?
Bye for now,