Cover Image: My Sweet Girl

My Sweet Girl

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Member Reviews

What a brilliant debut novel! This is a dark gripping psychological thriller which kept me hooked and some parts spooked me out a little. Book is told through 2 timelines, past in Sri Lanka and presently in San Francisco where main character Paloma was adopted by an American couple in an orphanage. Strange events starts happening to Paloma and she (and you as a reader) questions whether they’re real or are hallucinations. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I was a fan of its dark humour. Loved the main twist and the ending of the book even though it was kinda predictable. Highly recommend. 

Many thanks to the author, the publisher and NetGalley for my advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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What an amazingly accomplished debut thriller this is!
It has everything from gothic horror and unreliable narrators to dead bodies and Sri Lankan orphanages all mixed up together to produce a coherent and very twisty whole!
I'm already looking forward to the author's next book
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This is definitely one of those books where the less you know the better it is – so I won’t be going into too much detail regarding the plot!

The book follows Paloma who lets just say isn’t the most reliable of narrators as she drinks a lot and is on medication. She’s definitely a bit of a marmite character, you’ll either love her or hate her but I’m firmly in the ‘love’ category. She doesn’t hold back with her swearing and you’ll be treated to the ‘F’ word multiple times, but her one liners about various people and situations were brilliant and made me laugh.

Chapters alternate between the present Paloma at aged thirty and the past Paloma when she was a child living in a Sri Lankan orphanage. Every inch of this book is shrouded in mystery with each chapter teasing you with just a little hint as to what may be going on.

Speaking of what may be going on, I think this book has got to be one of the most twist filled I’ve ever read. I had a small idea which I was right about but it didn’t matter as this book is out to shock you until the very last line.

Overall this was a solid thriller which at times felt quite horror like with the ‘ghost’ stories at the orphanage. If you’re looking to be shocked and love a good twist then I highly recommend giving this a read!
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I love reading thrillers and was delighted to receive this book in exchange for a review! This is a debut novel for this author and if this book is anything to go by I can’t wait for more! I can normally predict what’s going to happen in these type of books but this one kept me turning the pages right to the end! I was engrossed in this book from start to finish.
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My Sweet Girl is a solid psycholgically debut from Amanda Jayatissa. I had heard lots about the book and was interested to find out more. At the start I found it difficult to connect with Paloma however the pace picked up and it had lots of twists and turns and an ending I didn't see coming. A book of guilt, betrayal and revenge, with an underlying subtle hint of rasicm, told over dual timelines and locations. 
My Sweet Girl is the story of Paloma, adopted as a young child from an orphanage in Sri Lanka by a wealthy American couple, and moved to California and lives the high life. But she has a secret from that time and her flat mate Arun finds out. The next day he is dead in their flat.  And then the body disappears without a trace. 


Thank you to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for my ARC.
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This is a very clever exercise in deception designed to make readers believed it is a much simpler story than it turns out to be. The central characters are Palomo and Lihini, two girls who grow up in an orphanage in Sri Lanka. The orphanage is a caring enough place to be until the age of twelve when the girls move to a much less pleasant place. The ambition is to be adopted by a benefactor and taken to the United States. That is achieved by Palomo who is taken to California by the Evans family. The book moves between the orphanage and California explaining how the adopted child becomes a confused, dysfunctional thirty year old. Another ‘character’ central to the story is Mohini, a ghost designed to make you shiver but who is she really? The context works well and the story is well told. Just as you think the book is moving to its conclusion, there are dramatic switches in the story which work well. This is a rewarding read and I recommend it.
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My Sweet Girl was a real page turner of a book which I found impossible to put down, I just needed to know what was going to happen and how it was going to end. I thought it to be a good, solid debut and it makes me want to read more books by Amanda Jayatissa in the future.

Thank you to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for my ARC.
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Paloma was an orphan in Sri Lanka before she got adopted by the Evans family, moving to America and starting a new life. She lives a privileged life; money, private schooling, close family. 18 years later, a dark secret from her past threatens to shake the life she’s built… will it all catch up with her?

Wow. This book is written SO WELL. I was surgically attached to the book - my iPad hasn’t left my side in the two days it took to read. Paloma is bitchy and manipulative, giving a sharp and vibrant narrative. She’s unreliable, difficult and secretive, making for a fast paced read. You won’t be able to stop pushing through the chapters to find those all important answers!

The story is told in two time frames - Sri Lanka, back before Paloma is adopted, and in California, present day. I loved the California chapters but did find the Sri Lankan ones a little slow sometimes, and mainly focused on the ghost story of Mohini. I personally don’t believe in ghosts so don’t really like reading about them, but by the end I enjoyed what was done with the story. 

A true twisty, confusing thriller that’s not to be missed!
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I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review thanks to NetGalley. Wow this was such a brilliant thriller. Especially for a debut novel. Unlike thrillers I’ve read before. Couldn’t even predict how it would unfold. Definitely a must-read.

#MySweetGirl #Netgalley #AmandaJayatissa
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A debut novel with a bite. Really loved this one. 

The tale of Paloma, a Sri Lankan 30 something living in San Francisco after being adopted from a Sri Lankan orphanage when she was 12 by a wealthy couple, she is a troubled young woman, haunted by her past. In therapy and battling with alcohol, her life is spiralling out of control. Her secrets from her past and her childhood haunt her to this day. 
When her flat mate finds a letter belonging to her that will reveal her secret past, he tries to blackmail her. Panicked she returns to her flat to confront him but finds him murdered. Shocked and seeing someone in the flat she runs for her life before collapsing and passing out on the buildings stairs. 
When she reports the murder there is no body in the flat and no sign of a crime scene. Pamolas drug treatment along with her drinking and paranoia lead her to doubt herself constantly, struggling to tell what is and isn’t real. 

This story is told in the present and in the past back in the orphanage with Pamola as our unreliable narrator throughout. 

A tale of guilt, betrayal and revenge, and also subtle racism, I found this a compelling read with loads of twists and turns along the way, many of which I didn’t see coming. Hints of supernatural add to the intrigue as you try to figure out what is going on. 

Both timeframes work equally well as I was invested in the character both as a child and an adult. I didn’t find the pacing slow at all and indeed fairly flew though this book. 

Maybe a twist too many would be my only criticism but they were fun and wrapped things up nicely. This author has introduced herself with a bang and i for one look forward to reading her future works. 

Four and a half stars rounded up to five. 

Thanks to the publisher for the ARC though Netgalley.
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If you want a book that will keep you guessing right to the very end, that is original in the way it uses the narrative voice and has a slightly different cultural perspective, this will be a great choice. I was drawn in by Paloma and as the story unfolded, wondered what had gone wrong in what should have been a perfect life. The character was developed well and I loved the final twist and narrative switch. I also enjoyed the way the flashbacks were used to develop the present.
There was a little bit of a stretch in the denouement but to be honest, it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of this novel. A definite recommended read!
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Ever since she was adopted from a Sri Lankan orphanage, Paloma has had the best f everything - schools, money and parents so perfect that she fears she'll never live up to them. Now at thirty and recently cut off from her parents funds, Paloma decides to sublet her second bedroom of her overpriced San Francisco apartment to Arun, who recently moved from India. But Arun discovers Paloma's secret, one that could jeopardise her own fragile place in this country. Before Paloma can pay Arun of, she finds him facedown in a pool of blood. 

This story has a dual timeline and locations. When Arun finds out Paloma's secret, he blackmails her, The secret could destroy everything. Before Paloma can make a deal with Arun, she finds him facedown in a pool of blood. She calls the police, but when they arrive, the body is missing and the apartment is spotless.

This pace is slow in this atmospheric read. The chapters alternate between present day San Francisco and Sri Lanka twenty years ago. Paloma is an unreliable narrator. I did guess correctly most of the story. I did not expect the ending though.

I would like to thank #NetGalley #HodderStoughton and the author #AmandaJayatissa for my ARC of #MySweetGirl in exchange for an honest review.
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This was a much talked about debut psychological thriller and I had to see for myself what all the fuss was about. It did take me a little to get into this book, not really connecting with Paloma The second half of the book was twist after twist and a shocking ending and the pace did pick up.

Told  over dual  timelines and locations, My Sweet Girl is the story of Paloma. Adopted as a young child from an orphanage in Sri Lanka by a wealthy American couple, and moved to California and lives the high life. But she has a secret from that time and her flat mate Arun finds out. The next day he is dead in their flat.  And then the body disappears without a trace. 

The chapters in the past when Paloma is young are creepy with the ghost stories. At at 30, Paloma thinks this ghost has followed her to the States..... or is it the alcohol?? 

Thanks to a Hodder and Stoughton for my advanced copy of this book to read.
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My Sweet Girl by Amanda Jayatissa
Pub Date 16 September 2021
A girl in a new country.
A dark secret left behind.
A dead body which might tell all.
Ever since she was adopted from an orphanage in Sri Lanka, Paloma has led a privileged Californian life: the best schools, a generous allowance and parents so perfect that Paloma fears she'll never live up to them.
Now at thirty, Paloma has managed to disappoint her parents so thoroughly that their relationship will never recover. Unemployed and friendless, the only person still talking to her is Arun - the Indian man subletting her spare room. That is until Arun discovers Paloma's darkest secret, one that could jeopardize her fragile place in this country, and the next day is found face down in a pool of blood.
On finding Arun's body Paloma flees her apartment. But by the time the police arrive, there's no body to be found or signs of struggle - and no evidence that Arun ever even existed in the first place.
The police may be quick to dismiss everything, but Paloma knows what she saw. Is this tangled up in her childhood in Sri Lanka and the desperate actions she took to leave so many years ago? And did Paloma's secret die with Arun or is she now in greater danger than ever before?
My Sweet Girl is set in San Francisco and Sri Lanka, and this is a story about friendship, dishonesty, deception and guilt. Unfortunately, it was written in a style I did not enjoy; every other word seemed to be a swear word, and it certainly wasn't edgy enough to be classed as a thriller.
I want to thank NetGalley, Hodder and Staughton and author Amanda Jayatissa for a pre-publication copy to review.
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I had heard of this book first through Instagram and when a few days later, i was so kindly offered this copy, i was ecstatic. Definitely a good read, this one is worth the hype. It is set in two separate geographical locales and i enjoyed the descriptions of both. The story is taut and well paced, the charactersiation on point. The writing was smooth and i enjoyed the road the story took me. Recommended with thanks to the publisher snd Netgalley for the ecopy.
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So many twists and turns, absolutely a non stop rollercoaster. This is a brilliant thriller with decidely gothic overtones. I loved these overtones and the complexity of the characters was incredible to watch unfold.

This author seems like one to watch out for!
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This is a dark tale of secrets and MURDER. This book was so good I found it hard to believe it is a debut. It is told in my favourite format with before chapters from almost twenty years ago and present day. It also has an unreliable narrator...so much to love about this book. Oh my gosh, the twists and surprises starting twenty years ago at a Sri Lankan orphanage to modern day San Francisco. I was absorbed in this thriller from the first page to the shocking twists. 

Many thanks to Netgalley, Amanda Jayatissa and Hodder & Stoughton for the ARC.
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I loved this book! Reading the first few chapters I honestly couldn’t work out where this was going - and wow! I never would have guessed in a million years what unfolded! Brilliantly written with some curve balls thrown at you right until the end! I found the more I read the more I needed to read. I loved the writing style and how the book just flowed seamlessly. Definitely an author I’ll be keeping a lookout for in the future.
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Well written and thoroughly enjoyed this. Set in San Francisco and Sri Lanka the 2 different narratives both had me hooked. Without giving spoilers there were some things that I felt stood out as obvious rather then being revealed with a shock value but I still enjoyed reading it and would recommend.
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Thoroughly enjoyed this book and the twists and turns in every chapter! The story of Paloma had me hooked within the first few chapters; what did she do? Is she being followed by Mohini? Where’s Arun? So many questions that kept me wanting to read and find out!
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