Top Girl

Gritty. Shocking. True

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Pub Date 1 Sep 2022 | Archive Date 28 Feb 2022

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‘An unmissable insight. You should read this.’ Daily Mirror

‘Vivid, insightful and extremely powerful, I have thought about this book every day since reading it. A must-read for everyone.’ Marie Claire

'Danielle’s searingly honest book is a horrifying insight into gang violence and county lines culture.'The Sun

Top Girl is the tell-all, true story of a grammar school girl turned drug dealer.

Danielle has a safe, happy childhood growing up in West London, but her bright future fades as she turns her back on school for gang life and crime. Betrayed by the police after a brutal gang rape, she finds protection under the wing of organized criminals and falls in love with the local ‘top boy’. However, her allegiances bring terror to her doorstep when gun-toting rivals target her apartment – and the authorities answer by taking away her baby.

Heartbroken, Danielle spirals deeper into gang life and becomes a key player in a sprawling county lines operation, running drugs to satellite towns all over the UK from the gang’s London HQ. A turning point comes when Danielle is arrested and – with the help of a probation officer – she begins to question whether she really is ‘top girl’ after all. But after five years deep in the high-earning street hustle, can she really leave it all behind?

Danielle’s gritty, emotional, no-holds-barred memoir lays bare the reality of a county lines insider and reveals the truth about life on the frontline of Britain’s biggest drug threat for a generation.

‘An unmissable insight. You should read this.’ Daily Mirror

‘Vivid, insightful and extremely powerful, I have thought about this book every day since reading it. A must-read for everyone.’ Marie Claire


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ISBN 9781914451065
PRICE US$16.95 (USD)

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Average rating from 17 members

Featured Reviews

Danielle Marin's memoir lays bare the underworld of drug 'trapping.'
I devoured this book in a few days, each page, turning quickly one after another. The tales laid out on the pages are at times incomprehensible and the events 'D' gets involved with are really quite hard to come to terms with.
The writing is raw, gritty and so very honest.

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Myth busting and destroying the stereotypes of who and what a drug dealer looks like and where they come from. You don't sign up for a gang, they are your friends.
An eye opening account of how involved Danielle was in the start of the county lines operation.
The ripple effect of one decision.
I found the book fascinating and illuminating, a brutally honest account that does not hold anyone else responsible for the decisions that Danielle made. An important book for the younger generation

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I absolutely loved this book and read it in one day cos I just couldn't put it down.
'D' gives a true insight into what life as a gang member/drug dealer is like and she tells it in her own words.
Its raw and honest. It isn't a glamorous or a pretty story but I really liked 'D' and the honesty with which she told her story. I liked that she took responsibility for her own actions and didn't try to play the pity card and even though in a lot of ways she was a victim she didn't play the victim either.
I was born and raised in South London, Brixton to be exact so her story is familiar to me, I'm just glad that I didn't get drawn into that lifestyle. I'm glad that 'D' found her way out and is now helping other girls and young women, I hope that she has managed to heal from all the trauma in her past and that one day she manages to reconnect with her son.

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I don't normally read autobiographies but I thoroughly enjoyed this book and could relate to life growing up in London. Danielle was bought up on an estate. A smart girl who went to grammar school but lured into too much too soon. Mixing in a bad crowd, experiencing things from an early age and going down the wrong path. Put into care and then loosing her own child. This is a must read

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Beautiful. Poignant. Phenomenal.
This was a beautify read and I learnt so much. I cried and I smiled and there was nothing more that I wanted from this book. Truly a gem.

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This was a deeply raw, honest and moving memoir of a a young girl who grew up in a loving home, had a good childhood, was well educated ended up as East london’s top girl of drug dealing. It showed me how easy it is to get involved with that lifestyle and how quickly things can turn. There were times when I was conflicted in how I felt about Danielle and her life choices however this book shows how not everything in life is black and white and there are many shades of grey in between. This is a particularly poignant tale especially with everything that is happening concerning county lines and gang culture right now

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A fascinating book into the world of UK drug dealing and county lines. This is an amazing story of a young girl from a London estate who goes to a grammar school and ends up being a drug dealer. This is a very honest and raw account where you get an insight into the decisions that end up changing people's lives. D's belief that she is not a gang member and that she is just spending time with her mates helps explain how a bright, young girl with lots of potential ends up making bad decisions and the impact this has on her life including losing her child.
A real page turner of a book that you will not want to put down.

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This is the true-life account of Danielle Marin, "a smart grammar school student turned county line drug dealer."

Hard-hitting, addictive, and thought-provoking, I 100% agree with the publishers when they said: "This book should be on the National Curriculum." It definitely needs to be studied by the younger generation, as Danielle's brutal honesty leaves nothing to the imagination. Despite the dark side to this tale, there is also a lighter side, where Danielle spreads the message that no matter what mistakes are made, there is always a way out, and there can be sunshine after the rain.

Top Girl is relatable for all readers, of all ages, with its modern and relevant tone it will appeal to YA readers, as well as those who love true crime reads. I can not praise this enough, and the awareness that Danielle brings, is not only extremely courageous, it is also very admirable.

A highly recommended five-star read.

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Top girl is a factual book about a young girl groomed to become a county lines drug dealer.

Manipulated and groomed at the age of twelve Danielle is soon drawn into the seedy underworld of drugs.
8 years and up should be offered this book to read as it can show how easily they can be pulled into this world by a few kind words and treats.

It is extremely well written, dangerous, and explicit.
What a brave lady she is for giving us an insight into the daily life of drugs, the power people have over others the violence they dish out and the strength of Danielle to overcome her ordeal and write a very strong story.

I really enjoyed this book and throroughly recommend it.
Thank you NetGalley for allowing me to read and review this book. xx

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Top Girl is the true story of how Danielle Marin went from Grammar School girl,to County Lines drug dealer. Danielle, with her working class background ,feels like a fish out water at her school and is literally seduced by the apparent glamour of gangs,drugs and easy money. Finding out the hard way that she's swimming with Sharks, Danielle's life is one of turmoil and constant clashes as she finds the reality of violence within the gang culture,comes to the attention of the police and finds herself alone with a baby after her family move overseas without her. Hooking up with one of the local "Top Boys" Danielle finds herself heavily involved in the dangerous but high;y lucrative world of drugs,guns and dealers.

Danielle doesn't pull any punches,this is raw and often quite shocking as a true story of life for many of London's young people,beatings,stabbings,shootings,theft, drugs and quite horrific violence casually meted out for what most people would see as very little reason.
It is quite a frustrating book as the reader sees Danielle building up to yet another bad choice and shaking their head thinking,"don't do it", which is exactly why it's such an important book. The supposed glamour of the gangs and easy drug money is shown to be a squalid ,dirty and dangerous business ,not least for impressionable and naive young girls..

A great read,and a book that should be widely available to teenagers to show the reality of life choices that might seem attractive but really,really aren't.

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