"A slick, twisty YA page-turner about the daughter of a con artist who is taken hostage in a bank heist.
Nora O'Malley's been a lot of girls. As the daughter of a con-artist who targets criminal men, she grew up as her mother's protégé. But when her mom fell for the mark instead of conning him, Nora pulled the ultimate con: escape.
For five years Nora's been playing at normal. But she needs to dust off the skills she ditched because she has three problems:
#1: Her ex walked in on her with her girlfriend. Even though they're all friends, Wes didn't know about her and Iris.
#2: The morning after Wes finds them kissing, they all have to meet to deposit the fundraiser money they raised at the bank. It's a nightmare that goes from awkward to deadly, because:
#3: Right after they enter the bank, two guys start robbing it.
The bank robbers may be trouble, but Nora's something else entirely. They have no idea who they're really holding hostage . . ."
What an excellent premise! A bank robbery - three teens amongst the hostages - and one that has mad skills. Nora knows how to read people, how to manipulate them. She knows what needs to be done and adapts as things change. Her grifter skills are well honed.
I love kick butt female characters and Nora is most definitely one! Her background lends her to many talents, mind sets, strengths, weaknesses and more. The three supporting players are all just as well drawn, coming in with their own unique skills and histories. The relationship between the three teen characters is real and really well portrayed. The reader can't help but be on their side in all things.
"Me, I was born into the con. Came into the world with a lie on my lips and the ability to smile and dazzle, just like my mother. Charm, people call it. Useful is what it is. To see into the heart of someone and adjust accordingly, instantaneously, to mirror that heart? It's not a gift or a curse. It's just a tool."
Sharpe draws out the revelation of Nora's life (lives) in detailed chapters interspersed between the current day's events. We come to know how she became the girl she is today - and why.
The situation in the bank is a non-stop page turner and reads like an action movie - which I loved. But amongst all that action are some weightier issues. Gentle readers, there are some triggers.
This reader loved The Girls I've Been .... and I'd like to know what happens after the final pages. Maybe we could have another book with Nora, Wes and Iris? What do you think Tess Sharpe?
And this! "Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown is set to lead the cast in a Netflix film based on Tess Sharpe's novel, The Girls I've Been, which will be published in 2021. The 16-year-old actress is producing the project alongside Ozark actor-director Jason Bateman." Oh yeah!