Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Blog Tour & Review: The Eighth Girl by Maxine Mei-Fung Chung

Title: The Eighth Girl
Author: Maxine Mei-Fung Chung
Published: March 2020, William Morrow
Format: ARC Paperback, 480 pages
Source: Publisher via TLC Booktours

Optioned by Netflix and a most anticipated book of 2020 from Bustle, The Rumpus, Electric Literature, and LitHub.

The Eighth Girl is an exquisite exploration of childhood trauma and its impact on the psyche. Part thriller, part character study, I devoured this novel in one sitting, reflecting on each sentence, each passage, and each astute observation of humanity. A true gem!” — Wendy Walker, bestselling author of The Night Before

In this unsettling, seductive psychological thriller, a young woman with multiple personalities is drawn into London’s hellish underworld when she becomes entangled with a man who has an abominable secret, for fans of Caroline Kepnes and Clare Mackintosh.

One woman, multiple personas. But which one is telling the truth?

Beautiful. Damaged. Destructive. Meet Alexa Wú, a brilliant yet darkly self-aware young woman whose chaotic life is manipulated and controlled by a series of alternate personalities. Only three people know about their existence: her shrink Daniel; her stepmother Anna; and her enigmatic best friend Ella. The perfect trio of trust.

When Ella gets a job at a high-end gentleman’s club, she catches the attention of its shark-like owner and is gradually drawn into his inner circle. As Alexa’s world becomes intimately entangled with Ella’s, she soon finds herself the unwitting keeper of a nightmarish secret. With no one to turn to and lives at stake, she follows Ella into London’s cruel underbelly on a daring rescue mission. Threatened and vulnerable, Alexa will discover whether her multiple personalities are her greatest asset, or her most dangerous obstacle.

Electrifying and breathlessly compulsive, The Eighth Girl is an omnivorous examination of life with mental illness and the acute trauma of life in a misogynist world. With bingeable prose and a clinician’s expertise, Chung’s psychological debut deftly navigates the swirling confluence of identity, innocence, and the impossible fracturing weights that young women are forced to carry, causing us to question: Does the truth lead to self-discovery, or self-destruction?

My thoughts: I have a slight obsession with anything that deals with multiple personalities...I just find it incredibly fascinating, so of course this book totally appealed to me. Little did I know just how compelling and incredible I would find it.

This book consumed me right from the start. I was totally hooked and loved every second of it. But make no mistake, this book is dark, disturbing and a little unsettling. I loved how it was told, alternating between Alexa, who suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) after years of sexual abuse from her father, and her therapist, Daniel. I found it incredibly powerful to be able to dig into both these minds, especially since the therapist has a rather dark past himself.

I think what sets this book apart from others is that the author herself is a trained psychoanalytic psychotherapist and her expertise clearly shines through in this book. From the detailed therapist sessions, which were raw and utterly fascinating, to the insightful look into the mind of someone with DID and how one personality takes over when certain situations arise. I loved getting to see these different personalities come out, but you never knew just who would be showing up...Alexa or Runner or Dolly or any of the Flock.

The entire book is gripping and the storyline just pulls you in and you can't help but turn those pages to see how it all ends. And let's talk about that ending for a moment...I was definitely not expecting that last part...it was intense and surprising to say the least. It totally took me off guard and has me wanting to start reading the book all over again to see if I somehow missed any clues. Don't you love that? 

This book is definitely going to be one of my favorite reads of this year...it's such an accurate portrayal of someone with mental illness. It's a fascinating character study with just the right amount of suspense thrown in to make this psychological thriller completely binge-worthy. I cannot recommend this book enough...pick it up and be prepared to be totally consumed! 

About the author: Maxine Mei-Fung Chun is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist and clinical supervisor. Trained in the arts, she worked as a Creative Director for ten years at Condé Nast, The Sunday Times and The Times. She lives in London with her son. The Eighth Girl is her first novel.

Author links:  Website  | Twitter  | Instagram 

Purchase Links:   HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Be sure to check out all the other stops on the blog tour and follow the tour on Twitter (hashtags:  #TLCBookTours & #theeighthgirl).


1 comment

  1. This sounds like a pretty gripping thriller, I'm glad you loved it! Thank you for being on the tour. Sara @ TLC Book Tours


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