The Girl Before by JP Delaney Summary Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Girl Before

Plot Summary Part 4

Anyway, Emma is dead and Simon killed her because he is angry he can't bone her anymore, but after she is dead he still will not be able to bone her so really none of this makes sense. If I hadn't just told you that Simon killed her, this would be the perfect point in this summary to tell you that Simon killed her.

Now, no one ever knows that Simon did it, even though Emma lives in the most secure, monitored apartment on the planet Earth. That's because Simon "hacked" into the system and turned off all the monitoring system. We are never told that Simon is a computer expert. How likely is it that he could have done that? In any event, he should have left DNA evidence all over the place, but no mention is made of that either. Simon is never caught because of these very unbelievable circumstances, but in a story where most everything is unbelievable perhaps this isn't so noteworthy.

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Simon comes to Jane's apartment (which used to be Emma's) and gets rough with her. She pushes him down the stairs and kills him too. The killer stairs strikes again! At this point there's nothing left to take seriously in this story.

Jane tells Edward that tests show that she is going to give birth to a retarded baby. Edward urges her to abort it. He even promises to give her another baby if she gets rid of this one. But Jane refuses; she wants to keep her retard baby and spend the rest of her life taking care of a child who can't eat or go to the bathroom for himself, it's her idea of paradise.

Jane reveals that she was just using Edward. Edward thought he was using Jane for sex but Jane was using Edward as a sperm bank. She just wanted his sperm, not Edward. What a bitch.

What totally unrealistic, unlikeable characters.

The end.

Literary Criticism:

This book started out with some promise. I thought the idea of an apartment that controlled the person living in it could be interesting. But while we are told, repeatedly, that the apartment changed Emma and Jane, in reality I didn't see any change in either of them more substantial than organizing their spice racks. That element of the story could have been much more interesting. Imagine if Edward had brainwashed them and changed their personalities into something else. That's what I thought the book would be about, and instead it turned into a lame Scooby Doo murder mystery.

The biggest problem I had with this book is that the characters were totally unrealistic, and totally unlikeable. No normal person would live in such a monitored apartment. No normal woman would jump into bed with their landlord the first chance she got. No normal woman would have sex with a man who might be a killer.

And all the characters were unlikeable. Edward was an obsessive compulsive control freak. Jane was just using men to get sperm. Emma was a serial liar who cheated on her boyfriend but kicked him out when he went to get a lap dance. With none of the characters remotely likeable, neither was the book.

Then we had other ridiculous elements such as the security system being easily hackable by Simon, or the stairs that can kill people so easily. If this book had been written as a cartoon, perhaps it would have been more plausible.

Lastly, all the foreshadowing in the book pointed to Edward being the killer, and then he turned out not to be. So Edward is just an ordinary pervert. Throw all the foreshadowing from the entire book out the window. Come to think of it, maybe through the book out the window as well.

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Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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