Audiobook Review: Nice Girls by Catherine Dang


Release date: September 14, 2021

Publisher: William Morrow

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


What did you do?

Growing up in Liberty Lake, Minnesota, Mary was chubby, awkward, and smart. Earning a scholarship to an Ivy League school was her ticket out; she was going to do great things and never look back. Three years later, “Ivy League Mary” is back—a thinner, cynical, and restless failure. Kicked out of Cornell at the beginning of senior year, she won’t tell anyone why. Working at the local grocery store, she sees familiar faces from high school and tries to make sense of the past and her life.

When beautiful, magnetic Olivia Willand, a rising social media star, goes missing, Mary—like the rest of Liberty Lake—becomes obsessed. Best friends in childhood, Mary and Olivia haven’t spoken in years. Everyone admired Olivia, but Mary knows better than anyone that behind the Instagram persona hid a willful, manipulative girl with sharp edges. As the world worries for perfect, lovely Olivia, Mary can’t help but hate her. She also believes that her disappearance is tied to another missing person—a nineteen-year-old girl named DeMaria Jackson whose disappearance has gone under the radar.

Who was the true Olivia Willand, and where did she go? What happened to DeMaria? As Mary delves deeper into the lives of the two missing girls, old wounds bleed fresh and painful secrets threaten to destroy everything.

Maybe no one is really a nice girl, after all.


Ahh this is one of those tricky middle of the road books for me, and most of the time they’re the hardest ones for me to review. There was definitely many things I liked about this one, but I also had issues as well. I do want to mention that the audio saved it for me because I don’t think I would’ve even finished if not for the narrator, Carlotta Brenton, she was excellent.

Initially I was drawn into this one but somewhere along the way the author lost me. Maybe I didn’t forge a strong enough connection to Mary, I do think that was my issue especially since this is told solely through her viewpoint and the failed connection made it hard for me to truly care about what was happening. I did appreciate the way the author discusses the differences in the way the two cases were handled based on race and social status, we all know a young white woman going missing will make national news, especially if she’s pretty while a woman of color going missing can barely garner public attention, seriously so messed up. It was also a slower style burn which just tested my patience but I did like her writing style so I would definitely give the author another chance.

Overall rating: 3/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

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