ARC Review: Girl, Unframed by Deb Caletti

Posted June 21, 2020 by Lisa Mandina in Review / 6 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC Review: Girl, Unframed by Deb CalettiGirl, Unframed by Deb Caletti
Published by Simon Pulse on June 23, 2020
Genres: YA Contemporary
Pages: 368
Source: the publisher
Format: ARC
My Rating: three-half-stars
Buy on AmazonBuy on Barnes & Noble


A teen girl’s summer with her mother turns sinister in this gripping thriller about the insidious dangers of unwanted attention, from Printz Honor medal–winning and National Book Award finalist author Deb Caletti—perfect for fans of Courtney Summers’s Sadie.

Sydney Reilly has a bad feeling about going home to San Francisco before she even gets on the plane. How could she not? Her mother is Lila Shore—the Lila Shore—a film star who prizes her beauty and male attention above all else…certainly above her daughter.

But Sydney’s worries multiply when she discovers that Lila is involved with the dangerous Jake, an art dealer with shady connections. Jake loves all beautiful objects, and Syndey can feel his eyes on her whenever he’s around. And he’s not the only one. Sydney is starting to attract attention—good and bad—wherever she goes: from sweet, handsome Nicco Ricci, from the unsettling construction worker next door, and even from Lila. Behaviors that once seemed like misunderstandings begin to feel like threats as the summer grows longer and hotter.

It’s unnerving, how beauty is complicated, and objects have histories, and you can be looked at without ever being seen. But real danger, crimes of passion, the kind of stuff where someone gets killed—it only mostly happens in the movies, Sydney is sure. Until the night something life-changing happens on the stairs that lead to the beach. A thrilling night that goes suddenly very wrong. When loyalties are called into question. And when Sydney learns a terrible truth: beautiful objects can break. 

My Review:

This story kept you hanging for a long time. Obviously there were hints at what was going on, but you didn’t get a lot filled in as you went along. And you had an idea what was going to happen based on the synopsis. Within the story there were a lot of good points made, either based on just the thoughts Sydney had as things happened to her, or even just through what happened itself. This is another book where the things that women have to deal with from men looking at them and that creepy feeling we get from men but aren’t sure of if we should feel that way are really pointed out. Also how it is her “purity” that is important, and all the things that really should be worried about, is she emotionally ready, does she want to, those aren’t the concerns the male trying to be a father figure worries about.

This book had a kind of slow pace for me, and I feel that there could have been more actual things happening. I get that it had a lot of great messages, but I just wish there had been some more to the crime. We got little updates to witness testimonies or similar at the beginning of each chapter, but nothing other than the words, not what the actual testimonies or evidence was. I kind of wanted that if it was going to be pointed out. So while the story wasn’t bad, overall I wasn’t the biggest fan of it.

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6 responses to “ARC Review: Girl, Unframed by Deb Caletti

  1. Danielle Hammelef

    Bummer that this book was just okay. I appreciate your honest review for a book I have on my TBR–slow pacing and not enough action/things happening are usually what makes me DNF a book.

    • Lisa Mandina

      I kept going because it had a good message about what types of things girls and women deal with, but just wish it had more happen throughout the story to fit into the final big deal.

    • Lisa Mandina

      Yeah, I probably won’t seek out any more of this authors books like I do when I love a book I read. But it wasn’t all bad. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Debra Branigan

    Thank you for the honest review. I have read Deb Caletti’s books before and she often has messages about being wary of men and “dangerous” relationships. I don’t like a book that drags out the actual action or is vague on details despite excellent themes. I’m not sure I’m in for this one.

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