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The Girl in Times Square (2004)

di Paullina Simons

UtentiRecensioniPopolaritàMedia votiCitazioni
5503533,560 (3.89)12
International bestselling author Paullina Simons delivers a riveting novel about a young woman whose search for her missing friend turns into a life-shattering odyssey. The truth will change her forever. Living in bustling New York City, Lily Quinn has plenty of distractions and is struggling to finish college as well as pay her rent. But that all pales in comparison when Amy, her best friend and roommate, disappears without a trace. Spencer O'Malley, a cynical NYPD detective assigned to Amy's case, immediately captures Lily's attention. Though he is wary and wrestling with his own demons, he, too, is irresistibly drawn to Lily. But fate has more in store for Lily than she ever expected. As she looks deeper into the mystery surrounding Amy's disappearance, Lily finds answers she never imagined she'd find--answers that challenge everything she knows about her own life. Lily's search puts her on a collision course with tragedy and love, and gives her a glimpse into the abyss that swallowed her friend . . . until she faces a final confrontation with her own life-changing destiny. "Part mystery, part romance, part family drama . . . in other words, the perfect book."--Daily Mail… (altro)
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Weighing in at hefty 608 pages, The Girl in Times Square by Paullina Simons is a lengthy, occasionally meandering novel, that begins as a mystery then turns into a family drama and toward the end, a romance. A solid read, but some readers might lose patience with the time it takes to resolve the multiple story arcs.

At twenty-four, Lily Quinn is broke and struggling to complete her degree when her roommate, Amy McFadden, goes missing. Lily is bit aimless and drifting, easy to manipulate and a somewhat fanciful young woman who is often her own worst enemy as she ignores problems instead of dealing with them. She is also amazingly unhelpful when missing persons Detective Spencer O'Malley questions her about Amy after she is reported missing by her mother. Lily is not an easy character to like or empathize with as she faces some very daunting issues that extend behind her missing roommate.

Spencer O'Malley is a crack detective whose personal life is full of tragedy. He is closemouthed about his private life but very dedicated to his career. Despite spending his days immersed in the darker side of life, Spencer is kind, caring and compassionate. He has a pretty good idea what happened to Amy and he also has a viable suspect to investigate. But he is in for an uphill battle to find out the truth as he quickly discovers that Lily's answers are vague and without much substance and his prime suspect uses his position to try to ruin O'Malley's career.

Lily's family is dysfunctional and every member is somewhat self-absorbed. Her mother is a raging alcoholic and her father is the worst type of enabler who is miserable in his marriage yet he cannot bring himself to walk away. Her sisters are selfish and completely disinterested in Lily's life until they stand to gain something from her. Lily is close to her much older brother Andrew, but as she comes to discover, he is not the man she thinks he is. Lily's grandma is the best of the lot but even she has a few idiosyncrasies and quirks.

Although it takes a while to hit its stride, The Girl in Times Square is an interesting novel but is does suffer a bit of an identity crisis due to the numerous story arcs and multiple genres. The mystery surrounding Amy's disappearance is the most compelling part of the novel, but for a good portion of the story, it takes a backseat to the unfolding drama with Lily and her broken family. Despite his flaws (and maybe because of them?) Spencer is the most likable and realistic character in the book. With unexpected twists, shocking turns and a bit of melodrama, Paullina Simons wraps up the novel's various storylines and brings the novel to a decent conclusion. However, there are a few threads left dangling since the fate of one of the characters remains unknown.
( )
  kbranfield | Feb 3, 2020 |
Have you ever been at a restaurant where the waitress reads off a special, and you think to yourself, "Wow! Most of those ingredients sound really good; but they don't all go together and it's just too much." So I don't want the special, but I have to admire the creativity and ambition of the chef. That's how I felt about this book.

[Warning! Slight spoilers ahead] So let's talk about the ingredients of this book:

- A missing girl
- A girl developing a career as an artist
- A May/December romance
- Cancer
- A multi-million dollar lottery win
- Alcoholism
- A cop being investigated by Internal Affairs
- A toxic mother/daughter relationship
- A family secret involving infidelity
- Another family secret involving another infidelity
- A family secret involving Nazis
- Weird religious cults
- Political fanaticism
- Hallucinogenic drugs
- A weenie roast involving a dude's actual weenie (I think that scene scarred me for life)

...and, if the narrative went on for 5 minutes longer:

- The 9/11 attacks in NYC.

There are probably a bunch of other things I forgot. So there was a lot going on here. And yet, there were large stretches of time when I was kind of bored. I am on record as being anti-trilogy but there was definitely enough material here for at least a trilogy, and it still would have seemed like a ridiculous amount of drama to happen to one person.

I really don't know how to rate this crazy thing. I didn't love it, I didn't hate it. I don't think it was a great success but kind of a spectacular near miss.

A note on the audio book: The woman who narrated did a really good job, giving all of the characters a unique voice etc. And her voice wasn't overtly annoying. So it feels unfair to say so, but for some reason, I found her performance to be detrimental to my enjoyment of the book - especially towards the end. ( )
  AngeH | Jan 2, 2020 |
Questa recensione è stata scritta per Recensori in anteprima di LibraryThing.
I found this book to be completely overwhelming. It was a good story that definitely held my interest and I wanted to read it through. But that being said, I felt like there were too many storylines happening within the story. I often got confused trying to track and follow the different characters and stories. ( )
  chutzpanit | May 25, 2018 |
Questa recensione è stata scritta per Recensori in anteprima di LibraryThing.
*I received a copy of this book through LibraryThing Early Reviewers.*

I wanted to read this book mostly because I'm a fan of the author's Bronze Horseman series. This book is very different, although I do think the author has a tendency to tell long, complicated tales. The book opens with a missing young woman and an attraction between her roommate and the investigating police officer. The story quickly gets complicated - with an affair with a congressman, an almost certainly fatal cancer diagnosis, a winning lottery ticket, alcoholism, and family secrets going back decades. It's a fun read, once I got into it, but after all the twists and turns, I do wonder if this book could have been considerably shorter. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Apr 13, 2018 |
In some ways the plot of this novel felt like a soap opera - cancer! terrible family! murdered roommate! affair with investigating police officer! winning the lottery! But days after I finished the novel, I found myself still thinking about the conflicts that Lily faced. She starts out being deliberately blind to much of the more unpleasant parts of her life. But there's something about facing death that begins Lily's growth. She has to look a lot of unpleasant things in the face, but behind those things, there is grace and redemption. I especially liked her relationship with Spencer. Despite himself, Lily changes him in fundamentally good ways. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Apr 10, 2018 |
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International bestselling author Paullina Simons delivers a riveting novel about a young woman whose search for her missing friend turns into a life-shattering odyssey. The truth will change her forever. Living in bustling New York City, Lily Quinn has plenty of distractions and is struggling to finish college as well as pay her rent. But that all pales in comparison when Amy, her best friend and roommate, disappears without a trace. Spencer O'Malley, a cynical NYPD detective assigned to Amy's case, immediately captures Lily's attention. Though he is wary and wrestling with his own demons, he, too, is irresistibly drawn to Lily. But fate has more in store for Lily than she ever expected. As she looks deeper into the mystery surrounding Amy's disappearance, Lily finds answers she never imagined she'd find--answers that challenge everything she knows about her own life. Lily's search puts her on a collision course with tragedy and love, and gives her a glimpse into the abyss that swallowed her friend . . . until she faces a final confrontation with her own life-changing destiny. "Part mystery, part romance, part family drama . . . in other words, the perfect book."--Daily Mail

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