Book Review: Don’t Forget the Girl by Rebecca McKanna

Don't Forget The Girl. Image courtesy Sourcebooks Landmark
Don't Forget The Girl. Image courtesy Sourcebooks Landmark /

As a romance reader, it takes a lot for me to read something that isn’t a romance. Upon hearing the pitch for Don’t Forget the Girl by Rebecca McKanna, I was sold.

I don’t know about everyone else, but I feel like there is an obsession with true crime. No matter where you turn, there’s a video of someone dissecting the case, a series being made or a book coming out about a case. It’s honestly a bit overwhelming at times.

It’s also one of those topics people tend not to worry about anymore. We’re no longer having nuanced conversations or worrying about victims. We want to know why they did it, who they were, and why those horrendous acts were done rather than focusing on the bigger picture.

That’s where Don’t Forget the Girl by Rebecca McKanna comes in as it tackles all of those topics and more within its 350 pages.

Don’t Forget the Girl by Rebecca McKanna shows a new side of true crime.

Firstly, I’d like to thank Sourcebooks Landmark for sending me a finished copy as I read it in two sittings and couldn’t put it down. Trust me, if you have any interest in picking up Don’t Forget the Girl, do yourself a favor and pick it up because I loved it.

Don’t Forget the Girl follows a group of friends: Abby, Bree, and Chelsea. Abby was the one who was murdered while Bree and Chelsea are still dealing with the aftermath. Bree, she’s dealing with guilt over what happened while Chelsea is harboring some unresolved romantic feelings toward Abby.

This book subverted so many tropes we associate with the true crime genre. While it did talk a lot about the killer, Jon Allan Blue, we focused on these three women and their journeys. There was the current timeline with Bree and Chelsea while we also followed them and Abby in the past. Of course, the current timeline is following Bree and Chelsea digging up things as they’re asked to speak on a podcast about Abby’s murder.

I feel like the podcast element worked well and gave us a lot of insight into these characters and their relationship with Abby. It also criticized those true-crime podcasts at the same time for dehumanizing victims and profiting off their stories. There are also mixed media elements including tweets, reviews, and interviews shared which made this case come alive.

While I don’t want to give too much away, Don’t Forget the Girl brought up so many important conversations people gloss over about true crime. It’s less about why we listen to it but why we’re so interested in the people who commit these acts. It’s not about who did it but rather who they hurt with their actions. It was just so refreshing to see an author handle these topics without glamourizing them.

Whether you’re a true crime fan or not, I feel like you’ll gain something from Don’t Forget the Girl. If anything, it’ll remind you about the dangers of true crime and why there shouldn’t be any glorification of serial killers. This is a book I read months ago and I’m still thinking about that if that tells you anything.

Don’t Forget the Girl by Rebecca McKanna is out now wherever books are sold. 

Will you be picking up Don’t Forget the Girl on release day? Let us know in the comments!

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