Authors: Phil Hamman & Sandy Hamman
Originally Released: January 12, 2016
Page Count: 154
On November 17, 1973, five teenagers went out to a state park to sit around a campfire, sing songs, and talk. Out of nowhere, three men emerged from the dark woods and shot and killed the four teenage boys in the group. Sandra, the other teenager, was spared but raped. The book talks about her life leading up to the horrifying incident, the incident itself, and how she dealt with what happened to her.
First, off, I just want to say that I absolutely love the cover of the book. It looks so eerie and sets a perfect atmosphere for the events that take place in this book. I also really like the name of the book. Doesn’t it just sound unsettling?
There’s a really compelling story that’s being told here. All the material in this book makes for a great story and could also make a good movie for that matter. But for reasons we’ll get into, I can’t completely praise the book.
One aspect that I enjoyed while reading Gitchie Girl was that there were some pictures in the book. Specifically of the teenagers involved, the murderers, and a few others. It was just a neat touch actually being able to see what everybody looked like.
I definitely have a lot more negatives to talk about than pros. For one, I don’t think that the writing was that great. It seemed pretty basic and some of the sentences were just worded weirdly. There were also sections of the book that just confused me on what was going on. This average writing definitely hindered the atmosphere and power of the story.
Secondly, the book jumps around a lot in the timeline. For example, one chapter will be talking about the teenagers going to the campsite, but then the next chapter will be about police officers doing a night shift by the crime scene. These timeline jumps ruined the flow of the story and would sometimes leave me a bit lost for a couple of minutes before I realized what was going on.
And finally, I think my expectations were a problem. By this, I mean that I was expecting a very different story. I thought the entire book was just going to be about the murders that happened, and some of the events leading after that. Instead, the books talk about Sandra’s life growing up as well as her life in her adult years. It was almost like a biography of her life. Because of this, I was a bit disappointed in what I read. This is no way a problem of the book but was my own fault. I just wanted to let you know that in case you read this book, don’t have the same expectations that I did.
In conclusion, I have mixed feelings about ‘Gitchie Girl’. Underneath some of the mediocre writing, and weird timeline jumps, there’s a very compelling, heartbreaking story. Part of the problem was my own expectations. Don’t be fooled like I did by the synopsis of the book as well as the cover. It’s about more than just the murders, it’s about Sandra’s whole life. In the end, I’m going to give ‘Gitchie Girl’ a 3/5.