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Grit Audiobook Summary

Edgar Award Nominee for Best Young Adult Mystery * A Kirkus Best Book

Raw and moving, this contemporary realistic debut novel will leave readers of E. Lockhart and Gayle Forman breathless as it unflinchingly unfolds the tragic secrets being kept in a small, deceptively idyllic town.

“Gorgeously written and helmed by a protagonist with an indelibly fierce heart.” (starred review from Kirkus)

“Keen plotting, evocative writing, and dynamic characterization make French a writer to watch.” (starred review from Booklist)

Seventeen-year-old Darcy Prentiss has long held the title of “town slut.” She knows how to have a good time, sure, but she isn’t doing anything all the guys haven’t done. But when you’re a girl with a reputation, every little thing that happens seems to keep people whispering–especially when your ex-best friend goes missing.

But if anyone were to look closer at Darcy, they’d realize there’s a lot more going on beneath the surface. Staying out late, hooking up, and telling lies is what Darcy does to forget. Forget about the mysterious disappearance of her friend. Forget about the dark secret she and her cousin Nell share.

Forget about that hazy Fourth of July night. So when someone in town anonymously nominates Darcy to be in the running for Bay Festival Princess–a cruel act only someone with a score to settle would make–all of the things that Darcy wants to keep hidden threaten to erupt in ways she wasn’t prepared to handle…and isn’t sure if she can.

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Grit Audiobook Narrator

Caitlin Davies is the narrator of Grit audiobook that was written by Gillian French

Gillian French is the author of The Lies They Tell, The Missing Season, and Edgar Award finalist Grit, which was an Indie Next List pick and received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews and ALA Booklist. She holds a BA in English from the University of Maine and lives in Maine with her husband and sons. www.gillianfrench.com.

About the Author(s) of Grit

Gillian French is the author of Grit

Grit Full Details

Narrator Caitlin Davies
Length 7 hours 26 minutes
Author Gillian French
Publisher HarperCollins
Release date May 16, 2017
ISBN 9780062682918


The publisher of the Grit is HarperCollins. includes the following subjects: The BISAC Subject Code is Coming of Age, YOUNG ADULT FICTION

Additional info

The publisher of the Grit is HarperCollins. The imprint is HarperCollins. It is supplied by HarperCollins. The ISBN-13 is 9780062682918.

Global Availability

This book is only available in the United States.

Goodreads Reviews


May 19, 2017

I don’t read many thrillers or mysteries and Grit by Gillian French made me ask myself why. This book was pretty amazing. I was hooked from the first page until the last.Grit is a small town story. I’ve lived in a small town my whole life and I can attest that Gillian French captured the suffocating feeling of a small town perfectly. Grit is full of atmosphere. You can almost feel the dusty heat and hear the whispered gossip as you’re reading. The setting and descriptions were one of my favorite parts of the story.Darcy was a hard character, but I liked her. She made bad decisions and did reckless things but her heart was always in the right place. She cared so much about her family. I really loved their dynamic. She lived with her mother and her sister and her aunt and cousin lived next door. They were all close but they didn’t always get along, or even like each other. It felt very realistic.Grit takes on a lot. There’s two different mysteries that are somehow interwoven. There’s Darcy’s budding romance and her reputation as a slut. The story deftly handles some really tough issues like rape and slut shaming. For such a small book it had a lot going on, but it was never too much. Everything was executed so well.I was really left guessing throughout the book. I usually unravel a mystery before it’s revealed, but I didn’t with this one. I had no idea how everything was going to turn out. I also really liked that the story had an eerie feeling throughout the book. It added some much more to the story.Grit was a captivating debut. I highly recommend it. Make sure you have a lot of time to spare before you start it because you won’t want to put it down.Read more reviews on my blog, Pure Imagination


January 08, 2017

Just..... innumerable heart-eyes.RTC


November 22, 2016

Loved loved loved this book! Definitely one of the best YA's I've come across (and I've come across a lot)!


April 21, 2018

Grit has a lot going for it. The cover is perf. The characters are all very unique and likeable enough. The “small town syndrome” is contagious, and the story is particularly interesting. The absolute best thing about this novel though, is the atmosphere. Gillian French’s way of describing the setting, the sweltering heat, the berry-raking madness, the feeling of the town’s judgement – sticks with you. At times I felt like I was living in the story, it draws you in so well. The main character Darcy Prentiss kind of takes one for the team. She isn’t your everyday heroine and she doesn’t want to be. I liked this about her. A lot of pretty terrible shit happened to her... and she just kept looking out for everyone else. It felt like a true representation of what high-school summer life is like.


May 28, 2020

Almost reminds me of a much milder, more teen-friendly version of a (and I'm not just saying this because of the shared name) Gillian Flynn book. Highly recommended.

Heather~ Nature.books.and.coffee

April 15, 2019

This was a good YA mystery. It takes place in a small town,and Gillian does a fantastic job describing the suffocating feel of it.  I loved the atmosphere, and the setting in it self was a big part of this book. I loved the high school summer vibes I got. The characters were well developed and likeable. The main character Darby is one tough cookie, but I really liked her. She has had alot of bad things happen to her and she was still caring about everyone else. This story had 2 mysteries to it ..and they come together nicely.


February 06, 2017

Grit is a solid and intensely sincere story with a dark tale that's rugged and sharp. The characters are all flawed. Some more so than others.The writer did a great job enabling me to escape to the small fictional town of Sasanoa near the Penobscot river, Maine. A tiny community where everybody knows everybody else's business. Your life and what you make of it gets to be heard by all, young or old. At the heart of the novel is a missing girl. Rhiannon was Darcy Prentiss' friend up to a year ago. Not necessarily best friends but they used to hang out, chat about guys they wanted to get off with, talk about their school peers, and visit the quarry or the drive-in movie at night to get drunk or smoke some weed. At school Darcy became uncomfortable with Rhiannon when she started asking questions about Darcy's cousin, Nell. Darcy's life spins into a downward spiral the night Rhiannon disappeared. They'd been with Kat, Darcy's other go-to friend but no one knows where Rhiannon went. Or if they do know they're not telling. It's summer and harvest time. Darcy's working at picking blueberries for a summer job. She needs the money to buy new school clothes and books for her senior year. She lives with her sister, Mags, and her mother. Her father died when she was eleven in a stupid tragic accident leaving them all to fend for themselves. They've done okay but there's not very much money around that doesn't get spent on bills or Darcy's mum's smokes. Nowadays her mum loves nothing more than to smoke and remembers her days with the girl's father. She's somewhat idle. Sometimes food isn't bought. Sometimes there's no milk in the fridge. They all live life near the grindstone and life is tough. In a trailer on the grounds of their house lives Darcy's aunt Libby and her daughter, Nell. Nell is a lovely but simple. She's smart, though, in her own way, beautiful and truthful to the core. But under the surface, and even though she's almost nineteen Nell is treated by her mother like a twelve-year-old. Darcy, Mags and Nell spend most of their time together and Darcy is very protective of her cousin but in a different way than Nell's mum. Darcy can't escape the shadow of Rhiannon. Even as work starts with the blueberry picking a police car turns up and the rumours start. Have they found Rhiannon? Do they know where she went? Or why she disappeared? Did she go with someone? Soon the police are at Darcy's home again asking more questions. What happened the night she disappeared? Who was she with? Rhiannon's disappearance dogs Darcy's day-to-day living like a stone in a shoe. The police won't let it go, they think Darcy is hiding something. Even Darcy's family isn't convinced she's telling the whole truth. And Darcy isn't. But that's the point. She isn't telling anyone what she knows. And because she's keeping this gigantic secret that could rip a huge hole across not just her family but the town also, Darcy buries the secret by 'escaping.' She goes out with her friends who do anything to have fun and just have a laugh out loud. That means making out with boys and a whole lot more. But Darcy will protect Nell at all costs. From the outset, Grit is a truthful and sometimes painful attempt at making us want to look further below the surface. Not everything is cut-and-dry and crystal clear. Not everything is what it seems. Without the support system guiding Darcy to do the right thing, either by friends or family, she's forced to make decisions that are defeatist at best and head turning at worst. Gillian French has proven her worth with this dark, deep and gritty tale that twists and turns even until the end - CBx


December 31, 2017

What a perfect title for this text! (just a side note) -- So I know Gillian French's husband, Darren, and my husband knows both Darren and Gillian. My husband also wisely guessed that I would be excited to read a book by a fellow Mainer and one that I have connections with, so he purchased her debut novel for me for Christmas. I was excited to dive into it, although admittedly nervous, as I wasn't sure if this would really be "my" kind of book. It took a bit to get into (for me), but I shouldn't have been nervous because once I did, I was pulled right along.Gillian French has masterfully created characters that I felt like I knew. Maybe it was because of being from Maine and understanding so many of the references, but I was effortlessly drawn into her world.It doesn't take long before you can feel the pain that is deep-seeded in Darcy; the confusion and innate protection offered by Margaret; and the quiet acceptance and simplicity in Nell. French took her time in building these characters so that they really meant something to the reader. I greatly appreciated that. It also helped a lot in the story, as at times, the action was muted. The development certainly still flowed, but in a non-confrontational way. Meaning, YA today has become a genre that is fast-paced with deaths smattered throughout the storylines, hard-hitting topics, and nonstop action (we have to play to our audience, right?). Grit definitely had some heavy ideas that hit you hard, but the clincher of it all isn't fully realized until the end, which made the story almost quiet.While this book offered little for complaints from me, there is one thing that stuck with me through the entirety of the read. The voice that was offered in this text was one that I would have sworn was historical in nature. 60's, 70's, 80's - I could really have applied it to any decade - but I really never would have said it was something that was happening in present time. While I understand that all that was written still occurs yearly in Maine, the tone of the writing and the storyline really placed these events and these characters in the past, at least in my head. While this isn't really a bad thing it is something that offered some slight confusion when French would throw out things like cell phones and the Internet. There is no denying, especially for a debut novel, that Gillian French is a gifted writer and one that I will pick up again. I am proud to support someone from our small part of the world.


February 22, 2017

Loved this book....once I picked it up I couldn't put it down. What I loved most about this story was the ties and relationships between the Prentiss family; Darcy, Mags, their mother, aunt and the innocent Nell. All these women are dealing with some sort of sorrow in their life and it makes them all act out in different ways...I found their relationships to be the most intriguing. BUT.....I can't forget the relationship between Jesse and Darcy...that was pretty special as well. A wonderful, gripping debut novel that has me excited to see what Gillian French will come out with next. Thanks to HarperCollins for the ARC!


February 08, 2017

Wow! Grit is a story most people want to sweep under the rug. Kudos to Gillian French for writing about it. There are many things going on in this novel but the underling issue is still in the forefront. Darcy is the main character who you can't help but love. She is who she is and she owns it. She has so much love for her cousin who is in special education classes that she will do anything for her........until she can't any more.I really loved this book. The true, raw emotion, the feeling that this was real, because we all know it happens, the love of three cousins and the one guy who just might be a good guy and not a creep.


December 22, 2016

I liked this SO much more than I expected to! Raw and fierce style, great and varied characters, complex female friendships and family relationships.


April 10, 2018

I really enjoyed this book, it was very interesting. I couldn't put this book down, it was such a good book but the ending was a huge let down


May 10, 2018

A very compelling story with plenty of teenage drama.

Michelle (Pink Polka Dot Books)

May 18, 2017

Different than I was expecting, but I still liked it. Darcy was a character I won't be forgetting anytime soon. She was head-strong, tough, and fearless. It wasn't really as thrillery or mysteryful as I wanted, but had a cool atmosphere about it. Definitely will read more from this author!I've been interested in this book ever since I first heard about it. I mean, it has all the ingredients that make this something I would like: "town slut" issues- CHECK, secrets- CHECK, beauty queen pageant- CHECK, a missing girl/murder mystery- CHECK.The synopsis mis-led me a little though, because while I was expecting this to be a mystery/suspense book, it was more a coming-of-age/character study book. Which, I'm fine with, but I was hoping the mystery aspect was bigger.So let's talk about what I liked about this book because I did really like it.The Atmosphere. I loved reading about this small, dusty, agricultural town in Maine. It was interesting to read about these girls who were farming for the summer!! I'm sure there are lots of people who do this, but I've never really read about any of them, so points for being different!!Darcy. As main characters go, Darcy ranks up there with some of my very favorites. She's smart and tough and fearless. I loved the relationships that she had with her sister and cousin (they were like the 3 musketeers), and the complicated relationship she had with her mom and aunt. It felt real.So much of this book was about Darcy dealing with her past. The past she had with the missing girl, the past she's had with guys, and the past her dad left her. I liked that she was a wild card-- you never knew which direction she was going to head in, and I liked that she stuck to her guns. Darcy is not going to change who she is because you don't like her. She's unapologetic about that-- and I loved that about her.Nell was also a stand-out character. She was portrayed as innocent and sweet-- a girl that has a learning disability and is sheltered and watched over. I knew she had more in her than that, and I was glad I wasn't wrong. I think Nell is going to have a lot of life to live, and I think she's going to live it-- someday...The romance was my least favorite part. I didn't really "get" the appeal of Jesse. He was just a guy, and was pretty much just there so we could see how bad the other guys talked about Darcy. There wasn't anything wrong with the romance, I just wasn't wowed by it.OVERALL: It wasn't as mysteryful as I was hoping for, but that turned out to be not a problem. The atmosphere and coming-of-age story was more than enough to hold my interest. I definitely recommend, and I'll definitely be reading more from Gillian French!!My Blog:


June 13, 2017

This review and more can be found on Living for the Books4.5 StarsIt's books like these that make me wonder why I'm more likely to pick up a fantasy book over something like this. Grit really surprised me, not only with the writing, but also the entire story did. I guessed that there would be slut shaming based off the synopsis, but I didn't expect all the other components of the book. It was just refreshing to read a contemporary book that had next to no fluff and also dealt with some important issues. All the characters in this book are flawed and that's what sold me on this book first. Each character has a reason for their behavior, even if it's not a good one. It made all the characters so realistic and more likeable. I absolutely loved Darcy as a main character. She is so unapologetic about who she is, even though she's the target of slut shaming from peers her age, adults, and family. I probably couldn't count the number of books that had a main character slut shame other girls and with the amount it goes on in the real world, it's incredibly important to get the point of view of the girl that's targeted by it. Darcy and her family are not well off. They rake berries all summer with the migrant workers in order to earn some extra money. I thought that the tension between the locals and migrants was really interesting and something important that should have been explored a little more. I also did not really understand the point of the pageant that Darcy and her cousin, Nell, participate in. It didn't really relate to the rest of the plot and felt a little like filler, even though I enjoyed some of the scenes with them practicing and the event. I thought this book would be a little more about Rhiannon than it actually was. She was still a part of the story, but her importance was kind of shoved to the side for some of the book. I still really enjoyed that part of the book though, even if it wasn't always the main focus. It seems that the book really focused on Darcy's relationship with her peers.I really enjoyed the writing and story for this book and I will definitely be on the lookout for more books by this author in the future. *I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

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