March 12, 2016 • Cee • Reviews

the girl in the well is me

The Girl in the Well is Me by Karen Rivers • March 15, 2016 • Algonquin Books for Young Readers
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Longing to be one of the popular girls in her new town, Kammie Summers has fallen into a well during a (fake) initiation into a club whose members have no intention of letting her join. Now Kammie’s trapped in the dark, growing increasingly claustrophobic, and waiting to be rescued—or possibly not.

As hours pass, the reality of Kammie’s predicament mixes with her memories of the highlights and lowlights of her life so far, including the reasons her family moved to this new town in the first place. And as she begins to run out of oxygen, Kammie starts to imagine she has company, including a French-speaking coyote and goats that just might be zombies.


I received this book for free from Algonquin Books for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “The whole thing feels like a prank at first, like something they planned—a joke with a punch line.”

When you’re a kid, one of the worst nightmares is getting stuck in a well. You’re in an enclosed space with nothing to stare at except the brick wall and possibly the sky, waiting for somebody to find you and get you out.

That’s what we have in The Girl in the Well is Me. Kammie falls into an abandoned well after trying to impress the mean popular girls. While she’s stuck in the well, waiting for help to arrive, she falls deep into the confines of her mind, remembering moments in her life, regretting her decisions, and hallucinating things like French-speaking dogs.


  • It is a stream-of-consciousness narrative.

When you’re stuck in a well, you have nothing but your thoughts.

Kammie’s mind is a never-ending train. It just keeps going and going, jumping from one memory to a hallucination and so on. It’s what happens in our own brains when we’re thinking. We jump from one thought to the next. It’s not exactly linear, and I loved seeing this portrayed in Kammie, especially how her thoughts shifted. I always find stream-of-consciousness narratives interesting to read because you’re taken on a journey through how a character’s mind works.

  • Kammie has a big imagination.

From her anecdotes to hallucinations, Kammie has quite an imagination. They were all amusing. I was amazed at the things that Kammie imagined were appearing to her like a French-speaking dog and Zombie goats. (Hey, that’s what happens when you’re injured and start to hallucinate while stuck in a well.)

  • Kammie just wants to have friends. 

When you’re the new girl at a school, you want nothing more than to make friends with someone fast. I loved how relatable Kammie’s desire to make friends was. I was that girl once too, trying to figure out who would be the best person to befriend in elementary school. For Kammie, she decided on the mean popular girls even though she knew better. She was blinded by the thought of being liked and having friends. This is something we can all relate to.

  • It deals with a range of topics like bullying and moving that everybody can relate to.

Many readers will definitely relate to the topics discussed in The Girl in the Well is Me. Kammie is experiencing a new life in a strange hot place. Her family is pretty broken, and she wishes to go back to the happier days. Kammie wants to fit in, and the mean popular girls are her way in, but of course, things don’t go her way. She’s bullied hard while stuck in the well. You experience all these emotions as if you’re the one who’s in Kammie’s shoes.

Do I recommend The Girl in the Well is MeYes. You have this great stream-of-consciousness narrative about an 11-year old girl who’s just yearning to fit in and for everything to be okay again. Ask yourself, have you read a stream-of-consciousness Middle Grade book? No? Pick this up.


6 Responses to “(ARC) REVIEW | Save Me, Lassie! (The Girl in the Well is Me by Karen Rivers)”

  1. Whoa. This sounds crazy and sad and awesome. Thanks for the rec!

  2. When I first saw this I was afraid to read this because I thought this was a retelling of a horror movie called The Ring! XD But it seems to be a heartfelt middle grade book, and it seems a bit realistic, so thanks for telling us about this book!

  3. This sounds amazing! I love middle grade novels that are meaningful and I LOVE stream of consciousness narratives! Great review! :D

  4. Fida says:

    I need to get into reading more middle grade. This sounds awesome!

  5. Alexa S. says:

    I had no idea that this was told in a stream of consciousness style! That makes The Girl In the Well Is Me even more interesting to me :)

  6. Sienna J. says:

    I loved this book, I love the ending. I totally recommend this book!

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