This is an Audiobook exclusively available only on Audible! It was very well produced with some audio stage acted scenes throughout the book. American Girl is a highly entertaining listen while driving or doing house chores. Wendy Walker is a best selling author and executes this phycological thriller beautifully.
If you loved the main character in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon, then you'll absolutely love Charlie, the main character in American Girl.
Charlie is a 17-year-old Autistic young girl from a small town in rural Pennsylvania, just months away from going to college when her boss is murdered.
And not just any college, Charlie was accepted into M.I.T. due to her exceptional way with numbers and plans to study data analytics. As a result of her keen way with numbers, she knows exactly how much she'll need for tuition for the first year and knows that she'll have to work at the local sandwich shop for as many hours as she can get, take out federal student loans, and win the town's annual scholarship which goes to the rising senior with the highest GPA each year.
Charlie is smoothly executing her plan and counting the days until her college life begins until the owner of the sandwich shop in which she works is murdered. The owner of "The Triple S" sandwich shop, Clay Cooper, is the town hero who also owns most of the businesses in town including the local tobacco shop. Coop, an endearing nickname given to him by member of the town, leads the town council who votes for the winner of the town scholarship, and pursues women more than half his age even though he is married. Charlie has to solve her bosses murder to protect her work family at the sandwich shop while navigating the twists and turns of getting to college.
Character (and Suspect) list:
Keller -Charlie's best friend who drops out of school to care for her senile grandmother. Keller works at two of Clay Cooper's businesses and spends most of her time avoiding his advances and unwanted touches. Keller desperately wants to save enough money to send her grandmother to a "nice" care facility and the only thing in her way is Clay Cooper.
Levi - New to Sawyer, PA from New Jersey looking for work. Levi is handsome, strong, smart and madly in love with Keller. He will stop at nothing to protect her.
Janice - Everyday Charlie repeats "lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and onions" in her head when Janice gives her a big hug before her shift at the sandwich shop, because Charlie doesn't like to be touched and this helps to ignore the discomfort. Janice is a nice friend and has taught Charlie so much about human connection. Clay Cooper constantly insults Janice and her husband, Shane, by calling their sickly son "half-pint' because of his small size. When Shane, reaches a tipping point and punches Clay Cooper in the face, everyone wonders what Janice (and Shane) will do next.
Eann - Charlie's classmate and greatest mutual love. A heartthrob, now the town's newest police officer, Eann is determined to find and arrest his father's murderer. A case opened when Eann was still a young boy. But first, when it is discovered that Charlie is video taped in the Sandwich shop at the time of Coop's death, he must haul Charlie down to the police station to find out what she knows about Clay Cooper's sudden murder.
Nora - The manager of The Triple S enraged after learning Clay Cooper was evading taxes and submitting tax returns for the business to the IRS with her signature. Nora's husband died in the army which results in her being strict with the rules. When begins to keep track of the business finances with Charlie's help and confronts Coop with the evidence, employees at the sandwich shop begin to anticipate a fight between the bosses.
There is a clear theme to author Wendy Walker's madness in this thriller. Charlie's story is an anthem for many girls who get trapped in the cogs and wheels of rural small towns with little to no way out. In American Girl, we're all rooting for Charlie to make her way out.
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Happy reading my friends,