Book Review

Review: The Girl Who Could Move Sh*t with Her Mind by Jackson Ford

Look at that title, look at that cover – this is a book that is crying out for attention … so why did it try and drown me in words in the middle?!

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Title: The Girl Who Could Move Sh*t with Her Mind
Author: Jackson Ford (pseudonym)
Pages: 496
Date Published: 18th June 2019
Publisher: Orbit

Teagan Frost may be the only person in the world with psychokenesis (PK), which makes her a prime suspect when a man is found murdered in a way that only a PK could have done. Even worse, it’s the same location as her last job – did she mention that she works for the government? And now the government, or someone, is out to get her and her team. She’s got just 24 hours – make that 22 – to clear her name.

This book was a genuine 3.5 stars for me, and I don’t know whether to round up or round down. Despite the hype, I got bogged down in the middle and nearly couldn’t find my way out.

The start is so strong – Teagan and team-mate Annie falling through a window 50 storeys up and then a freeze-frame moment as Teagan reflects on how they got to this point.

I think that was what the main problem was for me. This would be a great movie. And it was written like a movie. It just didn’t translate as well into a book.

Teagan is a snarky young woman who just wants to open her own restaurant, kick back at home with a few beers, maybe live a more normal life – and this is emphasised over and over again. That and the limits of her PK powers – no organic material, nothing beyond a 10 feet radius, nothing above a certain weight. Yes thankyou, we got the message already.

The characters are also a little bare-bones. Annie was the most interesting and most-fleshed out – she had backstory, family, motivations, fears and realistic reactions – but the whole team is written around the events that have happened in their lives, rather than their personalities.

I grew to like them as a group, but what really put me off was the pacing. You move from fast action sequence back to slow reflection and discussion about how much sh*t they were all in, with no real progress each time the conversation happened. That was what really pulled down the middle of this novel.

The ending, however, was great! It was fast, unclear how it would finish (although I’m afraid I called the twist a mile off) and explosive. 

And then immediately ruined by a whole chapter where Teagan narrates ‘what happened next’. It was too much to summarise in one chapter, but also too much to write about after such a meaty novel. There was no good way of rounding it off.

However, beyond the end of the actual action-based story, is another ending, and that was so much better – issues that aren’t resolved and new revelations. That gives me hope that the next book will be more consistently strong throughout.

This is what made this book so hard for me to rate – I loved the concept, I have faith that book two will be even better, it would look great on screen, but it all got a bit quagmire-y in the middle.

3.5, just 3.5

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