• Alex Lopez

The Tenth Girl

Do you believe in ghosts?

Perhaps like Mavi you're more inclined to the solid truths of the world: facts, science, and logic.

There are ghosts that you whisper gleefully against a child's receiving ear or in the safety of a bonfire amidst your friends and kin. Such ghosts are dismissed with the first light and recede with the final tendril of night.

However, there are other vengeful entities that clasp onto our lives and haunt us with painful memories and reminders of a past we try to lock. Then...there are the sinister spirits that escape the logic of this world. They hold the skeleton key needed to unlock all locked doors. Slowly, they make their presence known, for they delight in human fear and uncertainty. For los Otros, nothing serves as greater entertainment than the pastime of breaking the human spirit.

For me, The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring held all the elements of a compelling thriller turned horror story: gripping first person narratives, mysterious entities, a boarding school of nightmares, and an author with a clear vision. Faring led us through the labyrinth of darkness surrounding Vaccaro School alongside Mavi where we made a slow decent into a world that parallels our own. Here, we saw our human existence through demonic eyes and realized that monsters wear so many faces.

Our main protagonist, Mavi, is running from a totalitarian government that killed her mother. Mavi's strong sense of self through the mantra “I am yours. You are mine. The color cannot be stripped out of us.” truly resonated throughout the story. More than ethnicity, Mavi embodied a resilient spirit that she drew from her mother and the history of her heritage. Moreover, Mavi championed the idea of embracing the self in order to triumph against adversity.

The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring is a work that will always be waiting in the corner of your room or secret box in your closet. Once you pass through the halls of Vaccaro School, you will also become a part of a game los Otros play.

So now, I'll ask again:

Do you believe in ghosts?

You're about to.

Favorite Quotes and Author's Spin On Them!

“If I slipped down one of these crevasses, I think I would reappear on a different plane of existence. A Patagonian Alice lost to Wonderland.”

I included this in chapter one from the very first draft--I rubbed my hands together with glee the moment I landed on a satisfactory Alice's Adventures in Wonderland reference because that book looms so large in my imagination. You'll find echoes of it throughout TTG...

“Those I know who hide their fear best do so because they’re trying to hide it from themselves, knowing it could corrupt some piece of them if acknowledged.”

We've all witnessed firsthand how fear can change the shape of our personalities: Mavi's lived through this in a brutal way.

“I wanted someone to echo what I was feeling-or, at the very least, to truly hear it-so that I would feel less isolated in my devastation.”

Sometimes we don't want advice: we just want to feel heard, and less alone. As a practical-minded person who always wanted to solve other people's problems, this was an enormous life lesson for me. I don't like to drop "messages" into books, but I do sometimes lovingly hide tiny bits of wisdom I want to remember...

“My strength lies in my memories, I think, and my experiences will inform my actions now.”

This is one of those quotes I love discovering again and discussing with others who have finished the book--who can view them in a new light, knowing Mavi's full experience in the house...

“I am yours. You are mine. The color cannot be stripped out of us.”

This makes me think of people--women, especially--who have been called difficult, and who might have felt compelled (in previous generations, and even now) to soften their edges and water down their opinions to get by. It was important to me that Mavi's mother would compel her to remember to resist that.

“…I’m fighting hard to make myself better. To make myself worthy of this life.”

I love this moment of recognition, following Angel's mother's mantra of "Wonder, until the very end" and Angel's description of the hostile landscapes that can exist inside of a person. I believe in working hard for contentment, while being grateful for every minute of life, and Angel feels the same way.


The Tenth Girl

by Sara Faring Publisher: Imprint Release Date: September 24th 2019


Young Adult,

Thriller, Horror,

Mystery, Historical Fiction


Simmering in Patagonian myth, The Tenth Girl is a gothic psychological thriller with a haunting twist.

At the very southern tip of South America looms an isolated finishing school. Legend has it that the land will curse those who settle there. But for Mavi—a bold Buenos Aires native fleeing the military regime that took her mother—it offers an escape to a new life as a young teacher to Argentina’s elite girls.

Mavi tries to embrace the strangeness of the imposing house—despite warnings not to roam at night, threats from an enigmatic young man, and rumors of mysterious Others. But one of Mavi’s ten students is missing, and when students and teachers alike begin to behave as if possessed, the forces haunting this unholy cliff will no longer be ignored.

One of these spirits holds a secret that could unravel Mavi's existence. In order to survive she must solve a cosmic mystery—and then fight for her life.


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Born in Los Angeles, Sara Faring is a multi-lingual Argentine-American fascinated by literary puzzles. After working in investment banking at J.P. Morgan, she worked at Penguin Random House. She holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in International Studies and from the Wharton School in Business. She currently resides in New York City.

Her first novel, The Tenth Girl, will be released by Macmillan/Imprint on September 24, 2019. Sara is represented by Sarah Bedingfield at Levine Greenberg Rostan Agency.


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Be sure to visit all the rooms in Vaccaro School



Win a copy of

The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring

(US Only)

Starts: 18th September 2019

Ends: 2nd October 2019


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