Reviews

Nothing Can Hurt You by Nicola Maye Goldberg

kmckay's review against another edition

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3.0

A little hard to follow with all the different view points but an interesting take on how many people are affected by just one action

rmarcin's review against another edition

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3.0

I received an ARC of Nothing Can Hurt You from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book is about a girl, Sara, who is killed by her boyfriend, and people she is connected to - either in life, or as a result of her death. There is also a parallel storyline concerning a serial murderer caught right before Sara was killed.
The story is told in a series of vignettes featuring various people. Sara’s family, Blake-the boyfriend-and his family, as well as a reporter covering the murder, others who are connected to the serial killer, and more.
I felt the stories were a little disjointed, and I had trouble keeping track of everyone, and what their connection was to the story. I also felt the story ended rather abruptly.
I did like that the book was short, East to read in one sitting, but I wished it went deeper than it did.
#NothingCanHurtYou #NicolaMayeGoldberg #NetGalley

stephanieleeb's review

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5.0

I want to read this book 50 more times

brettcarl's review against another edition

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adventurous dark mysterious reflective sad fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

2.0

With Nothing Can Hurt You, it's evident that Goldberg is commenting on our problematic relationship with true crime and how this intersects with the epidemic of violence against women.
Unfortunately, despite Goldberg's good intentions, her novel is not only contradictory, but also feels half-baked. Specifically, by writing a true crime novel, Goldberg incidentally indulges in the commodificastion of true crime and she also perpetuates some of the same exploitative traits associated with true crime, like the lack of focus on the victim's perspective - even if this was intentional. Critically, just because her perspective, style, structure and intentions may be nobler, this doesn't mean Goldberg accomplishes anything noble and thus, she doesn't get a pass from criticism either.
Furthermore, the novel feels like a bunch of short stories that Goldberg has tenuously connected in order to write a novel. This is exacerbated by the fact that pretty much all the chapters and the characters lack any dimension and development.
Significantly, Goldberg's idea would've been better suited for nonfiction, with James Polchin's Indecent Advances being a great example of how to explore an idea like Goldberg's.
However, it must be noted that this is not a dreadful novel. In particularly, Goldberg's prose is decent, appropriate for her story and at times there were some great lines of dialogue, metaphors, character observations, etc. Also, the book isn't crude and/or gratuitous with its subject matter, instead Goldberg is respectful with how she handles the subject matter for the most part.
Conclusively though, as I've stated above, I do feel that Goldberg's ideas and intentions would've been better suited for nonfiction rather than fiction because her ideas and intentions clearly show a desire to examine our society and culture, and how and why have we become obsessed with true crime to the point that we've commodified pain and suffering. Also, while Goldberg explores and expresses her themes well through her decent prose, sh  doesn't accomplish the basics of fiction well and thus what's the point of writing fiction if you're unable or unwilling to focus on world-building, character and plot.

ashmagoffin's review against another edition

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5.0

Nothing Can Hurt You is about the murder of Sara Morgan, told uniquely through multiple POV chapters by the people affected by Sara's life, before and after her murder. 

I have not read anything like this book before and I was surprised how easy to read this book was, I finished it in one sitting. Even though every chapter is written from a new character's perspective, it only takes a couple of words to become invested in the new protagonist's story. The narrative is told in a non-linear format, turning into a spattering of voices. Nicola Maye Goldberg commentates on our society’s obsession over serial killers and murderers, whereas the victims are normally forgotten. As well as gendered violence is not an abnormality but a fixture in daily life.

skyliner's review against another edition

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4.0

The middle lost me a bit, and I kind of wish I had a better attention span to track the characters but I thought this was a really good little book. The last chapter was my favourite even though I thought I wasn't understanding it once I finished. I thought it was great how no details are really ever revealed, about the characters yes but nothing really about the main plot that you don't already know very early on.

lizmcb55's review against another edition

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dark mysterious reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

2.5

dvrk_academic's review

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3.0

This book was sent to me by Bloomsbury Publishing, so thank you for that.
For a short and quick mystery novel, this book grabbed at my attention. But unfortunately it left me with more questions than answers, which is not something I like in mysteries. It's said that this is based on a true story when a college student is killed by someone she knows. This book explores the aftermath of this student's death and how years later, the aftershocks of her passing is still felt by those that loved her, those that lived near or at the school, and those who knew her. It was an intriguing web of connections to say the least. But the reason for her death felt a little underwhelming. Since it is based on a true story, I can't comment much on the similarities because I don't know anything about the case, but it certainly did feel real and some of the repercussions and consequences to actions felt like that could actually happen in the real world. I wished it was longer, and I wish we got more about the character that died. Overall, it was a quick read and if you're feeling up to some eeriness, then I would definitely suggest this book.

macrosinthemitten's review against another edition

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4.0

Hmm. I am not sure how to review this book nor do I know exactly how I feel about it. It’s based on a true story of a young girl who was found dead in the woods after being murdered by her boyfriend. Her boyfriend was found not guilty by reason of insanity. The story is told in a series of chapters narrated by different characters involved in the case. Each chapter was really interesting and it was written in a way that made it almost impossible to stop reading. I kept waiting for it all to come together and it just never really did. Each chapter almost felt like a mini short story. I enjoyed this book immensely, but I am also very confused by it!

nina_reads_books's review

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4.0

Sara Morgan and her boyfriend Blake Campbell have been together for years and are desperately in love. Blake however suffers from schizophrenia and after taking acid one day apparently kills Sara. He confesses to the killing immediately but is found not guilty by reason of insanity.

Nothing Can Hurt Us could be considered a mystery or thriller as it begins with a young woman found brutally murdered in the woods. But this is a thriller like no other. In fact the author Nicola Maye Goldberg approaches her story in an entirely unexpected way. Each chapter is narrated in the voice of a character connected, however loosely, to the murdered girl and over the course of the book we see how the impact of this murder ripples across a broad range of people.

There is enough doubt cast throughout the book that it means you continue to question – was Blake suffering a psychotic episode or did he unfairly get out of a jail sentence due to his expensive lawyers? But in the end Sara is dead, Blake believes he killed her and no one wins.

This was such a compelling read and I kept turning and turning the pages until the wee hours because I could not put it down without getting to the end in one sitting.

Sara Morgan could be any young woman killed by any man. Apparently inspired by a true story this is not true crime and it is not really a mystery as it is clear who the killer is. It is wholly unique and has definitely not got enough attention here on #bookstagram. I do recommend that you pick this up.