WINNER OF THE ITW THRILLER AWARD FOR BEST FIRST NOVEL
“My Sweet Girl pushes the boundaries of what a thriller can do.”—The Washington Post
“Fiendish [and] full of twists…. Sri Lankan author Amanda Jayatissa keeps us guessing and worrying until the very end.” —The New York Times
“A thriller centered on the meaning of identity and all the layers it can have.”—NPR
Paloma thought her perfect life would begin once she was adopted and made it to America, but she’s about to find out that no matter how far you run, your past always catches up to you…
Ever since she was adopted from a Sri Lankan orphanage, Paloma has had the best of everything—schools, money, and parents so perfect that she fears she'll never live up to them.
Now at thirty years old and recently cut off from her parents’ funds, she decides to sublet the second bedroom of her overpriced San Francisco apartment to Arun, who recently moved from India. Paloma has to admit, it feels good helping someone find their way in America—that is until Arun discovers Paloma's darkest secret, one that could jeopardize her own fragile place in this country.
Before Paloma can pay Arun off, she finds him face down in a pool of blood. She flees the apartment but by the time the police arrive, there's no body—and no evidence that Arun ever even existed in the first place.
Paloma is terrified this is all somehow tangled up in the desperate actions she took to escape Sri Lanka so many years ago. Did Paloma’s secret die with Arun or is she now in greater danger than ever before?
About the Author
Amanda Jayatissa grew up in Sri Lanka, completed her undergrad at Mills College in California and lived in the UK before moving back to her sunny little island. She works as a corporate trainer, owns a chain of cookie stores, and is a proud dog mum to her two spoiled huskies.
A Most Anticipated Novel of Fall 2021 by Entertainment Weekly, NPR, New York Post, The Boston Globe, Fortune, Buzzfeed, Goodreads, Shondaland, PopSugar, Bustle, Betches, Lit Hub, Crime Reads, BookRiot, Crime by the Book, The Nerd Daily, The Every Girl, and more!
“This debut thriller—as witty as it is propulsive—will keep readers guessing.”—O, The Oprah Magazine
“Dark, compelling and utterly original. My Sweet Girl heralds a fresh, new voice in psychological suspense." —Riley Sager, New York Times bestselling author of Home Before Dark
“Like nothing else I’ve read. Set in San Francisco and Sri Lanka, this is a story about friendship, lies, and guilt. A stunning and original must-read!” —Samantha Downing, USA Today author of My Lovely Wife
“Jayatissa’s pulse-pounding debut is a fast-paced thriller that will keep you on your toes.” —Buzzfeed
“Provocative.” —Entertainment Weekly
“The perfect thriller to kick off fall is here, and what better way to settle into the season than with a spellbinding tale about a young woman with a secret?...What follows is a smart, darkly funny novel filled with twists that will leave you wondering.” —Shondaland
“[F]un, fast-moving debut.” —San Francisco Chronicle
"This is a Hitchcockian thriller of the highest order with secrets, revelations and twists around every corner right through to the very end." —BookReporter
“[T]here’s no way to capture the gist of this complex character or this captivating novel in a simple phrase—other than excellent.” —Mystery Scene Magazine
“My Sweet Girl is unputdownable. Jayatissa has penned a jaw-droppingly original novel that will burrow so far into readers’ psyches, it will be hard for any of us to pick up another psychological thriller again.” —The Tempest
“[A] page-turning and often genuinely scary psychological thriller, filled with more twists and bite than a rattlesnake!” —Criminal Element
“Jayatissa's gift for plotting is matched by her grace with lacing her fleet narrative with rich social themes, among them cultural assimilation and the different values placed on white versus brown bodies. In a canny touch, the novel's plot hinges on the literary classic Wuthering Heights. My Sweet Girl may well become, likewise, a classic.” —Shelf Awareness
“A delicious, twisty, fast-paced thriller with the perfect hint of ghost story.” —Michele Campbell, bestselling author of It’s Always the Husband
“Hot damn this book is good.” —CrimeReads
“My fave debut thriller of the year!” —Crime by the Book
“The thrills and chills narrative with numerous plot twists keeps the reader engaged from the first page.” —International Examiner
“A mysterious, thrilling, and sinister tale that will keep you up for hours wanting to know more …interwoven with incredibly relatable themes surrounding identity and belonging.” —Brown Girl Magazine
“My Sweet Girl has it all: a paranoid bad-girl protagonist, shocking twists, and gothic chills in a totally original setting.” —Amy Gentry, bestselling author of Good as Gone
“Ridiculously good. Crazy good. Scary good.” —Hank Phillippi Ryan, USA Today bestselling author of The First to Lie
“[A] dark thriller of international deceit and murder." —BookPage
"In her debut novel, Sri Lanka–based Jayatissa is a master of first-person narration as she delves into questions of identity--how individuals perceive themselves, and the tendency not to see others for who they really are. Her fast-paced mystery, with an unreliable but sympathetic narrator, will hook readers from the very beginning." —Library Journal
“Equal parts witty, chilling, and hypnotic, and it includes some of the creepiest lines and images I’ve ever read.” —Megan Collins, author of The Winter Sister
“Starts with a bang and doesn’t let up. Haunted by her past, hunted in her present, Paloma must find her life in America, or lose it forever. A richly layered, firecracker of a thriller.” —Eliza Jane Brazier, author of If I Disappear "A gothic-inspired, page turner with enough twists and turns to keep you up through the night as well as a deft exploration of race and gender wrapped up within the thriller." —Nayomi Munaweera, author of Island of a Thousand Mirrors
“My Sweet Girl marks the entrance of a new talent." —South Florida Sun-Sentinel “[A] dark, twisty psychological thriller.” —Publishers Weekly
"...[M]ore than a bit shocking. This was a great mystery thriller and would make a cool movie." —Parkersburg News and Sentinel