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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

American Girl

Narrators: Paige Layle and full cast: Carson Beck, Josh Hurley, Alexander Cendese, Carly Robins, Hillary Huber, Molly Secours

ASIN: B09J68ZK67

Audible Originals

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing

Publication Date: 10/17/2023

Format: Audible

My Rating: 5 Stars

A Full-Length Audio Novel

Available Exclusively from Audible

Performed by Paige Layle and full cast: Carson Beck, Josh Hurley, Alexander Cendese, Carly Robins, Hillary Huber, Molly Secours

A pulse-pounding novel about a small-town business owner found dead and the teenage girl caught in the crosshairs, American Girl is the latest thriller from international best-selling author Wendy Walker.

Charlie Hudson, an autistic 17-year-old, is determined to leave Sawyer, PA as soon as she graduates high school — in the meantime, she works as many hours as she can at a sandwich shop called The Triple S to save money for college. But when shop owner Clay Cooper — a man who is both respected and feared by many in this economically depressed community — is found dead, each member of his staff becomes a suspect in the perplexing case. Charlie must work to protect herself and her friends, and uncover the danger that may still be at large in their tightknit community.

Best-selling author Wendy Walker returns with another riveting thriller, told through the eyes of an unforgettable protagonist.

My Review

The master of suspense and jaw-dropping twists, Wendy Walker (favorite author) returns following What Remains with her popular riveting thriller, AMERICAN GIRL —a heart-pounding novel about a small-town business owner found dead and an autistic teenage girl caught in the crosshairs.

Based on the #1 bestselling Audible Original, AMERICAN GIRL is told through the eyes of an unforgettable protagonist. Available Oct 17, 2023, in all formats!

Charlie Hudson is an observant, autistic seventeen-year-old, a hard worker, and has been accepted to MIT. She is looking forward to leaving Sawyer, PA, and has worked at Triple S, a local sandwich shop, since she was fourteen, saving for her education. She is super intelligent with numbers.

Her family life is not the most supportive, so she has become close to her work family. She is diligent, enjoys her work, and never messes up an order.

Charlie's mom was just a teen when she was born and never knew her father, who left the town. They have always struggled until Charlie's mom married a lawyer, and they had two sons together (her stepbrothers are not supportive either). The stepdad has nothing to do with Charlie since he thinks she is different. No help with college, as why she saves and works hard.

Her boss, Clay Cooper, employs most of the town in various businesses. He is respected and feared by others who rely on him for their livelihood. He is not so nice and a womanizer. Not many people like him, and he must have enemies.

When Clay is found murdered, it rocks the small, depressed town. All the employees at the Trips S become suspects. Charlie overheard an argument in the shop, but she did not tell the police because she wanted to protect her work family. She has to do more investigating on her own.

Charlie finds herself at the heart of the investigation and does her best to protect herself and her coworkers. The scary thing is she was there that night and a prime suspect. But she keeps quiet.

Charlie must protect herself and her friends, desperately trying to uncover the danger in their community. What did Charlie see and hear that night? She now faces danger for the secrets she knows. Who is the killer?

Complex, emotional, and INTENSE, Charlie is a fantastic, memorable character that readers will love. Wendy is a pro, a skilled writer, ramping up the tension and danger that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

I would love to see another book featuring Charlie at college involved in another crime thriller with her keen sleuthing skills. She is too good to end!

AMERICAN GIRL is a twisty, gripping psychological suspense coming-of-age small-town thriller! I purchased the audiobook back when it came out as Audible Original and was excited to see it available in all formats. The audiobook was well done and highly entertaining, narrated by Paige Layle and full cast: Carson Beck, Josh Hurley, Alexander Cendese, Carly Robins, Hillary Huber, and Molly Secours.

I am a massive fan of the author, and she is one of the top suspense thriller authors out today! I have read all her page-turning thrillers, and each one is unique with her classic winning style. I highly recommend all her books!

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: Oct 17, 2023

My Rating: 5 Stars


A compelling narrator, a suspenseful, complex mystery, and twists I didn’t see coming―American Girl had me on the edge of my seat for the whole ride.”

--Sara Shepard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Little Liars

“Wendy Walker’s outstanding American Girl has a little bit of everything. A fascinating, perfectly rendered teen protagonist. An intricately plotted mystery. A deadly accurate portrait of a small town grappling with big issues. This novel is smart, moving, complex, and ultimately hopeful. A highly original work from one of the best suspense writers in the business. Don’t miss it!”

--David Bell, New York Times bestselling author of She’s Gone and Try Not to Breathe

“Wendy Walker’s unforgettable thriller will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page.”

--Greer Hendricks, #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of The Wife between Us

“Wendy Walker is a master of suspense and jaw-dropping twists, and like her other novels, American Girl had me on the edge of my seat. This is an immersive and original story that is gripping and tense, with a protagonist you’ll root for and won’t soon forget.”

--Carola Lovering, bestselling author of Tell Me Lies

“American Girl is a gripping small-town thriller with an unforgettable coming-of-age protagonist. Walker crafts an engrossing page-turner.”

--Karen Winn, author of Our Little World

“It was wonderful. I felt very heard with this book.”

--Paige Layle, autism acceptance advocate, social media influencer, and audio performer of American Girl

“[A] cunning thriller…The twisty tale unfolds in urgent first-person-present narration…instilling an air of uncertainty that fosters tension and momentum. The exquisitely rendered and emotionally complex characters add depth. Nita Prose fans, take note.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Wendy Walker on American Girl

About the Creator

Wendy Walker is the bestselling author of All is Not Forgotten, Emma In the Night, The Night Before, Don’t Look for Me, and the Audible Originals Hold Your Breath and American Girl, with rights sold in twenty-three foreign languages as well as options in film and television. Wendy Walker recently curated a “Chapter and Verse” playlist for Pandora. Visit it here.

Check out my

Q&A with Wendy



About the Performer

Paige Layle is a 21 year old actor born and raised in a small town in southern Ontario, Canada (she/they). They have been acting for 15 years, taking part in local plays, musical theatre productions and professional commercials all throughout her life—with favourite roles including Timon in The Lion King, Sarah from Company and now, Charlie from American Girl! Aside from acting, Layle also runs her own business being a lash and eyebrow technician, and has a large social media presence educating others about autism, Layle being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at 15. Layle has massed 3 million followers across social media platforms with her engaging and entertaining ways of portraying how autism affects her life. She captures others with her honest and raw portrayal of autism, while also being educational, factual and helpful to the 3 million people interested in learning more about autism and issues surrounding ableism. Layle is thankful that American Girl features an actually autistic actor portraying an autistic character, as they believe accurate autism portrayal in the media is important for autistic people everywhere, and for the general public to understand what autism can really look like. As an avid routine-lover, Layle enjoys journaling and scheduling in their spare time. She also likes training and spending personal time with her 2 year old service dog, a German Shepherd named Macey.

Wendy's Story







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