Search this blog

Monday, January 5, 2015

Review: The Perfectionists by Sara Shepard

The Perfectionists by Sara Shepard
Publication Date: October 2, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 336
Genre: Mystery

   buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
From the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling series Pretty Little Liars comes a thrilling new novel about five perfect girls who are framed for a murder they didn’t commit. 
In Beacon Heights, Washington, five girls—Ava, Caitlin, Mackenzie, Julie, and Parker—know that you don’t have to be good to be perfect. At first the girls think they have nothing in common, until they realize that they all hate Nolan Hotchkiss, who’s done terrible things to each of them. They come up with the perfect way to kill him—a hypothetical murder, of course. It’s just a joke...until Nolan turns up dead, in exactly the way they planned. Only, they didn’t do it. And unless they find the real killer, their perfect lives will come crashing down around them. 
From Sara Shepard, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Pretty Little Liars series, comes another story of dark secrets, shocking twists, and what happens when five beautiful girls will do anything to hide the ugly truth.

*An advanced readers copy provided by the publisher for an honest review*

How far would you go for revenge?

Okay, I really wanted to like this book, but, man, did this fall flat in my eyes.  The world that Shepard creates in this story is so bizarrely cruel it ruined the plot as a whole.  I believe that Shepard was trying to show that the girls could only rely on themselves because it was literally them against the world, but it made the side characters awful, the romances depressing and the world itself completely ridiculous.

The mystery of the story is alright, but I think it could have been a little bit better if Shepard had gone full blown and make the accident as bad as it sounds in the beginning chapters  and just let the book be about unraveling the blackmail. On top of this, the five main characters make an insane amount of stupid choices for the sake of the plot and nothing it resolved.  Maybe, this is because The Perfectionists is only the first of a series, but too much is left up in the air to make it even worth it to read (like the scars on one of the characters, never find out what they look like or what happened, but it gets brought up every chapter or so).  Honestly, the entirety of this book could be explained in the second and the reader wouldn't lose anything.

Also, my little annoyance with this book, who are even "The Perfectionists"?  Literally, no one is called that and it makes no sense that these girls, who honestly suck at hiding information or flaws, would be called that. No one is called that in the book, no reference is made to making the school "perfect" (although they want to make the school better, there are better names than "the perfectionist" for the situation they are getting in).

I hate to be so mean on a review and this book is obviously aimed at a younger audience so if you liked Pretty Little Liars, a very dog-eat-dog world and some seriously messed teenagers, I would suggest The Perfectionists.  Otherwise, for the love of all things well written pick-up something else.

For someone who should be hitting five targets, two is just disappointing.