Series: The Perfectionists #1
Published by HarperCollins on October 7, 2014
Genres: Mystery, YA
Source: ARC borrowed thru Around the World ARC Tours
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.
~ This is the second book I’ve read by Sara Shepard, and I’ve determined that her books are just not for me. I gave this one a try because I love murder mysteries and usually I like a large cast of characters. But most of the characters are stereotypes, I had to keep referring to my notes to remember who was who (oh, it’s Caitlyn who’s crushing on her boyfriend’s little brother, and it’s Mackenzie that likes her bff’s boyfriend).
~ I should point out, in case it’s not obvious, that I am an adult who reads YA. Most of the time this doesn’t matter, but I feel like tween me would have eaten this book up with a spoon and loudly demanded seconds. Adult me just couldn’t connect with any of the characters and felt that all the characters have been done before. However, if you like Pretty Little Liars (the books), then I imagine that you’ll enjoy this series too.
~ The book starts off with a party at Nolan’s house. Nolan is a snobdouche, and all 5 of the main characters hate him and blame him for various issues in their lives. They have a plan (which is particularly lame in the first place) to humiliate him. Of course, he winds up dead. The girls have to find out who killed Nolan, or if one of the girls in their revenge coven went too far.
~ I did find the film class that the girls all meet up in interesting, mostly because I love the movies that they cover in class. However the over the top sleazy teacher is over the top.
~ I just didn’t get why certain people acted the way they did, and there’s no explanation. Like, why is Nolan all evil? I get some of his behavior is just trust fund baby arseholeness, but he’s all dark and no light, and rarely are people that uncomplicated and evil. And the whole storyline with Mackenzie/Claire/Blake was beyond belief. Although it did lead to one of the more memorable scenes in the book.
~ Okay, so Ava. Ava’s a gorgeous girl who’s trying to prove that she’s more than that. She’s supposed to be smart too, but then she makes some incredibly stupid decisions. I don’t like being told characters are smart, their actions should prove it.
~ And that brings me to Mr. Granger. Sigh. I get that in YA books the adults are largely absent or incompetent, and that is definitely the case with the detectives in charge of Nolan’s murder investigation. However, Det. Tweedledee and Det. Tweedledum seem unconcerned with the reports that Mr. Granger is a creeper. And then Mr. G sends a threatening note to his accuser? Um, no. Not even plausible on World’s Dumbest Criminals show.
~ The book ends with another death that means bad news for the girls.
Mackenzie- hipster cello player. Harbors crush on her best friend’s boyfriend.
Ava- a pretty girl who doesn’t get credit for her brains.
Caitlin- soccer player who maybe wants more from her current life.
Julie- most popular girl in school, the title she inherited from Parker. Hiding a big secret that could threaten her popularity.
Parker- the loner of the group, was once very popular, but after being scarred she’s retreated from everybody but Julie.
Nolan- extremely wealthy, popular, and possibly soulless. He has a little something something on pretty much everyone in school.
And a cast of thousands. Just joking, but there are A LOT of characters- boyfriends, friends, causal acquaintances, therapists, teachers, parents, coaches, janitor. So I’m just listing the main players.
Mackenzie and Caitlin were the characters that most stuck out for me, even though it’s because they basically felt like the same person. My MM features Mackenzie and her cello audition for Julliard. Although I felt the whole lead up to the audition and the Blake/Claire drama to be truly eye-rolling, I loved that Mac dealt with blows with grace instead of breaking down.
Stop the Clock:
Chock full of cliches- bitchy rich girls, swarmy douche bag boys, evil or neglectful adults, and someone or someones out to frame innocent (well, mostly) teen girls who were just trying to pull off the world’s 2nd lamest prank (number 1 is putting someone’s hand in warm water so they’ll pee themselves as they sleep).
The Perfectionists was just okay for me. I think if you like PLL, then you’ll be happy with this. I’m sure the CW will cast ridiculously good looking people when it gets developed for TV. Although, how to solve the problem of Parker? Hmmm…
The Perfectionists gets a Midnight Book rating of: