Mystery Mondays is a sometimes weekly, sometimes biweekly and sometimes monthly review feature here on Words of Mystery that showcases books in the mystery (and on occasion thriller) genre that we are currently reading and our thoughts on them. Feel free to comment and leave suggestions as to what we should read and review next.
On the whole when people hear the name Sara Shepard, the first thing that may come to mind is the TV and book series, Pretty Little Liars. And to be honest her latest series, The Perfectionist is incredibly reminiscent of Pretty Little Liars. This does not mean it was not enjoyable, although rather if you are a fan of Pretty Little Liars then this book would definitely appeal to you, and if you aren’t well then this book has several differences from the Pretty Little Liars series.
The Perfectionist is the first of a projected two books that takes place in Beacon Heights, Washington. Here there is an enormous pressure to always appear on top and maintain a flawless image, especially at the high school the central characters attend. The story revolves around five different girls; Ava, Caitlin, Mackenzie, Julie, and Parker, who all have a vendetta against Nolan Hotchkiss, a popular, womanizing student who as we learn has several psychopathic tendencies. He has also damaged each of the girls in a number of way which leads to all of them holding a grudge against him. However that’s not where the story starts. The story in reality begins with a prologue that occurs at a party where Nolan is found dead at his own party; though originally it was deemed as a drug overdose it is later discovered he was found murdered in a manner that is eerily similar to how the five girls had plotted to kill him. The rest of the novel follows each of the five girls and we are given both a glimpse of their home life in addition to the flashbacks as to hat Nolan did to them. As a result the mystery element was not as predominant in this book, nevertheless since it is only the first book in a recent series it is completely understandable.
Truth be told, I truly liked that the mystery element was only one element of the story as I felt that getting to observe how each of the girls are making them more likeable. For instance, though I’m not a fan of cheating, I found myself rooting for Caitlyn and Jeremy and I adored the friendship between Parker and Julie who were both extremely protective and supportive of each other. However in spite of those examples, there countless other examples of horrible relationships and disgusting characters in this book. From truly awful parents and stepparents to “friends” who would stab them in the back to achieve their goals, even if it means resorting to psychological warfare of sorts. It was extremely disheartening although not surprising to read about how awful everybody outside of the five girls was to each other.
Overall The Perfectionists was a compelling, quick and remarkably addictive if somewhat twisted read. And while there are currently two books planned, I feel it may drag on although I hope not as I despise tremendously long series and it would be extremely unfortunate if it were to drag on for years akin to Pretty Little Liars since it has the potential to be excellent at the moment. Needless to say I am looking forward to the sequel, and I would not be surprised if there was some twist involving Nolan’s death and that pinning his murder of the girls is some sort of sick plan, but who knows? We’ll just have to wait and see.
If you like this book, you’ll love: No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale
Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.