Friday, 24 October 2014
Review: The Perfectionists by Sara Shepard
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Format: Paperback / eBook
Released: October 2nd, 2014
In Beacon Heights High, Nolan Hotchkiss is king. His charm, wealth and good looks are deceptively seductive, and many are the students whose lives and reputations have been ruined by it. All while Nolan continues to reign, unquestioned and undisrupted. Until now, that is. Mackenzie, Ava, Julie, Caitlin and Parker seemingly don't have much in common. Each has their own friends, dramas and goals. But one thing they do share: they all have a deep hatred of Nolan Hotchkiss. And they all think it's about time he paid for what he's done. They come up with the perfect murder - a hypothetical murder, of course. It's all wishful thinking ... until they wake up one morning to find that their wish has come true. Nolan has been killed - in exactly the way they planned. The thing is, they didn't do it. So who did?
Sara Shepard is a prolific YA author these days, and yet I've only ever read the first Pretty Little Liars book. I enjoyed it but it didn't leave me with a burning desire to read more, which is also the same for The Perfectionists. I am intrigued enough to read probably the next book, but after that I don't know. If it's a series as drawn out and long as Pretty Little Liars, I think you can definitely count me out.
In true Sara Shepard style, The Perfectionists is all about rich teenagers embroiled in a murder mystery. Their classmate, Nolan Hotchkiss, is found dead, and all fingers point to five girls: Caitlin, Julie, Parker, Mackenzie and Ava. Evidence is not on their side, so the girls take it upon themselves to delver deeper into Nolan's life - and death - and see what they can find.
This book started off well but sadly lagged in the middle, before picking up again for the last fifty or so pages. I didn't fall in love with any of the characters like I hoped I would, though I did like the mystery running throughout the novel. I'm no good at picking up on clues and twists, but suffice it to say that the ending has certainly made me sit up and take note. I don't know where things will go from there, but I'm interested enough to find out.
Sara Shepard writes well, name dropping brands as always. The Perfectionists has exactly the same feel as the first Pretty Little Liars book I read; there doesn't seem to be any way to distinguish between her books. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I was expecting something a little different. Still, if a formula works, why change it?
The Perfectionists is an okay read and does get quite good towards the end. There's a lot of drama for each of the girls; none of them live a normal life and they all have secrets to hide, which is why I guess any one of them could well be Nolan's killer. They all have reason and motive, the question is who could go that far? All will be revealed - I hope! - in future books in the series which, fingers crossed, won't be an intimidating sixteen-volume whodunnit.