Review of “The Perfectionists” by Sara Shepard

The Perfectionists by Sara ShepardA review by Amanda.

The Perfectíonists is the first in a new series by bestselling author, Sara Shepard. Ms. Shepard is best known for her Pretty Little Liars series, now a television show, and The Lying Game series.

Five high school girls in Beacon Heights, Washington – beautiful, brainy Ava, athletic Caitlin, “It Girl” Julie, musical Mackenzie, and secretive Parker ­ with nothing in common, have formed an unexpected bond over a shared enemy. Rich and popular, bully Nolan Hotchkiss has done terrible things that drastically affect each of the girls’ lives. Grouped together in film studies class, the girls brainstorm the hypothetically perfect way to kill him. Their plan evolves into a non­-deadly prank in order to get revenge. Everyone is shocked when Nolan turns up dead after a party ­ in exactly the same way that they had planned… but someone close to them is working very hard to make it look like they did.

Sara Shepard has found a formula that works and she is sticking with it. The overall plot follows very similar lines as her two previous series’, Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game. The protagonists are mostly typical, upper ­middle class high school girls who accidentally create a mess for themselves and anyone close to them, and then find out that they are actually in the center of a much bigger plot. The true villain(s) remains unknown to the girls until the very end. Their well­-intentioned attempts to do the right thing only makes the problem worse. Romantic entanglements add even more drama and intrigue to the already convoluted plotlines.

Having read and enjoyed both of the aforementioned series, I found myself distracted by the myriad similarities, especially in the beginning. The details are where the differences lie and those are why I continued to read. I expected that there would be game­-changing plot twists, but still managed to be surprised by the paths the story took. I liked the book, although the formulaic writing kept me from loving it. I will give the next book in The Perfectionists series a try when it is released.

My rating: 3/5 stars.

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