ARC Review: The Good Girls (The Perfectionists, #2) by Sara Shepard (Jessica's Review)


Title: The Good Girls (The Perfectionists, #2)
Author: Sara Shepard
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Publisher: HarperTeen
Paperback, 368 Pages
Expected Publication: June 2nd, 2015
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Read Amber's Review
Read My Review of The Perfectionists!
Summary: Mackenzie, Ava, Caitlin, Julie, and Parker have done some not-so-perfect things. Even though they all talked about killing rich bully Nolan Hotchkiss, they didn't actually go through with it. It's just a coincidence that Nolan died in exactly the way they planned . . . right? Except Nolan wasn't the only one they fantasized about killing. When someone else they named dies, the girls wonder if they're being framed. Or are they about to become the killer's next targets? 
I've decided that I'm going to start this review by pulling a tiny little excerpt out of my review of the first book in this series, The Perfectionists (And the link to that review can be found right here), in which I compared The Perfectionists to the Pretty Little Liars series:

"They both contain...
Five rich teen girls in high school? Check.
A super-rich town where everyone is pressured to be the best? Check.
Super-rich high school with state of the art everythingCheck.
Girls that are brought together by odd means (wouldn't normally be friends)? Check.
Gorgeous fashionista girl? Check.
Popular girl knocked off her pedestal? Check.
Someone falling for boyfriend/girlfriend's sibling? Check.
One gorgeous rich offspring murdered? Check.
These five girls being blamed for the murder? Check.
Going off on their own to solve the crime? Check.
...That not working out for them? Check.
The police not believing them and they end up being framed? Check. And Check.
Keeping secrets thinking it'll keep them safe? Check.
Still no idea who did it? Double check."

The only thing that changed with the comparison of this book to the Pretty Little Liars series is the last thing, about having no idea who did it. But I'll get to that in a second.

What makes me mad about all of Sara Shepard's work is that everything seems to be a simple cookie cutter story for her. I mean, seriously - I've heard of author's stories being somewhat similar, but this is just too freaking much. No matter what new series of Sara's I pick up, it's about some rich girls being framed, and also some murder. And torment. And harassment.

Every. Single. Solitary. One.

Aside from every book seeming the same, The Good Girls was still an alright read. I liked it. It's an interesting concept - all of these girls fantasizing about how to kill their enemies (never intending for any of it to come true), and then their enemies show up dead exactly the way they planned. Pretty creepy.

The plot twist in this book definitely threw me for a loop, which was pretty impressive. (There are some spoilers in the rest of this paragraph so go on and skip to the next one if you haven't read this book already.) I really wasn't expecting for Parker to not be real, and for Julie to be the one committing all of the crimes. Amber and I discussed it after I finished reading, and we both decided that it didn't really make any sense. With plot twists like that, the reader should be able to look back and say "oh wow, I really missed those clues but they were subtly there and I should have saw it coming." Not with this one! 

There were no clues whatsoever and it felt like such a random plot twist that it almost seemed like Sara Shepard didn't know exactly who the killer was and picked out of a hat and half-a**ed her way to the end. I was equal parts shocked at the twist itself and unimpressed with Sara's execution of it. (I don't know why, but I used to love her books and now they're just disappointing me more and more and more.) 

All in all, The Good Girls was a pretty good book up until I got to the end. Sara Shepard just seems to have an ability to ever let a book have closure - even when she said that this series was strictly going to be a duology. With Pretty Little Liars it annoyed me to the point where I considered not even finishing the series, but with The Perfectionists it just downright ticked me off. I feel as if Shepard sucks the story dry, trying to keep her readers lured in, but she does it far too often and it's definitely beginning to have a reverse effect. The story itself was interesting, though, and had a lot of plot twists that I weren't expecting.



  1. I wouldn't say there were no clues. I went back and looked through and I realized there were plenty of clues, all extremely subtle. There were moments where I had been a bit confused (like when Fielder brought Parker to the cemetery) but after finishing the series everything made sense. It was most evident during Parker/Julie's conversations with Fielder and with Parker's mom. And it was weird how no one acknowledged Parker except Julie and Fielder.

    1. I realize this is extremely old but I just finished the series myself and I am still mind blown.


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