Review of The Perfectionists

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.


I got on the Sara Shepard boat late in the game. I just started watching Pretty Little Liars a couple years ago, but it was way to far into the series for me to want to read all the books. I get overwhelmed when I get start too late in the series and have 10 books to get through or something immense like that. So, I did read the first Pretty Little Liars book but then just watched the series (and PS - it really needs to be done soon - enough is enough!)
 
  • Sara writes a great suspense story that works well with female young adults. She has enough suspense, with a couple answers and a lot of questions.
  • The pacing was done well. I read the book mostly in one day and it was perfect for a lazy Saturday on the boat.
  • I loved the different POVs. Sara is a master at creating characters and back stories that are so unique and individual. Like Pretty Little Liars, a set of very different girls come together. There is that one defining moment that binds them and they need to start to depend on each other even when they don't really know that much about each other.
  • Nolan. Argh. You definitely and easily counted him as the villain. I am interested to see if we gain more perspective into his back story as the series goes along.
  • Bullying definitely is a huge issue, especially now with all the technology. I have said it before and I am going to say it again, I feel blessed not to have grow up with social media like it is now. (Dating myself here), but Facebook came out the year I graduated college. I think that shedding the light on it more and more can make teens realize how damaging it can be.
 
  • Teachers sleeping with students. ARGH! Why does this need to be a theme in multiple books for Sara. It is not a good idea, and I this one was way more than Mr. Fitz and Aria. This was multiple students and done with intimidation. I just hate that it feels like Sara is idolizing that relationship. Heck, when you see Aria and Mr. Fitz on the show, you can't help but ship for them, they are a OTP, and it is easy to forget the age and responsibility differences.
  • Honestly, it has been a couple weeks since I read the book, and parts of it I cannot remember. I really had to look back at the synopsis to write this review. I read so much that it is hard to keep track, but it wasn't a story that really stuck to me.
 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20549288-the-perfectionists
 
 
 
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11 comments

  1. Yea, I've not read any of her books nor watched the show. But I would never try and catch up with the PLL books. Aren't they still more to come? Isn't there like 16 or something stupid like that?
    Happy reading!
    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life

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  2. I think I'm the same boat as you. I want to read the Pretty Little Liars series, but holy smokes there are so many to catch up on! They are relatively short books though, I think? Someday, someday . . .

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  3. Well, at least you liked it better than I did. I took issue with the hoards of characters and the lack of character development. I feel like I wouldn't mind this as a television series though.

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  4. I've heard this book is just like PLL. Shepard sure knows how to write twisted thrillers and drama, that's for sure! I really like perfection, so maybe I'll have to give this one a try. ;) Nice review!

    Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books

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  5. I'm glad you liked this one! I remember reading PLL when it first came out, and I gave up on the series because it did become too much for me. I don't think I'm very interested in this sort of story.

    The nice flipside of growing up with the internet is that it offers people a chance to connect with others with the same passions and interests, so I'd say as much as it is another medium for bullying, it can also be an escape?

    Thanks for the review!

    -P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

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  6. Is it horrible to say that I have not read anything by Sara Shepard? I'm not sure she is quite up my alley. Is there a book of hers you would recommend starting with?

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  7. I read till maybe the 10th book of PLL and then stopped because it got WAYYY too out of hand. I love the TV show though–need to catch up on it, hehe :P But glad you enjoyed this one for the most part! And you’re right–Sara does create POV’s and different personalities very well...glad that was a plus point for you! Great review :D

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  8. I didn't know that Pretty Little Liars was a book series? I guess I am not down with it or have the 411! I don't watch the show either, but yes teacher/student relationships are a bit difficult...Dawson's Creek.... I do think it's a touchy subject and author should be careful with it!

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  9. That's too bad. I really liked this one but I have to admit I have an odd obsession with drama! Lol. Great review, hope you fall in love with your next read!

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  10. I've never read PLL so I have nothing really to compare it as I read through.. The teacher sleeping with his students was really irritating. Yet I really like it thrilling pacing. and I gotta agree with the nice individual backgrounds of each character. I'm really hoping to read the next book soon! Great review! :)

    czai @ the Blacksheep Project

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  11. I recently read this and felt the same really, I gave it the same rating too. I thought it was quite a good mystery story and it has made me eager to read the next book. But I have forgotten most of what I read, if I am completely honest. I'd have to reread the first book if I was going to get to the sequel.

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I'd love to hear what you thought of the book or others you think I will like! Please share your thoughts! Thank you for the thought, but I am not participating in awards.