Review: The Perfectionists

The Perfectionists, (The Perfectionists #1) Sara Shepard


Published October 7th 2014 by HarperCollins

Hardcover, 336 pages

Source: E-ARC from Edelweiss


From Goodreads…

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.

This is my second Sara Shepard book and I really should have remembered– the freaking cliffhanger!


I reviewed Shepard’s other new series of 2014 The Heiresses here.   We at least had a resolution to the major murder in that book but in the end the reader is still left hanging from a giant cliff.  Why do that to me again Shepard?  I have no idea of who the murderer is here and I’m going to have to keep reading to find out!

So… back to the beginning, we follow these 5 “perfect” high school students in the aftermath of a classmate’s murder.  Each of them had a motive-but so did nearly everyone else we come across!  I liked that the girls were all different-beauty queen, athlete, musician, etc.  Only Julie and Parker were really friends before Nolan’s death so the reader is learning about each girl along with her partners in crime.  This also helps keep your suspicions on everyone.  We don’t know any one girl enough to believe she’s innocent.  I liked the changing perspectives and seeing what the girls thought of each other too.

While the 5 perfectionists are being fleshed out for us,  the rest of the characters really are just shadows.  They’re all there only as foils to the main five girls.  It would have been nice to have some more depth to the surrounding characters-and perhaps some love interests that were not jerks!  This was a bit off putting for me–can one of these girls please have a healthy relationship?

With the title of The Perfectionists I was expecting for some reason a group of super-likeable popular girls-this was definitely proved wrong!  I can’t say I liked all of the girls, but I am definitely caught up in the drama.  I want to know who’s behind this all!

Some young adult books defy the niche they’re placed in and just are great books.  The Perfectionists felt like a book written for young adults-these are teens who are acting like teens.  This is not a deeply introspective book but it was definitely still compelling.  Shepard does an excellent job twisting the plot so you don’t know what’s coming next.   If you’re looking for some light and fluffy reading with a side of teen angst – and can handle the stress of a cliffhanger – check this out.  Book 2, The Good Girls is coming next summer so we don’t have too long wait for more!

2.5 stars

Thank you to Harper Collins and Edelweiss for this advance copy in exchange for an honest opinion.


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