This review was written for American Book Center’s You Review. The advanced reading copy of The Perfectionists written by Sara Shepard was gracefully provided by ABC.


Welcome to Beacon High, hell on earth for underachievers. The Perfectionists by Sara Shepard, who you know from the hit series Pretty Little Liars tells the story of five girs who get fed up with Nolan Hotchkiss, the richest kid in whole Beacon Heights. Nolan is the worst kind of rich kid, one who uses his money to humiliate others and to always get what he wants. No wonder they want to kill him. The girls come up with their devious plan during Film Studies, taught by their oh so hot, but oh so bad teacher Mr. Granger. But when they execute said plan during a party things go horribly wrong. Nolan ends us actually dead and the girls are being set up by the murderer, whoever that may be.

The book is a solid mystery and definitely reminiscent of Pretty Little Liars. The highschool drama is unescapable and the love triangles are a plenty. There is enough juicy gossip to make the book last and every girl has her own secret and reason to want to get revenge on Nolan. While reading The Perfectionists you do have to ignore some of the obvious flaws. Of course it makes sense that the girls wouldn’t be able to go to the police, because the police is in on the conspiracy. The girls of coure also all have difficult home situations and not a single adult is to be trusted. And of course they all have at least one boy swooning over them! What would a mystery be without a litte (read a lot of) romance? But at the same time the book is fun and suspenseful and all the characters are different and interesting enough to make it work. The setting of Beacon High as a highschool where excelling is equally and maybe even more important than just being pretty was refreshing and the girls are not just empty headed vessels for pretty clothing. They deal with pretty big problems, besides their every day teenage problems and the author comes up with detailed back stories that still leave plenty of room for future mysteries. The Perfectionists is a great beach read and a definite must for anyone who loves previous work of Shepard. The mystery will definitely keep you turning pages and when you’re done, you will want even more.

Written by Esmée de Heer
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Esmée de Heer is head honcho over at the Bored to Death book club website, writing the daily content and making sure the site stays up and running. She's one of the founding sisters of the book club and enjoys reading and giving unsolicited love advice.

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