Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Wednesday #Review - Pretty Dead Girls by Monica Murphy #YALit #Mystery

Series: Standalone
Format: E-Book, 336 pages
Release Date: January 2, 2018
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Source: Publisher
Genre: Young Adult Fiction / Thrillers & Suspense

From New York Times bestselling author Monica Muprhy comes a chilling, intricate mystery perfect for fans of We Were Liars or the Pretty Little Liars series.

Beautiful. Perfect. Dead.

They're arranged in a particular way. Their faces turned at the most flattering angles, their designer clothes immaculate, as immaculate as their carefully made-up faces. Only the slash of blood across their necks mars the perfect surface. Only the vacant stare in their eyes indicates they're dead.

The most popular students in school are going down, and queen bee Penelope Malone is terrified she's next. So what's a girl to do? Conduct a little serial killer research, of course. Thanks to the help of the nerdy yet cute boy from English class who volunteers to help her, she becomes obsessed with all things related to murder. All while she’s trying to stay one step ahead of the brutal serial killer on the loose.

But this killer won't be satisfied until every beautiful, popular girl in the senior class is dead—especially Penelope. And the killer is closer than she thinks...

Author Monica Murphy's Pretty Dead Girls is a mixture of Scream Girls, Pretty Little Liars, and We Were Liars. Protagonist Penelope Malone is in her senior year at Cape Bonita Prep, a quiet community on the Northern California coast where nothing really happens. She's a member and President of a group called Larks who are at the top of their classes in all areas including athletics and academia. The group is made up of 5 seniors and 5 juniors per school year. 

It is a group that consists of the most popular girls at the school with Penelope striving to be the school's Queen Bee just like her older sister Peyton was. But, after one of their members is found dead at a local church, things start to take a dark twist. Then a second girl is found dead at the school. What do the girls have in common? They were both Larks. They were both Seniors. They were also mean girls who thought nothing of bullying other students. They are also characters readers don't really get a chance to get to know because of their abrupt departure from the story.

After losing her best friend, puzzled and on the brink of losing the Larks, Penelope becomes allied with a boy from her psychic's class, Cass Vincenti, who has a very interesting past which I will not spoil. I will say that Cass isn't like other boy lead characters whom I've read in this particular genre in the past. One could legitimately argue that none of these characters have any morality when it comes to striving to be the best, while walking over everyone else in order to get what they want. One could also say that every single one of these characters is morally bankrupt until Penelope finally understands what is happening and attempts to change her persona. 

Could her own actions be leading to the Larks being systematically killed off? Can Penelope actually trust the secretive Cass, or is he just trying to get close to her in order to lure her to her death? Murphy does something that I actually liked. There were chapters with the Killers POV. The author gets inside the killer and we, as readers, get a chance to understand how much of a sociopath this person really is. 
At no time was the killer's identity revealed to the reader. It wasn't until the final bell is about to be tolled that Murphy finally let's readers in on her secret. 

I was absolutely and totally wrong with my guess as to the killers identity and that's totally fine. Let me say this, I am a bit disappointed by the an editing error that happens later in the book. One of the characters actually thinks, OMG character ABC is the killer! The very next page, the same character is saying Holy Freaking Crap, it's not character ABC who's the killer but XYZ! So, let's call this a Young Adult Murder-Mystery with bad girls with pretty faces who you have to really dig to find things to like about each of them. 

This is my first attempt at reading and reviewing Monica Murphy's writing. One could say that the story is predictable, you can also say that there are more than enough similarities to the books I've mentioned above. Pretty Dead Girls is a fairly fast paced story with plenty of suspense and tension that you can cut with a knife. The relationship between Penelope and Cass is one that could be called a roller coaster ride from hell. There are so many moments that I wanted to slap both of them in the heads and tell them to calm down and stop treating each other as adversaries.

If you love stories that feature bad girls and boys, then this story is definitely for you.

1 comment:

  1. Love when I can't figure out the killers. Enjoyed the review.
    sherry @ fundinmental