The Perfectionists is the first in a contemporary/mystery/thriller dualogy by Sara Shepard (author of Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game!). I give it 8.5 stars. I liked it a lot. I reccomend it to fans of Pretty Little Liars (also) by Sara Shepard, and Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout.
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.
Non spoiler review: I can’t help but compare this so Pretty Little Liars, since it was so similar. I enjoyed Pretty Little Liars more, and I think that’s for two reasons; First of all, Pretty Little Liars was much more suspenseful, with the mystery and tension of ‘A’ looming as well. Second of all, this book had one more girl. Since it was told from each of their perspectives, it was easier to get to know all of the characters in Pretty Little Liars. I think this would have been better with one less character (even though they were all great and they all contributed to the story). Since we spent most of this book just getting to know the characters, I’m expecting the next installment to be better.
That said, I did enjoy this! It reminded me of Pretty Little Liars, but I loved Pretty Little Liars! It was dark, suspenseful, and it kept you asking questions. The characters were intriguing, each with their own stories and their own reasons to hate Nolan, and I loved each of them.
I really hate Nolan Hotchkiss.
I feel bad for him, of course, because he was murdered-but I still hate him for everything he did to those girls. He really was a bad person, and I understand why they’re all so mad at him, even after he was killed. But something I liked about this novel is that it made you question; did the killer do this because it hated Nolan, or was it because it hated each of the girls. And if so, why? We know Ashley’s reasons for hating Julie, but other than that we don’t see many people who are angry at any of the characters. My theory: it’s a boyfriend (or an ex boyfriend). It can only be someone close to them, who they’ll never expect. My money’s on Alex. He was there when she ran away from Mr. Granger’s house, a second before he was also killed. But that would imply a secret hatred for Ava, not the rest of them, so I really don’t get it. That’s something I love about Sara Shepard: she keeps you guessing.
I also hate Granger, even though I also feel bad for him for being killed. But, come on, he was horrible. But it’s very interesting that both of the people who were murdered were near the girls at the time of murder, and characters the girls hated. . . again, it makes you wonder if the murders were to punish the victims, or the girls.