Pretty Dead Girls by Monica Murphy
Expected Publication: January 2nd 2018 by Entangled Teen
Beautiful. Perfect. Dead.
In the peaceful seaside town of Cape Bonita, wicked secrets and lies are hidden just beneath the surface. But all it takes is one tragedy for them to be exposed.
The most popular girls in school are turning up dead, and Penelope Malone is terrified she’s next. All the victims so far have been linked to Penelope—and to a boy from her physics class. The one she’s never really noticed before, with the rumored dark past and a brooding stare that cuts right through her.
There’s something he isn’t telling her. But there’s something she’s not telling him, either.
Everyone has secrets, and theirs might get them killed.
Note: I received an ARC copy of this from Entangled Teen via Netgalley. This in no way influences my opinion.
I had seen this book floating around a little on Goodreads before I found it on Netgalley, so when I saw it, I knew I wanted to read it. I loved the cover and the premise sounded extremely promising because Whodunnits are absolutely my kind of thing. Overall, this book was a quick and relatively enjoyable read, with a few minor issues along the way.
The plot of this book was definitely fast paced. We knew who was being targeted, but we didn’t know why and by who. My guess as to who was doing it changed multiple times throughout the book and not one of my guesses was right – so kudos to the author for keeping me blind for so long! Whilst I enjoyed the plot ad playing the guessing game, I felt like the reasoning behind the murders was a bit lacking? I don’t feel that it kept up with the rest of the book and it felt a little anticlimactic after everything that had happened!
I also have mixed feelings about the characters. Whilst I liked our MC, she was definitely a little snotty in places (mostly to the younger Larks). However, I feel like the author tried to make Penelope out to be someone that she wasn’t. Whilst she was sometimes snotty to the juniors, I could understand her reasoning at the time, but the author then tried to make her out to the the Queen B – but her actions throughout the story never really indicated that she was really in that position. There was definitely a bit of a personality crisis in the middle of the book where the MC is concerned and I feel that definitely distracted from the story a bit.
I also felt that the interactions between the characters wasn’t always befitting that their relationship was supposed to be. We’re constantly reminded that Dani and Penelope are best friends, but its not really shown in a huge way that they are best friends throughout the book – more like reminded. They never really acted like best friends toward each other, more like casual friends. We are also told that, whilst they have their issues, Penelope was friends with Gretchen and Courtney, but their interactions also claim the opposite. They are pretty bitchy toward each other throughout the book, and this isn’t really resolved at the end even after the things that Penelope did for Courtney.
I did enjoy the slow build relationship between Penelope and Cass. They didn’t really liked or trust each other at the beginning and I loved the way that their relationship developed throughout the book. It wasn’t and insta love, or really a huge slow burn, but something more in the middle that is befitting of teenagers in high school. I enjoyed watching the relationship and how they overcame the issue of trust and struggling to really believe that the other isn’t the killer.
Having said that, I don’t feel that the secrets that Cass revealed throughout the book were all that shocking. I was expecting something huge and it just wasn’t? The secrets actually never really had a huge impact on the plot line itself because of who it turns out to be, so I feel these were added for a shock factor, which didn’t really deliver.
I did enjoy the )extremely) short chapters in between which were written from the killers perspective. They were written in such a way so that the identity was never revealed, which kept me guessing right up until the end. I enjoyed getting that little snippet throughout the book because it was refreshing reminder of the fact that the killer is there and watching.
I do, however, believe that the identity of the killer was a bit anticlimactic. We didn’t really get to see all that much of them throughout the book, so it was a bit of a ‘really?’ moment when they were revealed. It didn’t seem very realistic and we only got a very short explanation of why they were doing what they were doing. I would have much preferred It to have been someone we had been reading about from beginning to end, someone that I would have related to as a reader before finding out that they betrayed the characters and my trust. I feel that other characters would have been a more appropriate fit (just not the person that they suspected it to be) and would have ultimately led to a better ending if it had been someone different.
All in all, I have very mixed reviews about this book. Whilst it was mostly enjoyable, I had some issues with the characters and the overall ending of who did it and why. It is a quick and easy read, and I read this in one sitting! I gave this book 3/5 stars
Find me here:
Instagram/Twitter/Goodreads/Litsy @ Laurens Page Turners