Pretty Dead Girls

 
3.3
 
3.0 (2)
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Pretty Dead Girls
Author(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
January 02, 2018
ISBN
978-1633758919
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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.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
4.0  (1)
Characters 
 
3.0  (1)
Writing Style 
 
3.0  (1)
(Updated: April 10, 2018)
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0

Pretty Dead Girls

PRETTY DEAD GIRLS by Monica Murphy is a YA thriller in which all the popular senior girls at Cape Bonita are slowly being killed off one by one. Penelope, president of the Larks, a super selective group for the most intelligent, athletic, and attractive girls in high school, is terrified she’s the next target. To make matters worse, the detectives are treating her like she’s a potential suspect. In order to stay safe, Penelope teams up with Cass, a mysterious and compelling boy from her physics class, and the two of them try to catch the killer before it’s too late.

I read this book in one day, partly because I scare easily and wouldn’t be able to sleep without knowing the resolution, but also because it’s an easy read. Murphy does a great job at keeping the momentum going and building tension with each scene. The chapters written from the killer’s perspective are disturbing, and help foster the suspenseful atmosphere. It’s also impossible not to ship Penelope and Cass, especially because his character in particular is so nuanced and well developed. Their romance is swoonworthy, and a nice break from the horror elements.

With that being said, it took me about one hundred pages to realize the book was being told from two perspectives. Unlike most other novels that have multiple points of view, there are no headers in PRETTY DEAD GIRLS to indicate that the perspective has shifted. Instead, the book utilizes two different fonts to indicate when it’s Penelope and when it’s the killer. However, the fonts are not different enough to have the clear, intended effect. As a result, I spent the first third of the book completely confused as I thought Penelope was the killer and she was suffering from a severe mental break. One minute she's scared for her life, the next, she's taking someone else’s. Once I figured out what was going on though, I was able to start enjoying the book.

As a big fan of PRETTY LITTLE LIARS who is having withdrawals since the show ended, Murphy’s novel comes at the right time. It strikes a lot of similar notes to the beloved series, but is new and interesting enough to stand on its own. I’m happy that this particular mystery is solved in this book and not left on a cliffhanger, but I would welcome seeing Cass and Penelope back in action against a new crime.

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User reviews

2 reviews

Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0  (2)
Characters 
 
3.0  (2)
Writing Style 
 
3.0  (2)
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(Updated: August 14, 2018)
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0

OK

"Pretty Dead Girls" was an interesting YA thriller following Penelope (Pen/Penny) in the aftermath of a death of a frenemy, Gretchen. Soon, another frenemy, Alexis (Lex) turns up murdered also. The killer is targeting the Larks, a school organization composed of 5 seniors and 5 juniors- girls who seemingly organize social events for the school. The most popular girls are on the committee, and Penelope is president. Gretchen and Lex are both senior Larks- so which of the three remaining will be next? I won't say too much so as not to give it away.

All the main characters are typical mean girls, which sometimes makes it hard to like/empathize with them. They seem more consumed with their popularity than with the fact that people are dying, throwing an ill-advised party right after the second murder. Penelope, whose first person point-of-view we follow, is a little better, voting against the party and seemingly feeling a little bad about the murders, but she often felt self-absorbed. Soon, she is approached by Cass, an attractive but unpopular boy (his mother murdered his father which made him a social outcast), who has a theory about who is killing off the Larks.

Cass and Penelope team up to start investigating who is killing the Larks, though their investigation is extremely amateur and most of their time is spent on romance. That being said, the romance was done very well with some very steamy kisses. The investigation, not so much, as Penelope seems to fixate on one person as the culprit and Cass has a bunch of theories. This book ended up feeling more like a romance than a thriller, which can be good for some audiences, although it was not quite what I expected. There were some interspersed chapters from the point-of-view of the murderer, and these were really interesting- I would have liked to see even more of those, as those were the most thriller-feeling sections.

Overall, it was a solid YA romance with some light thriller elements. I found it to be a pretty fast read, as it does move very well/smoothly. Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0

pretty good

"Pretty Dead Girls" was an interesting YA thriller following Penelope (Pen/Penny) in the aftermath of a death of a frenemy, Gretchen. Soon, another frenemy, Alexis (Lex) turns up murdered also. The killer is targeting the Larks, a school organization composed of 5 seniors and 5 juniors- girls who seemingly organize social events for the school. The most popular girls are on the committee, and Penelope is president. Gretchen and Lex are both senior Larks- so which of the three remaining will be next? I won't say too much so as not to give it away.

All the main characters are typical mean girls, which sometimes makes it hard to like/empathize with them. They seem more consumed with their popularity than with the fact that people are dying, throwing an ill-advised party right after the second murder. Penelope, whose first person point-of-view we follow, is a little better, voting against the party and seemingly feeling a little bad about the murders, but she often felt self-absorbed. Soon, she is approached by Cass, an attractive but unpopular boy (his mother murdered his father which made him a social outcast), who has a theory about who is killing off the Larks.

Cass and Penelope team up to start investigating who is killing the Larks, though their investigation is extremely amateur and most of their time is spent on romance. That being said, the romance was done very well with some very steamy kisses. The investigation, not so much, as Penelope seems to fixate on one person as the culprit and Cass has a bunch of theories. This book ended up feeling more like a romance than a thriller, which can be good for some audiences, although it was not quite what I expected. There were some interspersed chapters from the point-of-view of the murderer, and these were really interesting- I would have liked to see even more of those, as those were the most thriller-feeling sections.

Overall, it was a solid YA romance with some light thriller elements. I found it to be a pretty fast read, as it does move very well/smoothly. Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful to you? 
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