Note: We received this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.
I read this is practically one sitting, and it’s been so long time since I did that! It’s also been ages since I’ve read a YA thriller, so it’s been a books of ‘the first time in forever’s. Bad Girls With Perfect Faces was unexpected, with its lyrical writing style and detailed characters. Unfortunately, I felt like it took way too long to get started – the thriller element didn’t start until roughly 60% through the book!
This is the story of Sasha and Xavier, who are best friends, and on Xavier’s birthday they go to a club and run into Ivy, Xavier’s toxic ex-girlfriend. Sasha’s in love with Xavier, so obviously she’s not best pleased, and tries to catch Ivy in the act of cheating.
The focalisation was really all over the place in this one. It felt very experimental. You’ve got 1st POV from Sasha, which in part 2 briefly changes to 2nd person, 3rd POV from Xavier, and 1st POV diary-entry style from an unnamed voice. Sasha and unnamed really worked as part of the mystery, but Xavier just fell flat for me. His parts just felt like a convenient way to tell us more about either Sasha or Ivy.
I really liked the social media aspects of the mystery – while the DMs themselves were pretty cringey to read – the use of Instagram was inspired!
This one also suffered pretty heavily with ‘there are only so many characters it could be’ when it came to the murder, so I can’t say I was surprised, although the way things panned out was very clever. I don’t think there was enough emphasis of logistics. They’re carrying a dead body across the country and get away from it? I couldn’t quite suspend my disbelief.
Overall, Bad Girls With Perfect Faces made for an entertaining two hours, but the details were in all the wrong places, and it wasn’t as original as her debut.