My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Wow!!! This book had me gripped from the very first page until the very last. It’s dark and twisted but oh so good and not at all what I was expecting.
Bad girls know there is no right and wrong. There’s just what you’re willing to do.
What you need to do
From the New York Times bestselling author of Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls comes a stylish thriller about the darkness that lurks inside all of us.
When I looked up, his smile was wide and real. “Ready?” he said.
I faked a smile back. I had gotten so good at faking things.
I thought: You brought this on yourself, Sasha. You will have to pretend forever now.
He squeezed my hand again. He couldn’t begin to imagine what this actually was. He had no idea what I’d done. What any of us had.
When Sasha’s best friend Xavier gets back together with his cheating ex, Ivy, Sasha knows she needs to protect him. So she poses as a guy online to lure Ivy away.
But Sasha’s plan goes sickeningly wrong. And she soon learns to be careful of who you pretend to be because you might be surprised by who you become…
Told in multiple points of view, Bad Girls with Perfect Faces is sexy and twisted with shocks at every turn.
Before I start this review properly I should probably confess that I mixed up the blurb for this book with the blurb for another and found myself a tad confused about what I was reading. Despite this, there was something about it that drew me in instantly and I was completely hooked before I realized what I’d done. So hooked in fact that I ended up reading the whole thing without ever going back and reading the synopsis, something that probably worked in my favor as the less you know about it the better.
For that reason I’m not going to go into a lot of detail on the storyline. What I will say is that this is a very dark and twisted story that questions just how far you’d go for someone you love, what you’d do to protect them and just what you’d be willing to forgive. It begins very much like your usual YA contemporary with a girl, Sasha, in love with her best friend, Xavier, but too scared to tell him how she feels. When his ex Ivy reappears in his life and starts trying to rekindle things Sasha resorts to a bit of catfishing to prove to Xavier what Ivy’s really like but things don’t exactly go to plan.
The story is pretty fast paced with more than a few surprises and I found it a lot more gripping than I could have imagined. It was one of those books I couldn’t resist reading at every possible opportunity, and if I wasn’t reading it I was either thinking about it or talking about it. The author’s writing style is perfect for me, it just drew me in completely and didn’t let go. I’d previously read and loved Suicide Notes for Beautiful Girls but I think this may actually be better.
The story is told from three points of view, Sasha’s, Xavier’s and a mystery person’s and the author does a brilliant job of keeping each of these very distinct and different. Even though a big proportion of the book is from Xavier’s point of view though it feels like this story is all about the girls, with Xavier a pawn for them to play with. He’s sweet and kind and a bit fragile, making him no match for the girls. He was probably the only character I kind of liked but still found myself becoming frustrated with how weak he was. I just wanted him to act, to stand up for himself and get free of this toxic relationship with Ivy.
As for Sasha, I wouldn’t say she was necessarily that likeable or even very relatable but there was something about her that fascinated me from the very beginning. She’s very much a loner, left to fend for herself by her mother and with no real friends other than Xavier. She’s completely fearless in some ways, she’ll walk into a party or a club alone and just pick someone up for a one night stand, but you can’t help but wonder how much is an act. Xavier is the only person she really cares about and she loves him fiercely and possessively. Her actions at times were a mystery to me, not because they didn’t make sense but because they were so completely alien to me.
There aren’t many other characters in the story and those that do appear only do so briefly but still manage to make an impression. I loved that the author kept it so simple in this respect as it kept the focus very much on the relationships between Sasha, Xavier and Ivy.
It is a surprisingly dark and disturbing story and I feel like I should add a little bit of a warning that it’s probably more one for older YAs. There is underage drinking, sex, drugs and other things that I won’t go into as they’re spoilery and this isn’t a book you want to know too much about.
Overall though I thought this was an incredible read and is one I’d definitely recommend to anyone who likes a good thriller.
I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley. This has not affected my review.