Book Review: The Perfect Girl – Gilly Macmillan

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To the rest of the world Zoe is perfect, a model daughter and musical genius on Piano, but Zoe has a secret. She’s not as perfect as she may seem because Zoe was responsible for the deaths of three other teenagers. While she’s tried her best to leave it all behind that past has a way of catching up to you, after her recital is interrupted the truth comes spilling out, 12 hours later her mother is dead. I received a copy of The Perfect Girl in return for an honest review from the publishers at Little Brown Books.

I love a good Thriller, but after the hype surrounding Gone Girl and my later disappointment I’m always a little sceptical  picking one up that’s been recommended. I’m pleased to let you know that this is not one of those times. The Perfect Girl deserves every bit of praise it gets. While I have seen mixed reviews it was thoroughly enjoyable to read and had some definite twists and turns within the plot. It also looks at the life and pressures of being someone so young and yet so talented, something I haven’t seen in this genre and adds the realism it needs to be believable.

The novel has multiple narrators Zoe, her Aunt and her Lawyer. As the novel opens Zoe is preparing for another performance with her step-brother. This performance, however, is disrupted and the perfect illusion that Zoe and her mother created is quickly put under the spotlight. While they have spent months rebuilding their lives and now her mother is happily remarried and Zoe dotes on her baby sister, Grace. Will Zoe’s second chance family be able to survive the truth coming out? Or will the curse of the perfect girl strike again? At first the blurb leaves you questioning why you would need another narrator, Zoe’s Aunt and Lawyer give different insights into how the story unfolds, adding more to the plot.

The novel does have elements of being incredibly creepy, which are needed and the further in you get the darker the plot becomes. This really stepped up the plot at a time where it could have otherwise slipped because the plot wasn’t without any potential holes, however Macmillan makes sure these are covered by the end of the novel, while also ending up giving the reader a few surprises along the way. Without spoiling the plot I will say that the plot is enriched by multiple subplots, that said there is one that I felt was stopped rather abruptly and could have been left out but was a nice additional nonetheless.

I ended up giving the novel 4 stars. It was the first thriller I’ve really enjoyed in a long time, one that I couldn’t put down for too long because it was always on my mind, I always had questions about it. There were a few issues I had, for example, I’m still not sure how I feel about the ending of the novel and certain decisions that are made by certain characters, but I have read a lot, lot worse. Overall this was a thoroughly enjoyable read and one that is worth picking up if you like a solid thriller.

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