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The weekly reading tips this Friday is the addictively intriguing “The Perfect Girl” by Gilly Macmillan. This is not quite YA novel, more a mystery novel about a teenage girl. But that doesn’t make in any less good, on the contrary. For a long time, when I read it, I had no idea what to expect – is it turning into a murder story, a love story, a suspense novel or what? - which is such a good thing. Don’t you just hate it when you can figure the whole intrigue out just by reading the blurb of a book? Halfway through “The Perfect Girl” I kind of thought I had figured it all out, but then comes a new twist at the end, keeping you in the dark all the way through.
Briefly, the book is about Zoe, a 17-year-old genius musician. After serving time in a juvenile rehabilitation facility for being involved in a tragic incident that left three classmates dead, Zoe and her mother Maria are ready to embrace their “Second Chance Life”. This second chance includes a step father, step-brother and baby half-sister, and also a big secret about Zoe’s and Maria’s marred past. By the end of her first public piano concert in her new life, Zoe’s mother is dead and Zoe quickly learns that second chances aren’t always so simple and that secrets from the past never stay hidden.
What’s so different about “The Perfect Girl” is that the death of Zoe’s mother is not the surprise in this book and that the mystery plot is not really centered around what happened, but around exploring the facets of the characters’ lives that brought them to that moment in time. What Zoe, and we readers, soon finds out is that the truth is rarely straightforward, and the closer we are to someone, the less we may see.
The story is told from the first person perspectives of Tessa, Zoe’s aunt, and her loving yet alcoholic husband, Richard, as well as Zoe, her stepbrother, Lucas, and Sam, Zoe’s attorney, which gives you a chance to get into their minds and to see the messy, dysfunctional family from different perspectives.
Gilly Macmillan is so good at keeping the characters secret and only slowly and deliberately revealing them one by one, keeping you itching to learn more about the persons and their reason for behaving the way they are.
This slow-burning, intriguing book proves that a good crime book doesn’t need complicated twists or excessive violence to be a compelling read. This touching story with strong three-dimensional characters is an excellent, addictive page-turner nevertheless - and a perfect weekend-read!
Find out more about the book and the author here: Gilly Macmillan
Hi! I'm Annie, a Swedish bookworm, YA addict and coffee lover, who writes romantic YA books in English. I'm the author of the Angelheart Saga series (First Came Forever and Forever Disguised).
I'd love to hear back from you! Comment on my blog posts or connect with me on social media. I love to connect with other book lovers!
You are also most welcome to join The Angelhearts (the reader group for my books)!
The Angelheart Saga Bookmark Collection
Check out the amazing bookmarks with quotes from the Angelheart Saga books at FictionalBoutique here!
Listen to the First Came Forever playlist created by Tea With Rose's Tomes!