January 12, 2018

Pretty Dead Girls Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway


Pretty Dead Girls
Author: Monica Murphy
Genre: YA Mystery
Release Date: January 2, 2018
Publisher: Entangled Teen


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.

Pretty Dead Girls is a fantastic YA thriller to kick off the new year, and is one that fans of the genre are definitely going to want to pick up. Last year, Entangled Teen really blew me away with their titles - almost all of the ones I read ended up being 5 star ratings - and it seems like they're starting off the new year with another hit. I'm a huge fan of YA thrillers and I have to admit that it's pretty hard to come up with wholly fresh ideas with so many out there. This book wasn't completely original, the structure is one I've seen many times before, but the author added some great new twists and originality to make it stand out from others like it. Some of the major aspects that stood out for me:

Characters: I really enjoyed getting to know these girls - the Larks - even though it meant going back in time to my past to the mean girls of high school. Penelope was a wonderful main character and I liked watching her change and grow throughout the story. She starts out as the "It Girl" at her school, and by the end she's much more down to earth, empathetic, less judgemental, and self-aware. I like that we get to see these changes happen to her, even though the circumstances were horrible. The secondary characters were pretty flat for me - mostly stereotypes with some realistic issues and complexities mixed in. Enough to keep you guessing at why these girls are being murdered, what secrets everyone was hiding, and the big question of who the villain was. I can't not mention the love interest - Cass - who was a great complementary character to Penelope. I really loved watching them meet and seeing their relationship bloom throughout the story. I don't normally do the whole "book boyfriend" thing, but I have to admit that Cass stole my heart and I kind of wish I could pluck him out of the story for myself.  :)

Plot: Although it wasn't really anything new - popular girls being murdered, lots of secrets surrounding basically everyone, twists to keep you on your toes, and the romance aspect - I really enjoyed the book. I ended up reading it in one sitting because I wanted to figure out who was behind it all (and see what happened with Cass and Penelope). The author added some great twists and turns that gave the story originality - obviously including some red herrings that made me keep adjusting my theories. It was well written, fast paced, easy to get lost in, and an overall fun read.

Writing Style: This is a huge aspect for me, and if you've read any of my other reviews, you know that it definitely makes or breaks a book - in my opinion. The author told the story from the first person point of view - from Penelope's perspective. First person is by far my favorite writing style because of the deep connection it allows between the reader and the narrator. This book was no different, and I loved being inside Penelope's head - knowing all of her thoughts, emotions, dreams, hopes, fears, questions and theories, and everything in between. It would have been great if the author stopped with this, but she gave us some real gems thrown in. There were a few short chapters that were told from the killer's POV. I loved this so much. It let me see what they were thinking, why they were murdering these girls, and all the other information I could get. It definitely helped to figure out who the killer was, at least for me. The author putting in these chapters from the killer totally rocked my world and put the book up a lot in my opinion. It was a fantastic surprise that most authors don't do, and I think it was a perfect fit for the book.

Overall: I highly recommend this book for fans of YA thrillers, mysteries, suspense, contemporary, and even romance. Get read for a great thrill ride! 
Monica Murphy is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series, the Billionaire Bachelors and The Rules series. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. She is a traditionally published author with Bantam/Random House and Harper Collins/Avon, as well as an independently published author. She writes new adult, young adult and contemporary romance. She is also USA Today bestselling romance author Karen Erickson. She is a wife and a mother of three who lives with her family in central California on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere, along with their one dog and too many cats. A self-confessed workaholic, when she’s not writing, she’s reading or hanging out with her husband and kids. She’s a firm believer in happy endings, though she will admit to putting her characters through many angst-filled moments before they finally get that hard won HEA. 

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Signed copy of Pretty Dead Girls by Monica Murphy


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