Comparing ‘The Perfectionists’ by Sara Shephard



In Beacon Heights, Washington, five girls—Ava, Caitlin, Mackenzie, Julie, and Parker—know that you don’t have to be good to be perfect. At first the girls think they have nothing in common, until they realize that they all hate Nolan Hotchkiss, who’s done terrible things to each of them. They come up with the perfect way to kill him—a hypothetical murder, of course. It’s just a joke…until Nolan turns up dead, in exactly the way they planned. Only, they didn’t do it. And unless they find the real killer, their perfect lives will come crashing down around them.

From Sara Shepard, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Pretty Little Liars series, comes another story of dark secrets, shocking twists, and what happens when five beautiful girls will do anything to hide the ugly truth.

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Thoughts before you started reading The Perfectionists?

CHRISSI: I had heard so much about Pretty Little Liars but I haven’t yet read the books or seen the TV show. I’m so out of the loop. It looked interesting though!

LUNA: I knew of Sara Shepard (it’d be pretty hard to miss Pretty Little Liars) but I’ve never actually read any of her books or seen PPL or The Lying Game on TV. The books are really popular so I figured The Perfectionists would be entertaining.

What did you think of Mackenzie, Ava, Julie, Caitlin and Parker?

CHRISSI: There was definitely a different personality trait to them all! I thought they were interesting characters, but I didn’t really feel connected to them. I think it’s because there were several characters in such a short book. Perhaps as the series progresses, the characters will develop further.

LUNA: It took me a while to care about what happened to them and if I’m perfectly honest I still don’t have the warm fuzzies about any them.

The first impression was a bit like each girl was there to check a box: Julie (Perfect), Caitlin (Sporty), MacKenzie (Geek), Ava (Pretty) & Parker (Damaged). Then as you get to know more about them and realise there is more that the initial facade it gets better but maybe it’s because there are 5 girls and The Perfectionists is a shorter book but I didn’t connect that much with any of them.

Best bit?

CHRISSI: I was engrossed throughout and it certainly kept me turning the page.

LUNA: The story is engaging and you’re always kept guessing. I can see why Sara Shepard’s other series are so popular.

Worst bit?:

CHRISSI: There’s no resolution. I wanted some things to be tied up, so it could standalone, but it doesn’t. I’m now not sure whether to carry on the series. I’m interested, but if it’s going to be as long as the Pretty Little Liars series… I can’t commit to that!

LUNA: There is no satisfying ending in my opinion. It is set up for the The Good Girls (book 2) and nothing has been resolved from the first book. I feel a bit cheated.

Favourite character / moment?

CHRISSI: I don’t really have a favourite character or moment. I didn’t really feel connected to the characters.

LUNA: My favourite parts involved Jeremy and Caitlin. The conversations between those two were sweet and from all the girls it was probably Caitlin I liked the most, partly because of her brother and Jeremy. But then… (sorry spoilers :P)

Was The Perfectionists what you expected?

CHRISSI: I expected it to be a fun and engrossing read. It was!

LUNA: I don’t know why but for some reason I had it in my head that The Perfectionists was a standalone.

Would you recommend it?

CHRISSI: Definitely. I enjoyed it, but just wish it wasn’t part of a series. I’m looking to read more standalones as I can’t commit to too many series! I’ll definitely consider reading the next book though. I need some sort of resolution!

LUNA: Yes, it is engaging but having since looked up Sara Shepard’s other series they do continue…  Pretty Little Liars is currently on book 16. So it’s a question of if you’re willing to be in it for the long-haul.


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