REVIEW: Bad Girls With Perfect Faces, Lynn Weingarten

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

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…

For me, Bad Girls With Perfect Faces is a book in response to which my thoughts aren’t easily collected. It’s one of those where I’ve closed the final page and, despite days of consideration, I just can’t work out if I liked it or not; if it was good or not. There’s that John Green quote which I am certain is about more pretentious things than a Young Adult murder-mystery that I can’t help but apply to my current muddled mind: “my thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations”. And I don’t know if it’s down to my mixed views on the book, or the fact that I haven’t slept, but that sentiment really rings true right now.
Positively, Bad Girls With Perfect Faces has some of the most realistic teenage characters I have read in YA in a long (long!) time. The friendship between Xavier and Sasha, their boozy teenage social life, and the temptation to return to a shitty ex (can someone remind me to never do that again? It always ends badly, I mean, not this badly but still pretty bad) - it may not be the reality of some of the audience of the YA genre, but it certainly rings true of myself and most people I know.
And, I’m not even a teenager. Maybe university has regressed me?
Compared to some of the characters I have read in other Young Adult books, these guys actually come across as seventeen and not some whiny, naive pre-teens with a narrow world-view and an archaic view on sex and relationships. I would have loved to see more of them hanging out, going to more parties, just having fun, really… Honestly, what I am saying is that these characters in any other YA book would have been close to perfection. Them in this particular book? Not so much. 
My main issues with Bad Girls With Perfect Faces centre on the murder-mystery elements. I know, I know, it’s really weird for me to like a book for everything apart from the conventions that made it the genre it was supposed to be, but this is why I am having so much trouble with my thoughts surrounding it.
I just think that those elements were sloppy, lazy and not even close to well done. The characters (and by extension, the wider society and its police force) seemed to completely forget about DNA and evidence. (view spoiler)
So yeah… 5* to the character conception, 1* to everything else. 

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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