Review: Bad Girls With Perfect Faces by Lynn Weingarten
‘A good girl would have played it different. Good Girls do not scheme or plot. Good Girls do not twist or sneak.
But Bad Girls know it’s never that simple. Bad Girls know everything is gray. Everything is messy and complicated. And sometimes you have to do some fucked-up stuff to make things okay.’
I wasn’t reading anything when I sat down on the bus to London yesterday, so on a whim I decided to start Bad Girls With Perfect Faces. I was not expecting to finish it on the bus home, but this story is far too gripping to take your time with.
Sasha is in love with her best friend, Xavier, but he doesn’t know it yet. She decides to tell him, but right when she’s about to open her mouth his ex-girlfriend Ivy comes sauntering back into his life. Despite the fact that Ivy cheated on him and broke his heart, Xavier is still head over heels for her, so when she arrives he abandons Sasha and goes off with her. Sasha is heartbroken. In a drunken state she makes a fake Instagram pretending to be a boy called Jake, desperate to follow Ivy and get definitive proof that her and Xavier are back together.
In the cold light of day, Sasha comes up with a plan. If she messages Ivy as Jake and gets proof that she’s intending to cheat on Xavier, she can break them up once and for all. Her and Xavier will finally get together, and she’ll make sure he’s happy. But things spiral rapidly out of control, and Sasha’s summer of revenge changes all of their lives forever.
The only reason I requested this book on NetGalley was because I’d heard great things about Weingarten’s debut novel, Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls. I enjoy YA thrillers but they don’t often impress me, so I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this novel. Told through alternating viewpoints, we follow Sasha in first person and Xavier in third person. The contrast was jarring and difficult to get used to at first, getting much harder towards the middle of the novel when Sasha’s chapters are briefly told in second person. There’s also a third viewpoint with an ambiguous owner: a clever red herring which put me off the scent, making it harder to see a big twist coming.
If you enjoy contemporary YA with a sting in its tail, this is the book for you. The ending isn’t too surprising – things are never going to get neatly resolved in a situation like this – but I still found myself satisfied. I’m hoping this will remain a standalone even though the ending is left open for a sequel, because it’s nice to be kept guessing about these characters after growing to care for them.
If you’re interested in learning more about Bad Girls With Perfect Faces, check it out on Goodreads. If you decide to buy a copy, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link: I’ll earn a few pennies from your purchase. Thank you!