The Perfectionists is the first novel in a new series from author Sara Shepard, best known for her Pretty Little Liars series. In this book we meet a group of five girls who, after watching And Then There Were None during a film studies class, jokingly discuss how they would kill fellow student Nolan Hotchkiss. Each of the girls has a history with bully Nolan and a reason to seek revenge, so when he is found dead after a party the girls start to wonder if they are being framed for his murder.
Part of what prompted me to read The Perfectionists was the announcement that it is set to become a TV series. As a fan of the Pretty Little Liars adaptation and a self-confessed US TV addict, I was instantly intrigued and decided it was about time I picked up the book!
The concept and characters reflect those of Shepard’s other novels featuring young adults caught up in a mystery and a whole lot of drama. Personally I found the format to be very similar to Pretty Little Liars, with alternating chapters from the different girl’s POVs allowing the reader to get to know them each a little better throughout the novel. In this case the girls aren’t a tight-knit group before teaming up for the film studies project so we are also introduced to a whole host of characters outside of their time spent together. Each girl’s background is very different so as the book goes on we find out more about them as individuals and follow all of their personal drama outside of what happened to Nolan.
The element of mystery is also a recurring theme within Shepard’s novels and is definitely present here. Unravelling the girl’s individual stories and finding out not only how they knew Nolan in the past but also how they each played a part in a revenge prank on the night of his death was what kept me intrigued until the last page.
The next book in the series, titled The Good Girls, is due for release later this year, and I’ll definitely be picking it up to find out where the story is headed next for the girls. I also have high hopes for the adaptation and am really looking forward to seeing this mysterious and dark story come to life on the small screen. Based on Shepard’s other series I’m expecting lots of twists and turns ahead!