(It is the Perfect Murder… or is it?): The Perfectionists by Sara Shepard

(It is the Perfect Murder… or is it?): The Perfectionists by Sara ShepardThe Perfectionists by Sara Shepard
Series: The Perfectionists #1
on 2nd October 2014
Pages: 304
In Beacon Heights High, Nolan Hotchkiss is king. His charm, wealth and good looks are deceptively seductive, and many are the students whose lives and reputations have been ruined by it. All while Nolan continues to reign, unquestioned and undisrupted. Until now, that is. Mackenzie, Ava, Julie, Caitlin and Parker seemingly don't have much in common. Each has their own friends, dramas and goals. But one thing they do share: they all have a deep hatred of Nolan Hotchkiss. And they all think it's about time he paid for what he has done. They come up with the perfect murder - a hypothetical murder, of course. It's all wishful thinking ... until they wake up one morning to find that their wish has come true. Nolan has been killed in exactly the way they planned. The thing is, they didn't do it. So who did?

Ava, Parker, Julie, Mackenzie and Caitlin appear to have nothing in common. But there is one thing they can all agree on – their hatred for Beacon Height’s golden boy, Nolan Hotchkiss. He has ruined their lives in one way or another and they put a plan in action to make him pay. The perfect crime. But after getting their revenge on Nolan, life doesn’t go back to normal. Everyone is a suspect in Nolan’s death and the five girls need to stay strong or risk losing it all.

At first I was a little wary of how well this book would work with five main characters (it seems like a lot) but I should not have been concerned. The pacing and way everything came together was perfect. From the scene of the crime to the final page, the author shares with the readers the right amount of story for each of the five girls. The title was fitting with each of the girls being perfectionists in their chosen fields and Nolan being responsible for threatening everything they’ve ever worked for. There is a great camaraderie between the girls and their problems do feel realistic. I loved how the mystery unfolded with little bits of information being given but never quite enough to know exactly what was going on. I liked the girls’ individual stories but I thought the strength of this novel was how they came together as a whole. It may seem a little far-fetched for seemingly perfect teenagers to plot and plan a take down of the most popular boy in school but Shepard wrote it in such a way I felt it was entirely believable considering the history he had with each of the girls. The only thing I didn’t like was that it ended just as I had been completely sucked into the Perfectionists’ world!

For a first book in the series, The Perfectionists is perfect. It’s suspenseful and exciting with a dash of romance and some fantastic friendships. There is a mysterious and slightly dark vibe surrounding the girls as we get to know them and many secrets revealed.

The Perfectionists is an exciting read. It isn’t quite as dark as I was expecting and I enjoyed it more for that.  If you are a fan of Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars series, you will love The Perfectionists. It has the sinister undertones, the delicious anticipation of what is going to happen next as well as the drama and the romance of Shepard’s other series but the premise is much more believable and (in my opinion) the cast of characters is slightly more likeable.


Thanks to Hot Key Books for the review copy. 


  1. I have read this novel too and I found that it is very similar to Pretty Little Liars, but it can be a novel for any mystery fan such as I. I found that the character’s in PLL relate to these character’s a lot. I mean, Nolan=Ali, Ava=Spencer (And also Aria), Caitlin=Emily. But overall the book was intruiging and amazing, it kept me held for so long, I didn’t want to let go. I ended up reading it in two days and I hear they might have a show based on this! 🙂

  2. Pingback: The Perfectionists | Young Adult Materials

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