Book Review: Pretty Dead Girls – Monica Murphy

4 stars

Title: Pretty Dead Girls
Author: Monica Murphy
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication date: January 2nd 2018
Genre: Young Adult contemporary 


Beautiful. Perfect. Dead.

In the peaceful seaside town of Cape Bonita, wicked secrets and lies are hidden just beneath the surface. But all it takes is one tragedy for them to be exposed.

The most popular girls in school are turning up dead, and Penelope Malone is terrified she’s next. All the victims so far have been linked to Penelope—and to a boy from her physics class. The one she’s never really noticed before, with the rumored dark past and a brooding stare that cuts right through her.

There’s something he isn’t telling her. But there’s something she’s not telling him, either.

Everyone has secrets, and theirs might get them killed.


I totally expected to read a completely different kind of book! And it was totally awesome! I don’t know if you can really call this book a thriller or even a real mystery. It’s not scary in any way and it doesn’t keep you on the edge of your seat. It reminded me a bit of Mean girls or a very mild version of Scream Queens. It was more of a “Teen Slasher” kind of book. The girls in this book stopt pretending to be nice a looong time ago. Penelope, the main character, is actually the most “likeable” of the bunch and she calls herself the queen bee of her highschool, soooo. Those girls are what made the book so good for me. Nobody was trying very hard to be a good person and that gave the book a very light and even carefree feeling.

Meet Penelope, she’s the head cheerleader and president of the Larks. The Larks are a group of 10 girls who are basically too wealthy and spoiled for their own good. So they try to “give back” to the community by organising fund-raisers and help charities. But don’t mistake that for too much kindness, it also looks very good on they college applications and only the most popular girls can get a spot in the group. So basically, Penelope and her Lark minions are Perfect™️. But suddenly a lot of her “friends” are dying, many dirty secrets come out and everyone is fighting/backstabbing everyone.

They’re basically all stealing each others fame and boyfriends and the weird thing is that it’s so enjoyable to read that the actual killing really became a side story for me. I was way more interested in knowing how they would react to each others betrayal than in the search for the killer. Another thing that made the murders a bit less interesting is that it was all a bit too predictable. But the rest of the story made up for that big time.

(minor romance spoilers following)
I really liked the romance in this book. It was a little bit weird sometimes and in the beginning it came a bit out of the blue. I still don’t really get why Penelope and Cass suddenly started falling for each other and it was also kind of gross that all the girls were kind of sharing the same guys (but sharing is caring I guess?). One note of critique: Cass really felt a bit too good to be true. He’s the bad guy who left all his bad behaviour in the past and is now behaving like an angle in disguise and only has the handsome “bad guy” look left for all the girls to get hot and bothered over.

Side note: Can I just point of that I read about 10 mystery novels this year and 4 of them had “girl” in the title! Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, The Other Girl and now Pretty Dead Girls. That’s 40%! To be honest, this was the best “girl” mysterie novel I read this year!

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