by Sara Shepard
Published: October 2014
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Genre: Mystery, YA
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's 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?- taken from Goodreads
The book is about a group of girls who are thrown together in a class all of whom have had negative encounters with Nolan Hotchkiss, the school's most popular, perfect boy. When they decide to get their own back they joke about how they would kill him if they were given the chance. When they get to the party that they have arranged will be the time to play a prank on Nolan, they perform the prank and even upload pictures online anonymously and other than a bit of a guilty conscience they seem to get away with it. That is until the next morning when Nolan is found dead by the exact method the girls had previously joked about, they then of course set about finding out who killed him and who is trying to frame them.
I am going to preface this review with the fact that this is the first book I have read by this author, however, I watch Pretty Little Liars (Shepard wrote the original book series) so I am familiar with her style of writing. So lets get to the negatives first - my biggest issue with this book was that it had an overwhelming feeling of just a recycled version of PLL with different characters, you know with the plot line of mystery over a murder of a popular person, someone framing the group of girls, they all have motives for being the murderer etc.
On the other hand, PLL was successful for a reason, the plot line is effortless and flows well, this book is fairly short but equally as fast paced. All the characters have different lives and what was interesting was that none of them were really friends beforehand and were thrown together because of the incident, I think it will be interesting to see how such different characters will get on in later books. Although all the cliches are there they don't feel that overdone which you have to give props to Shepard for.
I fairly enjoyed my time reading this book and I think if I had read this when I was slightly younger I would have loved it. I will be picking up the next book as it has hooked me enough to want to know what happens as there was no resolution at all at the ending of this book (although I really hope it isn't a 15+ book series like PLL). So whilst this book has its flaws, you cannot deny that it was addictive and a light enjoyable read.
*this book was sent to me for free in exchange for an honest review*