Title: Bad Girls With Perfect Faces
Author: Lynn Weingarten
When I looked up, his smile was wide and real. “Ready?” he said.
I faked a smile back. I had gotten so good at faking things.
I thought: You brought this on yourself, Sasha. You will have to pretend forever now.
He squeezed my hand again. He couldn’t begin to imagine what this actually was. He had no idea what I’d done. What any of us had.
When Sasha’s best friend Xavier gets back together with his cheating ex, Ivy, Sasha knows she needs to protect him. So she poses as a guy online to lure Ivy away.
But Sasha’s plan goes sickeningly wrong. And she soon learns to be careful of who you pretend to be because you might be surprised by who you become…
Well, this book definitely delivered on the twisted thriller element – unfortunately, I didn’t like it at all, even though it was what I expected.
The main reason I don’t like this book is because I feel like it didn’t deal with mental health well. I think this might just be a “me” thing, though – I don’t think we’re meant to believe that any of the characters are mentally healthy, but I just hated the way it was dealt with. We have one character who got medication (and of course there are cracks about the doctor being a pill-pusher), but of course it puts him in a haze and he abuses alcohol while on it; then there’s also a character who goes to a therapist once and doesn’t take anything seriously. Everyone seems to think that they know the “truth” of the world – nothing matters, we’re all just marching toward death, blah blah blah. It just seemed like the book was glorifying this viewpoint because they’re cool kids, instead of rolling its eyes at them – although, again, maybe that’s just a me interpretation.
I saw some of the twists coming, especially one of the big ones at the end. I also didn’t like any of the characters. I also, also don’t like how everything turned out for everyone in the end. I also, also, ALSO didn’t like the fact that Xavier, the best friend and one of the POV characters (in 3rd person – the other main POV character, Sasha, gets 1st person and randomly 2nd person for a while), is obviously in an abusive relationship where his girlfriend constantly gaslights him. Yes, the book makes it clear that this is a bad relationship, but it annoyed me that words like “abusive” and “gaslighting” were never used.
You might be wondering why I didn’t give this book a lower rating (although I think I did talk myself into lowering this rating at least .5 stars over the course of writing this review)? Well, I did manage to read it in basically one day (not counting a chapter or so the day before) – partially because I often skimmed parts, but also because this book is compulsively readable. I briefly thought about just DNFing it as soon as I was sure that I wasn’t a fan, but it was easy for me to finish anyway.
Plus, I feel like a lot of my issues are just “me” issues – not even “me as a non-neurotypical person,” but me as me. A lot of my issues had to do with how so many of these characters seem like they need therapy and possibly medication and I’ve just reached my breaking point when it comes to mentally ill characters not getting the help they need. I just felt like the characters are meant to come across as cool and above it all, but I just found myself rolling my eyes at them all the time. But again, I’ve seen some good reviews for this book, and from people who are more concerned with mental health issues than the average reader, so that’s why I think some of the issues might just be me.
Wow, when I started this review, I thought it would be a quick one for my mini-reviews, but obviously I had more thoughts on this book than I thought. It just really didn’t work for me, but don’t let that stop you – definitely check out some of the more positive reviews and see if this book might work for you! As for me, I’m off to read happier books with better characters.