Thursday, 25 August 2016

Review - The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan

I’m going to be completely honest and say that I haven’t read Gilly Macmillan’s first book, Burnt Paper Sky. However, I’d heard so many good things about it that I couldn’t wait to get started on her latest release, The Perfect Girl. One word that sums up my reaction to this book is WOW! It was an absolutely incredible read that drew me in and had me hooked from the very first page. I really cannot recommend it highly enough. 

Zoe is a young girl who not only has a higher than average IQ but is also an incredibly talented musician. However, she’s also got a very dark past having been convicted of killing three of her classmates and sentenced to spending time behind bars. Having recently been released, her mother who remarried not too long ago has arranged for Zoe to perform in a piano recital along with her step-brother. On the night, all is going well, until Tom Barlow - the father of one of the children Zoe killed - turns up wanting nothing more than a confrontation. As Zoe and her mum flee the scene, little do they know that this is just the beginning and that things are going to get much, much worse for their new family unit. 

Told from not just one but several character’s perspectives, this book is exceptionally gritty and really allows you to develop an understanding of what everyone is thinking and feeling. This is undoubtedly something that works in this books favour as it allows you to see the bigger picture and really get to know and connect to everyone that is being spoken about. It’s also an incredibly thought-provoking novel and despite what Zoe had been accused of doing I couldn’t help but feel for her. Deep down I could tell that Zoe cared very much about those around her and didn’t deserve what happened to her at her trial. However, I have to admit that there were a few occasions when I found myself really having to question her morality particularly towards the end. 

Throughout the book, Gilly Macmillan’s writing was absolutely superb. As a book that was set over such a short space of time, the whole novel was incredibly tense and impossible to predict. I never knew what was going to happen next which made this fast-paced, action-packed novel extremely compelling. I really struggled to put it down, particularly when I got past the halfway mark. 

The Perfect Girl was a fabulous introduction to Gilly’s writing and I predict great things will happen for her with this novel. Based on how much I enjoyed this novel I’m definitely going to catch up on Burnt Paper Sky very, very soon and also look forward to seeing what she writes next. If you happen to be looking for your next psychological thriller to read, make it this one.