Pretty Dead Girls by Monica Murphy
Release Date: January 2nd, 2018
Genre: Young Adult Romance
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.
“That car is still trailing us.”
Glancing in the side mirror, I see that the car is behind us. Cass chooses that moment to take a curve extra fast, making the tires squeal, and I gasp. “You’re scaring me,” I murmur. It feels like my heart just flew into my throat.
“Just wait. What I really want to do is going to scare you even more,” he says cryptically.
“What do you want to do?”
“You’ll have to trust me on this.”
“Okay.” I clamp my lips shut. I shouldn’t automatically agree, right? I’m still having trust issues, even though I’d never say that out loud. This entire day has been confusing. I don’t know who to believe anymore.
“No demanding we back out once we commit,” he says, his gaze never wavering from the road. “That’s a surefire way to get ourselves hurt.”
His words are ominous. Like a warning. “Fine. I’m all in.”
He eases up on the gas pedal, just the slightest bit. The car slows, the vehicle behind us drawing closer. So close I swear it looks like it’s going to eat the back bumper. “I don’t want you to freak out.”
“Oh my God, Cass.” Why is he slowing down? “Just tell me.”
“You have to promise me one thing first.” His gaze meets mine, lingering a moment too long. He should be watching the road, not staring at me. “Say you’ll promise.”
“I promise,” I readily agree, frowning. “But what am I promising?”
He’s staring straight ahead once more, his fingers sliding over the steering wheel, almost like a caress. “You can’t scream.”
“I mean it. No screaming. No yelling. You must remain quiet. I need you to trust me, Pen.” He hesitates, his voice dropping lower. “Do you trust me?”
Do I? He’s already asked me once and I said yes, but the doubt still creeps in. He scares me a little. He also—God, I am so ridiculous thinking this, but—he turns me on. He does. There’s something about him. He has this edge that other boys don’t have. And when he touches me, kisses me…
I’d probably do just about anything he asks me to.
So how can I doubt him when we’ve already gone this far together?
“I won’t scream,” I tell him quietly. “And I won’t yell. I promise.”
“Okay.” He nods once, then hisses out a breath between his teeth. I chance a glance at him, the way his dark hair falls over his forehead, how he’s squinting his eyes. What he’s about to do, what’s about to happen, feels…dangerous. “Here it goes.”
With a flick of his wrist he turns the car’s headlights off. Like, completely off. The road goes dark. I suck in a breath, hold it until I feel like it’s choking me. He hits the gas pedal hard, the SUV roaring to life as he flies down the road. A dangerous, winding road where multiple car crashes occur every year. The windows are down, the wind blows through my hair, blasts against my face, and I close my eyes.
I’m scared, and I can’t make a sound. Not a peep. I hold onto the handle right above the window, gripping it with both hands as Cass takes the twisty road with ease. My gaze is trained on the side mirror and I watch for the car lights behind us.
They’re still there.
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This story was a perfect way to start my new year and get out of a book slump! It was captivating and it draws you in because of so many factors. There’s drama, death, trying to guess the killer, relationships, etc. The story felt like a cross between Mean Girls, Veronica Mars, and Gossip Girl, with a Monica Twist!
PDG literally had me guessing for a majority of the book. I LOVED how when the killer’s thoughts were written that you don’t know their gender. Just when you think you have it all figured out, there is something that happens to key you in that you are very wrong and to keep guessing.
Penelope is a well developed character in this story. She is a Queen Bee in the school but her inner dialogue reveals that she is much more than just the mean girl everyone thinks she is.
Cass is a very well developed character and I LOVED that there were multiple aspects to his history to help develop that character. I can’t say more without spoiling parts of the story but he’s definitely not what you expect.
I can’t recommend this book enough. It was a new genre/style (YA suspense) for me to read but I would like to read more of the same, especially by Monica!
Monica Murphy is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series, the Billionaire Bachelors and The Rules series. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. She is both self-published and published by Random House/Bantam and Harper Collins/Avon. She writes new adult, young adult and contemporary romance.
She is a wife and a mother of three who lives in central California on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere along with their one dog and too many cats. A self-confessed workaholic, when she’s not writing, she’s reading or hanging out with her husband and kids. She’s a firm believer in happy endings, though she will admit to putting her characters through angst-filled moments before they finally get that hard won HEA.
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