The Perfect Girl

The Perfect Girl by Gilly MacMillan

This book is the second book by the author Gilly Macmillan and while it is the first one that I have read, I will try her other book soon.

This book follows Zoe upon her release and chance to being again with her “Second Chance Life” with her mom, new step-dad, Chris, step-brother, Lucas, and new sister, Grace.

Zoe was convicted of killing three of her high school classmates after events at a party turned drastically wrong and her trial didn’t go as well as planned. But, all that aside, Zoe is ready to begin a new life in what her mother has dubbed her “Second Chance Life.” They have moved and started anew. They have to appear perfect.

On the night of her revival, Zoe and Lucas hold a piano performance. Both are piano prodigies. Before the performance has truly begun, Thomas Barlow has burst through the doors and caused a scene, leaving Zoe running for the doors and everyone else aghast. This begins a long night of secrets being revealed, secrets that Zoe and her mother kept hidden from Chris and Lucas to preserve Zoe and allow her to fully move on with a new life. By the end of the night, Zoe’s mother is dead. She is found in the shed and the police cycle starts over again.

All is not as it seems as each person is interviewed the following morning and everyone has secrets to hide. This book is told from multiple viewpoints including Zoe, Lucas, Tessa (Zoe’s aunt), Sam (Zoe’s lawyer from before and the man Tessa is cheating on her husband with), and Richard (Tessa’s self-hating, alcoholic husband).

When I first started reading and each character was introduced in his or her own section it sounded very much like a diary entry because of the groundwork that was working so hard at being laid. The descriptions of oneself and others sounded to contrite and awkward because it isn’t how we talk about ourselves. It sounded like the speaker was speaking straight to the reader,even though that isn’t the way the book was set up. It was set up to tell the story from the various viewpoints so that you saw the entire picture.

The story doesn’t end when you find out who didn’t because at that point there are still other loose ends of the other story versions that need to be tied up. It only gets confusing if you do not pay attention to the name at the top of the page of each new section. It is never the same character twice in a row, but it does pick up the story right where the last one left off, so nothing is missed.

Overall the story was an interesting one and I look forward to reading her other book.

Three Wishes

Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty 

This book follows the travels of three sisters for roughly a year of their life.  The first introduction to the sisters is a scene from an outside perspective watching them at a restaurant when they seem to have an explosive argument. We hear nothing in this snippet from any of the sisters. From there we switch back in time and start hearing their story, switching between the three: Lyn, Cat, and Gemma Kettle. Each sister has an issue to deal with it, be it family, or love life related. All have a mirage built up that is bound to be broken soon. They have secrets they don’t even tell each other. Their relationships strain, together and with others. But, through this one year in their life they also grow stronger and closer. I did enjoy the outside snippets that show various parts of their lives. Though at first it didn’t seem as if they had any correlation to the current story, the more I read, the more clear it became how they interacted and impacted the story. It impacted my viewpoint on the girls too, as it gave another glimpse into them that I would otherwise never have seen. These girls resemble a family, like any other, except they are triplets and that makes them unique to everyone else around them.

Overall this book was a decent read. I liked it enough to keep reading .ore of this author’s books. It is also this author’s first book and that can account for some of the writing not being as grand. It took me a long time to read this one between other obligations and I can’t fully tell if it is because of the lack of a total hook to these characters, because I didn’t care for them as much as I usually do for other characters, or if it took me a long time to read for other reasons. 

Overall the book is a decent read and I am going to give this author another go by reading her next book.