The Good Girls by Claire Eliza Bartlett
The troublemaker. The overachiever. The cheer captain. The dead girl.
Like every high school in America, Jefferson-Lorne High contains all of the above.
After the shocking murder of senior Emma Baines, three of her classmates are at the top of the suspect list: Claude, the notorious partier; Avery, the head cheerleader; and Gwen, the would-be valedictorian.
Everyone has a label, whether they like it or not–and Emma was always known as a good girl. But appearances are never what they seem. And the truth behind what really happened to Emma may just be lying in plain sight. As long-buried secrets come to light, the clock is ticking to find Emma’s killer–before another good girl goes down.
The Good Girls is going to be tough to review. First, there are a lot of trigger warnings. The book is heavy, so please know this going in. Warnings for sexual assault, statutory rape, suicide, drugs, alcohol, slut shaming, blood, murder, sex.
I’ll probably talk a bit more about the characters than the plot today. The book goes back and forth in time and with people and there are plot twists and multiple mysteries. I did figure out a couple things fairly early, but not quite everything.
First thing is the place. Anna’s Run is a place where people go in the water and don’t come back out alive. There is a video that shows someone pushing a missing girl, Emma, over the edge. The police change her case from missing person shortly after. They believe Emma was murdered and they’re looking at high school kids more than anything.
Emma is pretty unhappy. She lives with her dad that’s a cop and he’s very controlling. She’s a cheerleader, but others have noticed her changing lately.
Gwen’s sister, Lizzy, committed suicide near Anna’s Run. She overdosed. Before that, Lizzy started acting out and Gwen was sure she would never kill herself.
Claude is sexually open. People call her a slut and she’s been in quite a bit of trouble over the years. She lives with her mom and has very few restrictions.
Avery is the perfect cheerleader that is always happy. She has a boyfriend, but is bi. People aren’t super nice about it.
Before Emma went missing, she became obsessed with Lizzy’s case. She thought Lizzy was murdered and wanted to prove it.
None of these girls are close friends. But the town spreads gossip like crazy and all of them want the truth to come out.
I feel like most of the plot is spoilery, so I’m going to leave it at this. The pacing was great and the book is hard to put down. I wanted to know more and I really liked all the girls.
I gave this book 4 1/2 stars rounded up to 5 on Goodreads. Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for my review copy.
Have you read this yet? Is it on your TBR? Do you read heavier books like this one and Sadie?