NEW RELEASE & REVIEW: Pretty Dead Girls by Monica Murphy

Young Adult

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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.



In a Mean Girls-like fashion, Pretty Dead Girls amplified teenage life and the pitfalls of high school with mystery and murder. Told from the perspective of a girl in the clique, Penelope, with her ever-decreasing squad, the reader cannot help but wonder exactly how reliable of a narrator she is. And while it falls on some overly used tropes of the genre, it was a fast-paced and interesting read until the end.

Most readers will find issue with Penelope and her lack of a concrete conscience, but take into consideration that she’s supposed to be a flawed character both in age and label. I wasn’t too fond of the romance included in the book, but there was value to furthering the story with it included. With that said, there was still a need to know how it ended, who the killer was, if they would be caught in time. A novel that still manages to grip you in that way regardless of a few literary flaws means it still has good backbones to lay the story on. If you love suspense sprinkled with some romance that’s centered around flawed teenagers, Pretty Dead Girls is the novel for you.




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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NEW RELEASE & REVIEW: The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren

The Ones Who Got Away Book One; Standalone

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It’s been twelve years since tragedy struck the senior class of Long Acre High School. Only a few students survived that fateful night—a group the media dubbed The Ones Who Got Away.

Liv Arias thought she’d never return to Long Acre—until a documentary brings her and the other survivors back home. Suddenly her old flame, Finn Dorsey, is closer than ever, and their attraction is still white-hot. When a searing kiss reignites their passion, Liv realizes this rough-around-the-edges cop might be exactly what she needs…



In a sweepingly romantic tale of two people joined by trauma and loss, The Ones Who Got Away told a beautiful love story filled with deep emotions, uncontrollable sexual tensions, and the turbulent journey to finding inner peace. With the limited blurb, I went into this story not knowing what to expect and came out of it absolutely floored by how deeply poignant and influential these characters were as individuals and as products of their unique situation, along with how beautifully romantic their love story ending up being.

One of the most crucial aspects this story nails is the reverberations of trauma, and how drastically it can change the course of your life. A person who has survived trauma cannot go back to who they once were, no matter how hard they may try, and for both Liv and Finn, they are this exact representation. But because they knew each other prior, there’s this rare idolization of emotion that connects them, both their past and present selves, and makes their attraction and eventual romance even more effective. With the story centering on only the present time, you’ll not only fall for that part of them they’ll always be rather than who they once were, but you’ll still manage to see the raw beauty of their young innocence. All of that groundwork produced an insane amount of emotional and sexual tension, making this a powerful read.

Both surprising and addictive, this story has staying power and will stick with you long after it ends. Loren’s writing is stark and pensive, capturing every naunced thought and emotion in every scene. Its backbones, in centering around the survivors of a school shooting, are strong and will absolutely hold up the entire series, one that I cannot wait to get more of. The Ones Who Got Away was a compelling and provocative read, and an absolute must-read.



The Ones Who Got Away Book Two; Standalone

Release Date: June 5, 2018

PreOrder: Kindle | Mass Market


Roni wrote her first romance novel at age fifteen when she discovered writing about boys was way easier than actually talking to them. Since then, her flirting skills haven’t improved, but she likes to think her storytelling ability has. She holds a master’s degree in social work and spent years as a mental health counselor, but now she writes full time from her cozy office in Dallas, Texas where she puts her characters on the therapy couch instead. She is a two-time RITA Award winner and a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author.

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