The Perfect Girl: A Novel by Gilly MacmillanThe Perfect Girl: A Novel by Gilly Macmillan

The Perfect Girl: A Novel

byGilly Macmillan

Hardcover | November 15, 2017

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The New York Times bestselling author of What She Knew returns with an electrifying new novel about how the past will always find us...

"Literary suspense at its finest.”—Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Baby

“A wonderfully addictive book with virtuoso plotting and characters - for anyone who loved Girl on the Train, it’s a must read.”
   — Rosamund Lupton

Zoe Maisey is a seventeen-year-old musical prodigy with a genius IQ. Three years ago, she was involved in a tragic incident that left three classmates dead. She served her time, and now her mother, Maria, is resolved to keep that devastating fact tucked far away from their new beginning, hiding the past even from her new husband and demanding Zoe do the same. 

Tonight Zoe is giving a recital that Maria has been planning for months. It needs to be the performance of her life. But instead, by the end of the evening, Maria is dead.

In the aftermath, everyone—police, family, Zoe’s former solicitor, and Zoe herself—tries to piece together what happened. But as Zoe knows all too well, the truth is rarely straightforward, and the closer we are to someone, the less we may see.

Title:The Perfect Girl: A NovelFormat:HardcoverDimensions:464 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.41 inPublished:November 15, 2017Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062567489

ISBN - 13:9780062567482


Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good read! I liked the book, but I had caught on to "who did it" quite early on.
Date published: 2018-08-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Read Very nice book, easy read. I really enjoyed the characters and how it jumped from each point of view as the chapters. Will definitely read another book by this author. Did wish it was more dark and twisty.
Date published: 2018-08-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Good! This is definitely my favourite of the Gilly Macmillan books. A solid story and great twist ending!
Date published: 2018-06-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from loved this book! Such a great book finished it in a week could not put this book down!
Date published: 2018-04-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was okay I felt it was enjoyable to read, however it is taking to long to get to some points of the book. A good read for the subway or train ride home.
Date published: 2018-04-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Book ** spoiler alert ** This is simply one of the best books I've ever read! It was impossible to put down, but I wanted to towards the end because I did not want to finish it. The characters were so vivid and each of their voices was unique. The back and forth of the time line and the different POV's only enhanced a well thought out plot. While my heart broke for Zoe in so many ways I also wanted her to accept part of the blame, but I could see how that may not be, especially how in farm country it is no uncommon for younger children to have experience driving. My heart also broke for Sam through the whole story, and I appreciated how he had his own plot line away from that of simply supporting Zoe. I just somehow wish he and Tess had ended up together. I understand from experience that major life events can cause great changes to behavior, but I also don't know if I would trust an alcoholic to take on 3 kids. I think at the end through Zoe I see that Tess maybe did love Sam, but I don't know if I truly believe that either. I guess it's these questions and imperfections that make this story and characters so great.
Date published: 2018-04-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Surprising This was one of my favourite books by Gilly Macmillan, a great mystery. Shocking ending. Definitely a page turner.
Date published: 2018-04-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Literary Mystery A story about a poor youthful decision which destroyed lives and about the importance of second chances and redemption. Part mystery, suspense, and a story about family relationships and how good ones can help ground you and toxic ones can help ruin your sense of worth. Macmillan has a good understanding of the psychology of family dynamics and knows how to keep a story moving.
Date published: 2018-03-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Just okay This is about a ‘third chance’ family looking out for each other after two incredible tragedies threaten to tear them apart. I liked that the chapters included narratives from different characters and provided the reader with a solid alibi from each one. I found myself having to read on to get to Part 2 of Lucas’ script which was the most suspenseful part. The admission to the crime was kind of lame, but I was satisfied with the way the family came together to support one another and cover up each other’s indecencies.
Date published: 2018-03-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down This book is one of my quickest reads (just a little over a day). I loved the suspense. It was thrilling from beginning to end
Date published: 2018-02-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was ok Similar to Gilly MacMillan's other books, this one is told from a variety of perspectives. We have Zoe who at the age of 14 drove drunk and took the lives of her friends. She went to jail and on the night of her piano recital, her mother is murdered. The plot for this story was very slow. I preferred MacMillan's other book, What She Knew better. This one felt uninteresting and didn't captivate me as much as the second novel.
Date published: 2018-02-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good when I got into it I got this book as a gift and tried reading it at work on breaks... and I didn't get into it. I noticed a couple typos and it really threw me off. I picked it back up at home (months later) and finished it in three days. It was quite the page turner! I really liked the ending-- it wasn't what I was expecting. I have picked up another Gilly MacMillan book already and can't wait to get into it.
Date published: 2018-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An absorbing tale of secrets and lies Zoe and Lucas are step-siblings with secrets. As a young teen Zoe was incarcerated for her part in an auto accident which killed three other teens. When her mother Maria met, and later married, Lucas' father Chris, Maria did not reveal Zoe's past. When Maria dies mysteriously, Zoe and Lucas are together enmeshed in the trauma of her death. "The Perfect Girl" keeps the reader's attention right to the revelations at the end. A great read!
Date published: 2018-01-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok Thought it was pretty good but not spectacular
Date published: 2017-11-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Page Turner Had me hooked all the way through. A little disappointed at the end, but overall impressed with the plot and twists!
Date published: 2017-10-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good, but not great Just OK. An easy read, so quick to get through it.
Date published: 2017-09-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from PAGE TURNER!! Such a great read! I read this book in less than 24 hours, just couldn't put it down! Definitely kept me hooked page after page. Easy read as well :)
Date published: 2017-09-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Mystery Got this book as a gift...Excellent quick read couldn't put it down!
Date published: 2017-08-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable Mystery A teenager and her mother are living their “Second Chance” life (I love how this was always capitalized) with their new family complete with a stepdad, step brother and baby sister for Zoe. Zoe, the teenager and musical prodigy, had been involved in a serious car accident a few years previous that claimed the lives of three other teens. She is still dealing with the ramifications and guilt over having been the driver of the vehicle, not to mention the fact that she and her mother have decided to hide this ordeal from their new family. It is revealed at the very beginning that the mother dies, and the rest of the book is spent figuring out who killed her and why. This book has a great plot with many interesting characters; not sure, maybe it was the voice of the teenager as the main narrator, but the book came across as a bit “young adult” in my opinion. Not a bad thing for sure, just not as in depth a novel as I prefer to read. Still enjoyable and a great summer read. Just a touch on the forgettable side. 4 Stars.
Date published: 2017-07-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from good book, not necessarily an amazing supsencefull thriller though I read this in a week, it wasn't a page turner to the point that I was on the edge of my seat, but it kept me interested enough to want to keep on turning the pages anyway. I guess I was expecting a build up, a more complicated story, but all in all, it was good and I would recommend it to others. My mother has read it also and she actually really liked it!
Date published: 2017-07-31
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Very slow and no tension at all This story is just way too slow and it doesn't even help to build the tension. Honestly, could've been shortened to 3 chapters and become a short story. Characters are non-believable or very stereotypical.
Date published: 2017-07-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Perfect Girl Tragic and an interesting mystery.
Date published: 2017-07-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love this book This was a great book. Although there are lots of characters and each chapter is a different character, it's easy to follow along. I had not read anything by Gilly MacMillan but definately will read her first book, What She Knew, now.
Date published: 2017-07-16
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Just no I enjoy reading books that make you feel involved so you can't put the book down. Sadly I couldn't wait to get rid of this book.
Date published: 2017-07-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Perfect Girl It was enjoyable while I read it, reminded me on those serial murder tv shows like Midsomer Murders on BBC, but I can't say I'll remember it in great detail if someone asks me about it. I'll probably pass this one off in a book exchange, maybe someone else will love it more than I did. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-06-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good read Found it a little slow at times, but I did enjoy it.
Date published: 2017-06-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Would recommend! This was my first book by this author. I really enjoyed it! A little slow at times but kept me guessing until the end. Would recommend it
Date published: 2017-06-04
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not great I bought this book as it was on Indigo's best sellers list, and I was disappointed. The story dragged along.... like a horrible reincarnation of a Midsommer Muder episode... but not in a good way. The satellite characters are shallow, there is too much detail that detracts from the story itself, and is inconsequential. Unfortunately.. I would not recommend this book.
Date published: 2017-05-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Thriller Not one of the best thriller's out there, but still pretty good
Date published: 2017-05-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good Read A little slow to start but picks up.
Date published: 2017-05-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good read The perfect example of how one mistake, one moment, one action can change your whole life.
Date published: 2017-05-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Story A tad bit slow in the beginning but then really picks up to be a good story.
Date published: 2017-05-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from page turner this book is a page turner
Date published: 2017-04-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Just ok I guessed the ending very early on in the book, and was bored with the story-line.
Date published: 2017-04-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Love! I enjoyed reading this book! I love this author!
Date published: 2017-04-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Liked it I really enjoyed reading this and am looking forward to reading more of Gilly Macmillan's novels.
Date published: 2017-04-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it!! I devoured this book! I was hooked from the first page. The small cast and short time frame made for a yummy read...and the ending didn't disappoint! #plumreview
Date published: 2017-04-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Up and coming... this is the next book on my list after reading all of those other psychological thrillers #plumreview
Date published: 2017-03-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Suspensful Really loved this book! The characters, the plotline, the dialogue. The writing was amazing and intriguing and complex. I loved the unique premise. Highly recommend!
Date published: 2017-03-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good read. This book is very intriguing and has a great story/ mystery to it however I do feel that it dragged on a bit and could have been a little bit shorter.
Date published: 2017-03-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So Good! Totally unexpected, loved it!
Date published: 2017-03-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good It was a bit predictable but still an interesting enough storyline.
Date published: 2017-03-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Gripping This book is a gripping psychological thriller with a very intricate timeline. There are only a few pages to each chapter but the writing is snappy and flows well. Very enjoyablle read.
Date published: 2017-03-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Read, Predictable I enjoyed the storyline and character development. The story was a bit predictable but I would still recommend it.
Date published: 2017-03-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What a story! A great addition to your library.
Date published: 2017-03-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from keeps you guessing odd ending. never saw it coming... keeps you guessing what will happen next
Date published: 2017-03-09
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Fell Flat I didn't love this book, I read it and had to force myself to continue and finish it. I found it went on and on, was very wordy and did not entertain me much.
Date published: 2017-03-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Easy read, but a great story While The Perfect Girl contains some literary blunders (I had to reread several passages due to lack of clarity, the overall story was very engaging. An easy read and overall satisfying ending!
Date published: 2017-02-24
Rated 2 out of 5 by from No that great I couldn't get into this book. It usually takes me a few days to read books, and at day 5 i had to stop reading this.
Date published: 2017-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great read great story although the ending was not that great
Date published: 2017-02-23
Rated 2 out of 5 by from could not get into it just couldn't get into this book- writing style was off (many different pov every chapter) story was quite slow
Date published: 2017-02-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Just okay read It was an okay read - I actually put it down and picked it up in between other books. Was okay.
Date published: 2017-02-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not The Best Read Ever But Kept My Interest So I would still recommend to anyone as a page turner and easy read and enjoyable, but just don't expect it to blow you away or any thing like that. I was always eager to pick it back up and continue on with it. I do like the short chapters b/c no matter how busy you are you can at least get one or two in at a time. And I like that each chapter is its own character's vision.
Date published: 2017-02-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Love it! Amazing read. Would definitely recommend.
Date published: 2017-02-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Alright Not the greatest read but will keep you mildly entertained/
Date published: 2017-02-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from decent read It was ok... kept me interested. No "wow" factor... but good.
Date published: 2017-02-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good one This one was a good one, kept me turning the pages and eager to discover answers and how scenarios would play out. Maybe not top ten in my list, but was a fairly good one.
Date published: 2017-02-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great novel Read it, you will not be disappointed in this book.
Date published: 2017-02-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it!! I received this as a gift and couldn't put it down once I got started. It's a great read.
Date published: 2017-02-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great! I bought this book feeling skeptical, but it was very interesting! Definitely a book you did not want to put down. I would recommend!
Date published: 2017-02-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from didn't fully catch my attention right away couldn't get into this but I want to give it another try
Date published: 2017-02-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great page turner! Bought this last month after quickly reading the synopsis and I'm glad I did
Date published: 2017-02-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book. I really enjoyed reading this book. Total pager turner and kept me guessing. Did die down put picked up again but would make a great movie!!
Date published: 2017-02-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read Very quick read and intriguing story. Starts off great and grabs your attention. A real page turner. A bit dull near the middle -- I would have liked for the story to progress a little faster. Found myself speed reading at the end just to find out how it ends. Overall, very well written!
Date published: 2017-01-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Perfect Girl I enjoyed this book however, I found that the beginning of the book telling the backstory of the "perfect girl" grabbed your attention quickly and then there is quite a long period before the climax starts to build again. The storyline keeps you guessing and has a different ending to what you may have expected. Overall a good read.
Date published: 2017-01-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from love it just started reading, very intriguing !
Date published: 2017-01-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book, would make an awesome movie I really enjoyed this book and flew through it. Zoe is the perfect girl. She's beautiful and smart and musically gifted. Then one night she makes a terrible error in judgement (but did she?) and her life is forever changed and she becomes a criminal with a record. Several years later Zoe and her mother have moved on, in a new place, with a new name and a new family including a new baby sister and no one knows of the past. She loves Her "second chance life" and falls in love again with her music. One night she performs a concert with her stepbrother and the inevitable happens, her past catches up with her. What happens next is unimaginable. How did Zoe go from rising from the ashes to having her life again turned upside down? Things are not always what they seem and people are not always who you think they are. The characters all have stories in themselves, they are a fascinating mix, some likeable, some not, and there's a lot going on behind the scenes. I love the descriptive way of this author's storytelling. The script written by Lucas was heartbreaking. The book is narrated by numerous characters in the story, a few too many for my liking actually. A few viewpoints, or a couple I am fine with but when it starts getting into 6 and 7, that's a few too many for me, but that's just me. Not sure how I feel about the ending. The end justifies the means? Clever; but what a tangled web we weave. This was a gripping and hard to put down thriller. I read most in one sitting. Would love to see it on the screen.
Date published: 2017-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Perfect Girl Loved this book. Totally gripping. I've already added other books by this author to my list. Would recommend for sure!
Date published: 2017-01-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really good! I really enjoyed this book. It was a good read. Very suspenseful,great story line a definite page turner!
Date published: 2017-01-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Quick read I enjoyed this book but as others have said it was a little predictable. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a quick and easy read, as I still found it to be entertaining.
Date published: 2017-01-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A Quick Read This book was easy to put down after a few chapters. The beginning keeps you interested, but the story drags on and comes to a predictable ending. This book shows how cunning teenagers can be and how adults can turn a blind eye towards their children/loved ones. An okay read, but not the best.
Date published: 2017-01-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good Book A good book but not the author's best.
Date published: 2017-01-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book I loved this book. Fast reading and interesting. The only problem is the cover paper quality ... Not very good.
Date published: 2016-12-31
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not As Good As I Was Expecting I think there was a lot of hype around this book and that may have altered my perception of it as a whole. It was a good read... I read it quickly and completely, but I often found myself not feeling overly invested in the story or the characters themselves. I didn't hate it, but it's definitely not something I would go crazy recommending.
Date published: 2016-12-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting Readd I enjoyed this novel, though I saw the ending coming. It was rather predictable, but still kept me interested.
Date published: 2016-11-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I loved this. This book, is great in telling about all that we see, is not perfect. Loved it!!
Date published: 2016-11-25
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Very disappointed I kept looking at this book and thought I would really like it. I was disappointed. There was a few times I almost didn't finish it. I would have to say that the last 5 chapters were the best part. It was events that was told by three (sometimes more) peoples version. This was the first book I read by this author.
Date published: 2016-11-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this book! Really good book! It was very hard to put it down!
Date published: 2016-11-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Mixed feelings - just an ok book! When reading the synopsis - I thought this book would be amazing. So of of course I purchased the book with very high hopes. To say the very least, the book is an ok easy read but it doesn't really pull you in and keep you interested. I would not recommend this book to anyone looking for a good thriller.
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down! Great suspense/mystery that I could not put down. Skillfully woven, vivid characters. Can't wait for more from this author!
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Expected more The ending was a disappointment, definitely not as good as her other books
Date published: 2016-11-18
Rated 2 out of 5 by from No Bad, Not Great Was holding out hope right to the end but was disappointed.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I really Enjoyed This Book! I really enjoyed this book!
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Just okay #plumrewards The ending was disappointing and somewhat predictable.
Date published: 2016-11-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Second novel from MacMillan Gilly MacMillan's first novel, What She Knew, was an Edgar nominated, New York Times Bestseller. Her second novel, The Perfect Girl, is newly released. Seventeen year old Zoe is a brilliant piano virtuoso. Her mother Maria has nurtured her career from the very beginning. An accident three years ago ended with one of Zoe's friends dead. But, she's served her time, she and her mother have moved and they have a new family unit. But while giving a concert in their new hometown, a man bursts in ranting and disrupts the event. And six hours later, Maria is dead...... Who killed Maria is the question that needs answering by the end of the book. And there are a few obvious choices. But it is the exploration of the characters, their lives, their thoughts and their reasoning that make The Perfect Girl a 'literary suspense' novel. There are eight main characters in The Perfect Girl, but only four of them are given a voice with their own chapters. I was surprised at those that were - Tessa and Richard, Zoe's aunt and uncle and Sam, Zoe's previous solicitor. A fifth, Lucas - Zoe's new stepbrother, we come to know through his film script. Zoe is driven to be perfect - in her piano playing and in her behavior. After all, this is her Second Chance with her new Second Chance family in their new Second Chance home. It's heartbreaking to read Zoe's chapters, as we learn of her past and the events that lead to that fateful night. But I found her a hard character to actually like. Maria is also driven as well to make everything 'perfect'. Maria is not given a voice and we only learn about her from others - notably her sister Tessa (who seems to be the most reasonable character) Chris, Maria's new husband, also only becomes known through his actions and dialogue described by others. (But he's a real piece of work) It was Uncle Richard that I was drawn to the most, despite his spectacular lack of perfection. I understand Sam's inclusion in the book, but felt he was quite removed from the 'main event'. These are all fractured people with fractured lives and secrets, some holding it together better than others. It was hard to really like any of them, but as a 'removed' observer, I was caught up in their turmoil. The final whodunit isn't the ending I had predicted, but seems, well, just perfect.
Date published: 2016-09-20

Editorial Reviews

“Gilly Macmillan (What She Knew) deftly explores the intricacies of relationships and the bonds that tie families all while ratcheting up the suspense in this page-turning thriller.”