Dead End Girls by Wendy Heard

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Dead End Girls

Author: Wendy Heard

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 5/5

Diversity: Queer MC, Queer trans side character

Recommended For…: young adult readers, thriller, LGBT, Thelma and Louise

Publication Date: May 10, 2022

Genre: YA Thriller

Age Relevance: 16+ (death, language, disordered eating, fatphobia, romance, running away, drug use, attempted overdose, underage alcohol consumption, gore, violence, sexual harassment, murder, sexual content, gaslighting, emotional abuse, child abuse, attempted murder)

Explanation of Above: This book contains death, murder, attempted murder, gore in the form of some blood and vomit, and violence in the form of stabbing and car accidents. There is moderate cursing in the book. Disordered eating is shown and mentioned, as well as fatphobic comments said to the MC. There is also gaslighting, emotional abuse to a child, and child abuse shown in the book. The book centers around characters who run away from home. There is some romance in the book and some slight sexual content. There is also drug use shown, underage alcohol consumption shown, sexual harassment mentioned and shown, and an attempted overdose shown.

Publisher: Christy Ottaviano Books

Pages: 336

Synopsis: In one week, Maude will be dead. At least, that’s what she wants everyone to think. After years of research, Maude has decided to fake her own death. She’s figured out the how, the when, the where, and who will help her unsuspectingly.

The why is complex: revenge, partly. Her terrible parents deserve this. But there’s also l’appel du vide, the call of the void, that beckons her toward a new life where she will be tied to no one, free and adrift. Then Frankie, a step-cousin she barely knows, figures out what she’s plotting, and the plan seems like it’s ruined. Except Frankie doesn’t want to rat her out. Frankie wants in. The girls vault into the unknown, risking everything for a new and limitless life. But there are some things you can never run away from. What if the poison is not in the soil, but in the roots?

This pulse-pounding thriller offers a nuanced exploration of identity, freedom, and falling in love while your world falls apart.

Review: I really liked this book! It was a fun Thelma and Louise themed book centering around  two characters who have fairly bad spaces at home, one more toxic than the other, and their attempt to make their own way in the world ala faking their own death and then having to become a little murderous. The book is Multi-POV with Frankie’s scenes being more of a flashback at what led them to this conclusion currently in the book. The character development was well done as was the world building. And overall I loved the book and had so much fun with it. It kept me on the edge of my seat as I questioned how the characters would get out of the mess they kept making for themselves and I will say that the ending is satisfying.

The only issue I had with the book is that when the scenes would cut to Frankie the voice was a little hard to distinguish from Maude and the back and forth nature of the book is a little confusing at first. You have to pay attention to the headings at the top of the chapters, which is always my arch nemesis.

Verdict: It was great!

Book Info:

Dead End Girls by Wendy Heard

Genre: Young Adult Thriller

Publishing Date: May 10, 2022

Synopsis:

In one week, Maude will be dead. At least, that’s what she wants everyone to think. After years of research, Maude has decided to fake her own death. She’s figured out the how, the when, the where, and who will help her unsuspectingly.

The why is complex: revenge, partly. Her terrible parents deserve this. But there’s also l’appel du vide, the call of the void, that beckons her toward a new life where she will be tied to no one, free and adrift. Then Frankie, a step-cousin she barely knows, figures out what she’s plotting, and the plan seems like it’s ruined. Except Frankie doesn’t want to rat her out. Frankie wants in. The girls vault into the unknown, risking everything for a new and limitless life. But there are some things you can never run away from. What if the poison is not in the soil, but in the roots?

This pulse-pounding thriller offers a nuanced exploration of identity, freedom, and falling in love while your world falls apart.

Book Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58839257-dead-end-girls

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316310417/ref=x_gr_w_bb_sin?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_sin_ca-20&linkCode=as2&camp=15121&creative=330641

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dead-end-girls-wendy-heard/1140141195?ean=9780316310413

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Dead-End-Girls-Wendy-Heard/9780316310413?ref=grid-view&qid=1646576964815&sr=1-1

Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/dead-end-girls/9780316310413-item.html?ikwid=dead+end+girls&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0#algoliaQueryId=a3aaf7bd2b7caa4a922beb623158b0ee

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780316310413

About the Author:

Wendy Heard is the author of two adult thrillers: The Kill Club and Hunting Annabelle, which Kirkus Reviews praised as “a diabolically plotted creep show from a writer to watch.” She’s Too Pretty To Burn, which Kirkus called “a wild and satisfying romp” in a starred review, marks her YA debut. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, and Mystery Writers of America, is a contributor at Crimereads.com, and co-hosts the Unlikeable Female Characters podcast. Wendy lives in Los Angeles, California.

Author Links:

Website: https://www.wendyheard.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wendydheard

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wendydheard/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17011089.Wendy_Heard

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/user/wendydheard

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