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The Perfect Escape For The Holidays

Most often than not, life doesn't usually turn out the way you want it to. Plans unravel, and the path of life can meander into the darkest of dark corners. This was the case for Zoe Maisey. Three years ago, this seventeen-year-old musical prodigy with an IQ worthy of Mensa, was involved in a tragic incident -- one that left three of Zoe's classmates dead. After serving her time, she's back, and ready to pursue her musical career once again. 

Life has changed for her: her parents separated in the tragedy's aftermath, and her mom, Maria, now has a new man and a new step son in her life. They don't know anything about Zoe's past; Maria has made sure of keeping it a secret. 

At the start of the novel, Zoe's is about to deliver her debut recital, hoping to once again ingratiate herself under the musical spotlight. Her mother has been planning this night for months. Zoe's prodigious talent presented itself when she was only three years old, and Maria made it her mission to nurture her precocious ability. But as foreshadowed things don't go as planned, and Zoe's mother is found dead. The search for the suspect lays the roadmap for the rest of the novel. 

Told from varying perspectives, the rest of the novel attempts to piece together the events following Maria's death. Chapters in the book are laid out in short digestible chunks, which alternate between Zoe, Sam (Zoe's previous solicitor), and Tessa (Zoe's aunt). Looking at the situation and the family dynamics from various lenses provides the reader a 360 degree view. What is real, what is true, it builds in a suspenseful and addictive manner. 

At its core, the book is about relationships. Between a mother and a daughter, between teenagers and friends, between siblings, and between spouses. It's a snap shot of behavioural interactions. 
From secrets, to affairs, to backstabbing, every twist lurks around every corner. While The Perfect Girl: A Novelhas been touted as a favourite amongst readers who loved 2015's big hit Girl On The Train, the similarities are at best superficial. Does the story reach the same level of crescendo? Perhaps through the lens of some readers? Yours truly remained ambivalent despite being hooked at the beginning of the novel.

Blog post by @ShilpaRaikar (Creative and Social Media strategist, decor enthusiast and book lover, who also writes for a branding blog:, as well as a lifestyle blog: T: @SukasaStyle)