Reviews

Dead End Girls by Wendy Heard

molly_dettmann's review

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3.0

On one hand I thought the mystery and amped up suspense was well-done and kept me scrolling through to finish, but on the other hand it seemed a bit all over the place with some very predictable bits. It did seem like it would make a really good tv show or something.

kerasalwaysreading's review

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3.0

I really tried with this one! I loved the premise. I would have loved to read this if it was just Maude achieving her goal by herself. Instead, she is discovered and has a tag along through the whole story and Frankie is constantly messing up the plans. I just felt aggravated and annoyed through the bulk of this book and for that, I think the book was just okay. Loved the idea, but the execution was just okay…

abstractkitty0's review

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adventurous challenging dark emotional hopeful mysterious sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

alexabookish's review

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4.0

3.5/4 stars. this was a pretty good ya thriller. i do think i was expecting something a little different based on how it’s marketed (the tagline is: two runaways leave a trail if murders in their wake. which isn’t exactly true, so i was expecting something slightly different) i’d describe it more as thriller/darker contemporary maybe? however, i am ALWAYS looking for queer thrillers because there are absolutely not enough of them.

rainphile's review

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adventurous challenging mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25

saskiap1994's review

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adventurous emotional fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

4.0

rhensie's review

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adventurous challenging dark mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.0

lot of crazy, pretty unrealistic stuff happens in this book, but that makes for a very fun ride (most of the time). It's hard to describe without spoilers but, if you like fast-paced YA thrillers with a side of romance, this is probably a book you should try.

It loses a star because, whilst I can accept outlandish events happening, those events do need to be backed by believable character motivations. This is less of a problem later in the book with certain events, but the actual premise of the book (Maude wanting to run away) does not seem all that well motivated. Unlike some other reviewers, I didn't actively dislike Maude, I just didn't really understand her initial motivations. I can understand why she would have felt depressed in her situation, but the radical change she wants to make seems a bit of a stretch. On the other hand, you have Frankie's motivations which (whilst somewhat outlandish in themselves) make a lot of sense, so it's a bit of an odd balance. 

wrt to the step-cousin thing which undeniably people will find weird,
to me, it seemed like Maude and Frankie had not been socialised together at all growing up and hadn't really even known each other all that well, so like, sociologically (and biologically) speaking, I don't think there's anything inherently wrong here.
That being said, if incest is at all a trigger for you, I'd probably give this one a miss, because it is skirting the line a bit.

nikkitaylor19's review

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adventurous challenging dark hopeful mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

lyssa_lee's review

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adventurous emotional medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

larakaa's review

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adventurous fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No

2.25

It was a quick read, I'll give it that.
I didn't like the protagonist, her initial motivation is way too low a bar to do all that. I get that this is kind of a what-if story and I don't live in the US, so I don't know how authentic all of this is, but it just didn't feel very believable. The way she just found someone who can forge perfect passports. The way they just stumble on helpful random people when they need one.
While the switching of the PoVs is a neat narrative tool, it really didn't work for me here. It's just so imbalanced and makes the plot flow suddenly clunky. Usually, we have it to get a second perspective on events and get to learn more about a certain character, but the way it's separated into super small pieces and also being mostly about the past it just breaks the storytelling.
Also, the main protagonist doesn't really evolve much. The tiny shreds of self-reflection and realization aren't enough. And the ending also didn't work for me. But I wont get into details here because of spoilers.

Queer representation is nice, but that alone doesn't make a good book. 

I know it's a young adult book, which often focuses more on plot and action, but still I've read better ones.