A review by rhensie
Dead End Girls by Wendy Heard

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


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.