Reviewed by Jasmine Sov, age 17

The Good Girls by Claire Eliza Bartlett

In a small town in Colorado, a girl has been murdered. Senior cheerleader Emma Baines was always the good girl at Jefferson-Lorne High School. Her suspected killers are three of her classmates: Claude, the troublemaker who gets around; Avery, her ditzy cheerleader friend; and Gwen, the top student. As the investigation continues, the three of them struggle with their reputations, relationships and rumors spreading around the school. But things may not be as they seem, and time is running out. Can the murderer be found before another good girl gets killed? While the characters are based on classic tropes, there’s a certain depth to them that lets readers root for them along the way. The novel starts slowly, but moves into a proper pace later on—although it’s clear that this is to deliberately hold details from the reader. As the story continues, it becomes apparent that the police seem to have no interest in solving the case despite them saying otherwise. Some pieces of evidence in the case are also seemingly forgotten about midway through. The format consists of multi-POV narration from the four main characters (Claude, Avery, Gwen and Emma) interspersed with text messages, police interviews and diary entries, which helps to keep things engaging but grows awkward at times. Though somewhat predictable, “The Good Girls” eventually kicks into high gear and delivers a thoughtful message about the struggles of women in today’s society.

3 stars of 5 stars

Find this book in our catalog: N/A

Catalog Number: N/A

368 pages