Published: June 21st 2011, Bloomsbury USA
Pages: Hardback, 310 pages
Acquired: Kindly sent for review by the publisher
Summary (from Goodreads): Sarah Weaver wasn't looking forward to starting at an all-girls school. But that was before she met Maddy. Maddy and her best friend, Agnes, are fun and rich and interesting-and for some reason, they seem to really like Sarah. Before long, Maddy and Agnes have moved Sarah into a big house off campus, where they cook together, buy each other presents, and share each other's secrets. So why does Sarah feel like something's bizarrely wrong?
As more and more cracks start to show in Maddy's and Agnes's perfect veneers, Sarah notices some strange and disturbing things: Maddy's compulsive lying, Agnes's obsession with Maddy, and the deterioration of their friendship. And just when Sarah begins to question her own sanity, things turns deadly.
My review: I think Vicious Little Darlings has to be one of the strangest books I've read all year...but in a good way. I hadn't heard of it until very recently and I went in completely blind, which is my favourite way to enjoy a book. I'll be honest, based on the cover I thought it was going to be werewolf-related. Hint: It's not.
I actually really enjoyed it. It's a little bit odd and a little bit creepy, which is always something I adore and I like that it surprised me. I thought I was going to be getting your run of the mill paranormal romance about a girl who finds out she's a werewolf (Cue: gasp) but instead I got a delicious story about the very strange friendship between three girls at an all-girls college.
Maybe I'm not selling it to you but I do think this is a book that certain readers will devour, just like I did. There is sex and drinking and debauchery so if you're the type to have a rant on Goodreads about a couple of blowjobs then probably steer clear of this one. However, if you enjoyed books like Beautiful Malice I would really recommend this one to you. I could see this working brilliantly as a film, especially if we could go back in time and cast a young Winona Ryder to play Sarah.
I'm not sure that I particularly warmed to any of the characters and I felt a whole wave of confusion when I finished the story but I finished it a good three weeks ago and I'm still thinking about it. It made me feel uneasy but I really did enjoy reading it. Very strange. I think this is an interesting one. In some ways it's very brash and in your face, in other ways it's so subtle and the whole denouement felt very retro but I loved it.
I'm sorry if this review is a bit vague but that's the way Vicious Little Darlings left me feeling. It's a great book, definitely worth a read but do approach with caution; it's a bit of a mind screw...which is just a polite way of saying head fuck...which I should have just said originally.
First line: '"Where to?" the cabdriver asks.'
Read if you liked…: Choker - Elizabeth Woods, Beautiful Malice - Rebecca James
Total: 15/20 (B)