Sunday, January 2, 2022

The Perfect Ruin by Shanora Williams


This review is dedicated to my sister, who gifted me this book. I'd never heard of this author before and after reading this book, I'm desperately hoping that she writes more of what she calls "diverse thrillers" because this book was excellent.

When we meet our heroine, Ivy, she is seeing a therapist and apparently has been for several years ever since a traumatic event disrupted-- essentially, "ruined"-- her life. One day, the therapist offers to give Ivy the name of the woman who ruined her life as a test. Faster than you can say "ethics, whaaaat?!" Ivy is like GIVE ME THE NAME and embarking on a personal one-woman revenge mission to ruin Lola Maxwell's life, by taking everything she holds dear.

Lola is a socialite and social media maven who runs a charity for disenfranchised pregnant women in between, you know, wining and dining her friends and posting all of her haves on social media. It's all too easy for Ivy to hate her, and hate her she does, even as she worms her way deeper into Lola's life, with an eye to her husband, as well.

So there were so many great things about this book. It's got an incredibly diverse cast of characters. Ivy is Black and Lola is Afro-Latinx. A lot of the side characters are PoCs as well. It's also an incredibly addictive thriller, kind of reminding me of Janelle Brown's PRETTY THINGS, especially in how it's layer upon layer of twists. The last fifty pages were a total headrush. I felt my neck whipping around like a bobblehead trying to pay attention to all those twists flying at me. SLOW DOWN, BOOK.

Ivy is also an incredibly compelling antiheroine. She's fucked up but she has reason to be and it's kind of thrilling to be on her rollercoaster of nobody-gives-a-fuck as she plans and schemes. She's also incredibly bitter and kind of funny, so there's this aura of dark comedy surrounding the book at times, toning down the darker moments. I think anyone who enjoys female-fronted thrillers will enjoy this book because it's so creative and brutal. I could easily see this being picked up as a Netflix series.

4 out of 5 stars

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