I just finished reading Such a Good Girl by Amanda K. Morgan, and let me tell you all, I. AM. SHOOK. I don’t know if I can ever trust anyone again. This book makes me question literally everything about everyone, including myself. But before I go into details about why, read the book description:
Pretty Little Liars meets Luckiest Girl Alive in this riveting novel about a practically perfect girl who is willing to do anything to make sure it stays that way. Absolutely anything.
Things to know about Riley Stone:
Riley Stone is just about perfect. (Ask anyone.)
She has a crush on her French teacher, Alex Belrose. (And she suspects he likes her, too.)
Riley has her entire life planned out. (The plan is nonnegotiable.)
She’s never had a secret she couldn’t keep. (Not ever.)
Riley is sure that her life is on the right track. (And nothing will change that.)
She’s nothing like a regular teenager. (But she doesn’t have any problem admitting that.)
Riley doesn’t usually play games. (But when she does, she always wins.)
She thinks a game is about to start…
But Riley always has a plan…
And she always wins.
So here’s the thing: I was a good girl growing up. I never caused any kinds of problems at all, and I did that because doing so made it significantly easier for me to get what I wanted. I was an only child, but I had tons of older cousins that I was close with, and a lot of them were trouble makers. I saw them getting into trouble (and getting caught), and I saw how my aunts and uncles distrusted them for it. They watched my cousins more closely, asked more questions. On the other hand, there was me. I got great grades, excelled at extra-curriculars, and had friends who were equally as focused as I was. That meant that on the rare occasions I (or we, since my friends basically all had the same mindset) wanted to do something that wasn’t strictly by the rules, we were able to get away with it. No one bothered to double or triple check our whereabouts because we were “good kids.” I always thought this innocent manipulation of people’s expectations was harmless, and then this book came along and ruined it! Riley takes this mindset and brings it to a whole other level that just blows my mind. But the craziest part is I TOTALLY BELIEVE IT WOULD WORK, because I definitely experienced this (albeit on a much more minor level).
As you can see, this book has changed my life, and pretty much given me a distrust of all humans. Thus, I NEED to share this book with the world. So, if my above rambling hasn’t convinced you to start reading the extended excerpt of Such a Good Girl, here are some more reasons!
P.S. Some of these descriptions might seem a little vague, but that’s only because I refuse to give any spoilers. This is a book you need to fully experience.
Riley is a badass protagonist who’s highly unpredictable. You think you know who she is and what she’s about, and then suddenly you’re so wrong! Riley is a character who is very much in control of every situation she finds herself in. She knows what she wants, whether it’s perfect grades or a specific romantic interest, and she’s not afraid to do anything to get it. People expect her to be a certain kind of girl (aka, a goody-goody one), and so she uses those expectations to her advantage; takes the assumptions people make about the kind of girl she should be and subverts them. For instance, her parents pay less attention to her because they just assume she’s doing okay; whereas they spend so much time coddling her significantly less ambitious older brother. At the same time, Riley has a lot of good qualities. She is intelligent, she does volunteer and help those less fortunate, and she does feel intensely protective of her friends. Riley is complex to say the least.
2. Gone Girl Vibes
*slight Gone Girl spoilers warning*
Much like Amy Dunne from Gone Girl, Riley is amazing at making herself look like the victim. I remember when I was first reading Gone Girl, I was convinced that Nick had killed her and poor Amy was the victim of a terrible relationship and a terrible husband. Then the other shoe dropped and my mind was blown. This book has that feeling, but several different times throughout the book. It might seem like Riley is the only evil mastermind, but she certainly isn’t, or is she? The truth is elusive, and by the end, you don’t know what to believe or who the real victims are.
3. Kind of Disturbing
As I mentioned in my intro, Riley is adept at manipulating the people around her to get what she wants by putting forth the image she knows will get her the furthest. Riley is basically an evil genius, and as you read this book, you’ll find yourself disturbingly amazed and awed by her. She’s not a traditionally likable character, but her ability to assess her situation and figure out how to climb out of it on top is spectacular. You won’t be able to stop yourself from rooting for her to get herself out of impossible situations, because she’s just so darn clever, and then immediately you’ll be disturbed with yourself because you’ll realize what you’re rooting for her to do.
4. A Deliciously Scandalous Cat and Mouse Chase
Riley has a very complex relationship with her 26-year-old French teacher (oooh lala!). When it comes to Riley and Alex, who’s chasing whom constantly changes, and while it seems like it would be a completely unbalanced relationship given their age difference and his role as a teacher, they definitely take turns having the power in the relationship. He might be the teacher, and he might be older, but Riley is completely capable of out-manipulating him, most of the time. Truth be told, they’re pretty much an even match. Their interest in each other is toxic, and you’re constantly torn between thinking they love each other and thinking they’re out to get each other. It’s very intense and exciting.
5. This Song
If you like the song Good Girls by 5 Seconds of Summer, then you’ll love this book. The “good girl” in this song is basically Riley.
Now that your interest is piqued, start reading the extended excerpt!
Did I successfully convince you to read it? Did I miss your favorite part? Have you read it and want to agree with me that this book is EVERYTHING? Tell me in the comments!