By: Margot Hunt
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publication Date: 03/01/2023
My Rating: 4 Stars (ARC)
In this chilling story from USA Today bestselling author Margot Hunt, a mother and daughter try to start over in an idyllic town only to get caught up in cliques, mind games…and murder.
After the sudden death of her husband, Kate Turner is looking for a fresh start for herself and her teenage daughter, Alex. They relocate to the beachside town of Shoreham, Florida, where all is not as sunny as it seems.
Although Kate makes fast friends with a trio of fellow moms, their daughters take an instant dislike to Alex, who attempts to document their bullying in her video diary. Kate brushes off Alex’s concerns—until she receives a series of chilling warnings about the clique of moms from other parents and neighbors. As it becomes harder for her to ignore the malicious undercurrent she senses among her new friends, Kate grows increasingly unsure of who to believe—and who to trust.
As small-town gossip weaves a harrowing web of jealousy, deceit, and betrayal, Kate and Alex discover that whether you’re in or out, the status quo can turn on you deadly fast.
Margot Hunt returns following Tell Her Story, with her latest twisty domestic suspense of a mother and daughter duo who meets the "mean" girls/moms in LOVELY GIRLS (anything but lovely!)— Bullying, backstabbing, jealousy, deceit, betrayal, drama, and MURDER.
My seventh book by the author, and since I am a Floridan, I always enjoy revisiting the fictional beachside town of Shoreham, Florida. I love her audiobooks as well.
Meet Kate Turner and her daughter, Alex. They are relocating from Buffalo, NY, to Shoreham, FL, after the death of Kate's husband. We also hear about events that led up to the accident and the aftereffects. They want a new fresh start away from grief and regret.
However, what they get is a NIGHTMARE. Kate is on the tennis team at the new high school and gets on the wrong side of three mean girls.
When they lived in NY after the father's accident, Kate was going to a therapist for the trauma and she thought it would be helpful to keep a video diary.
Broken out "Before She Died" and "After She Died." So we know in the beginning, someone dies.
Alex keeps a video diary, leading her into trouble with the girls when she videos one of them in a compromising situation. Alex does not want to go to school due to the bullying and torture by the girls. She does not want to tell her mom, which will worsen matters.
Kate, the mom, is getting along well with the mothers and does not understand why these girls are so bad. Others have warned her about these moms. Who can she trust and believe?
Bad girls grow up to be bad moms with evil daughters! OMG! Mean girls and mean moms. Tensions mount with backstabbing—A girl is found dead on the beach. A MURDER. Who is dead, whodunit, and the motive?
Told from Kate’s POV, with excerpts from Alex’s dated VIDEO diary.
We also learn more about Kate's complex relationship with her husband and Kate with her dad. Also, an in-depth look at how women raise their daughters and how cruel teens can be to one another.
This was more of a popcorn mystery soap opera drama with teenage girls and mom drama. I would like to see more sarcastic dark humor; however, not a massive fan of adolescent drama. Especially teen girls, as why I always wanted boys, which is what I have. Thank goodness I was lucky not to have to experience the girl drama.
While this was not my favorite by the author, I highly recommend her books. For fans of Pretty Little Liars and fans of YA books.
@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks
My Rating: 4 Stars
Pub Date: March 1, 2023
“What happens when mean girls are raised by tiger mothers.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Mean girls grow up to be mean moms with mean daughters in this entertaining domestic thriller from Hunt.…Small-town gossip and teenage angst drive the brisk plot, which is elevated by fully fleshed-out characters and a palpable realism. Hunt remains a writer to watch.”
“I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough—mean girls, mean moms, the new girl in town, capped off by a superb mystery…Margot Hunt has such a deft hand with the clues that you’ll never see it coming.”
—J. T. Ellison, New York Times bestselling author
“When a body washes up on a Florida beach, anyone could be the killer—or the victim—in a town where the girls are raised to be ruthless and the mothers will stop at nothing to protect them. Pages turn themselves in this deliciously devious tale!”
—Wendy Walker, International bestselling author
“Every parent’s nightmare…Hunt takes mean girls to a whole new level in her new novel, Lovely Girls. You won’t want to miss this one!”
—Debra Webb, Amazon Charts bestselling author
About the Author
Margot Hunt is a USA TODAY best selling author of BEST FRIENDS FOREVER, FOR BETTER AND WORSE and THE LAST AFFAIR. Her Audible Original audio book BURIED DEEP was a number-one best seller. Her newest Audible Original, THE HOUSE ON THE WATER, is now available.
Margot has also written eight previous books as Whitney Gaskell, and the Young Adult series GEEK HIGH under the pen name Piper Banks.