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Reviews of My Flawless Life by Yvonne Woon

My Flawless Life

by Yvonne Woon

My Flawless Life by Yvonne Woon X
My Flawless Life by Yvonne Woon
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     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Feb 2023, 352 pages

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Book Summary

Yvonne Woon, author of If You, Then Me, has crafted a slow-burn thriller about fixing—our friends, ourselves, and our complicated pasts. For fans of Allegedly and We Were Liars, My Flawless Life features a compelling narrator who grapples with the secrets of her private school classmates as well as her own life.

At the most elite private school in Washington, DC., whenever anyone has a problem that they need to go away, they hire Hana Yang Lerner.

Hana is a fixer. She knows who to call, what to say, and how to make sure secrets stay where they belong—buried. She can fix anything. Except her own life, which was destroyed when her father, senator Skip Lerner, was arrested for an accident that left one woman nearly dead.

Now Hana's reputation is ruined and her friends are gone. So when she gets a job from an anonymous client called "Three" to follow her former best friend, Luce Herrera, Hana realizes this might be her way of getting back her old life.

But the dangerous thing about digging is that you never know what you'll unearth. As Hana uncovers a dark truth about her supposedly flawless classmates, she's forced to face a secret of her own.

1

Picture, if you'll indulge me, a portrait gallery.

It's a jewel-toned room wallpapered to look seamless, as though there are no windows or doors, no entrances or exits. The subjects clasp their hands stiffly at their waists, emanating a quiet power. Power that was framed and nailed into the walls. Power that trapped you, that seemed dead but was very much alive, that you could pass every day, not knowing it was there, watching you, altering the direction of your feet as you walked.

If you asked me to describe St. Francis School in a single image, this is the one I would choose. Not because it depicts a place steeped in old money or a sycophantic worshipping of the past, though both were true of St. Francis, but because it was a trick.

The thing about portraits is that they're an illusion. The subject puts on their best outfit, their finest face. The painter makes their shoulders squarer, their cheeks rosier, their fabrics richer. You believe what you're seeing is true, ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)
Woon's novel is compelling from start to finish, helped along by Hana's strong narrative voice, magnetic personality, and sharp mind. The mystery is deliciously twisty and unexpected. Themes of interconnectivity and a haunted past, combined with the nuances of each character and the mystery itself, all move this thriller past familiar tropes and will certainly challenge the teen who thinks they can predict the ending a mile away.

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
This gripping mystery is deepened and complicated by explorations of Hana's trauma and relationships. The slow burn allows room for character development that elevates the novel. Thought-provoking high school drama with dark, serious undertones.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Woon (If You, Then Me) crafts a meticulously plotted mystery entrenched in high-society scandal and high school drama and peopled by complex, ever-evolving protagonists. It's a blistering commentary on privilege and wealth.

Booklist
Woon fuses a well-told story depicting the secret lives of elite high-school teenagers with a hardboiled detective tale. The result is a hugely refreshing read. Full of twists and double-crosses, the story never settles into predictability. Even better is the strong voice of Hana, an unreliable narrator hiding the pain of her father's crime under a cool mercenary verve. This book has everything a fan of YA mystery could want.

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