Holy hell, Dead End Girls was GOOD. This audiobook kept me engaged and I devoured it in two sittings (also the audiobook narration is INCREDIBLE). This book is twisty and bonkers and beautiful all rolled into one, and I cannot wait to own a copy for my bookshelves!
I was so enthralled in this book that I didn’t take any notes while reading 😱, which typically spells disaster because of my goldfish brain but this book made a big impression and stuck with me.
About Dead End Girls
Publisher: Christy Ottaviano Books • Release Date: May 11, 2022 • Pages: 336
Age Range: Young Adult • Genre: Thriller • Format: Audiobook • Source: Publisher
The why is complex: revenge, partly. Her terrible parents deserve this. But there’s also l’appel du vide, the call of the void, that beckons her toward a new life where she will be tied to no one, free and adrift. Then Frankie, a step-cousin she barely knows, figures out what she’s plotting, and the plan seems like it’s ruined. Except Frankie doesn’t want to rat her out. Frankie wants in. The girls vault into the unknown, risking everything for a new and limitless life. But there are some things you can never run away from. What if the poison is not in the soil, but in the roots?
This pulse-pounding thriller offers a nuanced exploration of identity, freedom, and falling in love while your world falls apart.
💢 Angry girls
🌪️ Twisty thriller
💗 Identity and self-discovery
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nonbinary rep, sapphic romance,
abandonment, attempted murder, bullying, child abuse, drug use, suicide mention
My Review of Dead End Girls
Told in dual timelines, Dead End Girls is the sapphic thriller you didn’t know you needed in your life! Tightly plotted, the book is full of action and high stakes that is utterly addictive and impossible to put down. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time while listening. Protect Maude & Frankie!
This plot is bonkers in the best of ways. From pseudocide to accidental murder and running from the cops (as well as their past), Maude and Frankie are going through it in this book and just trying to start over. Maude’s a mastermind who’s probably watched way too much True Crime Content and I’m honestly in awe of her brain. But as they find out: even the best laid plans cannot account for everything.
I love that we learn about Frankie’s reasons for wanting to disappear through timeline POV chapters, slowly piecing together everything as the chapters get closer to the present-day. We learn so much about Frankie’s character through these flashbacks.
Words cannot express how much I adore Maude and Frankie. They start out as partners-in-crime but their chemistry sparks and the their slowburn romance so good. Because honestly, falling in love while on the run from the police is just iconic.
Dead End Girls is explosive, gripping the reader from the first page until the last. I love the way things get more and more unhinged as they stray further from The Plan, doing their best and making some of the worst decisions possible. But this book also explores identity: as Maude and Frankie escape their lives, their narratives explore question the sexuality and gender, making Dead End Girls a beautiful coming of age story of self-acceptance in addition to a captivating sapphic thriller. Highly recommended and this won’t be my last book from Wendy Heard!
Audiobook notes: 10/10 performance from Natalie Naudus & Taylor Meskimen! They really brought the story and characters to life and somehow managed to instill the page-turning sense of urgency with their narration.
Highly recommended to fans YA thriller fans and LGBTQIAP+ reads.
Recommended if you enjoyed…
No two readers experience a book in the same way; this was mine, but what about you?
💬 Have you read Dead End Girls yet? If so, what are your thoughts?
💬 Did I convince you to add this book to your TBR?
💬 What are your favorite YA thrillers?