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The Accidental Bad Girl

Review

The Accidental Bad Girl

Maxine Kaplan is the young adult debut author of THE ACCIDENTAL BAD GIRL. She was born in Washington, D.C., but grew up all over the world due to her parents’ traveling. She attended Oberlin College, graduating in 2007.

In THE ACCIDENTAL BAD GIRL, Kendall ended her junior year with the scandal of hooking up with her best friend’s ex-boyfriend and the entire school finding out. She decides to try to coast through her senior year without any more trouble. But when a mysterious girl corners her in the bathroom and attacks her, she realizes someone must have stolen her identity. To save her reputation, Kendall must turn into a “bad girl” and follow dangerous orders. But what greater mess will this place her at the center of?

"I would recommend THE ACCIDENTAL BAD GIRL to readers who love mystery and suspense, as well as those who enjoy complexity and incredible character development."

Kendall is inherently a strong character with a bit of unpredictability. From the buzz for the book, I’m not quite sure what I expected of this book, but, in the end, it surprised me. The different relationships that Kendall had with her parents, her new friends (Gilly and Simone), and her old friends-turned-enemies (Audrey and Ellie), made for a dynamic that continued to draw me in. Centered on blackmail and betrayal, the story is a mystery but also so many other genres. Some characters were clearly present so that readers would love to hate them, and it definitely worked. My favorite character was the awkward and out-of-place Gilly, who Kendall comes to know over the course of the story.

THE ACCIDENTAL BAD GIRL has a tone and mood unlike any YA book I have ever read. The plot felt almost eerie with such suspense and darkness. Kendall’s involvement with criminals only further enhanced the feeling of dread that this novel always left me with before I picked it up again. It may not be a book that I read in one sitting, but it is one where you feel you need to theorize who betrayed who and what is coming next. I truly enjoyed the unpredictability and unique overall feeling that it offers.

Kaplan wrote characters who are unexpected, stubborn and incredibly flawed. Kendall’s journey is full of not just intrigue but self-discovery and life lessons. A variety of plot elements are woven together to make readers think about the story long after finishing it.

I would recommend THE ACCIDENTAL BAD GIRL to readers who love mystery and suspense, as well as those who enjoy complexity and incredible character development. This novel is bound to make readers curious while taking something away at the end. Overall, Kaplan’s debut is perfect for readers who love a blend of contemporary genres and seek a riveting plot and setting.

Reviewed by Grace P., Teen Board Member on May 29, 2018

The Accidental Bad Girl
by Maxine Kaplan