Review: Pretty Girls Dancing by Kylie Brant - .Red Wine & Books

Friday, May 8, 2020

Review: Pretty Girls Dancing by Kylie Brant


Print Length: 370 pages
Publisher: Thomas and Mercer (January 1, 2018)

From Goodreads.com:  Years ago, in the town of Saxon Falls, young Kelsey Willard disappeared and was presumed dead. The tragedy left her family with a fractured life—a mother out to numb the pain, a father losing a battle with his own private demons, and a sister desperate for closure. But now another teenage girl has gone missing. It’s ripping open old wounds for the Willards, dragging them back into a painful past, and leaving them unprepared for where it will take them next.
Bureau of Criminal Investigation agent Mark Foster has stumbled on uncanny parallels in the lives of the two missing girls that could unlock clues to a serial killer’s identity. That means breaking down the walls of the Willards’ long-guarded secrets and getting to a truth that is darker than he bargained for. Now, to rescue one missing girl, he must first solve the riddles that disappeared with another: Kelsey Willard herself. Dead or alive, she is his last hope.


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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

I have so many mixed feelings about this one! On one hand, it was just interesting enough to keep my interest and to keep me reading far longer than I should have, but on the other hand? Something was definitely missing. 

To begin with, this story is told from multiple points-of-view. Each chapter brings in a different perspective as told from one of the characters, and while in some cases this approach worked really well, a lot of the time it seemed to fall a little flat. This is one of those rare cases when I wish we would have gotten to see some chapters from the killer's perspective, maybe then it would be easier to understand his motives and rationalizations because honestly? Even after finishing the book I still don't understand exactly why he did what he did. 

The chapters that are written from the point of view of Whitney are engaging and somewhat tension-filled. I say somewhat because we can see what the author was obviously going for, but again I feel like there was a missed opportunity to get the depth that this story needed. Other chapters written from the point-of-view of other characters are one-dimensional at best, and seem to serve as nothing more than adding length to the word count. And some of the so-called "secrets" are just irksome. I don't care what so and so did in their past when it has no bearing on the story. 

I'm also still not completely sold on the ending. Bonus points to the author for making it somewhat of a surprise (even though I really wondered about something that was said prior which turned out to be the right thought), I still feel like there were so many loose ends to be tied up in order for this to rate higher (for example without giving away any spoilers, we are never told what secrets a certain wife is protecting). There were a lot of red-herrings in this story which sometimes worked, but just as often did not. 

This, unfortunately, is just one of those novels that people are either going to love or hate. Or like me, be completely meh about. I would give this author another shot though.

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                              Pretty Girls Dancing is available from Amazon.com

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