The Perfect Girlfriend

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 30 Apr 2019

Member Reviews

Ahhh, a genuine obsession story. You can't seem to peel your eyes off this one! It was a little slow to read, but gave me "YOU" vibes which was enjoyable.
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I loved this page-turning thriller, it was dark but was so fun to read - a great beach/pool read, for sure!
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Have you ever read a book and just instantly thought “This chick is crazy!” That is my first impression of The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton. Juliette is off the walls, delusional to the extreme. The Perfect Girlfriend had me completely creeped out almost the entire time.

The book is all about Juliette and her love for Nate. Nate is a pilot and Juliette becomes a flight attendant to be closer to him and to stage a random bump in with him so she can rekindle their romance. Nate may or may not fall for it, but everything she does before and after has alarm bells going, at least for me.

I’ve read stories that involve stalkers or obsessive relationships, but The Perfect Girlfriend was the top of them all. Karen Hamilton wrote this with such precision and knowledge, it almost had me laughing at the kind of research she had to do to plot out this level of crazy. Juliette’s character is annoying most of the time, but sometimes I caught myself feeling bad for her, which is crazy in itself. She does not deserve any sympathy.

Psychological Thriller lovers across the board should definitely check out The Perfect Girlfriend. It’s nerve wracking, intense, and bone chilling to watch Juliette hunt Nate. Recommended to all.
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I could not put theis down. I read it all in one night! Characters were wonderful! I could not guess how it would turn out. Cant wait to see what this talented author will do next.
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Somebody needs to tell this girl when enough is enough.  She keeps pushing and pushing and you're thinking "would you just stop already".  But, I suppose we would all go to extreme lengths for the person we love.  The problem it takes two and if the other person doesn't do it too, it's like beating your head against a brick wall.  On the plus side, the background of this story is the airline industry, which the author has a background in and she does a very nice job of taking the reader behind the curtain to see behind the scenes without dumbing it down so much that you feel like an idiot.  As Hemingway once said, write about what you know about, and in this case Karen Hamilton, certainly does.
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The main character, Juliette, is such a twisted character but by the end of the book I felt like she was a friend. Which is such a bizarre thing to say about someone who is a stalker and sees nothing wrong with doing whatever it takes to achieve her end goal. Books like this almost make you question yourself because I felt so connected to Juliette even though she was doing these terrible things. So many times throughout the book I just wanted to shake her and tell her not to do it, that it wasn’t worth it, that she could be better. To me this really speaks to what an amazing job the author, Hamilton, did because in any other situation I would have been totally freaked out by someone doing what Juliette does.

There was a couple of moments about a third of the way through that I found myself annoyed with the flashbacks to Juliette’s past. However, I really think that these flashbacks are what cemented in me the way I felt about her character. Also, they do serve a greater purpose because not only is she stalking her ex boyfriend she is also obsessively stalking a girl that she used to go to school with. The more the story unfolded the more I appreciated what the author was doing with the story. And this story has turned into one of the best thrillers that I have read this year.

Juliette is one of the most twisted characters that I have ever read before. She is able to justify every wrong decision and every bad action that she makes. It was entertaining to see her do these things and then normalize it when as the reader you know that she is so out of control. Since the book is told in first person this became a very powerful narrative tool. I think that if the author had chosen to tell this story in a third person narrative that it would have fell flat and ridiculous. The things that Juliette do are so over the top but it works because of the way the story is told. The books that I connect to the most (and probably most people) are ones that feel real even though they aren’t and this easily felt real to me.
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3.5 Stars

I had a review copy of this novel for a while, but lately I have been on more of a fantasy kick. After reading My Lovely Wife and reviewing it a few friends of mine recommended that I check out The Perfect Girlfriend. After reading several rave reviews I knew that I had to see what all the hype was about. The Perfect Girlfriend is quite the page turner. The level of obsession that Juliette has for Nate seems absolutely insane, but stalkers and jilted exes are a bigger reality than the subjects of most thriller novels.

Juliette's real name is Elizabeth, but after the break up with Nate she decided to completely re-invent herself, which included going by her middle name. The interesting thing about this novel is that parts of it are so relatable. A lot of women dye their hair after a break up, but not many go so far as to change their whole life. The obsessive ex or significant other is such a common reality in modern life that there are funny names for it like "stage 5 clinger" and that is what Juliette is. Controlling or obsessive relationships are common and the internet takes out some of the scary ideals of what stalking looks lie, giving someone access to track someone via social media without physically following that person. The terrifying thing about this book is that it feels so relatable as "love" makes people crazy, both on the page and in real life.

The plot kept me turning the pages as the story was paced well even though it wasn't action packed. At first I found myself absolutely astonished that someone would go to the lengths that Juliette did, but later I found myself relating to this character who I had deemed absolutely nuts. The character development wasn't amazing, but the fact that I could relate to a character so unlike myself deserves some recognition. The writing helped humanize the crazy ex girlfriend stereotype that no one wants to admit they could ever become.

The Perfect Girlfriend was a story about obsession that is terrifying because of how close to home it hits. Juliette was written so well that she was actually relatable even though she came off like a complete psychopath. The plot kept me turning the pages, but t was also filled with a lot of unnecessary dialogue and bland work scenes. I did enjoy reading this psychological thriller, but it didn't completely blow me away.
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"Revenge is a dish best served cold, and mine is going to be frozen." 

Such a wicked and delicious thrill ride! And the ending!!! I did not see that coming. 'The Perfect Girlfriend' was a completely chilling yet totally compelling book. Stalker, anyone? Juliette is the very definition of the word. Her former boyfriend Nate may have broken up with her but she will stop at nothing to get him back. I listed to the audiobook which was a fantastic way to get inside the head of the main protagonist. An unreliable narrator for sure, yet Juliette's past at least makes her a little more human. 

"My beliefs entitle me to a cosmic reward like…contentment or stability. I belong at home, with Nate. Every moment that we are apart is a waste of time, because the outcome is obvious—we will be together." 

Juliette makes herself over, from a new job to a new name, all with the goal of getting Nate back. She trains to become a flight attendant at the same airline where he works as a pilot (and the insider's view of the lives of flight crews was totally addictive). She knows that she and Nate belong together and she will stop at nothing to convince him, too. All she wants is to live happily ever after with the love of her life, Nate. 

"I want to be the sort of person who other people might glance at—in a restaurant, say, or even just taking the kids to the park—who people might aspire to be." 

This was a thrill ride from beginning to end. The story made me very uncomfortable at times but what could be better? Every friend, every conversation, every trip was all planned in advance by Juliette with the goal of getting Nate back. She will not be ignored. 

"And the overriding problem I have is that Nate thinks he doesn't love me. Once he realises that he does, everything should naturally realign." 

Juliette even secretly installs a tracking app on Nate's phone to keep tabs on his every move. The author and narrator did a spectacular job of making me keep listening to find out exactly who was going to come out on top in this strange tale. And the ending simply stunned me! I still don't think I fully understand what happened but I loved it! Juliette had one goal in mind and never strayed from her attempts to make Nate see that she was the perfect woman for him. 

"Perseverance always pays off. It never, ever fails." 

Filled with dark humor and psychological suspense, 'The Perfect Girlfriend' was a fantastic debut thriller from Karen Hamilton. I was on the edge of my seat for the entire book, waiting to see what scheme Juliette would come up with next. The author even made me feel slightly sympathetic for Juliette's plight. The only thing keeping this from being a 5 star read for me was the other abrupt ending. 

I derived a certain thrill from most of Juliette's plans and actually laughed out loud at some of her observations. Karen Hamilton has written a very original thriller with an unforgettable protagonist. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next! Highly recommend this one for all fans of psychological thrillers. 

"If you love someone, set them free. If they come back, they’re yours. If they don’t, make them."
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I have to admit that The Perfect Girlfriend sucked me in.  The girlfriend, Bella, is the most layered and complex character  in this novel.  The secondary characters seemed a little two dimensional to me.  We see everything through the lens of Bella's twisted psyche, which can be a little overwhelming at times.  She tends to be repetitive in her thoughts, obsessive  to the nth degree, which I suppose I should have expected but found myself  resenting.  I kind of wish I hadn't seen reviews mentioning a surprise ending, as I was a little underwhelmed by the ending.  I think the writing overall is strong on tone. The pacing is a little uneven, but I definitely wanted to stay through the whole ride.  I would read more from Karen Hamilton. 
I received my copy through NetGalley under no obligation.
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4 Stars
This was a fun book to read. It’s not often a suspense novel is written from the point of view of the antagonist, but The Perfect Girlfriend offers us insight into the twisted mind of a sociopath. Elizabeth/Lily/Juliette takes absolutely no responsibility for her behavior, lives her life to “get even” for her jealousy of others, and causes havoc in the lives of those she resents. She’s manipulative and relentless and stretched my suspension of disbelief almost to its breaking point with her antics.

The Perfect Girlfriend is well-written and clever, although I would have liked the pacing to be quicker in the last few chapters of the novel. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed this story and thank NetGalley and Harlequin Graydon House Books for the opportunity to read and review the book.
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No truer descriptive words have ever been uttered that these in the description of this book.  While I was not a fan of this book, it was very well written with good character development. Those that like psychological thrillers will like this story of a woman obsessed with the man that got away.  The description of the lengths she will go to get him back are detailed and a little bit scary.  Will I read this book again? No.  Would I recommend it to someone what like this style of book? Absolutely!

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book for an honest opinion.
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so much to say...but i can't or else i may ruin /spoil things!

let's just say this is a well written slow simmer of a novel. 

i have so many questions but again...they contain spoilers! LOL 

i will say that i wish juliette was more of a villainess - don't get me wrong...she's plenty - ahem stalkerish- but i wanted more LOL   

either way i enjoyed this book.
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The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton is a 2019 Graydon House publication.

Takes obsession to a whole new level-

Six months ago, Nate broke things off with Juliette, and processed to move on with his life. Little does the handsome airline pilot know that Juliette has not accepted the break-up. In her mind they belong together, and she will go to any length to get him back- proving to Nate, once and for all, that she is the ‘perfect girlfriend’. 

Told from Juliette’s first- person perspective, the reader quickly becomes caught in her snare, unable to fully digest her cunning insanity. She pulls out all the stops-planning meticulously, beginning with her training to become a flight attendant, then acquiring a ‘best friend’ to make her look good, while keeping close tabs on Nate, at all times. 

The commentary from Juliette, is sinister, and shockingly calm, her attitude cold, and extremely unsettling. As the story continues along the inevitable collision course, there is a feeling of both anticipation and dread. I wondered if Nate would ever discover he had a stalker, what would happen when and if he finds out how utterly and completely off the rails Juliette really is- or if this is all just an exercise in futility for Juliette. I couldn’t see quite how this was all going to go down for her, but I knew it was going to be epic. 

I never could have anticipated just how devious Juliette really is, how manipulative, and utterly chilling her plans are for the unsuspecting Nate- or how absolutely determined she is to have him- until death do us part! 

This is certainly a compulsive read, and a cleverly constructed novel of suspense. One may even experience momentary lapses in judgment, as Juliette is a pro at manipulation- even managing to elicit sympathy from the reader on a few occasions, as she reveals very poignant and painful experiences in her past. However, one might want to remember that Juliette is hardly a reliable narrator. 

Another curious thought I kept having was how others might view Nate. I never could quite peg the guy. I couldn't trust Juliette, really, so I had questions, especially after the reader is finally introduced to him. 

Unfortunately, after a strong beginning, the middle dragged just a little. I’m not sure if I grew weary of Juliette’s constant planning and reorganizing when her plans didn’t go as she’d anticipated, or if her running obsessive monologue finally exhausted me, but it did lose momentum there for a time. But, don’t let the lull seduce you into complacency!! The conclusion rocked me back on my heels, with a stunning twist that literally sent a shiver down my spine! 

Overall, this was one wild ride. There was a little turbulence from time to time, but there was a smooth landing, making this a satisfying trip. 
4 stars
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This was just the right amount of creepy for me! Juliette loves Nate, she will be with Nate, she does some pretty messed up things to 'help' him realize they are meant for each other. What is Nate's deal? Lolz. He is normal, silly. This book was all kinds of crazy, but I loved it! The great part is that Juliette has a reason for her behavior with Nate, which is not revealed until the end. She also has a past, a traumatic incident from her childhood, and we learn about this up front, which helps to explain some of her shenanigans. But only some, not all. The rest is revealed toward the end as she takes a turn and loses control of her plan. She has to keep reminding herself to stay on target, but as we all know, this never works out well for a psychopath.  I wasn't sure exactly how this would end, and I was satisfied.

Thank you to NetGalley and the Harlequin Publicity Team for the advanced copy to review. All opinions above are my own.
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This book was very entertaining! The first half hooked me and I was so curios how she would act out her “plan.” The plan itself, and the second half, was a little long, but I still really enjoyed the inside look into the crazed mind of Elizabeth/Lily/Juliette! It was a nice break from the classic thriller script that I’ve been reading so much of lately.
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This was an interesting concept that quickly became tedious. Too much build up and not enough payoff. I spent the last third of the book just wanting it to be over. None of the characters behave in manner that is even remotely believable. Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC. This one just didn't work for me.
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Twisted, crazy, edge of your seat, addictive!!

I finished this at 3:40 this morning and I’m still reeling and what I just read. Blown away and mesmerized that anyone could come up with a fantastical read like this.

Juliette is in LOVE with Nate and nothing will stop her from getting her man!

You think you’ve read stories like this before BUT, their backstory wasn’t the same. The circumstances weren’t the same. This book blew me out of the water at the lengths some people will go to to “get their man”.

I highly recommend this one! 5 stars and a bet, you won’t want to put it down ans when you’re finished, the look on your face will be stunned!!

A HUGe thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin-Grayson House Books for the ARC!!
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Elizabeth/Lily/Juliette is a disturbed young woman who develops an obsession with an ex and his sister. 

Without giving up any spoilers, I can tell you there are “reasons” for the obsession. I can also say that the “reasons” seem flimsy to spark such a strong response. I would have liked the situation surrounding Bella—the sister—to be more extreme (the ex is another story...suffice to say that what happened there would be enough for someone who is already fragile). As written, it was difficult for me to buy in the the predicates for the obsession. 

That said, boy-oh-boy was she obsessed! Changed her name. Her hair. Her town. To say she “snapped” is an understatement. 

Very readable. Some abrupt transitions. Appropriately tense. Page-turner. Would have liked some of the historical aspects to Juliette’s past “oomphed” up a bit. 

Thank you to NetGalley and publisher for arc in exchange for honest review.
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You know when you read a book, and you know logically who you are supposed to like and dislike, and somehow you feel the exact opposite? That describes how I read The Perfect Girlfriend in a nutshell!!! This book is T-W-I-S-T-E-D!!! I sat down to write this and I wasn’t even sure how to begin because this is one of the strangest and most entertaining books I’ve read in ages—in a good way!

Oh, Juliette… Or should I say Lily? Or Elizabeth? Juliette has as many names to switch around from as she has personalities and I was LIVING for it. Told in first person narrative, Juliette tells the story of what happens after the love of her life breaks up with her. Ok, so maybe she didn’t handle the break up that well. But now she is giving him exactly what he asked for—space! So he will come back to her at the end, right? He will definitely understand what she did to meet his needs.

Juliette is playing the long game. She could arrange a meet-up at any time if she wanted to, but she has this planned out. Slow and steady. Stick to the plan. Everything will work out if you stick to the plan. And so we see her applying for his airline, going through the long flight attendant trainings (seriously, flight attendant training at many companies takes about 8 weeks), and then building up her seniority on her flight schedule. 

Juliette should have friends to show she isn’t needy, right? So she makes a friend. And by the way, their friendship was SO entertaining! It was such a delightful part of the storyline, particularly Amy’s reactions to a few odd things Juliette does, and then in Juliette’s monologue we hear her “I guess it was a bit odd…” It kept cracking me up! Because, YES. Juliette is at a minimum a bit odd, and more accurately she is off her rocker. 

And this brings me to who I should like and dislike, and I oddly found myself rooting for Juliette and all of her crazy ideas! She was just SO entertaining and persistent. A person like Juliette is capable of an extreme amount of focus, which oddly enough made her an outstanding employee…most of the time. And even though she is absolutely someone who needs serious help, everyone who has been cruelly dumped, bullied, or mistreated will find a small amount of delight in her revenge plots.

The writing on this book is divine. So much of this book happens inside of Juliette’s head, and yet she often doesn’t clue you in on her plan in advance, so we see it unfold in shocking real time. And here is where we should give all of the credit to Karen Hamilton’s writing. Her story is gripping and hard to put down, though much of it is inner monologue. And she also finds a way to humanize and make Juliette sympathetic, despite the fact that she is absolutely vindictive and crazy. 

There’s a sequence of events that occur around 50% and set in motion the second half of the book that had me shocked and delighted by the sheer amazingness of it all! Juliette is someone who is capable of such restraint. But the moment she gets what she wanted, she hits the fast forward button and she is off to the races. She has no in between speed. She is slow and methodical or all-in. And that is one of the many reasons I think she can be attractive as a character. Nothing in Juliette’s life happens due to anything other than extreme mental focus and over-the-top heart. 

I got a chance to buddy read this with my friend Berit at Audio Killed the Bookmark, so make sure to check out her page! Thank you to Harelquin’s publicity team for my copy. Opinions are my own.
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The Perfect Girlfriend is perfectly crazy!

  Lock up your bunnies boys, Juliet/Lily is here! This book was Fatal Attraction’s crazier big sister! This wild story has movie written all over it, and the part of Juliet would be so much fun to play. Karen Hamilton has written an addictive entertaining story about one of the most likable psychotic characters I have ever met in a book. This was one mind blowing thrilling debut  novel!

   Juliet, the psychotic formerly known as Lily has one goal in life... to marry Nate. Even though he broke up with her, she is convinced that he will see the error in his ways, after all she is the “perfect girlfriend.” Juliet will stop at nothing to win Nate’s affections. She changes her career and is now a flight attendant for the same airline that he is a pilot for, she changes her residence now she lives only minutes away from Nate,She even changes her name, although I’m not quite sure what inspired that. This is really all you need to know about the plot, just sit back, buckle up, and get ready for one wild and crazy ride!

  The entire story is told from Juliet’s POV. I loved every minute I spent inside Juliet’s head, her inner dialogue was priceless. I loved how she justified every crazy thing she did, she almost had me convinced a few times. Poor Nate he really was caught between a rock and well... Juliet. Unlike in the movie Fatal Attraction Nate was single he just didn’t want to commit to Juliet or anyone for that matter. Nate’s only mistake and it was a fatal one, was dating Juliet in the first place.

🎧🎧🎧 I listen to this book on audio, and spending many hours with Juliet in my ear was fabulous! This is the first time I’ve listen to a book narrated by Anne Marie Lee and she did a wonderful job. She really brought the character of Juliet to life, And I think she gave her the perfect tone.

This is a fun entertaining over-the-top story that will appeal to anyone who loves themselves some crazy! Absolutely recommend!

*** many thanks to Harlequin and Harper Audio for my copies of this book ***
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