The Perfect Girlfriend

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 30 Apr 2019

Member Reviews

Loved this one! Disturbing as hell, and also darkly comical in parts. Being inside Juliette’s head was exhausting, but also fascinating to watch her justify her psychotic behavior while also ALMOST being self-aware. This novel reminded me a lot of ‘You’ by Caroline Kepnes, but I found this to be a much speedier read. And I am also enamored by fictional stories about the airline industry, so an added bonus there as well!  This one was definitely my cup of tea, and I’d love to read more by this author!
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The Perfect Girlfriend is the incredible twisted story of a woman named Juliette who has fallen deeply in love with a pilot named Nate.  Their relationship as far as Juliette is concerned is perfect.  Until Nate decides it's not and breaks up with her.

But Juliette's love is unwavering.  She will do anything to get him to come back to her.  She just knows he still loves her.  She will be the perfect girlfriend.  So scheme after scheme she begins to get closer to her perfect dream.  No one will get in her way.

This is the best thriller I have read in a very long time! Karen Hamilton, in her very first novel has created a love/hate story so perfect that I actually began rooting for Juliette! or is that just MY twisted mind! I don't know.

I marvel at the intricacies of Juliette's plans and how Hamilton was able to fit it all together and make the story work up until the last word.  The story is narrated by Juliette so we are able to read her thoughts and feel her emotions, yet even to us the readers, Juliette never totally gives away all her cards.  It is amazing to see just how far she is willing to go to get her happy ending. I cannot tell you how involved I became in her and Nate's relationship!

I highly recommend this book.

Thank you #NetGalley #Harlequin #Karen Hamilton #The Perfect Girlfriend for the advanced copy.  The paperback comes out March 26.
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The Perfect Girlfriend, by Karen Hamilton

Short Take: Fly The DID THAT JUST HAPPEN Skies

(*Note - I received an advance copy of this book for review.*)

Greetings, y’all! I’m going to keep this short, because I have the flu and I am fairly sure that I’m actually dying. Ok, maybe not dying, but I have got some deep-down misery going on here. My body aches, I’m hot and cold, and I’m pretty sure that even the most hard-core horror fan doesn’t want to know what’s going on with my sinuses.

ANYWAY.

The Perfect Girlfriend opens with Juliette (I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE) training to be a stewardess. It’s a few months after her boyfriend Nate, a pilot, has broken up with her. She is still madly in love with him (emphasis on the madly) and she is convinced that she has the perfect plan to get him back.

Granted, there might be a few hiccups along the way. For example, Nate’s really not on the same page, and Juliette’s methods of executing her plan might just fall a teensy bit on the illegal side.

But as The Man himself said “The course of true love never did run smooth”, and as Long-Buried Secrets are revealed, we learn exactly how deep Juliette’s obsession runs, and why she is so fixated on Nate.

And I’m just going to say that it’s pretty doggone fun.

The obsessed lover is a tale that’s been told thousands of times in millions of ways. What I really loved about The Perfect Girlfriend is the way it subverted my expectations. Every time I expected the story to tread familiar paths, it went just a little bit afield. 

And I was fascinated by how meticulous she was in her planning. Even the more outlandish twists just worked.

The Nerd’s Rating: FOUR HAPPY NEURONS (and a gallon of Theraflu. And bed. Nighty Night!)
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An intense twisty story that will make your head spin and your heart race! A book that made me check behind me just in case somebody creepy was watching! An absolute must read!

If you love someone, set them free. If they come back, they're yours. If they don't, make them. This is the rule Elizabeth/Juliette lives by.

Meeting Nate changed Elizabeth/Juliette's life. Since their first encounter she knew - they belong together. And as a perfect girlfriend, she did everything to make sure their future looked bring and happy. She patiently waited for Nate to get over his "party" phase, settle down, she gave him space he previously requested. And when the time was right, Elizabeth/Juliette made her reappearance. However, Nate's negative reaction took her by a surprise. And the more Nate pushed her away, the more dangerous the consequences had followed.

During my read, I was impressed by Elizabeth/Juliette's obsessiveness and the ability to manipulate a group of people. Yes, her actions were outrageous, nevertheless, the time, research, and the work she invested towards her goals are quite admirable.

"The Perfect Girlfriend" had me rushing through the pages to see what would happen next! Many thanks to NetGalley and Wildfire publisher for the ARC in exchange for an unbiased review, and Karen Hamilton for a brilliantly entertaining read.
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Passed the time just fine. I admittedly found myself skimming some parts, paying closer attention to others. Stalker, obsessive-type thrillers are not usually my thing, but Elizabeth/Lily/Juliette was so crazy that it held my interest just enough. It was very Fatal Attraction in book form.
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I am such a sucker for stalker novels. The Perfect Girlfriend is such a great stalker novel that you just get sucked in and don’t want it to end. It’s pretty similar to the novel You, it’s completely twisted and creepy, but isn’t as sexual or graphic.

Juliette is crazy and twisted, but has some admiring qualities. She knows what she wants and doesn’t give up. She is motivated and won’t let anything or anyone get in her way. Seriously, don’t get in her way. I was all in for Juliette.

I loved the twists in the novel and didn’t see a certain event happening at all. I couldn’t believe what I was reading and I loved the aftermath of the event. Seriously Nate, how could you not love Juliette?!

The only negative was the ending. It was incomplete. I wanted a conclusion, I wanted so much more. Maybe a sequel is in the future?

If you are like me and enjoy stalker novels, pick this one up! You won’t be disappointed!
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Juliette and Nate dated for a few months and broke up. Juliette then decides that she is going to win Nate back and goes to drastic measures to ensure her plan works. 

The book started off good and held my attention. As the story progresses it became unbelievable at times. Juliette also suffered a traumatic experience as a child and clearly needed therapy early on. 


This story had a lot of potential but I felt the second half of the book was all over the place. I never connected to any of the characters and it was a struggle to finish. The ending was a letdown especially after all of the things that went down in this story.
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Welcome to crazy town!  This is quite a twisted little psychological thriller about over-the-top obsession that follows our main character Juliette, a psychotic girlfriend who is determined to get her boyfriend Nate back…no matter what.  In fact, her motto is:  

If you love someone, let them go.
If they come back, they’re yours.
If they don’t, make them!

Juliette thinks of herself as the perfect girlfriend, and she just doesn’t understand how Nate could have broken up with her six months earlier.  So she embarks on a wild plan to get him back —   and there’s no such thing as going too far to get what she wants.  

She’s completely reinvented herself and trained to become a flight attendant unbeknownst to Nate who is an airline pilot.  A good part of the story revolved around Juliette being an air hostess and I loved how it worked in the story. She basically becomes a flight attendant to keep an eye on Nate and so that she could be privy to his flight schedule. In fact, she infiltrated herself into every part of Nate’s life without him knowing it. 

I thought the airline backdrop made for quite an original and refreshing setting and I do recall that the author was a flight attendant so we get to experience that life first hand.  It often felt as though we were on those flights right along with Juliette.

So what’s fun about this novel, is that it’s told entirely from Juliette’s point of view, so we’re in the head of someone who’s obsessed and pretty much psychotic. In this way, we’re privy to her every thought, plan, and action. I have to say that it was a bit uncomfortable, if not downright dark and disturbing, being in her head as we saw firsthand how she justified her actions. 

It was riveting, and at the same time shocking, to see just how far she was willing to go. Also riveting was the extent of her impressive investigative skills which were all part of her ingenious..and chilling…plans.     

I read this book in two sittings because I couldn’t put it down, especially once I reached about the halfway mark when things go super, super crazy and become incredibly fast-paced.  It’s also about this time that we get the delightful, clever twist that I didn’t see coming at all.  Speaking of twists, this wasn’t one of those twisty-turny novels with one surprise twist after another but rather, it was more of an in-depth, mesmerizing personality study of someone who is utterly bonkers.

I have to say that the bunny-boiling Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction has nothing on Juliette AKA Elizabeth AKA Lily, who takes creepiness to a who new level.  In fact, just when you think she certainly couldn’t go any more extreme with her wild schemes, she shockingly ups the ante.  

Her antics and her ferocity made me cringe more than a time or two, and it indeed reminded me of the fine line between love and hate. It also warned me how quickly one’s life can spiral out of control when one is driven by vengeance and obsession.  So let this be a lesson to you boys and girls.  
  
 In fact, this book was kind of like Fatal Attraction on steroids. What’s interesting, is that there really aren’t any likable characters, but strangely enough, you found yourself almost rooting for Juliette which was a tad shocking when you realize that you’re cheering on a crazy-pants psycho stalker.  Her personality just kind of sucks you in and the author wrote the story in such a way that you couldn’t help but empathize with her, even though you know what she’s doing is so, so wrong.    This fact definitely highlights the author’s skills as a writer.  Yes, she’s unstable, but I couldn’t get enough of her.  This is another one of those stories that’s like a car crash….you can’t bear to look yet you can’t tear your eyes away.

So all in all, The Perfect Girlfriend is a compelling and twisted psychological thriller about obsession that’s out of control and taken to the extreme. Featuring mind games, devious manipulation, revenge, and fixation, it’s a story in which an unhinged and relentless young woman sets out to reminder her ex that she is, indeed, the perfect girlfriend.  I thought it was extremely well-written and engaging with intensely strong characterization.  

Now, this would have easily been a 5 star read for me if it wasn’t for the ending. I typically like neat endings where everything is nicely wrapped up.  So it’s often been my experience with some thrillers and suspense novels that the author likes to leave the reader with an ambiguous ending.  Such was the case with this book, and the anti-climatic conclusion left me feeling a tad frustrated and wanting for more. Thus, I ended up knocking off a star for the ending.  

But other than that, this was an excellent standout novel that I heartily recommend this fantastic debut novel, and I will assuredly be reading more by Ms. Hamilton.  

In the spirit of disclosure, I received an Advance Reader Copy of this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.
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Many thanks to NetGalley, Wildfire Publishing, and Karen Hamilton for the opportunity to read and review her debut novel - a crazy story of obsession!

Elizabeth/Lily/Juliette (she goes by all three at various times during the book) had a tragic incident in her childhood that left her always on the outside, desperate to fit in.  So when she meets Nate and begins a relationship with him, she is desperate to be the perfect girlfriend - so much so that Nate needs time and space away.  That causes Juliette to go in overdrive with her plan of action to win him back.  She becomes a flight attendant so that she can keep tabs on pilot Nate.  She stoops at nothing to gain access to his entire life.

This was a great debut novel - I couldn't put it down.  This was obsession/stalking in overdrive - scary!  Interesting background into the flight attendant world as well.
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I'm not even sure where to start with this one simply because: WOW.  And also: HOLY MOLY.  I read a lot of thrillers but this one really shook me.

Juliette can't get over her ex-fiance, Nate.  At first, she seems like a normal, heart-broken woman who goes a little further than the rest of us might in her place.  She crosses a few lines here and there, but in the beginning, it isn't anything too insane.  Creepy, yes, but not psycho levels of crazy.  By the time you figure out she's certifiably obsessed, it's too late - she has you hooked.  

As Juliette delves into her past, revealing bits and pieces of what might have pushed her to this point, you begin to understand her a little more, sympathize even.  The loss of her brother at such a young age almost even gives her a pass for some of the riskier things she does.  At first.   By the end of the book, she has crossed every line, encroached upon every last boundary, alienated every friend she had.  But, to Juliette, it's all worth it - anything to bring her plan to fruition.  

It's a true credit to the author that she made this emotionally, mentally unstable woman so likable.  I can't tell you how often I found myself actually rooting for Juliette, hoping that Nate would see the light.  This is even after we know he should run for the hills.  The Perfect Girlfriend is everything that Gone Girl should have been and wasn't.
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The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton held my attention with all the twisted logic and twisted reasoning.  I couldn’t believe all that happened.  It was like a scene you couldn’t stop watching - you just had to know how it would end or what would happen next.  It was mesmerizing and horrifying at the same time.  

 Being a perfect girlfriend to Nate is all Juliette wants to be, along with marriage and children.  Juliette knows how difficult Nate’s life is as a pilot and joins the same airline to help smooth their scheduling.  She buys him special food and things he likes.  She is just perfect - perfectly insane - that is.  She has perfectly insinuated herself into his life and managed to marry him. Juliette finally has everything and so does Nate. Really, he does.  

The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton is a horror story.  A story that reminds us how committed someone can be to the unacceptable and unavoidable.  The book is a wicked tale that keeps surprising you.
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3.5 Stars

I really enjoyed The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton. You feel for Juliette and Nate. You can tell from the start something just isn't right with the relationship that Juliette and Nate have. But it isn't until towards the end that it all starts making sense. Juliette and Nate were hard characters to like. However, this book was a very easy read to get lost in. 

I devoured this book and was addicted to the drama. Juliette was a cruel and relentless woman, full of secrets and deceit. You never knew what she would do next and it added a great amount of suspense and thrill to the book. You will feel such strong empathy for the characters that deserve it as well as disdain for the characters where it is warranted. 

I savored this fast-paced thriller with a splash of evil romance. Ms. Hamilton's writing was excellent and I think she did a great job of keeping up a quick enough pace that I couldn't help but keep reading.

I really loved learning about airlines and what pilots and flight attendants do. This is a good book for anyone who enjoys a psychological thriller and I will definitely be looking for more of  Karen Hamilton's work.
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I was looking forward to reading this after reading the description. It was definitely a little hard for me to get into it. I'm only about 60% through and have been avoiding picking up the book again just because I'm not super engrossed in the book. I think a book like this should be a page turner and full of suspense, but this book just really falls flat for me. I don't really like the main character or the man she is obsessed with. I may just have to abandon this one.
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Elizabeth wanted to be the perfect girlfriend to Nate but Nate wanted space. When he rents a new place for 6 months for Elizabeth she decides to recreate and perfect herself. She goes to training to become an airline stewardess and gets a job at Nate's airline. She knows that he loves her and they will get back together. It's just a matter of the right timing.

The story is told from the perspective of Elizabeth.  The reader follows her thoughts and actions as she prepares to return to Nate. 

This is the debut novel for Karen Hamilton.  

Thank you Netgalley and Grayden House for the opportunity to read and review this book. 
General Fiction (adult), Mystery & Thriller
Expected Release Date: March 26, 2019
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The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton is a thriller that takes readers into the mind of one very obsessive ex girlfriend. Juliette’s love for Nate knows no bounds and she’ll stop at  nothing  to get what she believes is hers.

Juliette and Nate were a couple once but then Nate gave Juliette the old I need some space speech and left her behind. Juliette however still loves Nate and she knows that he loves her too even if he doesn’t realize it himself so a little help never hurts, right? Juliette has just the plan already set in motion to get them back together again no matter what.

I seem to be a  bit on  the low side when I check out other reviews and ratings for The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton with my mark of 3 1/2 stars. I think for me it didn’t take long to get  into Juliette’s mind but it took the author much longer setting that stage before things really started to pick up.  I will admit though that once through the slow paced  beginning I did enjoy  the whole  reasoning behind things even making me feel for Juliette so I see why  folks like this one and would suggest giving it a try.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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Disturbing, yet oddly likable, obsessive title character. My question by the end: why didn't she dump the player boyfriend, and keep her new career? Read the book, see if you agree.
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Talk about a great book with a frustrating ending. I would have gladly given it five stars if it weren't for the let-down ending. I can't believe two intelligent, educated, and relatively sophisticated people could come to this end in a book. It's just not something feasible in today's world. Alas, it is what it is. Loved the book, hated the ending.

Full review at https://mysterysequels.com/book-review-perfect-girlfriend-karen-hamilton.html
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I love a devious mind and clearly Karen Hamilton has one. The Perfect Girlfriend is the delicious debut following the cunning mind of Elizabeth "Livy" Juliette Magnolia as she schemes to win BACK the heart of Nate Goldsmith.  She's carefully plotted out just how she'll manage this and we're dropped straight into the early days of her scheme. I found myself completely absorbed in Juliette’s plan and read late in to the night. What I loved about this book was that we aren't privy to her end game, nor are we fully aware of what motivates her, aside from the fact that after a short stint as Nate's girlfriend she believes Nate is the love of her life. But all will be revealed.

The story unfolds as a nice pace, keeping the reader on tenterhooks. Juliette has a code that she cleverly sticks to with repeating her manta's, in particular  "When there's any doubt, don't. Patience is a virtue. Stick to the plan"   Even as she disparages him, there's no one or nothing she wants more than Nate.  As the story progresses and her plan is enacted we witness just how single minded, how focused Juliette is, and being in her head is uncomfortable at times. Very uncomfortable. Okay, always. All her thoughts and plans will make you wonder just what’s next. She simply can’t be trusted.  

Juliette makes a sport of messing with people’s lives. If you are tied to Nate, you are fair game. She’s a meticulous planner which allows her to accomplish all that she does.She's a formidable foe and I wouldn't ever want to be in her sights. Hamilton does a great job tying up all the ends and I have to say this is one of the best suspense/thrillers I’ve read in a long, long while. I heartily recommend this book for those of you who love a smart and nefarious female antagonist driven by "love".
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I gave up at the 40% mark. If I don't care what happens to any of the characters by that point, I'm doubtful that it will miraculously draw me in further on.

I'm obviously swimming against the current with this one, but I found the characters flat and annoying. The story line was so promising, but it just didn't deliver for me; parts were high on the ridiculous scale. 

Thanks to NetGalley and Graydon House for giving me the opportunity to read an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. I'm very sorry this wasn't a fit for me!
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This book reminded me of when I was little and was scared watching a tv show. I can remember watching behind a wall of my fingers, peeking out just enough to see. This is how I felt. I wanted to know what was going to happen but I was scared.

Juliette/Lily/Elizabeth is one delusional, psychotic, crazy person. I think the most worrisome thing for me is how she believed everything she did was acceptable and normal. The story was told in first person from her point of view and what a ride. I felt sorry for some of the other characters and how they were some deep in her grip. 

The ending felt a bit rushed to me hence 4.5 stars. But it did leaving me saying "what????"
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