The Debutantes

A Novel

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Pub Date Oct 29 2024 | Archive Date Nov 12 2024
St. Martin's Press | Wednesday Books


Jessica Goodman meets The Agathas in this taut, twisty YA thriller set in the glittering world of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, where secrets--and bodies--never stay buried.

For the New Orleans elite, the Les Masques Ball is sure to be the social event of the season—if they can avoid another dead Queen. When debutante Margot Landry was found dead the morning after her reign at last year’s ball, it was a tragedy, but not a shocking one. Margot was a wild child with a self-destructive streak, nothing like this year’s Queen, Lily LeBlanc. With a perfectly poised debutante on the throne, everything is going according to plan…until the ball is hijacked by a mysterious figure in a Jester costume. That night, Lily sends a text to three of the Maids on her royal court—her best friend, Vivian; her boyfriend's sister, Piper; and April, her former frenemy—asking them all to meet the next morning. But Lily never shows up.

On the surface, these three debutantes don’t have anything in common except their exclusive private school and their ties to Les Masques. But soon, they realize why Lily brought them together: something dark is lurking beneath the glamorous surface of the debutante world, and it might be the reason she disappeared. And the further the girls dig, the more they begin to suspect that Margot's death may not have been an accident—and that Lily may be next. When the Jester starts threatening to expose their own secrets, this unlikely trio must team up to uncover the monsters behind the Mardi Gras masks—before they’re left with another dead debutante.

Jessica Goodman meets The Agathas in this taut, twisty YA thriller set in the glittering world of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, where secrets--and bodies--never stay buried.

For the New Orleans elite...

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ISBN 9781250881465
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Featured Reviews

Olivia Worley's "The Debutantes" is a riveting thriller set against the glamorous yet perilous backdrop of New Orleans' elite social scene. The Les Masques Ball, the crown jewel of the debutante season, takes a dark turn when the newly crowned Queen, Lily LeBlanc, mysteriously vanishes after the event. This disappearance stirs up haunting memories of Margot Landry, last year's Queen, whose untimely death was shrouded in whispers and scandal.

Worley masterfully intertwines the lives of three debutantes—Vivian, Piper, and April—who, despite their different backgrounds and histories, must unite to unravel the sinister secrets lurking beneath their polished exteriors. As they dig deeper, the specter of Margot's death looms large, suggesting that her end was no mere accident. The narrative is intensified by the presence of a menacing figure in a Jester costume, whose threats to expose the girls' own secrets add an extra layer of tension and urgency.

"The Debutantes" is a deftly crafted tale of mystery and intrigue, where every polished smile hides a potential motive, and every socialite has something to lose. Worley's characters are complex and compelling, their secrets as intricate as the masks they wear. The suspense builds to a fever pitch as the trio races against time to uncover the truth and prevent another tragedy.

This novel is a must-read for fans of thrillers and anyone fascinated by the dark undercurrents of high society. "The Debutantes" keeps readers on the edge of their seats, guessing until the very end. It’s a captivating blend of elegance and danger, proving that in the world of debutantes, the most dangerous monsters are often the ones hiding in plain sight.

Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and publisher for an advanced copy to review for my honest opinion.

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This book had me invested! Absolutely amazing from the plot to the twist. I could not put this book down. Chefs kiss highly recommend this book!

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I loved the story, the world building and meeting the different characters. I felt completely immersed in the story and couldn't stop reading it.

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I devoured The Debutantes in one sitting! It’s what you’d get if Pretty Little Liars was set amongst southern debutante culture. It’s also very reminiscent of Ashley Winstead’s The Last Housewife, with all the seediness of patriarchal culture rotting in the systems of our society that feed issues like classism, racism, corruption, and sexism.

I loved the different perspectives of each of the Maids and felt they were very well developed characters. Their tentative but enduring bonds of sisterhood showcase the strength of women and girls. As a sophomore novel, this book is an absolute triumph. It’s engaging, relevant, and doesn’t shy away from the hard truths of our world. I cannot recommend it enough!

Please note, this book and its themes are intended for a mature, upper YA audience. Be sure to check content warnings before reading or recommending. Thank you to Netgalley, Wednesday Books, and St. Martin’s Press for the e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

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