ARC Review: Not So Perfect Strangers

by Meg Rady

Not so Perfect Strangers seems like a compelling take on race gender politics through this twisting thriller mystery follwing two woman, complete strangers, bound by a chance encounter, which gives them an opportunity to escape their marriages. Tasha and Madison’s growing desperation leads them to seek unconventional methods, and when one of the woman is found at the scene of a homicide, it seems uncovering the truth may be next to impossible. 

While the premise of this novel is intriguing, I felt that it didn’t quite hit the mark. The synopsis labels the book as, “…flips the script on race and gender politics,” but this is false advertising. Race and gender play a crutial role in the charcters, which in turn effects the plot, but there was no nuance to the conversation. You can tell it was trying really hard, but ultimately, it didn’t really make you think at all. This doesn’t mean the book was bad by any means. 

I found it entertaining, wanting to turn page purely for the plot, which can best be described as unhinged, but it lacked particular craft I associate with being “well written.” That is to say, I value this book for the bizarre plot that makes it fun to read, rather than its quality. 

And while I say the plot was unhinged, Madison makes the plot seem like just another Tuesday. As a character, she just didn’t quite make sense to me, and its not just because she has some screws loose. I love following unlikeable or unreliable charcters, but there was nothing compelling about Madison, which is unfortunate because the book switches between Madison and Tasha’s POV pretty consistently. Madison’s character arc takes quite a turn, which was honestly really interesting, but it lacked any motivation, which zapped any intrigue lessened the stakes.

Tasha was by far the strongest character in the novel, and I enjoyed her POV chapters the most, even if she made a lot of stupid mistakes, but they were in character, unlike Madison. However, I disliked Tasha’s son. He frustrated me so much for spoilery reasons I won’t get into, but he felt like a plot device, nothing more. 

Overall, Not so Perfect Strangers is a quick, entertaining domestic thriller that I’d recommend  if your looking for a fun mystery and/or thriller, just don’t expect it to mind-blowing. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *