Gripping and fast-paced, with an ending that will stay with you long after you’ve read it, The Wicked Girls will appeal to fans of the Academy Award–nominated film Heavenly Creatures and the novels of Rosamund Lupton and Chevy Stevens.
I came across The Wicked Girls as an "Amazon Recommends" suggestion, presumably because I'd recently looked up several books by Laura Lippman, whose endorsement of this book is actually featured on the cover. The plot seemed completely interesting to me, and I couldn't wait to jump in.
Initially, I'll say that the alternating narrative style of this book was a bit hard to follow because essentially, we're actually hearing from four characters--Kristy (present), Amber (present), Bel (past), and Jade (past). The narration jumps from person to person often, and it was hard initially for me to keep track of which present-day character went with which past character.
Overall, I thought the story was interesting, though predictable. But here's my gripe, and I'll do the best that I can to explain with as few spoilers as possible...basically, the whole premise of the book centers around the idea that Bel and Jade were The Wicked Girls. That in meeting each other for the first time, they conspired to commit murder of a four year old girl. But from my perspective, while Bel and Jade weren't particularly kind or compassionate to the four year old who unexpectedly came into their care, they were also eleven years old at the time, and it was pretty clear to me that what happened was not murder, so much as an accident. They made poor choices after the four year old died, but they weren't malicious, just flawed reasoning of YOUNG CHILDREN who were probably in SHOCK.
Despite how the media may have portrayed them, I feel like any reasonable police officer, judge, counselor, etc, would have seen the truth of the situation readily. And it's that knowledge of their "wicked" past that seems like it is supposed to shape our perspective of Kristy and Amber in the present, but I just couldn't get there, and it drove me nuts.
So for me, although it wasn't necessarily a bad book, I had a hard time investing in the story that Marwood was trying to tell. Overall?