Summary: After getting caught hooking up with her best friend’s ex, Kendall Evans is no longer known as a good girl. Kicking off senior year ostracized and friendless, she counts down the days until she can escape from her Brooklyn prep school for good. But even that opportunity is threatened when Kendall discovers that her online identity has been hacked and she’s being accused of stealing a drug dealer’s stash. If Kendall wants to save her reputation and future, she’ll have to play the bad girl that everyone thinks she is. Or the one that she’s slowly turning into.
The Accidental Bad Girl by Maxine Kaplan
My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Maxine Kaplan’s The Accidental Bad Girl was the addicting read that I didn’t know I needed in my reading life right now. I love a good mystery/thriller-esque book every now and then, and I’m happy to report that this debut more than met my expectations.
Kendall is a kickbutt female character, and she refuses to be labeled by the gossip surrounding her online and in school. Despite being called so, she is no Barbie. In contrast, I loved how her parents called her Ken Doll. Throughout her character development, Maxine Kaplan shows that while Kendall is not a bad girl, she’s far from perfect. And there are lot of loveable, yet imperfect characters in The Accidental Bad Girl.
I really liked Gilly and Simone as Kendall’s support group, and I sided with Gilly in going to the police. But then I guess we wouldn’t have a story?? Simone was definitely my favorite, and while you can’t trust anyone, I prayed that Simone was actually who she appeared to me. And I loved her humor, exhibit 47 below:
“He’s so anxious, we actually had a sleepover, Ken. A sleepover. My mother made s’mores dip. We watched Mean Girls” (376).
The Accidental Bad Girl centers around Kendall’s involvement in drug dealing, and there were plenty of moments that were darker than I could have imagined. It was fun to see Kendall morph into the bad girl self, but even the reader will start to question where the line is between the real and fake Kendall. In addition, there’s also a lot of thoughtful discussion on rape and rape culture. It was really cool to see strong female leads like Kendall, Simone, and Kendall’s mother, who is one of the best lawyers in the city.
Overall, The Accidental Bad Girl exceeded my expectations, and this page-turning read deserves all the hype and more.
I received The Accidental Bad Girl in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the The Fantastic Flying Book Club for including me on this tour!
While The Accidental Bad Girl is definitely a dark and thrilling story, it had so many humorus moments, featuring a few Harry Potter references:
“ ‘Ken Doll, did that snotty she-who-shall-not-be-named take a shot at your today?’ “(23)
“ ‘She’s got anger management issues.’
‘She should take up knitting.’ “
“ ‘Colin Creevey over there actually, finally made a move? Like… a moderately successful move?’ “
“ ‘When we were kids,’ she countered. ‘We haven’t spoken since seventh grade.’
‘Because Simi is a traitor and weak of will,’ muttered Gilly.”
About the Author
Maxine Kaplan was born in Washington, DC. She and her twin sister spent their early childhoods trotting behind their journalist parents as they traveled around the world, eventually settling in Brooklyn, NY. Maxine graduated from Oberlin College in 2007. Following a long stint in the world of publishing, she has worked as a private investigator since 2009. She lives in her adopted hometown of Brooklyn, NY, with her lovely husband and complex cat. THE ACCIDENTAL BAD GIRL is her debut novel. Follow Maxine on Twitter @MaxineGKaplan
June 26-July 10
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